Tate, Manson Talk QB Competition and More

The race to become Iowa's next starting quarterback stayed close Saturday as Drew Tate and Jason Manson both performed well in the spring game. Coach Ferentz said the competition likely will run through summer camp. The Hawkeyes' Top 2 signal callers discussed the situation with the media after this weekend's action. Read what they had to say in this HN.com premium Q&A.


What were some of the things that you didn't like that you did today?

There were a lot of things that I didn't do well. In some of the progressions, I missed some of the hot reads; and the deep ball. Sometimes I throw the ball and should have thrown it other places. I'll just keep watching film and make sure I don't make as many mistakes. That's the way that you get better.

What did you do that you liked?

I thought that I stayed in the pocket well. I saw the field well. I communicated with everbody and made sure that were were on the right page when we had to check and everything like that. I was real positive with everybody. There was no negative things said. That was about it.

It looked like some of the young WRs showed that they were ready to go.

Look at me, I don't have much experience. Everybody's time will come just like my time and the receivers' time. Experience doesn't mean that much. Brad played one year. Nate played one year. And I haven't even played yet. It will come. Come Sept. 4, everybody might be a little jumpy, but after a couple of plays everybody will settle down and get into the flow.

Does it feel like Jason is pushing you and making you better?

Well, I would say that it's not just Jason but Eric and Cy, too. We're all helping each other and trying to work together. Whoever is the quarterback we're all going to help that guy out. Coming back over to the sideline it's like, "Hey, you've got this going on." Things that the coaches probably won't talk to you about.

Is it a hard situation to be in knowing that only one of the four of you is going to be the starter?

I guess. I mean everybody wants to be the quarterback, but they're going to be happy for whoever the guy is because whoever the guy is will have proven themselves from work ethic; from the weight room; from film watching. They're going to respect the guy. They're going to help out whoever is the guy.

How comfortable are you with the offensive line?

They're improving every day. Everybody got better from Day 1 to now. I thought that everybody was comfortable with everything that they were doing. Everybody was on the same page.

The defense seems quite a bit ahead of the offense right now. How much catching up do you need to do?

I don't know and I don't think that that's an issue. If we just go out there and take care of business and move the chains and put the ball in the end zone, our defense will take care of everything else. All we have to do as an offense is move the chains and don't turn the ball over.

Coach said that you were brazen at times in terms of taking chances and things like that. How has he coached you in that area and what have you learned this spring?

After a few practices, I was forcing some balls. He came up to me and said, "Don't force any more balls." From that day, I haven't forced. If I had to force something, I had to run to get out of the way or throw the ball away. This offense is ball control and not turning over the ball and fumbling and throwing picks.

Did he really say it that nicely?

He just said, "Don't force the ball anymore." I said, "Yes sir." That was it.



What do you think that you bring to the table that Drew Tate maybe does not?

I don't know. I mean, we're a lot alike. He may be more of a pocket quarterback than I am. He might feel more comfortable than I do. Other than that, we're pretty much the same.

Are you happy being No. 2 on the depth chart or do you think you can challenge for the top spot?

You're never happy being No. 2. Of course I'm going to challenge him. And we'll see how it goes. I know that I've got to work on a lot of things to make that step up. I've got a lot of work to do in the offseason.

What do you think that you still need to work on the most?

My feet. When I throw the ball most of the time that's causing me to throw bad balls. Making quicker decisions. Picking up reads faster. Things like that.

You've waited a long time to get your shot at the quarterback spot. Just tell me kind of what it's like to have it within your reach

It's a lot of fun. You look forward to every day. Every day is another opportunity to go out there and get better and try to prove to the coaches and the rest of the team that you can do the job.

After spring ball, what does this offense need to work on to get ready for fall ball?

We definitely have to develop chemistry, improve our tempo and just work on the little things at each position.

Where is the QB race right now in your mind? Coach said that it's pretty close going into the fall.

I assume so, but it's up to the coaches. I'll let them decide. I'll just try to do the best that I can do every day.

Do you think you separated yourself a little bit today?

I don't know. I did some good things. Everybody did some good things. Cy. Eric. We all did pretty well today. The coaches will be deciding who gets the position.

How would you grade yourself today?

I would probably say D+ or C-, somewhere around there.

Man, your tough.

Yeah. You've got to be.

You had about a 60-yard pass to Hinkel in the touchdown. Can you take us through what was going through your mind?

That was a little play-action play. Right after the play action, I looked at the safety and he went down on the tight end. Hinkel had inside leverage on the cornerback. I just threw it out there and let him make a play.

Second and short on the five and you guys go to a shotgun with three wide. Where did that come from?

I don't know. I wasn't sure what he was going to call there. But it worked out to be a good play. I mean, he was wide open. I made a good throw. The line blocked pretty good.

How does the line look?

The guys are doing a good job getting better every day. We came a long way from the first day of spring practice. We're getting better, and the guys have the attitude that over the summer and the rest of the spring that we've got to keep hammering at the rock and one day it's going to break.

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