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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keegan

Jayhawks need big-time QB

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb (2) gets sacked for the first of several times in the first half. Kansas and Missouri met at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday for the 119th game in the rivalry series.

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb (2) gets sacked for the first of several times in the first half. Kansas and Missouri met at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday for the 119th game in the rivalry series.

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KU vs. Missouri highlights

The Jayhawks lost to the Tigers in the Border Showdown, 35-7.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks after the Jayhawks' 35-7 loss to Missouri on Nov. 27, 2010.

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— Turner Gill’s Kansas University football team is only three players shy of contending for a Big 12 title next season: Terry Bradshaw, Jerry Rice and Ray Lewis.

Failing that fantasy, it’s time for Gill and his staff to get busy nailing down enough commitments to give a skeptical fan base reason to believe renewing season tickets will amount to more than a masochistic act of blind loyalty.

That won’t happen unless Kansas lands a big-time quarterback who can count on protection from offensive linemen. To achieve that, they must work themselves into better physical condition next season than they played at during a 3-9 year.

Coaches don’t promise recruits starting jobs, but in the case of junior-college quarterback Zack Stoudt, no promise is necessary. A December graduate, Stoudt wins the job the second he steps foot on campus, if Kansas lands him.

Not that any more evidence of that was needed, the performance of quarterbacks Jordan Webb and Quinn Mecham in Saturday’s 35-7 loss to Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium confirmed the next starting quarterback has to come from outside the program.

Saturday’s stale game witnessed by 55,788 also called attention to how badly the rivalry needs to return to campus stadiums when the current agreement expires after the 2012 season. The thrill of playing it at Arrowhead is gone, and it must return to campus to revive its juice.

Mostly, though, the game pointed to the need for Kansas to find a quarterback.

The combined statistics of Webb and Mecham (0-for-4, one pick) were 7-of-24 for 42 yards and three interceptions. The average of 1.75 yards per pass attempt simply doesn’t happen. The fact that it did is why James Sims should have rushed the ball 31 times, instead of 21. He averaged 3.9 yards a carry.

With Sims (82 yards Saturday, 742 on the season) running, Tim Biere at tight end and receiving candidates who red-shirted as freshmen to choose from to shore up that position, adding a quality quarterback could go a long way toward KU fielding an offense that could sell tickets and win games.

The notion that quarterbacks get too much credit when things go well, too much blame when they head south, has no merit. A decisive quarterback with a quick release, a strong-enough arm to throw downfield and enough accuracy to throw into tight spots, makes blockers look better, makes receivers run their routes with more purpose and takes heat off the running game.

Mecham had the accuracy, but didn’t have a strong-enough arm for Kansas to mount a vertical passing attack. He tended to under-throw receivers. The experience he gained this year will come in handy as he enters next season as the backup to an incoming QB. He played a terrific game in the come-from-behind victory against Colorado.

Webb, who led the Georgia Tech upset, had the arm strength, but tended to over-throw targets by quite a bit, locked in on one receiver and generally didn’t throw an accurate ball.

Asked to grade the quarterback spot, Gill was kind.

“We saw a spark here, saw a spark there, but it wasn’t on a consistent basis,” he said. “We’ve got to have a person at that position being able to be consistent in making those plays, and we’ll get that corrected as time goes on.”

How? By recruiting an instant starter.

It wasn’t until Todd Reesing strained his groin and played hurt for much of the 2009 season that it became evident how many holes that Reesing had masked existed on the roster, a problem that became greater after Kerry Meier, Dezmon Briscoe and Darrell Stuckey left.

Good quarterbacks change teams, and some who enter new programs get their football brains caught up more quickly than others. Mecham, for example, looked like the most experienced quarterback when he was the third on the roster to get his first start.

Stoudt, son of former NFL QB Cliff Stoudt, intends to enroll at his new school at the beginning of the second semester. If he chooses Kansas, he’ll be tutored by another former NFL quarterback, Chuck Long. Sounds as if Kansas is the right fit for Stoudt.

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Jacobpaul81 3 years, 4 months ago

Ya Keegan... cause KU football will be 100% completely fixed with a starting QB.

