Paul Rhoads named a solid starting five on the Iowa State offensive line following the Cyclones' Tuesday practice session in Ames. Here are all of Rhoads' post-practice comments.
On what the offensive line can do this year that it couldn't the last year or two:
Well, hopefully everything. Meaning, we've got to protect the quarterback, we've got to be able to have time to go through read progressions and get the ball off. To run the ball you've got to have holes, it's not just all on the shoulders of the running backs, so we've got to have timing and open up holes and sustain blocks. So I'm looking for a complete package of improvement: pass protection, enhancing the passing game, as well as running the football.
On Jake Campos getting playing time as a redshirt freshman:
He got good snaps today; he got some snaps with the ones. Yeah, Jake Campos will play this year.
On what he's seen from Campos so far in camp:
Hard to really speak too strongly after two days of no pads in the trenches. Really pleased with our work in two days. Guys are hustling, great attitudes this morning. I think the weather certainly helped that with the cloud cover and the coolness on the field and they're enjoying practicing in the mornings. So, tomorrow we'll start getting a better picture.
On whether Campos is developing faster than expected:
I don't know if it's faster than to be expected because he's a dang good player and the recruitment showed that. It's hard to play as a redshirt freshman on the offensive line or the defensive line for that matter and he might get forced into it a little bit. I don't know how Brock (Dagel) will be able to go every snap of the season because his knee from the spring. So Jake'll have to be ready.
On Wendell Taiese's shape and condition coming into camp:
Not bad, not bad at all. These days, again, they're a little bit shorter practices cause you don't want to put them in harm's way with two or four extra periods because you don't have shoulder pads on. And our guys don't back off, they engage, they practice hard. Tomorrow when we start doing a few more periods and more team stuff and you see him five consecutive plays more often, we'll have a better feel for that conditioning.
On the outline for practices the rest of this week:
We're shoulder pads and helmets tomorrow and Thursday. We are not full pads on Friday because the NCAA does not allow you to go full pads back-to-back and we're going to scrimmage Saturday morning. So we'll be in thigh boards on Friday but we won't be in full pads.
On what having Farniok 100 percent healthy does for offensive line:
All of them being 100 percent that are out there playing is what's vitally important. I think Tom's a captain on our football team, he's an elected captain, he's an intelligent football player, even though he also only has 17 snaps in this offensive system. He knows how to play at this level, he knows the speed and intensity you need to play with and that shows on a daily basis. Any time you're hampered by injury you can't execute to your potential. So yeah, a healthy Tom is a good situation. How long that will be, I don't know, Tom throws his body around, too, and he won't be a hundred percent all season long, I can assure you of that.
On having to reel Farniok in a little bit:
Heck, I think I can say this in a legal way, his brother, his sibling, was at camp and needed to be out of the drill because he wasn't a hundred percent healthy, and Tom wouldn't let him out of the drill. So getting himself out of a drill when that's the situation is no easy task. I say that jokingly because when a guy's injured he's not going to be out there.
On needing to establishing a starting five O line sooner rather than later:
I think we have a starting five right now with Dagel, Burton, Tom, Oni (Omoile) and Jacob Gannon. The other guys provide us great depth and I've always believed, whether I was a coordinator or head coach, the more guys you can play the better it is for your conditioning, for your freshness, for your morale. And so just because Dagel and Gannon are the starters that doesn't mean Campos and Dunning couldn't play. Do they have to get a high number of snaps with the ones to help timing being next to that guard? Not necessarily. So yeah I think our starting five is who they are right now unless somebody makes a strong push and beats one of them out.
On how nice it is to know that already:
I think any time that guys have established themselves because of what they've done on the field and in the weight room and all that, it's heartening to have that in place. So, yeah, we've got a number of guys on that side of the ball especially that are proven and that feels good.
On what's problematic with six new coaches:
Every phase is different. So you go off-season conditioning, you go spring practice and you're teaching as you go. We came off the first practice field yesterday and I've got guys asking me this morning in the staff meeting, now what's policy here in this situation? So you can't forecast everything and cover it in a meeting so just some things that are coming up that we have to review, how that works and how that functions. I had a whole practice card full of things I had to cover after yesterday with players and coaches. Today I had half a card full of stuff. So I expect it to continue to diminish at that kind of rate.
On whether there is more transition for offense or defense:
I think the offensive guys for sure with a new coordinator and with five new position coaches. I think without a doubt on offense.
On the biggest change with the team he's noticed since spring ball:
Well, I think the fact that we've made a number of changes in our training camp schedule is probably the thing I notice most. And it's not just the new guys that are adjusting to that, it's everybody adjusting to that. We had a group stretching today and a group finishing up practice and Mark (Mangino) was 30 yards downfield with the guys stretching. So I, hey, we're repping down here, and he laughs as he jogs back. So I think that adjustment and the changes is something that has added energy to our football team right now. I think politicians talk change all the time, it gets people excited, I think when you change it gets young people excited, too. So there's good energy on the field.
On decision to do development work for younger players at same time older players are stretching:
Because we wanted more continuity with our ones and twos in how we practice them and thus game-type conditioning. In the past we've gone ones, twos and threes to get everybody reps and then we did development at the end, and it was primarily just the new guys. We wanted to go ones and twos together, not give them as much rest in between sets. We're also going longer periods or plays in those sets. And then getting the other guys at the end.
On where Ryan Glenn fits on the depth chart right now:
He's now running with the twos at the guard spot, right guard spot I believe, as Jamison (Lalk) transitions to number two center and then Ryan and Wendell are getting all the guard work with the twos.
On what Daniel Burton needs to do to become an all-conference player:
He's really good assignment-wise. I think it's just production and at that position, it's sustaining blocks and not allowing guys to get off and make plays in their gaps. It's doing a great job of protecting the quarterback and not letting his guy pressure or sack the quarterback. And when that happens people take notice, coaches especially because they see the game tape of it and see lots of snaps of those guys.
On punting in first two days of camp:
Punted very well today, I was very excited about that. Colin Downing punted extremely well today but that's still Tuesday with no pads on and shorts. It was pretty ideal.
On whether Downing has punter job locked up already:
Holden Kramer is a walk-on from West Des Moines Valley and is much improved from where he was a year ago. So, no, we have a competition taking place there. Holden probably punted better yesterday than Colin. But Colin had a better day today.