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The NFL's New England Patriots have been doing some innovative things with their tight ends.
The Hawkeyes' new offensive line coach is former Pats' tight end coach Brian Ferentz; moreover, the Hawks favor tight end-heavy looks and already have the personnel in place to incorporate some of the things the Pats have done into its offense.
One thing Iowa might play with is a fullhouse formation.
This look is traditionally associated with an option offense, but consider the possibilities Iowa will have with an H-back-type player, a fullback and a halfback all in the backfield; at the same time, a traditional tight end will be on the line and a receiver will be out wide.
Also, a player like junior C.J. Fiedorowicz would be best utilized by lining him up off the line in some capacity.
After all, New England All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed at 6'6", 265 pounds. C.J. Fiedorowicz is 6'7", 265 pounds. Physically, he should be able to create the same type of mismatches that Gronkowski provides.
With more traditional tight ends, senior Zach Derby—6'3", 240 pounds—and sophomore Ray Hamilton—6'5", 240 pounds, but will gain weight this off-season—coming off the bench, there can be a lot of versatility borne out of the Iowa tight ends and fullbacks.
It is versatility, and not spread or no-huddle or any of that nonsense, that is the true buzzword of modern football.