Iowa QB C.J. Beathard Working on Sliding Technique to Stay Healthy

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An ongoing issue for the Hawkeyes last season was the health of C.J. Beathard despite the quarterback downplaying his ailments and starting every game.

It was clear Beathard was hampered throughout most of the Hawkeyes 12-2 season, which culminated with offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia. The signal-caller also missed time in fall camp with a minor knee injury.

With all of that in mind, Beathard, who needs to stay healthy if Iowa has a shot at replicating last season's success, has been working on sliding properly while on the run.

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 7: C.J. Beathard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs the ball as Tegray Scales #8 of the Indiana Hoosiers tries to make the stop at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 7: C.J. Beathard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs the ball as Tegray Scales #8 of the Indiana Hoosiers tries to make the stop at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

"I was a head-first slider in baseball so that's why I've always slid head-first," Beathard said. "Now, getting back to the feeling of sliding feet-first is different, but I think I'll have no problem doing it."

Beathard's toughness was on full display last year but head coach Kirk Ferentz says while he has to keep that edge, it's something he doesn't need to prove to anyone.

"We don’t need him to be the toughest guy on the team," Ferentz said. "He’s already gotten an award, a certificate for being tough, so we just hopefully play a little bit smarter so we can keep him healthy the whole season. But you can’t play timid, either. It just doesn’t work."

The No. 17 Hawkeyes open their season at home against Miami (OH) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.