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Woods, Reid revitalize Iowa’s linebackers
Question of the Day
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - LeVar Woods is a soft-spoken former linebacker who looks like he could still suit up for the Hawkeyes. Jim Reid is a loquacious coaching lifer who’s made Iowa City perhaps the last stop of an illustrious career.
Together, they’ve helped make the middle of Iowa’s defense formidable again.
Anthony Hitchens, Christian Kirksey and James Morris anchored a defense that allowed just 18.9 points a game last season and helped Iowa bounce back from a dismal four-win season and reach the Outback Bowl.
“It’s really great to be around him every single day. We work well together,” said the 63-year-old Reid said of his relationship with Woods, who is 36. “Unfortunately for me, it’s like a father-son (relationship). I’m that old.”
Reid has over three decades of coaching experience with nine different teams - including a stint with the Miami Dolphins in 2008-09 - and yet he still carries himself with the energy of someone Woods‘ age.
Woods played for seven years in the NFL, finishing up with Detroit in 2007. He returned to Iowa City a year later and worked for four seasons as an administrative assistant before being promoted to linebackers coach in 2012.
Reid was brought in as part of a staff overhaul before 2013, and he quickly helped Woods expand his understanding of defensive concepts beyond what he learned under longtime Iowa coordinator Norm Parker and in the NFL.
“He unbelievable, to be honest with you. He’s been great for me as a young coach,” Woods said. “Just to be able to learn from him and to have someone, a mentor that I can go to.”
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