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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 11, 2016
DAVID BEATY: We had another good day today. I thought we've had really good back-to-back days on the practice field. We practiced in the morning both days, have been able to utilize some extra time to help us get prepared for a great challenge that we have this week versus the Baylor Bears down in Waco.
We're going to be able to get -- I'm hoping we're going to be able to get Roberts and Wise both back. I don't know about Dineen. Dineen is coming along a little bit slower than I thought. But Roberts and Wise, both those guys, I think they're going to be okay. We think those guys will be able to help us, which will be good.
We've really been pleased with the last two days. Because of the morning practices, we've been able to kind of utilize that time really well, and it's going to give us a little bit more rest time on the back end for our guys to kind of get their legs back underneath them for the game on Saturday.
We're excited about playing in that 2:30 slot. We haven't been in that slot in a long time. So that's an exciting slot to be playing in.
Coming off the game from last week obviously our guys is anxious to get back out there and get another shot at it. And this is a great league. It's a great challenge. You guys know I know a lot about Seth Russell. He's from my hometown, as well, and very, very good player, very talented player, and man, he's got them going again.
They're really good on defense. I mean, Phil does a great job over there. I think their secondary is better than they were in the past, and just overall each individual man is contributing enough for them to be doing some really good things defensively, and Phil is such a good defensive mind, he's always a challenge to play against.
But offensively they're the same problems that you have in the past. The thing that I really notice when I turn that tape on is how physical these guys are. They've lost a few guys, but man, they are a physical bunch up front now. They run the ball really, really well. Shock Linwood might be -- he might be my pick right now for Player of the Year in the conference. That guy, he puts them on his back now. He is a talented guy, really talented guy. Him and Kyle Hicks, I love watching those guys play unless I'm having to play against them, and you saw why last week, because Kyle made us miss few times and, man, we need to get him down on a couple, few occasions, and man, he's done that to just about everybody. But man, those guys are really good players.
I think they're going to get KD Cannon back, who is I think one of the most dynamic guys in the conference, maybe in the country, so that certainly helps them, and they do a really good job on special teams, so we have a challenge ahead of us for sure.
Our guys have had really, really good practices the last two weeks, last two days, so I know they're excited to get back out on the field. I'll take some questions.
Q. (No microphone.)
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, let me answer the first part of that first. A really good practice is -- first of all, I just don't think you can have one without great energy. I think the energy has to be there with all your guys involved, and a lot of times, like it or hate it, man, it really -- that falls on the shoulders of the big guys, which is hard. When you weigh 330 pounds and you're sweating your rear end off, that's hard for them dudes. But they have had really good energy, those guys up front.
I think that really has been a difference maker for us over the last couple days, and I just see a different look in their eye right now. They played very physical the other day. I was very proud of how physical our team played. I had not seen that with that kind of consistency on both sides of the ball since we've been here.
I just see a different look in their eye, and I like that.
Now, hey, we're going to kick it off Saturday at 2:30 against one of the best teams in the country, and we're going to have to go earn that. But I'm fired up about how excited they are to get back out there and get playing.
Now, there's a lot of spirit out there, so we're having to try to hold them back from getting those little fights that break out in camp, and it's the same type of deal, but you like that competitiveness, but our guys are for one another, so those things don't last as long as they used to. Usually there's a couple of hits and then everybody pulls apart and they get back to the job at hand.
Q. With the way the defense has played, last week especially, is this going to be just a completely different challenge this week with Baylor, their size up front, a kind of different look than you've seen?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, I think every week is its own unique, independent challenge, and you hit it on the head, they are very physical. They run the ball really well. When I look at this team, they are a run play action football team. You're going to have to commit guys to the box to stop the run because, man, they do a great job of moving you and creating seams for that guy to carry the football.
They were down by multiple points the other day; I want to say it might have been 17 at Iowa State, and man, I look up and I don't see any panic in those guys. They start handing the ball off on the outside zone down 17 points, and Shock Linwood just makes a guy miss, makes another guy miss, and he goes for about 50 and he goes and scores, and they just do it over and over again.
They're known for getting that ball down the field, and they ran their way back into that game, which was very impressive. That's how much confidence they have in that running game.
