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November 4, 2014

Clint Bowen

CLINT BOWEN:  Obviously in our program, back to work on Sunday and then again today, getting ready for another Big 12 game coming up with Iowa State.  Obviously a team that has beaten us the previous two years and has gotten the edge on us two years in a row.  Coach Rhodes runs a really good program.  Those guys always play hard, they play physical.  They find a way to get things done a lot of ways.
We're really looking forward to playing a game in Memorial Stadium with our fans here.  Hopefully we'll have a great turnout, great support for these guys that are playing hard throughout the season, and look forward to playing Iowa State.

Q.  It sounded after the game like you weren't too worried about picking up and moving forward after that loss.  Did you see them even throw that out by the time you got home or did it take a little while?
CLINT BOWEN:  Yeah, I don't think it was by the time we got home.  Obviously you get beat like Baylor beat us, it's a tough loss.  They got after us pretty good, and it takes a little while to bounce back from that.  As soon as the game was over, we started addressing that we prepared; we obviously didn't prepare well enough.  We got beat by a very good team.  It's time to put it behind us.
I think by the time we got on the field on Sunday that our guys realized that there's nothing you can do about the Baylor game, but there's plenty we can do about the rest of the season.  We got ready to go to work, and I thought we had a good Sunday evening practice and preparing for Iowa State.

Q.  You've worked for Coach Mangino at Iowa State.  What were the most important things you learned from him on how to run a program?
CLINT BOWEN:  You know, obviously I did, I spent eight years with Coach Mangino.  The guy, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.  He did a lot of things for me personally to help my career, to help me develop as a coach, took numerous things from the way he operated our program.  A few of the things is his work ethic is second to none.  We worked extremely hard.  We paid attention to the details and learned little things do matter.  We worked hard and developed a good program.

Q.  When was the last time you talked with him?
CLINT BOWEN:  It's been a while.

Q.  I know you've said over and over that this whole thing isn't about you, and you'll obviously have bigger stuff to take care of on Saturday, but will this reunion be special?
CLINT BOWEN:  You know, on game day it's more about, there's so many other things to go and take care of your kids and get our players ready to go and make sure everything is running smooth there.  You seldom have time to see the other guys on other staffs that you know.

Q.  When you prepare for their offense and what they do, do you recognize some of the stuff from when Mangino was here?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† I think there are some similarities.¬† It's different.¬† You know, football has changed in the last‑‑ since whatever years that's been, 2009, football has changed.¬† There's just a lot of different wrinkles, things going on now that they're up to what everyone else is doing, where that 2009 stuff is kind of‑‑ teams have moved through that.
You know, it's a similar offense, but there's a lot of different parts to it.

Q.  Because of their struggles and KU's the last few years, what's it been the last couple years that's allowed them to have the upper hand on you?
CLINT BOWEN:  It's hard to tell.  I think it kind of goes back to what I started with, with what a Paul Rhoads team usually does.  They show up.  They play hard, and they play physical, and they usually don't beat themselves, and I think that's been one of the things that has shown up in the last two times, that they showed up and were better prepared to win that game than we were.

Q.  You made the switch to Eric.  I was just wondering are there certain things or certain strengths that Michael has as a quarterback that you were hoping to have show through or some strength he has?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, I think the things that Michael can do is he has a good pre‑snap awareness of what defenses are doing.¬† It allows him to read a couple different deals.¬† A lot of football now has to do with reading, having a run‑pass option on plays, and I think he has the ability to make that decision because you're usually looking at one defender and deciding what he does, is the pass open or is the run the way to go, and I think he makes those reads pretty efficiently.

Q.  That's kind of where it's going to out of the post snap too?
CLINT BOWEN:  Absolutely.  The teams that are doing that, and officials are continuing to let them run block downfield and throw the ball downfield at the same time, and that's where offense is headed.

Q.¬† Was Michael's game against Baylor, the score is lopsided, he's probably not looking for too many positives out of that, but what did you make of his play and what he put up stats‑wise and everything, it looks pretty good on paper?
CLINT BOWEN:  It does.  I'm sure there's a few plays, the fumbles and things like that that we have to get back from.  But all in all, he kind of just continues to show what we talk about him every week, that he is an extremely tough young man that competes and fights and goes out there and has the ability to deliver the ball.  He has a strong arm and makes good reads and gets the ball out there.
Nick and Nigel and those guys are going up and making some plays for him, as well.  He brings a natural presence to him in the huddle that you look at him and you know that he's there ready to play.

Q.  Did any of that show in the spring or the summer or the preseason?  Obviously once Montell was named the starter, so much of the focus was on that, getting him ready.  Did this stuff show for Michael throughout that time, or does it take a situation like this where he's actually thrown out there to actually emerge?
CLINT BOWEN:  You know, I didn't pay a ton of attention to him to be honest with you.  I didn't really deal with it a whole lot.  But Mike has always been a pretty tough guy.  I think that's always shown.

Q.  You talked as a staff about renovation, and you were talking about letting him run block down the field.  Pop pass, stuff like that, is that something you want to tinker with, I guess, or things you want to show offensively?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, there's a few more different‑‑ it's not just the stick the QB up there, the Tim Tebow type deal that teams are doing.¬† It's more the perimeter reads, and on the perimeter reads it's not necessarily behind‑the‑line‑of‑scrimmage passes, it's downfield passing game and that stuff, and obviously that makes it extremely difficult to defend, and that's why you see each week teams scoring the amount of points that they're scoring.

Q.¬† You mentioned the run‑pass conflict stuff.¬† Just big picture, what makes that so difficult to defend?¬† Seems like you kind of are into that offensive philosophy.¬† What about that is attractive?
CLINT BOWEN:  Well, take all the rules that you ever teach a defensive kid, and usually those rules are against him.  You take, for example, tight end releases on a pass route should equal pass, but it doesn't.  It's the ball being ran.  Guard pulling out on power play should equal run, but it's not, it's a pass.  It's those kind of things.  It takes the rules that you teach defensive players and uses it against them.

Q.  This depth chart, Keyon still listed.  Is that reflective of his availability and Derrick's, too?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, Derrick probably won't be there.¬† Keyon we're hopeful.¬† He's a little bit more day‑to‑day, but yeah, Derrick will be out for this game.

Q.  How about De'Andre?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† Still day‑to‑day with him, too.¬† We're still hopeful there, as well.

Q.  You mentioned the rules being a little different in terms of what you see defensively, but how do you adjust?  How do you teach them some of these nuances that are coming into vogue?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† Well, what you do is you‑‑ and it's where coverage parts are becoming more critical that you try and take about every guy you can and you take him out of that situation to where they're not a two‑way guy.¬† It's not the old thing of a safety reading a guy and having to fit off of it.¬† You kind of have to take him out.¬† He's either a cover guy or he's a run fit guy, and it puts you in those dilemmas a little bit, which sometimes creates the isolations and the match‑ups that you see on the perimeter.

Q.¬† With the co‑offensive coordinator situation, how does that flow of communication work?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, those guys are‑‑ even as an entire offensive staff in there, we spend a ton of time as offensive and defensive staffs together, so the communication is always bounced off the wall, really not just amongst the two coordinators but amongst the entire staff, and those guys come in there and you look at your plan, you start going through what you think is good and bad and picking it apart really as a whole group, and the coordinator just kind of has the final say on what he really wants and what he's truly trying to put together.¬† But it's always a collective effort.

Q.  When a specific player gets to the point where he's getting flagged a lot, does it become troublesome how to deal with it?
CLINT BOWEN:  Yeah, it becomes very troublesome.  You find yourself in a position where a guy has to be able to correct his mistakes, and if he can't correct his mistakes, obviously the next step is to get him out of the game, and then you hope that when you get out of the game that the guy that goes in the game can do it better or do it at least equally as well, and sometimes that's not the case.

Q.  You mentioned Coach Mangino's attention to detail.  Was there anything specific he did that you thought at first, why are we getting into that kind of detail?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, at that point in time we did focus on‑‑ when you think about little things, you went to the practice field, it was as little as every player better be wearing the exact same thing the exact same way.¬† When you told a guy to do something, it better be done, whether it's touch the line, stretch this way; the way you told him to do it was the way it had to be done.¬† It was just a standard that was set that the players had to meet at all times, and it was philosophical the way things probably should be.¬† You ask a guy to do something, it should be done right, and that's what we hold our players accountable for.

Q.¬† I know in the off‑season you guys look ahead at all your opponents and get that advance scout on your teams that you're going to play throughout the year because you have time to do it.¬† I don't want to suggest that during your off week days you didn't actually take advantage of getting ready for Baylor, but when you have an off week do you do that?¬† Do you look ahead even a couple hours to that next opponent or is it all just focused on the next game?
CLINT BOWEN:  No, as a coordinator I've always for years done that, going back to Bill Young and I would always get together.  When you have your Thursday thing set and you're done your Thursday night, your call sheet is done, your game plan is set, you know what you're going to do, you're ready for your next down Friday.  We've always done a little bit of advance on that Friday because really what you're working to get for on Friday is to get ready for the next Sunday after that game for when you go on the field on Sunday that you're using that practice for corrections and your next opponent, and you're already ahead.
Yeah, any time we had a little extra time on Friday, we always glanced ahead.

Q.  You started this week a little ahead of a normal week?
CLINT BOWEN:  Yeah, but it wasn't due to Iowa State.  That's just normal routine.

Q.  Talk about E.J. Bibbs and how Coach Mangino uses him.
CLINT BOWEN:¬† Yeah, talented guy.¬† After a couple years, doing really well in the conference.¬† They use him a lot like we use Jimmay.¬† E.J. can line up as a wide receiver and is very effective running routes, catching the ball.¬† They'll bring him in the backfield, use him as a fullback and all the backfield stuff, and then he does line up as a true in‑line tight end.¬† He's 260 pounds, runs really well, runs good routes.¬† He's a talented young man.¬† He's one of the better dual‑type players in the conference.

Q.  How about Richardson?  Two years ago here in that night game was when he hadn't played, I don't think he was on the depth chart then.  How have you seen him change since he kind of burst on to the scene?
CLINT BOWEN:  Well, he's become a lot more accurate in the throwing game.  He's throwing the ball well.  He's a running threat, whether by designed QB run games or on pass plays scrambling.  He's an athletic kid.  He runs well.  He's got good speed.  He can run the option, run the zone read and scramble, and he looks really comfortable.  He looks like he's got command of the offense and doesn't hit panic buttons when people are bringing pressure at him.  He's sitting in there and delivering the ball.  He's developing into a solid quarterback.

Q.  Ben Heeney had a carry in the game last week.  Can you talk about the thought process there?
CLINT BOWEN:  Yeah, you know, it was one of those deals where at the running back position, Corey Avery is getting a load of work, Tony Pierson is back there, and it just came into what we wanted to do for a short yardage mentality, 4th and 1, 4th and 2, maybe a goal line situation, wherever it may be, and Ben has a history of playing running back in the past, played for Coach Dreiling at Hutch, played running back there very effectively, so when we were looking for a short yardage back, we thought that that might give us a chance for a guy to kind of stick one up in there.

Q.  When you look at Iowa State's personnel, you just mentioned after the Baylor game how you want to play offense like everybody else in the Big 12, but when you look at their personnel, do they have the same talent that you guys have, and is that why they've sort of been down at the bottom of the standings, or do they have more typical Big 12 talent and roster that you see everywhere else?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† You know, I think they have good players.¬† All of us are hunting for the mega stars and the superstar guys, but unfortunately there's not a ton of those out there.¬† A lot of us are playing with really good Big 12 football players up and down our roster, and all the kids I look at at Iowa State, they all look very deserving of being Big 12 football players to me.¬† They have guys on this team, the O‑line that play well, the running back kid is a good player.¬† We already mentioned Bibbs on the other side of the ball.¬† Their two D‑linemen, Jenson and Morrissey, are good, their two DBs are good.¬† We all have our players that we have, and it's about developing those young men and getting them ready and playing.
There's only a handful of the really, really special star‑type players.¬† The rest of us have good, solid Big 12 players, and we're all trying to get those kids to play the best that we can.

Q.¬† Do they remind you of any team you've seen in the past, especially with this Paul Rhoads influence?¬† Any non‑Iowa State teams anyway?
CLINT BOWEN:  Tough to answer.  Not really off the top of my head, no.

Q.  Can you talk about what works here at Kansas?  Big picture what has worked here or what do you think the formula is to create a successful offensive line?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† Well, you know what, the offensive line I think is one of the most important truly‑‑ when people talk about playing fundamental football, obviously at the O‑line, I think that's paramount.¬† Those players have to have a chemistry about them.¬† They have to have a trust in each other.¬† They have to work together all the time.¬† They have to communicate together.¬† When you talk about all the fundamentals of football from getting in a good stance to taking a good first step to playing with hands and pad level and all those football fundamentals, that's where it truly all comes into play on every single snap is at the O‑line.
So you have to have those kids that, one, can think, two, have some toughness about them because every play it's a little bit of a head‑banging collision and can apply the fundamentals that they need.¬† You know, it's an unselfish type player that has some mental and physical toughness about him.

Q.¬† Because of the can be complicated position, and the physical it takes a while to get the body, so ideally would you be looking for a five‑year offensive lineman in recruiting?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† Yeah, I think about all those old jokes is you take those O‑linemen and you put them in the darkroom and don't kind of think about them for a few years and then pull them out and they're ready to go.¬† It is kind of that position.¬† It's one of those ones that as young kids, it's probably the hardest to come in as a strength and development and fundamental type player to play.¬† You take a corner, the guy is quick and fast and has some just natural God‑given ability, you can throw him out there and play.¬† He doesn't get into physical mismatches.¬† But at O‑line it's one of those true areas where development is critical.¬† The longer you can keep them in your system to where everything is more familiar with them, obviously the better.

Q.  Is there some hope that with John having a little left on his plate this far into the season, maybe that extra attention that he can give to the line can help you guys finish strong at that position?
CLINT BOWEN:¬† I think he would, but even when John was the OC he was working the O‑line however hard as he can and coaching them as good as he can.¬† There hasn't been any more or less time spent with them based on those roles.

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