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Saturday, November 20, 2010

QB-turned-WR Kale Pick quickly adjusting to new position

Kansas sophomore hauls in two passes in 48-14 loss

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 48-14 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 20, 2010.

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Highlights from the Kansas and Oklahoma State football game.

The Kansas Jayhawks hung with the Oklahoma State Cowboys early, before watching OSU run away in the second half. The final score was 48-14 in favor of the Cowboys.

Kale Pick was trying his hardest to catch up.

While walking to Rhetoric class earlier this week — before Kansas’ 48-14 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday — the Kansas quarterback-turned-receiver was working on perfecting his route running.

He started with his outside foot in front of him, taking three steps ahead before breaking off a slant route. He counted a few more steps, then executed a curl route. A few more steps, then a corner route.

While walking the other direction, KU freshman receiver Erick McGriff stopped him to give him some ribbing: “You’re working on your routes right now?”

“I was like, ‘You’ve been doing this all year, all your life,’” Pick said. “’I’m trying to get this in three days.’”

Considering the circumstances, Pick’s debut at receiver on Saturday is likely to be deemed a success.

The sophomore caught two passes for nine yards, which included an eight-yard reception in the first quarter.

“It was different, watching the ball coming at me,” Pick said, “instead of away from me.”

Pick’s transition to a new position happened quickly.

KU coach Turner Gill approached Pick about the change early in the week, telling him that Quinn Mecham and Jordan Webb would receive the most repetitions at quarterback the rest of this season.

“I think it was more of a shock when I first heard it from Gill on Monday,” Pick said. “I wasn’t really expecting it.”

Pick spent Monday’s practice thinking not only about the playing time he could be getting at receiver but also the alternative, which most likely was standing on the sideline.

After sleeping on it and talking to his father, Mark, Kale alerted the coaches on Tuesday that he’d make the change.

He ran the first wide receiver route of his life during Tuesday’s practice.

“(KU assistant) coach (Chuck) Long thought it was pretty good,” Pick said with a smile. “I’m going to take his word on it.”

Since then, Pick began a crash course on his new position with KU receivers coach Darrell Wyatt.

There was a lot to take in. Pick learned to always plant off his inside foot, while also receiving instruction on when to break down his route and when to pump his arms at the end of his route.

He also asked for feedback from his teammates, including Daymond Patterson, Christian Matthews and Willie O’Quinn.

“If I did anything wrong, I wanted them to tell me,” Pick said. “I didn’t want them to tell me I did a good job if I caught the ball and had a bad route.”

After watching him practice during the week, KU’s coaches limited Pick to about 10 potential plays for the Oklahoma State game.

His first catch was on a bubble route.

“I haven’t run too many of those,” Pick said. “I’m just glad I caught the ball and got north and south with it.”

As far as the future is concerned, Pick said he isn’t sure if the position switch will be permanent.

“Coach Long and coach Wyatt tell me just live in the present time,” Pick said. “Worry about yourself right now, and try to do the best you can at the position you’re at.”

Comments

GreyHawker 9 years, 3 months ago

Another player changing positions....you know if they'd play everyone where they belong we might of had some success......Kale, play their games and find yourself another school next year!!! They screwed you over from the git go..........Turner...you're a joke!!!!!!!!!

phoggydrive 9 years, 3 months ago

Your post is a joke. All players have had their chance this season. Good for Pick for stepping up to the task.

Dale Kroening 9 years, 3 months ago

Really ??? I remember several players changing positions with the last KU coach. Look around the country at other programs, players change positions all the time, everywhere. Its all about getting the best talent on the field, regardless of position. Good for Pick and good for coach Gill. Greyhawker your a joke and dont know squat about college fb.

Marc Frey 9 years, 3 months ago

A good coach will make changes based on the talent he has.

Jayhawk1116 9 years, 3 months ago

You're absolutely right, Greyhawker. Mangino never should have switched Meier to wide receiver either. Mangino screwed him over too. Poor guy made it to the NFL.

