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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 3, 2017
DAVID BEATY: Good to see you guys. Been a little while. I just want to take a second to send out thoughts and prayers to all those in Las Vegas today and really right here in our own community. Lots of things that have gone on over the last, I don't know, ten or twelve days since I've seen you. Man, just lots of thoughts and prayers going out to those folks that need it. I wanted to make sure we made mention of that.
Coming off a bye week. Last week was good for us, obviously you get a little time to heal up. It's college football so it is what it is, and you've got an opportunity to get some guys well that you really needed, so that's good. We should be in pretty good shape coming into this week in terms of that. Availability is going to be good. Probably going to be able to have Shaq back, Shaq Richmond, which is going to be good.
We haven't had his services since, so it was a main point to get him back on the field here, so we think we are going to have him back in that secondary force, which is good. We got some depth back there now, which will be great. Everybody else is doing pretty good. It was a good week in that regard. Lots of time we spent on self-scout, just looking at ourselves and looking at the things we're doing schematically, seeing what's working and what's giving us trouble and maybe some things we need to throw out and some things that we need to keep in.
Not that uncommon for a college football team to do that during a bye week. Also gave us a chance to refocus on literally the basics of what we need to do better. It really always can be tracked back to fundamentals. You can't spend enough time on that, so we were able to get four days of good fundamental work last week, which was good.
The other thing we did was obviously making sure that everybody was kinda squared away on what exactly their responsibilities were in particular things and then able to get a little bit ahead for this week against Texas Tech. So that's what we spent the majority of our bye week on.
I got a little recruiting done, was out on the road quite a bit with our guys, so that was good to see some of those folks out there.
The one thing that I really thought was good was our guys spent a lot of time together this week. I applaud them. They've got great chemistry, it's a tight-knit football team, which is good. They're excited and ready to get back on the field and close the deal, close the deal this week. Both of us are coming in looking for our first Big 12 win, so it's a big game for both of us, and I know they'll be excited just like we will be.
It's homecoming for us. Looking forward to having a great crowd. Man, it makes a difference when we've got that stadium out there full of Jayhawks. We're looking forward to great support this week. Eleven o'clock start. Get your tailgates started early. Let's get you out there for us. It make a difference. It makes a difference.
You know, a lot of things going on this week with homecoming, but our job is to win the game, so we're going to put a lot of focus obviously on that, so we'll get that taken care of.
And then just understanding that we're going to be practicing today over here, so if you guys are coming to practice, we're not going to be on the grass field, so I wanted to make that announcement. Let's go to work with some questions.
Q. What makes Shimonek a good fit for Kingsbury's offense?
DAVID BEATY: He really reminds me a lot of the same guys he's had. A lot of that is development, right? But I think he's a transfer, if I'm not mistaken, and I think he came from Iowa, if I'm not mistaken, but he was a very talented guy in high school, and I remember looking at him back in the day. Quick-release guy. You can tell he's very cerebral, does a nice job of progressing through the offense. He looks like A-rated quarterback.
He's done a nice job. The thing that he does better than I wanted him to do was he moves around the pocket a lot better than I wanted him to do. I didn't want him to be able to do that, but he can do that pretty good. He gets away from things at times that you're like, how in the world did he get away from that? He does it better than you'd like him to.
Q. You mentioned the self-scout was part of the bye week. What was the self-scouting report on the offense and where that's at right now, especially with Bender and how he's performing.
DAVID BEATY: You do it in all three areas, right? A lot of time put into what we were doing obviously in the kicking game, defensively as well, but obviously offensively. One of the things we did was we went back and compared where we were a year ago at this time going into this second conference game, and, you know, there's a lot of good things, good improvement offensively that we've seen.
We've had the ball a lot longer, we've had a ton more first downs, we doubled our rushing production.
As far as our total output of offense, quite a bit more yardage. I think, we were 1412 last year and now we're 1922 yards offensively, so a lot more first downs, which allows you more plays, allows you to be able to gain more yards. Total offense per game, average per game last year we were sitting at 353 yards a game now we're at 480.
We were 102nd in the country last year, now we're 23rd in the country. We were 10th in the Big 12 last year; we're 6th in the Big 12 this year.
