McCarney Left Searching For Team Leaders

Dan McCarney wasn't pleased with his team's play in their first scrimage on Monday afternoon and he's now looking forward to Wednesday to find leadership from his players. In this piece McCarney talks about his team's first scrimmage plus the emerging battle at running back.

The Iowa State football team had their first scrimmage of the spring on Monday and it wasn't exactly what head coach Dan McCarney had in mind.


"It was sloppy, unacceptable, not what we're looking for. Too many mistakes. They practiced hard. It was a competitive scrimmage but way to many mistakes, unacceptable," said McCarney after practice on Monday.


According to McCarney, several factors led to the sloppy practice on Monday.


"We had some guys miss some tests. A couple of guys had minor injuries. It's hard to measure without your top guys all being there. We knew about Stephenson. We know that our best offensive lineman isn't even in there. It was just a very unacceptable practice and scrimmage. We have to get a lot better on Wednesday," said McCarney.


Looking for Leadership


Putting school and injuries aside, leadership is what McCarney needs in order for his team to take care of business this spring.


"We'll see what kind of leadership we have on this team. The coaches led out here today, I need my players to lead," said McCarney.


With 10 of 11 starters coming back on offense and several proven studs on defense, McCarney believes that the leadership he's looking for will be easy to find.


"There are a lot of them. We've got plenty of guys, especially offensively guys who have started, played and had success. There are real capable leaders on this team and I didn't see much of it out here today. This is not the atmosphere that we have to have to win at Iowa State. It needs to be a lot better. That's what coaching is about and we need to get a lot out of them on Wednesday. I'll be shocked if we don't have a much better practice and scrimmage. We'll do the same thing Wednesday, half drills half scrimmage," said McCarney.


The Running Back Battle


The battle for the number one running back position is more competitive than most people anticipated this spring. In the job that was at one time thought to be wrapped up by Stevie Hicks, Jason Harris has jumped right into the thick of things.


Jason Scales would be in the mix but his knee injury from last year has kept him out of the last two practices so that's affecting his stock on the depth chart.


"Nobody has been real exceptional in these first few practices. Stevie doesn't have a lock on anything so we're just rolling. Harris keeps getting better. We're opening up the competition. Jason's knee started to bother him some so we had to hold him out of the scrimmage tonight. He would have been right in the mix because he's off to a really good start. It got sore tonight so we had to back him up," said McCarney.


Carper at DE


Adam Carper has recently been moved from SLB to RUSH end. Carper is undersized at the position but defensive coordinator John Skladany was quoted in a CN interview as calling him a natural at the position. Here's what McCarney had to say about the move.


"He's got a lot to learn. He's a good athlete. He's willing. He needs 100 nights like tonight. He only gets 15. He needs 100 of them right now. He needs to practice, he needs to scrimmage, and he needs to see things coming at him full go. He needs to defend against a quarterback like Bret Meyer. He needs to tackle backs like Jason Harris and Stevie Hicks. He needs to go against real quality offensive lineman which we have some of those guys too," said McCarney.


The squad will be back at it again scrimmaging on Wednesday. CN will be there to cover it.



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