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bigtex 3 years, 4 months ago

KC Cheifs made a change at OC this year, made Matt Cassel looked alot better at QB, I'm beleive KU needs to due the same. Long doesn't know how to coach a dual threat Qb. Pocket QBs have always had trouble at KU.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

it was great to catch up with old friends and making new ones at the games and watch partys this weekend. apparently everyone there was ahpersecoachingexperience! ouch, not alot of happy boosters,

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Sean Edmiston 3 years, 4 months ago

Anyone have a link to a video of Webb taking that cheap shot yesterday?

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Geekinout 3 years, 4 months ago

It's a little hard to tell what KU has to work with for Qbs when the O-line has been atrocious all year long. I agree though we need an athletic Qb that is a true dual threat. We just were not able to establish any type of identity all year long, other than being a doormat with horrible special teams.

It might also be time to replace offensive coordinator C. Long if he's the one calling the plays. Totally agree that Sims should've been the workhorse all year long and get almost every carry. KU played right into the hands of how Mizzou wanted to dictate the tempo of that game. Shoot out, which this KU team is going to lose almost every time. (Would've/Could've/Should've) We should have been running the ball and playing slow-ball to counter their up-tempo air arsenal.

"I swear, it's like I'm playin' cards with my brother's kids or somethin"

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danno1313 3 years, 4 months ago

.....and a running back and a offensive line and a kicker and a punter and a defense and a COACH!!!!!

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Martini_Boy 3 years, 4 months ago

We need a big time D...... P E R I O D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Layne Pierce 3 years, 4 months ago

Self has made it clear he wants no part of Non-BCS KU, even with our great basketball tradition. OK State and many others would pay him the big bucks. Hard to understand why Perkins gave Gill the 2 million without any results. This not only is stupid financially, it added a great deal of pressure to Gill, which was then even more stupidly negated by his buyout clause.

Things will be better next year, but the question is, how much better. 4 wins is still way too little progress.

We continue to have no real way to win. We average a conference low 18 points game.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 4 months ago

With the way this football team is going under their present coach I believe that KU with another conference shakeup that Ku will end up in the MVC, MWC, or WAC. Thanks to Perkins and Gill. Real sad to see Bill Self coaching from there, "if he is there"!!!!!!!!.

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hailtoku 3 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully our starting QB for next year isn't on this years roster.

We need a tall, athletic QB who can take games over.

Mecham is absolutely horrible. He's like Reesing without the magic. He's literally an intramurals guy playing D1 football. His accuracy is on par with guys I play with in my back yard.

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Janet Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

KU needs many "big time things", not just a quarterback. Try a "big time" chancellor, a "big time" athletic director (not one named Bubba), a "big time" football coach, and yes, "big time" football players at all positions on the field.

I'm willing to wait another year to see what transpires on the gridiron at KU, with Gill at the helm, under a new AD, and Bernie GL's feet more solidly on the ground. But, if KU remotely repeats this year next year, with any vestige of future promise invisible, then Gill and his staff should be shown the door, regardless of the $ it takes. Otherwise, KU will become a proud new member of the MVC, MWC, or WAC a few years down the road.

Oh, and get rid of those hideous black marching band uniforms. These embarrassing rags makes the KU marching band look like they're stuck in a perpetual Halloween.

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newjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Mecham is not a bad quarterback. He is much better than the other two. They are slow scramblers with very inaccurate arms. When I saw the last years spring game , me and a couple of other coaches said "you gotta be kidding". They may well be good quarterbacks.....Just not Big 12 quarterbacks! And no! He isn't[Pick] a good reciever either! Leave Mecham at QB ,bring in another big time QB and put the other two[Pick,Webb] on special teams. Next years KU team will be bigger and faster. They will be better. The only problem is that the rest of the Big12 will be better as well. Leave Mecham as the main QB.

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Bill Kackley 3 years, 4 months ago

I still think Webb has the makings of a very good QB, not as good as Reesing but there are not many like him. Give Jordon a chance, he's only a freshman. Hard to follow a legend. As far as the D-backs I totally agree but moving McDougald to the defensive backfield seems like a very good thing. He has the ability and the confidence to step up. I have seen several others that look like the have some ability but not the confidence. I don't think the coaches are telling them to play off so far but it is hard to step up there if your afraid of getting beat.