There are definitely things that we're improving on. I think the focus for us is just trying to figure out what it was that is keeping us from capitalizing on drives and finishing drives.
One of the real turning points for me is looking at our turnover margin. Really we've actually done a pretty good job of taking care of the football, with the exception of some interceptions. The difference is we haven't got near as many turnovers; we haven't taken 'em away. If we did that, I think that's the difference in averaging 32 a game and averaging 45 a game. That will be something that can help us, so we spent a lot of time in the bye week creating extra possessions in one way or another.
Q. What's are the benefits of having the bye week after the first Big 12 game as opposed to, say, maybe later in October?
DAVID BEATY: You know, I wasn't sure I was going to like it when I first saw it, but it actually worked out really good. It did because we got to see Big 12 competition. There's some things that are synonymous I think with the conference that helps you out a little bit. You're seeing a lot of the same body types, which I think is very helpful for us. We were able to get one game under our belt against a similar offense and really some similar things on defense, which was good, allowed us to see what we needed to shore up against some of those schemes, so I thought that worked out good.
Q. How does a bye week help your defense when you're facing a team with such flashy offensive numbers?
DAVID BEATY: They continue to do that. I think it's getting people healthy, getting people back and healthy. That's big. It allows you to look inside your personnel and see if you got guys in the right spot. Would he be suited better for another spot, would he be better suited right where he's at and we just need to improve his technique where he's at? The bottom line is execution.
We talked to our guys at length about the difference for us right now is going to be focus and being able to focus by controlling all of the exterior things that go on in our life. Can we focus on academics and football? If those are the only things that we're having to deal with, we're going to come okay focusing and being able to improve our execution, because at the end of the day it's going to come down to who can execute best.
There's not going to be a play that he's going to run that I'm not going to be familiar with, and there is not going to be one we're going to run that he's not going to be familiar with. It's going to come down to who can get 'em ready to play and execute at a higher level. That's what it's going to come down to.
Q. You touched on turnovers. They're plus 7. What is the key to forcing turnovers?
DAVID BEATY: I think you've got to put some pressure on the quarterback. I think you've got to do a nice job of mixing coverages and making sure that you don't get caught just giving him a good look at your hand. If you give those guys a good look at your hand it could be a long day. You've got to do a nice job of disguising and covering guys down and not just giving them quick, easy throws.
It's a tough -- it's a tough chore because there is so much that goes on offensively that you've got to be able to be sound in some area, and then you gotta rally and live through some other things, and not give up points while you're doing it.
It's definitely a challenge. I mean, it's one of those deals where, you know, you watch the tape and you know way too much. Like, man, that was a good idea, oh, man, that was good! I remember we did that against this team, that was pretty good. You kinda start making a list of things you're like, man, we got to be prepared to stop this, this, and this, and then you start realizing that your rules -- they've got to just handle it all, right? They've got to handle it all.
There's gotta be some things that you're going to have to be committed to stopping and then there's going to have to be some things you live through and be able to get back to what you're committing to stopping; right? Because everybody is going to live on what they do, and they're going to do the same things they always do. We've got to live through some of the tricks, I think, because they do a good job of capitalizing on tricks, formations, things like that.
Q. Did you have time during the bye week to handle slow starts and what do you put your finger on as to why those are happening?
DAVID BEATY: We did. I really didn't need a lot of time during the bye week to realize what it was, but it was good to go back and see it again and, again and, again and a lot of it is just things that come down to execution and self-infliction. Slow starts offensively you can almost track every one of them back to a mistake and a penalty.
If we don't do that, we don't have a 5-yard penalty and false start, we're going to be wind up scoring some points and getting off to a quicker start, right?
How do we fix it? What do we do to try to move forward and not letting that be an issue again? We started infusing this thing into our practice called "fast start" where right after we get done with a portion of our practice early, we go right into a team session and we see who is ready to play. It's not a whole lot of plays, but we get four or five shots with the 1's and 2's, and gives us a chance to see who we need to yell at for the rest of the practice and who is ready to play and who is not.
That's something we think is starting to get into their minds about the importance of a fast start. Who can execute early at the very beginning, being ready to play early and not waiting for things to happen.
