For as well as Iowa performed in 2021, one spot that left a lot to be desired was quarterback play. That led to a stagnant offense that averaged 23.4 points per game with right at 180 passing yards per game.

This offseason, both Spencer Petras – the starter for much of 2021 – and Alex Padilla are expected to see key reps in a QB battle for the Hawkeyes. But based on 2021 and experience, Petras continues to look like Iowa’s best option under center, provided he takes a step forward in 2022.

Fortunately, QB trainer Tony Racioppi had a lot of positive things to say about Petras’ work this offseason. Racioppi admitted some of Petras’ fundamentals were off last season while also noting a need for the QB to be more athletic in 2022.

“Fundamentally, he missed some throws last year that he shouldn’t have missed,” Racioppi told 247Sports on Monday, according to Sean Bock of Hawkeye Insider. “Sometimes that was a mechanical thing. He needed to be more athletic…The way college football is played nowadays, if one and two are covered, you’re going to have to buy some time and find three or four, or if things break down, get out of there and extend plays. He’s never going to (take) a ball 70-yards to the house, but if he can extend plays and pop somebody open down the field, they’re going to be that much more dynamic on offense.”

Racioppi did take time to highlight how good Petras looks this offseason. He praised Petras’ work on his body and mechanics but also admitted everyone knows it comes down to how well Petras plays on Saturday’s this fall.

“He’s the best he’s looked,” Racioppi said. “He’s worked hard on his body, worked hard on his body fat, and he’s moving as quickly as he’s ever moved…Mechanically, he’s worked on all of the stuff we did last year. He’s made some strides. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much we talk about this stuff, he has to play better on Saturdays. He knows that. At the end of the day, he’s going to be judged on how many games they won, his completion percentage, and his touchdown passes. That is the reality of playing quarterback.”

Racioppi is a QB trainer with Team TEST and works with QBs across high school, college and the NFL. He is also a coach for the Manning Passing Academy and has spent two seasons as an offensive assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hopefully the offseason work pays off for Petras and the Hawkeyes.