The best talent gets on the field. Pick is fast on a team that seriously lacks speed.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

What kind of a dumb@ss coach switches a Quarterback to wide receiver? That has never proven to be successful in the past... Or, GreyHawker is an idiot. In fact, there was a really great article in SI recently, breaking down how so many coaches around the country are specifically recruiting quarterbacks to play other skill positions on the field. Specifically at wideout. This is because of their ability to, get this, read the defense like a quarterback and make smart adjustments. But here's the thing. Changing positions and putting your best players in the game where they can make plays is a huge part of coaching. I would suggest that if you have never played or coached football (which you, GreyHawker, have obviously never done either of) you are revoked of your privilege to critique Coach Gill's decisions, or call him a joke. Now, if you have done one or both of those things, you have every right to criticize or offer input all you want. Another player changing positions is another example of Gill taking a look at what he's got in his cupboard, however bare, and putting guys who WANT to play for him, in positions where they can do just that. Kale had his chance at QB, however brief, and Webb and Mecham just overshadowed him in real game situations. Another point is this. If you make the argument that Gill had nearly an entire Winter and Summer to evaluate his players and put them in the right positions, and figure out a starting Quarterback and blah blah blah, you have, again, clearly never coached or played football. A program evolves over the full course of a year, and guys will hit their strides at different times, and that is what makes coaching so difficult, and why you deserve millions if you can make it work at this level. What also helps is if you, as a head coach, had a hand in recruiting said players and had developed a history of watching this or that young man and a hand in brining him and others into the program, instead of coming in and having someone tell you "here's what you have!" I think that the evolution of this team from NDSU to OSU has been tremendous. If you can't see that, you can't evaluate football. I'm not saying we're a Bowl worthy team by this time at all. Not even close. But from the beginning of the year to now, it's two completely different teams. Am I sold on Gill yet? Of course not. But from what I've seen, I'm certainly willing to give him more of a chance now than I was after the NDSU and KSU games.

rockchalk6 9 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully something was left off Pick's quote. Something like "Coach" when refering to Gill.

KirkwoodHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

GreyHawker, I suggest you read the Sports Illustrateds from this fall on various teams, such as Boise St,, Alabama, Texas, TCU, etc, all of whom have had several players change positions. If we took your attitude, we never would have had Kerry Meier at WR, Nick Reid at LB, TO at DE the past few weeks, which has made a difference. If you have good athletes who can get more playing time on the field, then as a coach you want to utilize your talent the best way possible. They do it in the pros as well. Leonard Little started as a LB and then the Rams moved him to DE. Not a bad move.

Funhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Rhetoric (from Greek ρητωρ, rhêtôr, "orator") The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.

Coach Gill is effective. The player was persuasively picked for transfer to wide receiver.

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

But still more wins than Mangino and Allen in their first years, respectively. Your negativity is sickening...

Gregor Southard 9 years, 3 months ago

Terry Allen was a winning a coach in the sense that every other big 12 coach was guaranteed a win

rwhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

ρητωρ is the noun, which you rightly said means the "art or study..." However, "orator" would be the particple, not the noun, and would change forms.

babyjay1 9 years, 3 months ago

I said this earlier on a thread that wasn't getting many posts, so I am repeating it... No matter what happened today or whether or not you like HCTG... to all of you ticket holders (notice I did not say "fans") who sold their tickets to OK State fans, you SUCK! There were WAY too many OK State fans sitting everywhere and in OBVIOUS season ticket holder's seats! I don't care if you sell your tickets but you should have the decency to sell them to Jayhawk fans or not sell them at all. That was a lousy, disgusting way to send out our Seniors - with the stands full of OK State people :(

babyjay1 9 years, 3 months ago

don't care ... better that OK State or other universities should have an over-abundance of their fans in the stands... Get a life... let's see... Gill is in his first year at KU and has won 3 games, while Texas may not even make a Bowl Game this year and they have a solid coach and solid program. Oh boo hoo for you and all the whiners!

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

they didn't sell their tickets. they just bought orange shirts and cheered for osu because they wanted to know what it felt like to be a winner!

babyjay1 9 years, 3 months ago

And that's why you'll NEVER be a real Jayhawk... just some lousy fan from a rival team who shows up here and pretends to be a disgruntled Jayhawk... whatever..... Stay off the boards when basketball gets going and you can't whine this much

KGphoto 9 years, 3 months ago

And so you root for Auburn of course. But if Ah, Burn were sucking, you would root for Notre Dame, and if they sucked you would rood for USC, Florida, Texas, Ohio St. etc. As long as you never had to lose.

