Sam’s the man and here’s what Rhoads is seeking from him.


Sam Richardson will be Iowa State’s quarterback Saturday against Oklahoma State Saturday. Coach Paul Rhoads said so earlier this week.

 Rhoads also suggested some ways Richardson can help make the offense more effective.

 “He’s got to make smarter decisions and quicker judgments,” Rhoads said.

 Dan Marino, who threw for more than 61,000 yards in the NFL, built his game on quick decisions and a fast trigger.

 “All of the great ones see the game so quickly and they know exactly where they want the ball to go,” Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott once said of Marino. “You were at Dan’s mercy (because of that).”

 Rhoads also suggested Richardson needs to get the ball out of his hands faster so pass protection doesn’t need to hold up as long.

 Mike Leach, now the head coach at Washington State, has earned a reputation for leading relentless and quick-strike passing attacks. Part of Leach’s approach is getting the ball from quarterback to receiver ASAP.

 “I spend more time trying to make my offense easy for the quarterback to memorize than anything,” Leach said in the book, The System. “I want to make it as simple as possible (for the QB) because I want guys to trigger it as quick as possible.”

 Make quick judgments and get the ball out of the QB’s hands fast. Rhoads believes that’s an attainable key for his offense.

 Based upon what Marino accomplished and Leach’s record, that sounds like a practical approach.