The first step is the concepts for new IU offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer.
Now through five install days for his offense, DeBoer has been patient, though seen the growth in his personnel.
“The install days are always a bit rougher, and the follow up days are usually cleaner and better execution,” DeBoer said.
DeBoer said that he wants his offense to be multiple, and to have balance.
“Balance doesn’t mean we have to at the end of the game 50-50,” DeBoer said. “It just means that we need to have the ability to run the ball when people are forcing us to do that, and pass that ball when they’re loading the box.”
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Ultimately, once DeBoer’s players know the concepts, he wants to be able to adjust to the personnel that he has in the program, and build with what he has. The install is far from complete. DeBoer said that he has yet to work on tempo, redzone, goal line and short yardage type plays.
DeBoer’s most important decision will be determining the starting quarterback come the fall. Though at this point in the process, it’s nearly impossible to put a make a clear picture of what the competition looks like.
Peyton Ramsey has gotten the majority of his practice time with last season’s starters. DeBoer has quickly seen the amount of respect that players on the team have for Ramsey.
“No one’s perfect, but he does a lot of things really well,” DeBoer said.
Jack Tuttle doesn’t just have to learn an entirely new offense. DeBoer said that he also is still in the process of learning how to read collegiate defenses. Some inconsistencies have come as a result of that.
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Michael Penix has had limited practice time, especially when the team has put on pads. Though DeBoer has certainly kept him involved as much as possible. Penix has had on a headset throughout era
“I always look at him when we’re scrimmaging and watch him,” DeBoer said. “I can hear him, I know he’s on the headphones listening. I’m trying to use teaching moments to him as well even though he’s not on the field so that he knows what I’m thinking. Peyton’s going through those situations, I’m talking to Mike to let him know what I’m thinking in that situation.”
Wide receiver Donovan Hale has lost weight over the offseason according to wide receivers coach Grant Heard and has looked smoother in practice. DeBoer said all the key wide receivers — Hale along with Nick Westbrook and Ty Fryfogle — have been as good as he expected coming in. Even Miles Marshall has gotten time with some of the projected starters, and has stood out to DeBoer.
“He was one of the guys that stood out to me the first two practices,” DeBoer said. “You watch the one on ones, you watch some of the routes he caught in seven-on-seven and your like ‘Wow, he’s got some range, he’s long, goes up and gets it.’ He really played fearless.”
DeBoer still has more of his offense to install, and just two weeks before the spring game. It won’t be a finished product at that point. The concepts DeBoer has may be installed by that point, but that’s just step one.