Iowa assistant football coach LeVar Woods says the position of linebacker is much different now than when he played for the Hawkeyes 14 years ago. Woods is in his second season as Iowa’s outside linebackers coach and says linebackers aren’t as heavy as they were several years ago. “The game is more spread out, the game is more wide open if you will,” Woods says. “More passing, and you have to be able to run and react.” He says the days of big 250 and 260 pound linebackers are gone.
The Hawkeyes must replace three senior linebackers off last year’s 8-5 team. Woods says they have a lot of young guys, some with experience, that are working to fill those spots. He says they are trying to find out right now if those players can help put the team into a position to win.
Inside linebackers coach Jim Reid says the new linebackers are making progress in spring drills. “We’re making a lot mistakes, but we are making mistakes playing very fast, and before you can win, you have to play fast and you have to be detailed in your assignments and your reads,” Reid says.
Reid wants the linebackers to play fast this spring and not worry about making mistakes. He says the idea is to start to play with instinct and if the instinct is wrong, they will correct it.