Q. Dorance had a hamstring issue throughout camp. Did it spill into the season? Where is that right now? Did this two weeks off help?
DAVID BEATY: He's fine. Athletically or physically he's fine. He hasn't had any issues with his leg. We haven't had any actual training room issues with Dorance, so I think he's in pretty good shape. He played a lot of plays over those three games, so being able to recover is going to be helpful for him, but he hasn't been hurt. That hasn't been a problem for him.
Q. When you have Tech's defense that is opportunistic in forcing turnovers, is there such a thing for you and your staff to over communicate ball security?
DAVID BEATY: I know some people practice ball security by not talking about it. I just don't believe in that. I'm just not a believer in that. I subscribe to the great coach that coached here, Coach Mason, that always said, did you tell him? When he messes up and he doesn't do well, one of his favorite sayings to his staff was, "Did you tell him?"
How did you expect him to know if you not didn't communicate with him; right? I think it's brilliant. It's right. We have a very prescribed way of taking care of the football. The good thing is it hasn't been through fumbling. We've had problems with, you know, just some unfortunate situations, balls tipping off peoples's hands. Ball security is everybody's issue, the receivers making sure the balls don't get tipped, offensive lineman by protecting and holding that block as long as he has to, and it's everybody's job, ball security.
From our standpoint we feel like we've improved our ball security from a fumble standpoint. It's a couple of the interceptions that -- he's actually been pretty good. He hasn't thrown it right to the other team, just -- that's been a couple times. And as we go back and look at it we've seen that maybe depth had a problem with that, that had something to do with it, where the ball landed.
Some of them have just been unlucky deals. The pick six, hey, I'm going to take that one, because the play is designed well, they do a good job of running the backer off the edge, he's got to get it over the guy. We're blocking him. Kerr Johnson's got the guy blocked to the sideline, ball lands right in his belly, and he runs for a touchdown.
That happens; right? It happens from time to time. You hope it doesn't happen very much, but it does, from time to time, and you've got to be able to overcome it. The great thing is Peyton took 'em right out there and took a 7-point issue and turned it back into a 4-point issue, and that was something we were glad to see.
Q. You had four false start penalties from the guard position. What causes that and what do you need to do to correct that?
DAVID BEATY: There is a rule in our rule back that you're not able to simulate the snap on the other side of the field. You're not able to simulate a snap count.
There's a lot of philosophy across the country defensively of shifting and moving and there can be some times where you're shifting and moving and you're seeing things and it could be something that's very close to being illegal.
It's been happening quite a bit; right? I wouldn't say that I'm upset with the way that it's been called, but it's a challenge, and the thing is, we work that. There is no excuse. We know that the philosophy across the country is people want to do that to try to draw you off and we're not going to make excuses because we work that. We work shift calls, we work move calls all the time, because we know that's absolutely something that happens.
It all comes down to that. When those guys come off and we talk to them about what caused it, it's communication on the other side of the ball. It's sudden movement, communications that are happening and we know it, and we work it. It shouldn't happen.
Q. So would they be looking to, opponents when they see that, they will be looking to do it even more you think?
DAVID BEATY: Every team we play does it. You'll see them shifting and moving all the time. I would imagine after they see something like that, I would do it. But Coach Gibbs, he's going to do it. Three-down front, four-down front. It's a common way to do it. But people across the country are all dealing with the same thing, and they're not jumping off sides. No excuse. We've got to be more disciplined; right?
Q. David, where are you at right now on your pass rush? Has it been a disappointment?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, it has. It's obviously been something that we felt like was going to be a big advantage for us, and in terms of it being a disappointment, I think it's been disappointing for our players, for our coaches, our guys that are playing that position because they expect more out of themselves; right?
But we're having to look at -- the bye week really helped us to kind of understand is there anything the opponents that are doing to us that are taking away that rush? The bottom line is there's some things that we see that we can utilize a little bit differently. There's also some technique things that come into play. Being able to make sure that we shore up those technique issues, that's going to make a big difference in the pass rush; right?
The other thing is we gotta do a much better job of hiding the game. We can't show our opponent our hand all the time. When you show 'em your hand, they can turn the protection the right way and now it's a lot harder for you to beat a man and have to get to the guy before the ball gets out quick.
