After showing dramatic improvement last season the Iowa Wesleyan football team is looking make even more strides in 2009. The Tigers were winless in 2007 but finished 3-8 last season and coach Jason Smelser improvement began with better play on both lines.

Smelser says you don’t have to cover as long in the secondary if the defensive line gets a good pass rush, and your linebackers play better if the line is taking up two blockers. He says there’s no answer defensively if the offensive line is smashing you in the mouth.

Smelser says the Tigers need to become stronger and more physical. He says they have been in full pads most of the spring and have gone full contact scrimmages. Smelser says he feels better about the team coming out of spring than he did last fall.

Smelser says the Tigers will need to get better because the schedule this season is difficult. They play the a one double A opponent among their preseason games before heading into the conference. The Tigers need a new quarterback for next season and Smelser says the top returnee at that spot is T.J. Tolliver.

Smelser says Tolliver can run very well and needs some work on his deep passing game to be more efficient.

Iowa Wesleyan closes out spring drills with an intrasquad game on Sunday afternoon.