Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dugan Arnett’s KU football notebook


Linebacker philosophy

While he didn’t exactly open his defensive playbook to reporters during an afternoon press conference Friday, the Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino did divulge the basics of how he plans to approach the linebacker position this season.

“I don’t want to get too much into Xs and Os, but I will tell you that we’re playing less and less with three linebackers on the field because of the way the offenses have evolved in the Big 12,” he said.

What that means, in essence, is that the Jayhawks’ defense will likely feature a linebacker-safety hybrid, similar to the role played by former Oklahoma standout Nic Harris last season.

“Probably 80-percent of the time, we’re playing with two linebackers and an extra safety,” said Mangino. “What we feel like is we’re going to have a guy who’s a third linebacker, but he’s mainly going to be a safety type-of-guy that can play in space.”

Last season, Mangino said, Kansas got away with using a base defense featuring three linebackers because of the edge-rush ability of James Holt. But with the loss of Holt and fellow starters Joe Mortensen and Mike Rivera to graduation, coupled with the heavily growing popularity of the spread offense, Mangino expects things to operate a bit differently in 2009.

“We are not overly concerned with that,” said Mangino. “But we do have to have people step up.”

Meier phased out of QB

Also discussed Friday was the team’s desire to phase backup signal-caller Kerry Meier out of the quarterback position permanently, giving him the opportunity to focus on playing receiver full-time for the first time in his career.

Mangino remained noncommittal about the situation, but implied that if players like Kale Pick, the team’s current No. 2 quarterback, and incoming freshman Jordan Webb progress at a desirable rate, Meier’s days of splitting practice time between multiple positions would likely be over.

“We will spot-use him (at quarterback),” said Mangino. “We’ll probably use him with the (second string) early in spring ball, just to get that unit going and having some continuity.”

“We’d like to use this time to help develop the quarterback position beyond Todd (Reesing),” he added. “So if everything goes according to the way we’d like for it to, (Pick) will get more (reps) as spring progresses.”

Reesing in better spirits

For the first time since the Jayhawks’ 2008 Insight Bowl victory over Minnesota, Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing was made available to the media Friday — and this time, he managed to remain a bit more jovial than his last outing.

During a bizarre post-game press conference at last December’s Insight Bowl, Reesing sarcastically answered a question from a reporter and declined to answer another. Talking among themselves in the press box later that night, bowl representatives expressed distaste at the junior quarterback’s patronizing press conference demeanor.

On Friday, asked about Reesing’s ability to deal with the national media attention sure to come during his upcoming senior season, Mangino attempted to explain the approach the quarterback takes in his interactions with media representatives.

“He’s not a big press conference guy, I think you know that,” said the coach, seemingly alluding to the Insight Bowl press conference. “He doesn’t like to sit there and be asked the same questions over and over. ... He decides what he thinks is petty and what he thinks is important, and he kind of sorts that out in his own little world.”

D’Cunha to transfer

Kansas offensive lineman Nathan D’Cunha, a 6-foot-6, 307-pound Australia native, has decided to transfer to an undisclosed school, Mangino said Friday.

D’Cunha, who red-shirted during the 2008 season after transferring to KU from Santa Barbara Community College, arrived in Lawrence as a highly-touted recruit — earning a four-star rating from recruiting site — but struggled early on and did not appear in a position to earn significant playing time in the coming season.

“He wants to go where he has a chance to play right away, and I agree with him,” said Mangino. “I think it’ll be good for him.”


Karen Mansfield-Stewart 10 years, 10 months ago

That's the first time I've heard that about Reesing. Its a bit disappointing, but I'm not sure how I would react in those situations, so I'll try not to be critical. He just always seemed like such a nice and humble young man, its surprising.

JJHawq 10 years, 10 months ago

never even heard about the "inverview". was I living under a rock?

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 10 months ago

I third that...gotta see if I can find the interview.

truefan 10 years, 10 months ago

I never saw it either...this is weird. Maybe they just didn't air it because it wasn't a long enough interview. I thought they would have said something on this site, but this site tends to talk about random facts from our rivals here in the Big XII instead of informing us about ku sports...odd name choice.

jhawk4life1976 10 years, 10 months ago

Maybe the reporters were asking stupid questions. Some of them do like to try to cause conflict in order to gain a little attention. I'd say I'd have to side with Todd on this one.

Osagehawk 10 years, 10 months ago

People are making a mountain out of a molehill. Todd was simply irritated about some of the questions being asked. He answered one question in partricular about finding a receiver and put it in rather sarcastic terms. I don't disagree with him as many times the questions are rediculous. It's like when there is a trajedy in the family and someone from the press asks a member of the family how that makes them feel.Not a whole lot of ways you can answer that type of question and doesn't need to be asked.

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Here is a link to the audio of the press conference. The question that elicited the sarcastic comment was at about the 9:15 min mark. I didn't hear him refuse to answer anything. Didn't sound too bad to me.

DallasHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks Chicago...We shouldn't look too much into this. Todd is one of the truly best to have donned the Crimson and Blue and he is a true Ambassador for KU football. Looking forward to another stellar season.
Beak Em'

RockChalkJayBlog 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think you can side with Reesing on this...But he's been like this all year. He needs to shapre up because he's going to be getting a lot of attention this year.

It doesn't seem like he refused to answer other questions as the interview ended two or three questions later and they didn't ask Reesing.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

That's pretty weak stuff. I was falling asleep listening until Todd shook it up. He's a colorful guy. So what? I'll take almost anything in place of canned responses.

JBurtin 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh come on, I would never have noticed the comment if someone hadn't mentioned it.

The guy asks a stupid question about whether they planned on him zeroing in on Meier and Briscoe for the game.

