What would Hayden do?
Well, he told us during the broadcast of the UNI game that, first and foremost, he would chuck that bitch deep. He said whenever he felt his offense was struggling during a game the magic elixir was to challenge the opponent D-E-E-P.
Hayden understood that the deep ball is threatening, it is aggressive, it is an inherently hostile act. It says that you will invade the football version of the enemy’s personal space in the most spectacular way you know how. It’s inspired by a concept from the animal kingdom know as territoriality, and it clearly is something he learned about as a psych major and put into practice in the Marines. The concept is simple enough, if you feel threatened then one way to purge that feeling is to turn the tables, put your opponent on the defensive—make them defend their personal space!
Hayden always sought out the "edge." It started cosmetically with the sunglasses and the naval hat and by wearing all that naval camander white (after labor day no less...as if to say, I don’t follow rules motherfucker). But his edgiest statements were made through his play calling. He wanted the opponent to sense that Iowa feared nothing. He would throw an exotic out there whether we were ahead or behind, and he’d chuck it deep whether we were on our own 20 or at midfield, whatever it took to change the tide or establish further dominance. Sports psychologists today teach this concept to athletes for wads of cash—as usual, Hayden ahead of his time.
Bob Rotella, the sports shrink on the PGA with half the tour employing him, preaches to every player that after a bad golf shot they MUST do something not only mentally, but physically to shock their system, change the flow. Tiger Woods spits...you always see it. Right after a bad shot he hawks a loogie, and usually a huge one. As if to physically purge his body of the shank. The concept is transferable to football too, take ones focus away from the failure and start afresh, goes the thinking.
I recall several games in the early 1980s where Hayden (well, Bill Snyder technically) would call for Chuck Long to throw the bomb, which might fall miserably incomplete, and then he would call for it again on the very next play. The old Marine would happily lose the battle to win the war. And it wasn’t as though Iowa had Chaney-type speed at the wide out position in those days.
I cannot recall a receiving group with potentially as much talent and speed across all positions as we have right now. We can certainly go deep with all of them, to include our TE!! So, I am going to engage in hedonistic voodoo rituals and telepathic experiments all week, first because its fun to do that, but also in hopes that it will lead to KOK calling for more deep passes. All this run stuff is attention-grabbing and certainly important, but the real threat lies in the post pattern.