Everybody we play is throwing the ball pretty quick, so they can get it out fairly quick. I feel really good about the work we did over bye week. I know our defensive line in particular has taken it on their shoulders to get better, so we need that this week against a team -- this kid can extend the play a lot, and he does it within the pocket. So we've got to be able to push the pocket, contain the pocket and get to him and get him down a few times.
Q. The issues in the secondary, have you addressed those with the extra time off?
DAVID BEATY: You asked about the issues in the secondary and how we addressed them? Obviously there were some things we looked at as we went through that three and a half, four-week period where we saw there were some things that we felt like we did well, and some things we didn't do so well. So there will be things that we may not do as much, or at all, and there will be things that we may major a little bit more in because we saw that our personnel fit that a little bit better.
Obviously we went back to the very foundation of basic technique and trust, just trusting one another. Some of the issues that we face defensively have been guys trying to do too much, a guy trying to do his job and another guy's job. That's something that has plagued us in some of the big plays, so we've got to all do our job and trust the man next to us to do his job. When we do that, we will start seeing the success that we want to see.
Q. Anything that impressed you, Coach, about what Tech did against Oklahoma State, Saturday?
DAVID BEATY: I thought defensively we played really, really hard against those guys. I thought -- they've improved. To me that's the biggest improvement I've seen on this team is what they have done defensively. They're a year older. Coach Gibbs had another year to develop them, and he does a great job of that, and they're getting more turnovers. That was something he was not known for when he was at the University of Houston, before they left to go there. They were ranked high in getting turnovers, so we have a challenge against us this week of taking care of the football against a team that's made a persona of being able to take it away.
That was a big focus for us, understanding that we've got to take care of it on our side. We've got to get the ball out from them a couple times, too. We've got to be able to steal a possession or two against these guys, because they are explosive offensively.
Q. How does Kingsbury's mind work?
DAVID BEATY: He's a unique guy. He's very, very intelligent. One of the nicest, softest spoken dudes I've ever been around, but very, very, very intelligent. Might be one of the hardest workers I've ever been around. I think his alarm goes off around 2:30 in the morning, and he's probably at the weight room by 3:30. There is a reason why he's not much younger than me, and he looks a heck of a lot better than me. He puts a little bit of work into it that I don't necessarily do. No, he's a stud. He works extremely hard at everything he does. He's in that office -- he beats everybody to the office all day, every day.
I mean, he's just a guy that's very unique, in that he's a humble, hard-working dude. I love rooting for Kliff every week but one, and I'll give you three guesses as to which week that is.
Q. With the bye week, how do you divide time between reviewing the last game and how much emphasis you put there and looking ahead to the next opponent?
DAVID BEATY: We spent our normal time that we would reviewing that final week; right?
So we spent our normal time on Sunday and normal time on Monday that we would spend on reviewing that last opponent. Then we went into full-scout mode, when we had already actually started that the week before, but going into self-scout mode helped us make sure we knew that we were practicing the right things as we went into the next week.
So really it's just a balance. You've got to stay on your schedule to a certain extent, and then you've got to start moving forward, looking at the body of work and how you are going to improve it as you go down the stretch, here.
Q. (No microphone.) Kiki, when he got hurt against Oklahoma State, is that similar to what you guys went through with Sims when he got hurt, and was unable to go?
DAVID BEATY: Anytime you lose a dynamic guy that's something that you wish you didn't have happen to you; right? I hope Kiki is okay. I mean, I recruited Kiki. I know him out of Texas. We recruited him when I was at A&M. He's a terrific talent. I think he's good for college football. I hope the kid is good and ready to play. We want to play you at your best. We don't want to play you at anything less than your best, and I want that kid to be able to have a great career. Hopefully he's healthy.
Same thing for us, you know, having a healthy Sims probably makes us better than not having a healthy Sims. The thing about it is, do you have enough depth behind him, and do you have guys that can step in and do some things for you if a guy does go down. I think that's it is ultimate challenge because eventually it's a violent game. You're going to have somebody go down, and I think the team that has some -- a guy that's ready to go behind him, that can keep you from losing that production is going to be the team that's going to help themselves the most.
All right. Thanks a lot, y'all. Have a good one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports