QB C.J. Beathard Taking Ownership for Iowa
The biggest change to the chemistry of this year's Iowa Hawkeyes' team is having no quarterback controversy. Last year many of the first team repetitions were split between both Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard.
With Rudock departing Iowa City and donning the maize and blue for Michigan this year, it's Beathard's team. It's Beathard's offense. He was name the team's starter in Chicago during Media Day by head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Having the support of the head coach may not sound like much, but that kind of acknowledgement and support from the football boss is not lost on C.J.
"It's a great feeling that the head coach has that confidence in me," Beathard said. "That's what you want. You don't want Coach Ferentz to be 'iffy' about the starting quarterback. I'm just going to try to continue to improve, get us in the right place, and provide the offense with a better spark."
The confidence the coaching staff has in Beathard has begun to rub off on C.J. himself. The belief they have in him is beginning to make him believe in himself even more.
"Here is what I see from C.J., because he has become the guy, there's a greater amount of confidence he has in his own game right now," assistant coach Bobby Kennedy pointed out. "He's throwing the ball real well. I've seen his leadership ability really kind of take over and lead our group. I'm most excited about that."
Not having to share the spotlight with Jake Rudock has allowed Beathard to not only progress as a player, but progress in the locker room and as a leader.
"I think it's just about me being able to progress as a quarterback, not having to split the reps," Beathard noted about the change in actually being named the starter. "Getting all the first team reps is valuable. I'm getting closer with my teammates and with the entire first team. I'm getting to know the receivers and I'm beginning to feel better with them. They know we're on the same page. I think it's easier to lead and not having to split the reps. It's easier with it being known that I'm the guy. That's what I've gotten the most out of it."
He hasn't just stopped sharing first-team duties at quarterback, Beathard is no longer sharing the responsibility and leadership of the offense.
"There's been a growth in his leadership," Beathard's position coach Greg Davis commented. "He's much more vocal now. He's taking charge. With it just being him under center now, it clears the air, no question about it."
With Rudock gone, Beathard is ready to take the next step. He's ready to make the offense his. He's ready for the responsibility.
"I'm taking the ownership of this offense and this team," he explained. "I'm putting it on myself to be the leader of this offense and that's what I'll do."
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