And Shock is a really good player. He's been around for such a long time. He's got so much ball underneath his belt. He is a problem. Shock is a -- he is a problem for me. We've got to find a way to contain that guy, and those guys up front have a lot to say about that because they can knock you off the ball. So yeah, I don't know if that answers your question or not.
Q. Assess you own running game; where is your thought process on where you guys are at with that right now? With the way your offensive line played, are you disappointed the running game didn't produce a little bit more on Saturday?
DAVID BEATY: Well, we obviously want to be better at running the football, but if you just do some simple math and you count how many guys are sitting in the box, that's tough. You'd better get some movement up front, and you're going to have to make at least one miss. When you play a team like Baylor, those guys get a lot of two high defenses because they can also throw the ball vertically deep, and they don't want to -- people don't want to give up that deep ball. That helps them in the running game, there's no doubt about that.
In order for us to get a little bit better in the running game, we have got to become more effective in the passing game. They work complementary together. I mean, like my mom says, Why do you run that ball in the middle all the time? It's not that simple. There's so many different things that go into that ball in the middle. There's all kind of different schemes and things that go in there, and there's a number advantage sometimes, and defenses are always trying to outnumber you by one. They're trying to have one more in the pass perimeter, and they're trying to have one more in the box.
That's just the way defenses line up. It's the way they are designed, and then they're going to take chances for when they're blitzing and trying to get pressure and the things that go along with it. We've got to be able to make people hurt in the passing game, as well, to make that running game. We've got to get better up front at moving people and being able to combo off and get up to backers so they don't have free backers to be able to get off and make tackles.
This past week I thought TCU had a nice scheme. They did a really good job with what they did trying to keep their Mike backer free. They did a good job of that, and he made a lot of the tackles, but a late, late -- we kind of wore him down and he missed a few of them and we hit them for a few nice little runs.
But you know, you've got to be able to run the football into unfavorable boxes even when the numbers don't say that at times, and we were trying to do that the other day, and as we went, we started putting some 1st downs together and it started wearing on them a little bit. But that helps you a little bit.
Q. What you said about not being able to punch it in from the inch, what's your goal-line philosophy? Do you have a true goal-line package? You don't have to hold back and incorporate it too much, but is that involved in your offense very much?
DAVID BEATY: We're like everybody else. Most teams change inside the 5, so when you get inside the 5, that's where the major changes come. You're adjustments from week to week to week are probably more drastic on the goal line than they are just about anywhere else. So for us, we're no different. I mean, we're no different.
As we go back and look at the tape, what I thought was happening, happened. Listen, we wouldn't have been in that game without Taylor Martin. He made a great run earlier in the game that scored a touchdown off the same play. If we just stay vertical on that run, we get in the end zone. But we didn't. He wasn't able to do that. His vision, somebody popped in there and he kind of slid outside, and you've got to execute. It comes down to execution.
We did use Maciah this game and we've been working on him for weeks and weeks, so it was good to get him in the game, and hopefully we can expand his role as we keep moving because he's a load now. He's a load, and he's getting better at it, which gives you an extra gap for defenses to have to defend, and they do a lot of that with Seth Russell. They'll run the football on that quarterback.
Q. Coach Grobe, the situation he stepped into at Baylor considering all the off-season activities and inheriting Coach Briles' players, and yet here they are undefeated and ranked as high as 8 in the polls.
DAVID BEATY: Well, I've only met him just one time when we were at the Big 12 meetings, and man, he just seems like such a class act. All the things that I've ever seen or read or heard about Coach Grobe, you can see them the instant that you meet him. I can see why Baylor selected him, just such a great guy, man of integrity, and I have nothing but great things to say about him.
I've been really kind of staying focused on my own little world right here, so I really don't -- I don't really get to watch a whole lot about what's going on, but like I said, I have the ultimate respect for him, just his career speaks for itself and the way he's ran his programs. It is a difficult situation. You inherit a whole staff, and I do have a lot of friends on that staff, a lot of friends, and every one of those guys, when I talk to them, which is not a lot, but when I do, they are super positive about Coach Grobe.
Q. Can you talk about Ryan? I think you called it an average performance for him. What did he do well and what does he still need to work on?
