The Hawkeyes’ offense left a lot to be desired in 2021. Senior Spencer Petras is set to be the man at the helm, but the question remains if Iowa struggles early, could junior Alex Padilla step into the starting spot? Petras, Padilla and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz spoke about the situation at Friday’s media day.

Iowa’s playcaller said the only safe spot in the starting lineup is Sam LaPorta at tight end. Other than that, to be considered a sure-fire starter is a pretty rare occurance.

“There’s very few times in my career when I would say we come in and we go to practice and there are incumbents,” Ferentz said, before clarifying: “Incumbents in my in my coaching career, Tom Brady was an incumbent when we went to the field every fall.”

Petras gave a journalistic metaphor when asked how he feels about competing for his job despite having been the starter for two seasons.

“Let’s say you’re writing an article, right? And how do you write the best article you can? You look at all — like Chad Leistikow’s writing this and this or Scott Dochterman’s writing that … That’s not how you write a good article, is it?” Petras quipped. “No, you focus on the article, and you focus on giving your best, giving your everything to that article and then you publish it. And if it’s good, it’s good. If it’s not, oh well, but right now I’m just focused on writing a great article.”

His current backup Alex Padilla expectedly wants to be the starter — and has the mindset that at some point he will be.

“My mindset is that I want to be the starter and I’m going to be the starter,” Padilla admitted. “That’s kind of a mindset you have to have, especially all three of us, when we’re kind of battling for that spot. We all have to have the mindset that we’re going to be the starter. Obviously, only one guy gets to do it. You have to have the mindset that, you know, if you have to play, you’re gonna be ready, you’re gonna be able to do your job and push the team forward.”

Brian Ferentz’s message to the media was clear. Players have to compete for their role in the offense. If they do their job well, they’ll have one.

“I know we give out depth charts and the reality is you walk in there and there’s opportunity each and every day,” Ferentz said. “I would just say right now, we’re not ready to make decisions, right? So there’s plenty opportunity left for everyone to go out there and demonstrate their ability just like the quarterback position. Do your job well.”

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