Guess what. You'll never win.

You'll never enjoy the 2008 title. You'll never enjoy the Orange Bowl victory. Thank god you aren't a Jayhawk.

At what point did you drop out?

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Was this your first game? It happens often.

Besides, would you pay good money for a movie that you knew would disappoint?

babyjay1 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry but no - I've had season tix for 4 years and plan to continue. The ONLY time we sold our tix, we sold them to people we knew were Jayhawk fans. And I've been enough over last 4 years to know that I've never seen something as disappointing as I saw today. AND, if you don't want to support the team, don't buy the tix... simple solution! All of these analogies are stupid - you can certainly choose not to buy season tickets, that's not my point. Maybe it makes no sense to those of you who aren't real Jayhawk fans and don't care if the stadium is full of the opposing team's fans. Ridiculous.....

greenworld 9 years, 3 months ago

4th and 1 and didnt score. It was over at that point in time in my eyes. To many dropped passes also. Last we got outscored 28-0 in the second half. First half was pretty decent but we are lacking a couple of things. First, can you imagine if we would have Briscoe on this team and a QB that has fire power. Our 3rd string QB looks promising, can he get some receivers that know how to catch a ball and a line that will block for him. Our guys on our O-line dont know how to cutblock and get away with it. These teams like Neb, Okla, Okla St, and Texas schools all do it and it makes them stand above from the rest. Watch their lines block sometime and you will see the difference. Nebraska's line does it with perfection. Its something that has to be taught and coached into these guys. The qb name from the past that comes to mind is back when we had a guy named Bill Whittemore-(firepower). I know Reesing(firepower) broke all the records but he didnt do much as a senior. He did take care of Mizzou at arrowhead one night and take care of VT at the Orange Bowl. Also I remember one night beating and blowing out Nebraska in Lawrence. Pretty good memories. The last thing that has to happen is we have to get Turner Gill recruits and see what they can do and not B!tch about what is not happening right now with Mangino's leftovers. Given time Memorial Stadium will be rocking again and sold out. I hope I never have to listen to that old guy (kstate fan) sitting behind me shouting "put another one on them" I told him when I left that I will remember him saying that I we will check back with him regarding his trash talking next year if not the year after that. I had a good laugh though. Being we both were from Kansas I shook it off. If it would have been a Mizzou fan I probably would have punched him in the face. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!!!

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Finally, someone with some damn sense...

Hopefully there is enough of us left to put up a good fight in Arrowhead against those Gol Danged Slavers!!

Coach Fambrough - We need you this week old boy!

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed Fellas...Muck Fizzou. TGill aside, gotta beat those tigers...

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

BILL WHITEMORE! THE BRENTWOOD BOMBER! Anybody else remember his sweet 20 yard shovel pass for a TD in the Tangerine Bowl? It was freakin' sweet. Love that guy!

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

I hate how it automatically changes all my all caps sentences into lower case...I was just excited about Bill Whitemore, the Brentwood Bomber...

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

I see gills support staff is back at it again!

What a great eye for talent this Gill character has. After months of evaluating and an almost full season he has determined our orginal starting qb is a wide reciever, third string qb is actuall our best qb, best returning rb is a lb errr d lineman, and moved our a receiver to every defensive backfield position there is. Oh, if sims plays instead of sands in the ndsu game we win!

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

This coming from a guy who openly admitted betting against his own team, and celebrating his victory...

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Haha... Enjoy it... You, Ruth and Chris all deserve each other...

GreyHawker 9 years, 3 months ago

MY POINT EXACTLY........better said............

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

I will refer to my post above. ahpersecoachingexperience lacks any kind of coaching experience, and or playing experience of any level of football, because he/she has made the fatal argument of "Gill had months of evaluate this team" exposing his/her ignorance to how the game of football is played/coached. (Again, explained in my post above) Criticism Privileges Revoked!

youowethehawks 9 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes you don't know how guys will react when the first whistle blows. It's obvious that Meacham moves the ball better, for whatever reason. He certainly doesn't have the strongest arm and probably isn't the fastest QB we have. Toben is flourishing at DE and looks to start there next year. McDougald was recruited to Ohio State as a safety and came to Kansas where he was interested in playing WR. He has stated clearly that he will do whatever it takes to win and doesn't mind the position switch.

All of these players who switched positions are TEAM players, good athletes and just want to play football. They are talented and selfless, much unlike yourself.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry I missed the game today. I won't miss next week's game against Misery. This is Gill's first season with us and he will attempt to make a lot of changes because he needs to see who can produce for him. There are athletes out there who need to find their niche.

Maybe we don't have the super athletes we want, but as a coach I know what it is like to try things out and find the best places for people. Gill sees more than we do during games and practice that makes him see potential in people to make plays. Quarterbacks are known to switch to WR a lot. Meier is a great example. Last I check Antwan Randle El has had a very nice career as a former QB.

I am not saying to buy everything Gill is doing, but he is experimenting and I hope he doesn't need to experiment as much next year because he will have a better feel about his team. This year is a wash and let's support our Hawks to play hard in our last game of the season to build momentum for next year.

I plan to go to the spring game and see how things are progressing. Let's stay the course for now and if all else fails we have basketball season lol

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't mind this move, wish it would have happened earlier tho. I recall thinking when he came in for Reesing..."this guy is taller and faster than Reesing." It'll be a good move for Pick and it will help whomever TGill decides to put at QB.

Kudos to TGill for making this move...it will certainly make his decision who to start at QB easier.

That said, and I apologize for bringing this up, I still think Opurum to the D was a bad move. Not that he's doing poorly...quite the opposite. But he was among the best offensive players we had last year. BEAST MODE!!! I give more props to him for handling that change with class.

Now get out there and beat those effing tigers!

troutsee 9 years, 3 months ago

The blocked punts are on Rojas. I said several weeks ago that he was going to get another punt blocked and sure enough the long stirding, very slow punter got another one blocked. i would not be surprised if Mizzou blocks one this week.

I don't understand why McDougal, after playing offense all year, ends up playing defense today. I don't think he looked good at all...probably not his fault since this was his first game on defense this year. I know he played defense last year. As a receiver he has been ineffective too. Last week he was lined up in the wildcat.

I am still behind Gill, but there has certainly been impulsivity in the coaching philosophy this year. Although I agree that all coaches move players around from year to year, moving them around on a weekly basis seems a little much.

Hopefully recruiting will be good this year and next year will be better. Having a returning QB should help. Maybe Pick will find a home at receiver. I am not sure he got a fair shake at QB.

Based on what I have seen this year, I am not too hopeful for next year. .

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

The guy who blocked the punt came up the middle untouched. No punter will get that punt off without some semblance of blocking in the middle. It was a blown assignment and not technique at least in this instance.

It's too late to explain the rest, and I was thinking you were on of the knowledgable ones around here. Hmmm.

troutsee 9 years, 3 months ago

watch Rojas punt. He is a long strider and is slower than molasses. I agree with the blown assignment but he takes to damn long to get the ball off and always has.

babyjay1 9 years, 3 months ago

Glad to see that there are still some Hawk fans who understand that you don't write off a coach or his staff after one year and before they have had a chance to bring in their recruits and coach them. Quick judgements are often wrong but whatever... very few people have patience or the willingness to wait for progress. If no progress or success is achieved, I'm sure the new AD will make a change. No judgement from me for this year - I decided that before the season started and I'm sticking with it. I hope HCTG succeeds, but if not, we'll move on

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

anyone (jesse) know where we stand on 3rd qt points for/points against? it was a stat we saw earlier in the year and i bet is way out of hand now.

kckmedic 9 years, 3 months ago

A few things. First, I'm not a Gill fan and those who have read my few posts can attest to that. But I don't have a problem with this move per se. But, as others have said, why now? Why did it take you this long to make it? Second, I agree with KSseahawk about Opurum. He is playing well at D end but if the entire D is as lousy as it is he will be better off on offense. If he's the only one getting any pressure then they double him and we still get no pressure. Might as well put someone else at end and let him shine on offense. Sims is real good if he gets outside but we tried too many times to run him up the middle today with no positive results. He's not big enough for that. Opurum and Sims could be McAnderson and Sharp. Granted our line isn't as good as the line those two guys had but Sims and Opurum are a Freshman and Sophomore respectively. So get a good line and give these guys a couple of years in that set. Third, I don't know how you can put the blocked punts on Rojas. All three of our blocked punts have come from guys that weren't even given a stern look from our blockers. I could block a punt if you don't block me. I've been on Gill all season and I'm still not sold. I've seen some improvement over the last few weeks and I'm starting to see a tiny bit of light. I still think he is gonna be a failure but I hope he proves me wrong. And I'll be on here admitting it if he does.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

