Iowa offensive line coach Tim Polasek says his goal this spring is to build depth. Polasek joined the staff after serving as offensive coordinator at North Dakota State and takes over a unit that has five players returning with starting experience.
“We try to solidify who’s #7, who’s #6, who’s #8,” Polasek says. “…Not that we’re ignoring the top guys because everybody can improve…(but) we’ve got to have some young guys step up and establish themselves in a position where they can get in a competitive situation with one or two guys.”
Polasek says he likes offensive linemen who are versatile and can player numerous positions.
“A lot of the techniques at tackle and the run game are similar to the ones at guard…Center’s probably the biggest challenge,” Polasek says. “…The truth of the matter is we have to have our five best out there at all times, whatever five are available.”
Iowa’s offensive line was named the winner of the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s top offensive line.
“We’re not going to settle. The expectations are high,” Polasek says. “What a job they did last year winning this award…and it’s an honor to coach this group, but quite frankly, that’s in the past.”
The prototype Iowa offensive lineman comes in all shapes and sizes, according to Polasek.
“We’ve got to be open to everything, but I do know this: They’d better be able to bend. They’d better be able to run. They need to be smart, physical and they’ve got to better be tough,” Polasek says. “That’s more of the criteria than is he 6’7″ 240 pounds, is he 6’3″ 248 (pounds) and can get to 295? You know, we try not to lump those guys into a group.”
The Hawkeyes conduct a practice at Valley High School in West Des Moines tonight.