The Iowa State offensive football staff and Head Coach Paul Rhoads have been seeking more of an effort to finish plays. Rhoads has said he wants plays blocked for 5-6 yards to gain much more.
“Everybody sees the finish that a wideout or the skill guy has while making a big play,” said offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham. “Not everybody notices when a lineman finishes. That’s one of the things that (new offensive line) Coach Klenakis has stressed.”
Improving the run game is important. It requires better reads by the QB, making defenders miss in the open field and winning at the line. All factor into the result. Messingham was asked about the line’s performance recently and he talked about toughness.
“I feel like Tommy Farniok being another year older has taken a leadership role,” Messingham said. “(He wants) his guys to be nasty, physical guys. Coach Klenakis plays right into that because that’s his personality, his leadership style.”
Klenakis is getting lots of attention this spring because of his involvement with the creation and implementation of the pistol formation. The attitude he seeks from his playersa might have as much of an impact.
Messingham said Klenakis sells his troops on their approach, kind of like “we’re the union, we’re the guys going to work every day and we’re going to grind. And, when a play gets done somebody is going to look over and say ‘did you see the finish that lineman just had?’”
Most observers will celebrate the strong finish of a runner bulldozing his way into the end zone. Hopefully, you’ll see a few linemen finishing plays with a flourish this fall as well. More Cyclones will end up in the end zone if the linemen are finishing, too.