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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDIA CONFERENCE


April 25, 2015


David Beaty


MODERATOR:  Coach, you had mentioned that part of the spring was kind of getting to know your personnel and finding out what they can do and maybe some of the things they can't do.  How would you sum up the 15 practices.
COACH BEATY:  Productive.  Particularly in that, in kind of getting to know who our guys are, them getting to know us, kind of what our expectations are.  From that standpoint I was pleased with the progress this we made there.
Really getting to evaluate our guys.  And then really getting to teach how we do things procedurally was one of the main goals.  I think we've got that in now and I think we have a chance to move on when we move on to fall camp, to really get better when we get to those 29 workouts before the first game.
MODERATOR:  The lights were literally really on today.  Do you evaluate with the game type atmosphere with the crowd any differently than the practice session?
COACH BEATY:  You absolutely do.  From the guys' standpoint we talked about it being our 15th practice.  And that it's not going to be like a normal game.  I'm going to move the ball all over the field.  Sometimes I'm going to say go for it on 4th down when it doesn't make sense.  We're going to move the ball wherever we can move it to get us in a situation we need to work.
But we talked as a staff all week about not saying much to them, but really watching them and how they handle themselves out there on the big field.  And who can keep their focus and who can keep their eyes on the field and paying attention to all the distractions that come along with a game day atmosphere.
I'm was really pleased with our fans, it wasn't the prettiest day when it started out.  There's a lot of folks out there.  A lot of excitement about KU football, I'm excited to be here.

Q.  Any position groups that stood out for you?
COACH BEATY:  Yeah, without a doubt, for me, for me, standing back behind it, I thought our defensive line did a nice job getting pressure on our quarterbacks all day.
Conversely, our offensive line has to do a better job of moving their feet and getting in good position.  But those guys over there, we said before, those guys are the strength of our team right now.  There's some good athletes over there, and I would expect them to do that.  We're going to need them to continue to do that to give our offenses more chances, more opportunities, and I thought they did a pretty good job today.

Q.  I know getting through healthy is always something you want to see.  Quarterback Michael Cummings went down in this one.  What can you tell us about his injuries?
COACH BEATY:¬† It's too early to tell, obviously.¬† They're with our medical personnel.¬† And they're evaluating him right now.¬† We have ‑‑ our hopes and prayers that it everything is going to come out all right.¬† A great player, and a great Jayhawk.¬† We're optimistic that he's going to be okay and ready to go.

Q.  Left knee?  Anything you can update on that?
COACH BEATY:  It's too early.  I haven't talked to the medical personnel yet.

Q.  What's the message you gave the team, you kind of sending them back out into the world for a little while here.  What's the message you have for them on the way out until you get back and can fully convene in the fall?
COACH BEATY:  We just kind of follow the same path.  We've got to earn everything we get.  And we've earned the opportunity to take 15 workouts this spring.
Some of them didn't get that opportunity.  Some of them only got 12 workouts because they didn't earn it off the field.
I think that we set the standard that it's an if‑then process, if you take care of the business off the field then you'll have the opportunity to gain workouts, which gives you an opportunity to possibly help us in the game.
We've talked about this next stage of summer being all about earning, again.  So everything is about earning their opportunities, and we're moving into that next place.

Q.  How do you like the lineup?
COACH BEATY:  I think it is.  It's one of those deals where I don't know that we're ever happy enough with everything.  But the objective was very simple.  We wanted to be able to get to know our guys.  We wanted to be able to evaluate them and what we do, so we knew where they fit and kind of get an idea of where we're at and where we've got to go, and who we have, and who we got to go get.
And those 15 practices, man, they were very productive.  Mother Nature cooperated pretty much the entire time, with the exception of the first practice, when I'm pretty sure we had all four seasons in that first work out.  It was kind of a crazy day.
From that point forward we were very lucky, all of our workouts, we had great weather, and it was a good time throughout that whole spring practice.  So I'm pleased with their effort.  That's one thing I am happy with.  We talk about it all the time, we're going to keep hitting them with stuff and make sure they keep coming back.  And they've done that.  They want something more, and they know we're going to the next phase of trying to earn that more.