Do you not stay with the eam through the year? There were several significant articles last spring about how Gill was giving everyone a chance at the position of their choice. Pick was one of the 2 best in practice but not as much so in games, and just the opposite is true of Meecham. Quinn didn't get his shot until a couple weeks ago, therefore Kale wasn't demoted until then. It wasn't until he came back from the concussion that the situation was appropriate for him to move.

You claim that you'll admit you're wrong if Coach Gill is successful, but your words betray you. His move of Toben to D has been successful, and yet you continue to rouse about your imagination instead of admitting that the move was good - you were wrong.

That being said, I was still hoping we'd get to see Toben at the goal line. He's no Suh, but still.

kckmedic 9 years, 3 months ago

Re-read my post. I said he has been good at DE but if he's the only one getting pressure then they will double team him and he becomes ineffective. At that point it doesn't matter who we have at DE because we are no longer getting pressure because even Suh needed good players around him to keep the O line honest. My point was simply that we know he can run. We now know he is decent on the D line. I just think that as bad as our overall defense is, he would help the team more by giving us another offensive option. And yes I do stay with the team. I invested $1,400 in season tickets. That's not counting the money to park, my Williams Fund donation, and money spent inside the stadium. So don't talk to me about following the team. I love this team. I graduated from KU and I want to see them be as good in football as they are in basketball. That's why I hate seeing this nice-guy players' best friend run our team into the ground because he doesn't want to hurt feelings. Go back and watch video of all of the games. EVERY GAME he is standing on the sideline looking like a statue. When his players are screwing up. When the refs are screwing up. He won't throw a challenge flag even when the broadcasters are saying it was an obvious bad call. Maybe he doesn't want to hurt their feelings either. The one game he got animated was the Colorado game. And look what happened. Then he went back to looking clueless in the last two games. I said if he turns it around I will admit that I was wrong. That doesn't mean that every time he makes a decision that isn't horrible I have to get on here and pat him on the back. That being said, he will not turn a D1 BCS conference team around with his nice guy, I don't yell, I don't make my players pay for their mistakes attitude. This is not Buffalo. He had one winning season at Buffalo and won the MAC with an 8-5 record. You can't use that formula at KU.

leonard 9 years, 3 months ago

Nothing wrong with players switching positions...in the off season. But this spate of switches in-season sure looks like desperation.

It's the job of the head coach to evaluate the talent individually and then make the personnel assignments based on the overall needs of the team, a job that Coach Gill has failed at this season.

Give up on Coach Gill? Not yet, but right now his hiring looks like $2M a year for a nice PR spokesman rather than a head coach with a grasp of what it takes to rebuild this program.

greenworld 9 years, 3 months ago

The reality of all this is if we would have used Opurum on the goaline 4th and 1 we would have scored and everybody knows this. Except the coach of course cuz he was more worried about inserting about 20 other people into other positions. The rest is history. Coach- If your wondering about Opurum pull up his youtube highlight video when he was in highschool and ran all over texas. He wasnt the 3rd highest ranked fullback out of high school by rivals because he sucked at running the ball. He was rercruited by Kansas, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Florida, Purdue and Notre Dame and had visits to Notre Dame, Purdue and Kansas and at the end narrowed his choices down to Ku and Notre Dame. Well Toben maybe you should have went to Notre Dame. God on the big list isnt there 5 other teams that you would rather play for than the losing hawks that put you on the other side of the ball. So far the only player that the moving around has ever been successfull doing this was when we switched Kerry Meier.

GI_MAC 9 years, 3 months ago

Don't get so wraped up in thinking Gill does not know talent. Many of you may not know that both Naaman Roosevelt (WR) and James Stark (RB) were both Quarterbacks at Buffalo before Gill. he converted them and they wound up setting school records as well as eyeing conference records in a very short period of time. Give the man some credit and be a little patient. It will pay off.

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