DAVID BEATY: You know, he I think maybe -- that term probably sums it up pretty good. He is going to probably make a big jump in this game and next game just in his pure execution. One of the big things that he really continues to have to work on is separating procedure from actual basically how you control what they're doing. I mean, you've got to be able to put the procedure stuff -- it's got to be second nature. So when you're calling plays and you're getting everything signaled, the thought can't be in that, and when you're young, it takes a little while. You're like, okay, now I'm in ace flip, I've got this, got this motion, got that motion, and then by the time, oh, you looked up and now I've got to snap the ball. Well, that happens a little bit with young guys, and he got better as the game went on throughout that, and he'll be better this week as a result.
Once you get the procedure where it's second nature, now you can really pay attention to what's going on down the field, and that's really where the money is made in offenses like this because you have to know what they're doing to you. To me that's really the biggest jump that we want him to make is being able to put procedure behind him and be able to pay attention to what they're doing to you schematically so we can get our guys in the right spot and have the numbers advantage.
Q. I think I heard you say before that you guys can track how many times they watch film? Is that part of what you do with quarterbacks and things like that?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, absolutely. We've got them in there right now. Ryan comes up a lot on his own, which is good. But we've got -- we're just lucky we have all this new technology out, and we're supported so well by our University that we have everything at our fingertips. They can watch it on their phone. They can watch every cut-up that we ever send them. They can watch everything on their phone, which is pretty slick and pretty unique, and they know that we can track everything and how many times they're logging in, how much they're actually using it, how many times they're rewinding it. We can see everything, so it's hard for them to say, hey, yeah, I logged in and then I just kind of went back to what I was doing. You don't get to do that. So the technology is out of this world.
But they're trying to use that to get better.
Q. It's such a small screen; is that just as good as watching it on a big screen?
DAVID BEATY: You'd be surprised. I go to sleep at night around 2:00 in the morning, and I've got my phone in front of me, and my wife is like, can you please shut that down, because you can see everything.
Now, you saw I'm wearing glasses now, probably because of that. But you can still see it.
Q. Rosser with the big game last week, is that a scheme thing, a matchup thing, or is he capable of having multiple moments like that?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, we certainly think he is. He got an opportunity the other day because of his work ethic and him staying the course, and that particular game plan involved him being able to be used in a specific spot, which when we had him there in the spring, he was a problem now, in spring and fall when we first installed some of those packages. We knew that he had a chance. He really was always around the ball. He was causing problems. We were hoping he could do that, and he really just kind of finally earned his way into that, earned his way into that job.
He hadn't played a whole lot of football. So for him to be able to be as productive as he's been, he's been on the field a lot for us, he's been a four-core special teams guy since last year. And man, he's grown so much. I was really happy for him and proud of him the other day.
Q. Not too many guys that haven't played high school football, right?
DAVID BEATY: Not many. I haven't been around many that when they get to this level they haven't played at least a little bit of ball. Mike Evans played one year of high school football and that was it. But I watched him play last night; he's pretty good.
Q. What's the biggest reason you think your defense has been able to create so many negative plays, whether it's been sacks or just TFLs?
DAVID BEATY: Well, that really goes to our staff. I think Clint Bowen is one of the best out there. He talks to everyone in the country and everybody talks to him. He's just one of the better defensive minds out there.
After last year, our whole staff, we take it personal when where we finish in specific areas because your stats are who you are. You can't run from them. That's who you are. Statistically your production lies in the stats, and I know from his standpoint, he was extremely motivated because, man, he puts better teams out there than that routinely. But they were young. There was a lot of things. But that doesn't bother a coach. We don't care how old they are. We expect them to do it the way we want them to do it.
He's done a great job. I think adding Todd Bradford to our staff has been really good. He's brought some nice new ideas to the table. You'd be surprised. Joe DeForest is in that defensive room a lot, too. He's our special teams coordinator, but he's over there a lot, and I think those guys being in there with Coach, being in there with Kenny Perry who's been around one of the best defensive minds in the world with Gary Patterson, just blending things together to try to find a way to get us some production has been good.
