Ferentz Talks Quarterbacks

The fact that Drew Tate would start Iowa's season opener against Kent State has been a foregone conclusion for some time. The fact that Eric McCollom is the #2 is a surprise. That came about due to Jason Manson requiring a screw to be placed into his foot today, and he will miss at least three weeks. Ferentz talks at length about Tate, his progress, as well as McCollom getting a chance to take #2 reps in practice. What will Manson's status be when he returns?

Q: Was there ever any thought at moving Eric McCollom to receiver full time?

He got injured last year (leg). The only reason we put him in there last year, is that our situation dictated that. We didn't anticipate that going in, but we have never had any thoughts of having Eric as a receiver, long term. We recruiting him as a quarterback and we still feel that way. He was doing real well as our number three guy coming into this thing. That being said, he was up and down a lot, but against our number one defense. Some of the playing time he missed last year affected him.

But over the course of the next three weeks, he will get more work and more preparation being the #2 and hopefully that will accelerate his development. I think that some of his peaks and valleys are typical of a young player. This will be a big three weeks for him. Jason will be right there and in his hip pocket, and nobody probably has a better understanding of what we are doing than Jason Manson, so it will be a helpful three weeks and hopefully we will end up having three better quarterbacks than what we had yesterday.

Q: How has Drew Tate been progressing?

Some days are better than others. It's tough to picture sometimes. I mentioned that we had some injuries on the line, and without cohesiveness there, he has not always had the type of protection you are looking for. Playing against our defense is tough. When you play against the same guys 24 times in a row, they start to know your offense better than you do. That coupled with the fact that some of those guys over there are pretty good, I think in the long run, that will make us better. We are pleased with where he is at and we are anxious to see how he does when the lights come on. I am sure we will have some peaks and valleys.

Q: Is Drew ready to play an entire game?

He better be. I have not asked him that question. He has thrown a lot more passes in high school than he will throw this week or this season, so I don't think his arm is going to get tired. He will be OK.

Q: Are there any limits on Drew as far as schemes and gameplans?

He has been responsible now for a while. If he had been pressed into starting last year, I am sure we would have had to change some things.

But he has been here a calendar year now, and he has a good grasp of what we are doing. We don't try to carry the whole offense into every game, although sometimes it might feel that way. We try to limit what we are going to do every Saturday, and on Thursday of every week, if we are struggling in some areas, we try to take those out; plays that are destined for disaster in a ball game. You may not know that watching our games sometimes, but that is our plan. We are comfortable that he will be ready to go.

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