Experienced offense focusing on competitive endurance, increased dialogue

Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Manning talks to reporters at Iowa State media day on August 9. 

Sam Stuve

Throughout fall camp, Iowa State players and coaches have talked to the media about practices and the upcoming season. A season which contains the most anticipation around it than any season before, due the amount of starters returning from a team that won the 2020 Big 12 regular season crown, as well as the 2021 Fiesta Bowl.

Friday was no different, as offensive coordinator Tom Manning and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock spoke to members of the media.

At the center of the discussion on offense was, competitive endurance, the benefits of being a experienced team and increased dialogue between players. 

Cyclones making “competitive endurance” a focal point

One thing that has become clear in speaking with members of the team and staff is that “competitive endurance” has become a focal point.

“From our end we’re talking about having the ability to compete with yourself for a long period of time,” Manning said.

Quarterback Brock Purdy and quarterbacks coach Joel Gordon, both talked about competitive endurance on Wednesday as well. 

Gordon said this term was first started by Manning. 

“Coach Manning has been using the term, in fall camp, competitive endurance,” Gordon said Wednesday. 

Purdy said on Wednesday competitive endurance is about doing “the little things right” and being consistent in daily habits.

“Competitive endurance is being consistent, doing the right things,“ Purdy said. “Are you studying the right way? Are you up there just watching film? Are you actually looking at what you need to be watching? Are you going to the weight room on time? Are you late? Are you sleeping in? Are you staying up late? little things like that.”

Purdy also mentioned that competitive endurance is what the team has to focus on and that is the team’s model.

Experience helping Iowa State in fall camp

At the beginning of every football season comes what is called “install,” an installation of the team’s concepts and plays.

With a young team, this would take up a significant amount of time, but with an experienced team like the Cyclones, it appears to be not as time consuming in fall camp.

“We still have spent the time doing those things, you don’t have to start back at square zero in terms of every nuance of information promotion, you still need to spend time in terms of fundamentals and techniques, obviously, but having any experience is a good thing because there’s a sense of familiarity,” Manning said.

One starter that appears to have been affected directly is Purdy, who is entering his fourth as the starting quarterback at Iowa State.

Manning said Purdy and the rest of the offense are in the process of creating a sustainable system that will take them all the way through the season.

“He’s (Purdy) trying to install and establish a foundation of offense that can last you the entirety of the season,” Manning said. 

In this year’s fall camp, Manning said the offense is focusing more on techniques and fundamentals to prepare for multiple types of defenses the team may see throughout the year.

“We can really focus in on the fundamentals and techniques and we’re trying to make sure that we have enough things from a conceptual standpoint that give our kids an opportunity for the variety of defenses that we might see,” Manning said. 

Increased dialogue amongst offensive players

Throughout fall camp there has been an increased amount of dialogue amongst offensive players, specifically from the seniors, according to Manning. 

Manning said this a good sign, because there could be a better understanding of what’s happening on the field.

“I think it’s also a good sign that those guys are having a better understanding of why you’re trying to do something,” Manning said. “I feel like there is probably an increased dialogue between the players in terms of okay hey here ‘Do you think I was right in what I did here’ and ‘here’s why I did that.’”

According to Manning, players having this kind of dialogue has a positive effect on the offense in the way of making adjustments and changes easier. 

Upperclassmen are asking more questions than they have before, some of whom Manning mentioned on Friday.

“Chase Allen, Charlie Kolar, Xavier Hutchinson, those kinds of guys, they’re asking questions that are sometimes really kinda inspiring a little bit of like,’ man, that’s a really good point that maybe we should think about that,”’ Manning said.