And I said it last night; Mike Slater is a good football coach now. You don't have that many TFLs without having your D-line creating some problems up front. There's a common denominator there. They have been playing like that since he got here, pretty much the same dudes now. He does a really good job. There's a reason why his guys at Rice are playing in the NFL and nobody knew who they were. They're good players. He does a good job.
Q. You mentioned Maciah Long earlier. Is there hope that maybe a few weeks down the road you guys can actually use him in goal-line situations? What are your expectations for implementing him on offense?
DAVID BEATY: When the situation calls for Maciah, we'll use him as much as we can. We're not going to necessarily tip our hand to how we're going to use him or how much we're going to use him, but I do know this: He's getting well finally. He was hurt for a long time. He was hobbled for four weeks. That ankle has not been healthy. Having him healthy now is really helping us with wanting to use him more.
Q. Talking about the facemask, Josh said, my knees were bent, my hand placement would have been lower. Do you love an answer like that that's about the fundamentals and what he did wrong instead of talking about the implications?
DAVID BEATY: Yes, because the thing I loved about watching Josh is Kenny breaks out to the left there, and man, it did my heart good to see him come to balance and bend his knees because Kenny is in space, and the worst thing you can do in space is stay running because you physically cannot move laterally.
Sometimes when that happens, your hands get in the wrong place, and unfortunately it happened. But it's good to hear those guys kind of regurgitating those terms that we're wanting them to understand. That was a crazy play, man, crazy play. Still, I take my hat off -- I talked to Kenny last night and said, hey, dude, that was a great heads-up play by you. There was a lot of things on that play that were really unique, not the least of which was that the officials were standing right beside each other almost talking, and then we facemask the quarterback and we tackle him, when we hit him pretty good, and man, as a player, you see that, and you're like, man, that's a QB, you pull off, and you just kind of -- the play is over there, and we just didn't see the ball come out. Man, that was just a crazy play. I've got to take my hat off to Kenny. It stinks for us, but that was a really heads-up play for him.
Q. I'm sure you had some certain expectations going into the season, but what's the most encouraging thing you've seen defensively the last few weeks?
DAVID BEATY: I'm encouraged that we seem to be getting a little bit better every week, and that's really been the goal. It is not just defensively but in all areas, getting just a little bit better, a little bit more physical, fixing the problems that we have. The big thing is not letting new problems crop up. That's the new trend that we've had this year is we've had this in the first game and then this in the second. It's hard to fix something that's not broke, and then all of a sudden it's broke and then you fix that and something else pops up.
I'm not going to use the excuse that we're young. You've got to play a whole football game. We're getting better technically, which is good to see, and I think our guys can see that, and it's giving them some confidence.
Q. With Willis's interceptions this week, were they more on him? Was there other things that led to those?
DAVID BEATY: They were absolutely on him, and I love him to death. It's funny, he comes off the field after that first one, and he looks at me, and he says, Coach, I saw him go to single high and I threw it right to him, and I said, Yeah, you did, Bud, sure did. Nice throw, boy. I mean, he caught it. Boy. And your comeback was wide open over there on the right just like we talked about at all. He's like, Yeah, I know. I said, That's all right, man; you can't do much about it, but you've got to learn from it. Get your eyes downfield, know what they're doing to you.
He got better as the game went on. He had another one later in the game, and the thing about it for him is that he's fun to coach, because man, you can get after him and coach him, and it doesn't affect him in a negative way. He absorbs it and he tries to move forward.
He made some big-time throws in that game that were really good, I mean, some really good -- not the least of which was the last play to Steven Sims to get us in field goal range, second-to-last play. He throws a back shoulder there, a bullet on Sims, Sims makes a great -- and it gets us back in field goal range. That was a terrific throw by that kid. I would have loved for him to do that on the previous play where he took a sack and we had a one-on-one situation instead of a -- I mean, Sims had two guys on him. It was two man. That's not a good idea. But in that situation he was trying to find his best player, and he did. If he could have found him that previous play, it was one-on-one, and we just held onto the ball and he didn't want to put it in jeopardy but it was towards the end of the game.
We learned a lot of lessons there. We had two time-outs we had to burn on that last drive on sacks that we really shouldn't have had. He'll learn from it, and we'll get going moving forward.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports