Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard enters his senior season with a lot of preseason attention after leading the Hawkeyes to a 12-2 mark in his first season as the fulltime starter.
He says for the offense to improve on last season, he will have to improve his play in every area.
“More touchdown passes, less turnovers, smarter play getting the ball down, making decisions quicker. I have been working on all that this offseason and in the camp here and back to spring ball just trying to improve my game any way I can,” Beathard says.
He played much of last season hurt and says he is in the best health he has been in since first getting hurt. That should add to his efforts to improve the offense.
“I am able to do some stuff with me feet, run the ball more, and get out of the pocket better. It helps me move in the pocket, so I think it will improve our offense as a whole in every way really,” according to Beathard.
Beathard’s improved mobility won’t mean anything if he doesn’t have receivers to throw to, and he says that’s another part of the equation. He says they lost two key senior receivers and they will need young receivers without a lot playing time to step up and pick up some of the load. Beathard says he needs to work a lot with those receiver to bring them along.
He is on all of the major watch lists heading into the season and says he doesn’t mind being in the spotlight.
“You know my dad always told me to be thankful for it right now because some day they won’t care to know who you are,” Beathard says. “So, you’ve got to embrace it when you have it.”
The Hawkeyes were both praised and criticized as they went through the perfect regular season and into the conference championship game. Beathard says that will help them deal with whatever attention they get as this season moves ahead.
“I think it does, I mean we did a good job at ignoring the noise — whether it be negative noise or positive noise — there was a lot of that going on early in the season and then later on in the season. I think we did a good job of tuning out when there were a lot of outlets we could have listened to, and people talking about how good you are,” Beathard says. “When you start listening to that stuff that’s when you start going downhill you start thinking that you’ve made it, that you’ve arrived, and once you think that, that’s bad.”
The Franklin, Tennessee native will lead the Hawkeyes when they open the season on September 3rd at home against Miami of Ohio.