NEWSFLASH: Asking a question like that to a quarterback implies that he wasn't good enough to make snap decisions on the field and choose his own receiver.

Implying that it's necessary to dumb the game down for him like K-State did for Freeman is really kind of insulting.

So he basically tells the guy that he went back to make a pass and saw that one of them was open, then threw it to him, and it worked, so he did it again, and it worked a whole lot.

I think he was pissed that somebody had the gall to imply that the coaches had to game plan around his lack of skills, so he put the guy in his place.

mbmerriman 10 years, 10 months ago

i love todd as a player but he is kind of an ahole off the field from what ive heard

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

Todd is obviously smart enough to be able to learn what is ultimately in his best interest and the best interest of his company, err, I mean team. Ultimately, this will be the most important lesson he, or any of the players can learn, because you can rarely say what you really think/feel when you're working.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

Another 4-star bites the dust. Hopefully, we have more success with the current class. As bad as that may be, hopefully it is more indicative of the development of the other players, and not just a misread on recruiting/the ranking.

Hawkish4bigM 10 years, 10 months ago

Star power is media power, so I would not read too much into the transfer of the 4- star. Sounds like he wasn't competitive enough anyway. So, if getting a quality education at the University of Kansas was not good enough for him then go. I don't have a lot of patience for PC. I know players are supposed to put on a face for the media, but the kind of interviews that are usually conducted are pretty stupid. I would just suggest to Todd, speak your mind and then if something comes out that you recognize was hasty, just say, sorry, I should not have reacted to that. Do it right there in the interview. Don't need to made a press statement later..that would be bad. But, to say that you reacted implies there was something to react to.

Otherwise, Todd Reesing has my full and total support. If there was ever anything to this you would think we would have heard it before. Kind of a distraction, don't you think? Why was this brought up anyway? Arnett, this looks like you are creating a situation, in my opinion.

Ryan Wood 10 years, 10 months ago

Reesing has every right to be a jerk to the media. But it's never, ever worth it.

JBurtin 10 years, 10 months ago

Has anyone that assumes that he did something wrong actually listened to the clip?

He was just giving a guy crap for asking a stupid question. Athletes do it all the time in press conferences. Before you assume that he's done something wrong you really ought to listen to what he said.

I don't think it was an inappropriate response to the situation. In fact, it was funny, showed personality, and the only person that I would expect to feel offended by it should be the guy that asked the dumb question.

As others have stated, there's a good reason that it wasn't a big news story after the game.

Nobody really noticed or cared.

jhawkgrl09 10 years, 10 months ago

here is link of a video of reesing during the post game its under kansas wins insight

I don't really think that Dugan is trying to stir anything up. Some of the Kansan writers talked about it too in this link around the 5:15 min mark.

Maybe it was one of those situations where you just had to have been there.

Hawkish4bigM 10 years, 10 months ago

I just listened to the clip. Holy cow, Arnett. You wait three months to comment on this did ya? What a bunch of garbage. No wonder every post-game interview sounds like a cliche. All the media types who make their living criticizing everyone else in the world cannot take a mild dose of sarcasm????? The media cannot and will not be made fun of. How dare he (Reesing) make fun of our noble profession.

Ryan Wood 10 years, 10 months ago

I just listened, too. I think Todd just failed miserably at trying to be funny at the expense of a reporter. All the reporter wanted was for Reesing to talk about how well he was hooking up with Briscoe and Meier the whole game. If Todd thought it was a stupid question, just throw out a cliche and move on. Don't be stupid.

JBurtin mentions how athletes fire back at the media all the time, but college athletes never do it. Except for Kellen Winslow (who really wasn't griping about a reporter), I can't think of one example.

These guys aren't around the media 1/10th as much as the professionals. Mangino sees to that. So when they finally do get in front of the mic, don't be a jackass. College athletes are representing a lot more than themselves. This is a mild example, but it's not asking too much to just be courteous.

JBurtin 10 years, 10 months ago

"I just listened, too. I think Todd just failed miserably at trying to be funny at the expense of a reporter."

Apparently the people there laughing though it was funny. . .


William James 10 years, 10 months ago

Dugan is still upset about Reesing destroying the MU secondary and out dueling his savior, Chase Daniel, at Arrowhead. Anyone remember before the season started what Dugan said about the game in Norman? He said our only chance to beat OU was to get Chase Daniel to transfer to KU before the game. Dugan-Ive got 2 numbers for ya: 40-37

Alan Halvorsen 10 years, 10 months ago

Yeah I remember listening to the press conference after the game... Todd was pretty sarcastic, and that's all there was too it. I never would've imagined that I'd hear it come up 3 months later...This is basketball season...they probably need anything to get football conversation going to counterweight all the basketball.

homewood 10 years, 10 months ago

I thought it was funny. After 9 minutes of silly questions, why not spend 9 seconds on a silly answer. Basically he just says, "I ran the plays that coach called, and it worked". Big whoop.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 10 months ago

These guys get asked dumb questions all the time. I can see where they would get tired of it or annoyed. (switching sports) Check Brady Morningstar getting asked "what gum does AJ Abrams chew?"

GridironHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I got to say I laughed at the interview. If the guys going to ask a dumb question what does he expect. It probably wasn't the best way to answer it but I can't say I would have done anything differently :)

jakehillku 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree with gridiron.... if you want a good answer ask a good question. I would get sick of answering the same question over and over too. I dont really want to hear the same boring, rehearsed answers every week.

KUPROUD 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for this discussion. The problem, IMO, is not Todd's but the reporters who were apparently didn't get the humor in Todd's reply. Clearly Todd was attempting a light-hearted, humorous response to inane questions. This was about as edgy as a glass of milk, IMO.

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