Q.  What do you say to players (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  I'm not sure exactly what happened there, because I was kind of blocked a little bit on that deal.  I've heard conflicting stories.  There was a guy shoved into him.  Now, sometimes that's unfortunate that it happens.  And it's really unfortunate that it happens to a guy like Michael.
And it's too early for us to tell, I haven't spoken to our medical personnel, I know they're evaluating him right now.  Obviously we're optimistic that he's going to be okay.  He got up and walked off on his own power.  That's unfortunate.
Coaches, for me, when you get to that spring game, it is a deal that you're always cared to death.  Because anytime you take a snap you're at risk of getting somebody injured.  And we need every one of them.  Our roster is to the point right now where we need every single guy.  Everybody does, we're not unique.  It's all throughout the country when it comes to that.  When see one of our quarterbacks go down like that, it obviously takes your breath away with a little bit.  We're optimistic that he'll be okay, and we'll see.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  Yeah, D'Andre, he's had an injury throughout spring, and we've just chosen to hold him.  There's a few other guys that didn't play a lot out there because they've had injuries, and it just wasn't smart for us to take a chance on putting them back out there in that scenario.  We also needed to evaluate some other guys and see how they would do on that game field.
There's a couple of guys that are suspended for violating team rules.  Rodriguez Coleman is one of those guys and Corey Avery is another one, so their future is uncertain.

Q.  How do you feel about the receiving, coach?
A.I'm impressed with Coach Kubiak, what he's done with the guys, and how far he's brought them along.  We moved guys to a bunch of different spots, you see Tre playing the No. 2 spot, No. 3 spot, No. 1 spot.
You see Ben playing the inside position, we can move him out wide.  We put Kent over on the seamless side today and he goes deep on one of the late plays in the game.  That's hard to get done with a big offensive, though, that college football teams possess.
But he does a great job of training them, he's a tireless worker, he's done a really good job with the kids.  They caught the ball pretty well today.  That was impressive to me.  We had one tip, when we always say, tips equal picks.  We've got to make sure we squeeze them.  But conversely Plump made a good play on it, had an interception off of it and almost scored off of it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  I think he did okay.  He was kind of up and down a little bit here and there.  I'd like to see him continue to improve just in his fundamentals and footwork.  The quarterback always goes back to footwork and fundamentals.  And there were times when he didn't operate great today.  As I watched it back there, you literally can watch the fundamentals fall apart.  And as long as those fundamentals are there, and the feet are in place, normally he executes pretty well.  When they're not, he's like just about anybody else.
He has not got enough experience at that at this level to overcome poor fundamentals, and not many people can.  There's very few that can do that.
But I was impressed with the way he kept playing.¬† He made a big play at the end of the game to a big long throw to Kent Taylor.¬† This game is going to go up and down, and we've got to be able to stay right there, and particularly at that position.¬† A guy has to be ‑‑ has to be always near perfect.¬† No matter what it's like, it's near perfect.¬† We talk about that, we stress it.¬† I've been pleased with his progress as a leader so far, which is good.¬† Great kid, works his tail off.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  Who did you say?  Bazie is a talented guy.  He comes from Allen, Texas.  I recruited that area.  I recruited Bazie momentarily, but he wasn't going to qualify.  So you back off of him.  He's played on the state championship, a lot of my buddies are there so I hang out there a lot when I was on the recruiting trail.
And I watched him.  He comes downhill and he will hit you.  He can get you on the ground.  He runs all over that field and he will strike you.  We think that he should be a really good player for us.  It's a little bit early to tell.  He's kind of working with that second group.  Fish ain't going to give up that spot easy.  It's not going to be overnight for Bazie, he's going to have to earn it, which is good.  I like him.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  Yeah, he did.  He looked up at me and I said, are you okay?  He said, yeah, coach, he didn't mean to do it, he got pushed into me.  I said, I know he didn't.  He was hurting.  He was hurting.  But he composed himself and got up and got off the field.
It's always scary when you see a guy grab his knee like that.  But he composed himself, he got off the field.  And I'm going to go down and see him in just a few minutes, I think he's showering up with the rest of the team and we'll see how he's done.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:¬† Yeah, they know they're not supposed to touch that guy.¬† And when they do, they get a mouthful from every coach in our staff.¬† Not just me, but Clint Bowen is ‑‑ he is a raging lunatic at practices, you get close to that quarterback.¬† He understands, they know that that guy is the key to the movement of this football team a lot of times.
We always stress that, that the one thing that in retrospect, I left my whistle in on purpose, but I wish I would have brought it out because even though I talked to our group officials about blowing it a little quicker.
They're mechanics, they don't blow whistles anymore, because of inadvertent whistles that have cost them some mistakes in the past.  They're not trained to do that a whole lot.  I would have probably blown that whistle just a little quicker.
But they were both moving to fast, I'm not sure it would have made a difference.  Everything was converging right there.  But like I said, the way I looked at it, the way I saw it, it looked like a complete freak accident, and I hope that's the case.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  Yeah, both of them were suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:¬† Well, I mean it's always important because our guys ‑‑ I want them to understand that they didn't build this place.¬† That those guys did.¬† And that we're getting to benefit from it.¬† And I want them to look them in the eye.
So whenever they feel like they need to tap out, I want them to think about these guys.  That we're standing on the shoulder of giants.  I said it over and over and again.  Dezmon Briscoe just walked in the gate right before the game started, and I just about teared up, because that guy broke every record receiving from Kerry Meier here that existed at this school.  And they gave a lot.  I mean they sacrificed and they had to put up with me.  And I was a raging lunatic when I was in the system here.  And those guys took everything I gave them.
And I know what it took to get this program to where it was and I know that we did some of those very same things when I was here before and it made it hard for those guys to tap out when they knew who was counting on them.  It gives them an idea who they're playing for.
And gives us ‑‑ just reinforces the sense of there's no entitlement, it's not about I or an individual, it's about our team.¬† It's about our stakeholders, it's about the alumni, it's about everybody that does make up this great university and that's just another piece of it.

Q.  Kent Taylor is one of your best catchers.  Will he be on the field?
COACH BEATY:  The way we do our personnel is we're going to find our best 11 guys, and if you're one of those guys, you're not going to be standing by me.  So we will not hesitate to move you and put you in another spot.  At receiver we play our best four, we don't tab you as an X or a Z, or a Y or an H.  That's not how it goes.  We rank them the top four, second four.  You want to get in that top 8.  You get in the top 8 you got a chance.  If you don't get in the top 8, then you better bust your butt and try to get into that top 8.  But it goes he's the best, he's the second, he's the third, he's the fourth.  Then they plug them in and teach them so we can move them around.  Absolutely, it doesn't behoove you to have one of your better players standing beside you.

Q.  You were moving faster offensively this game than practice one and two.  Did the guys start catching on?
COACH BEATY:  Yeah, they did.  We obviously are like everyone else in the country.  We're not going to show a lot in a game like this.  I mean it just doesn't behoove us to do this.  Plus we need to learn how to play football straight up, no blitzing.  There was no blitzing today.  There were no fake reverses, there were no reverses.
There was hardly any misdirection offensively.¬† That stuff, we didn't ‑‑ I just wanted them to play straight up football today.¬† That's something we haven't done.¬† We've handled blitz, we've handled fake reverses and reverses.¬† This was another practice where we needed another situation, where we learned to get off blocks and make tackles or to stay on blocks with nobody slanting.¬† So we could just work our tracks without a guy slanting.¬† That's what really today was about.
The tempo, you know, we went okay today, but that's not the tempo that we'll play at.  We'll play a heck of a lot faster.  I was standing back there slowing some things down there on purpose every now and then, just to get situations put in.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  Everything here has got to be earned.  And it's one of those deals we're trying to take that blue collar approach.  And we're just not going to talk about things that don't help us win until that time comes.  And we're not going to worry about your names being on the back of your jerseys.  We're not worrying about those decals or any of that stuff.  I don't mean that in a bad way.  We've got a lot more to worry about than that.  We're going to wear just a helmet and just a jersey.  And we're going to focus on trying to become better players.  If we do that the rest of it they won't even notice it anymore, the guys won't, they'll go out and play with pride because they know they're wearing that Jayhawk.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:¬† We still have a lot of bodies.¬† But people have said that has been documented.¬† We're not unique.¬† It's all over the country.¬† It really is.¬† It's ‑‑ you have to do a good job of retaining walk ons to be able to get through spring ball.¬† If you don't, it's hard to practice.¬† It is really, really, really difficult to practice.
I know ‑‑ I think it was Air Force, I think they canceled their whole last week of spring ball, because they didn't have enough bodies.¬† I've heard of a couple of teams that had to cancel two or three practices.¬† They didn't have enough bodies to get through it.
We were fortunate, we were able to get through 15 practices.  We're thin, but we're not different than anybody else.  We've got reinforcements coming, and a lot of them were on the sidelines today.

Q.  Cameron, (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  He has.  This guy is a great looking kid.  He has not played a lot of football.  He really hasn't.  He is really new to it.  But he's got a great football body.  He's long.  He's built really well.  He moves side to side pretty good.
I was impressed with his physicality today.  I thought he put his hand on guys a couple of times.  I saw him get up and shove a guy a little bit when he got up, I didn't know he had it in him, to be honest with you.
He kind of stood out with me today.  I don't know that I've seen that throughout spring.  We only get three tackle days.  It's hard to see that sometimes.  He kind of stepped up and did a few things.  One day does not make a player, we'll see how it goes going forward.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  I mean it's huge for us, because moving forward that is obviously where the plan lies in terms of the men that we bring in here.  It's going to be very crucial for us, not only this year but in year two and three and four, we've got to do a really good job of moving forward here.  And we're going to continue to be on the forefront in recruiting.  We're going to continue to try to push the envelope in terms of trying to get in every dad gum place in the world.
I love what Coach Snyder said, the basketball coach the other day, he said we're going to recruit the planet.  We're not going to be afraid to recruit the planet, either.  We're going to start in our backyard and work our way out from there.  We'll be in this great state for the entire week with every coach on our staff in the state of Kansas.  We're going to down the door of every school, unless they lock it on us.  And then we're going to try to break in and get in there.
So that's been other play plan the whole way, we're going to make a Kansas blast, we've seen a lot of them, they've been coming.  Coach has done a great job of getting those guys up there.  Is I'm sad, because I don't get to go out.  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself, I've been doing it a dozen years, and now I can't leave home base.  I really don't know what to do, you guys are going to have to come hang out with me.  We're going to play golf.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:  No, I don't think we've gotten everything that we hoped to, but I think we got a lot of the boxes checked.  One of the big things is just getting to know those guys.
I said it before and we didn't have our guys speak to the media early because we don't know them and they didn't know us and I didn't want to give you bad information.  I didn't want to put the wrong dudes in front of you.  And the truth of the matter is we're still earning that.
But halfway through we had a pretty good idea who our guys were.  And we knew who valued the same things that we valued.  So we felt comfortable to be able to I have good you that perspective.  That's the reason we did it that way.
And it really made sense to me to make sure that we give you the right information.  So we don't have someone talking that may not be playing.  And that's one of those deals that I think it really has paid dividends for us, because our guys were able to focus those first seven or eight practices, two weeks on just getting better as players.  Some of them it worries them.  They don't like that.  It's not that they don't like you, it's hard on some people.  And I think it helped them kind of get comfortable, which really worked out.

Q.  Do you have any idea what number of players will show up (Inaudible.)
COACH BEATY:¬† We'll have ‑‑ of walk ons or total players?¬† We'll have 105 in camp, that's an NCAA rule.¬† You can only have 105.¬† From there, when the first day of school starts you'll be able to add the rest of your squad.¬† That number is kind of undetermined right now.¬† Most people, their school has a cap that they put on you.
So we're still kind of working with all the new legislation and seeing where that cap is going to lie.  But I'm confident knowing that Dr. Zenger understands, because he's been a football coach and him and his administration knows the key to our walk on program is those spots.  I know they're going to give us everything we can.  And that's good.
I want to say thanks for all of your hospitality through spring and being patient with a first year head coach.  I'm learning along the way.  But I appreciate everything you do.
And I'm serious now, if you ever need anything, don't hesitate to call me or indicate I.  If you don't understand something, hey, listen, I'm different.  You can approach me, okay?  It might not always be the answer you want, but you can count on it being the truth. Thanks a lot.  Go and enjoy the rest of the day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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