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bg_duck1 3 years, 4 months ago

We need to pull an Auburn and "recruit" a stud juco qb...and of course by that I mean pay him a truckload of $$$ because seriously that's what its going to take to get a talented qb with our staff.

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LAJayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

As to the other side of the ball:

Can someone please explain to me why our D-backs give 15 yard cushions, even when it's a 3rd down and 2 or 3 situation? I've seen that over and over again (under both Mangino and Gill), including yesterday. I remember one 3rd down and 3 play specifically where we gave a 15 yard cushion. The receiver ran a 5 yard curl and easily picked up the first. It left me scratching my head. Again.

I ask this as a serious question. Perhaps I'm missing something. Do our backs lack the athleticism and are afraid of getting burned deep, so they give a huge cushion and leave everything in front of them? I get not giving up the big play, but you have to still defend the first 10 yards, otherwise 10 small plays = 1 big one.

Any explanations would be appreciated, because this has been driving me crazy for a while now.

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grandpa 3 years, 4 months ago

Keegan. This is the most accurate article you have written all year. All three of our quarterbacks are poor performers and every one of them would be sitting on the bench at any other college. Pick said he was going to quit and transfer to another school so they talked him into staying and put him at wide receiver where he will never make it.I think it is time to start looking at scholarships. We have some poor athletes that should have their scholarships cut so we can go hard after some good material. We cannot blame everything on the coaches. They made some mistakes but we simply do not have the athletes. Look at our offensive line compared to Missouri. We have some big guts and some big butts while the Missouri boys have arms as big as my legs. We do have some bright spots in our defensive secondary but our defensive line and linebackers are also weaki

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LAJayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

"Mostly, though, the game pointed to the need for Kansas to find a quarterback."

I was saying exactly that while watching the game yesterday. Webb just can't see the whole field and has some accuracy issues (which, from my layman's point of view, does not seem like something that's easy to fix... you're either accurate or not... up to a point). Webb is a shorter QB, so it has been clear that he needs to move around in order to be effective, much the same as Reesing. The problem is Webb simply can't move around like Reesing. He doesn't seem to have the knack for avoiding defenders that Reesing had, and he also seems to panic a bit when the pocket colapses -- something Todd never did, even when Nebraska linebackers were laying big hits on him.

Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG_jHJ...

As with Mecham, I mean absolutely no disrespect, but he just doesn't seem to have the athletic ability to really be successful. I just don't see us moving beyond a .500 team with him at the helm.

Of course, regardless of the QB, we need better protection coming from the line, but having a QB that can see the whole field, check down, and deliver the ball would be a HUGE improvement.

I, of course, would love to be proven wrong if one of those two could have a monster year next year. I just don't see that happening.

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mondhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

lets see the final results of a full year to recruit. I want to see how he ends up. TOS says we got some excellant football players coming in for visits [stoudt, coe, grooms redden] and a few more. If he can convince thease type players to come to KU he will be doing what needs to be done to turn football in the other direction

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 4 months ago

We need a lot of things but to start off with a big time quarterback would be a start. BTW, coach Gill----the clock is ticking. No pressure, but this next season is huge for you. Prove to us you can recruit and then, coach----I mean coach like there is no end. Once, the new AD is in place and you haven't made improvements, good luck to you.

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beebe1 3 years, 4 months ago

Let Gill recruit. But get coaches who can coach! Esp. special teams, offensive line, and Defense.

We have been thru a whole year, and no special improvement in those three areas. It is somewhat dismaying to me, across the whole football regime, that Defense is sorely lacking. Too many coaches borrowing their education from other guys who can't coach. Too bad we can't go back to the older days when ND had a real genius coach. At least go back and read up on his Defense. A much better start than where we are!

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jayhawkintx73 3 years, 4 months ago

Call them Gill haters all you want. What he did with KU's top recruiting class ever suited up was pathetic.

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Kent Kossoy 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we could get the KUAC to start reselling tickets to make up for lost revenue. Oh yeah that was already tried. The weakest spot on the team was the quarterback. Surprising with such illustrious mentors, one would think that would be our strength. Sadly, GTech and Colorado were flukes. I predict that we will be looking for a meanie in a few years. Aside from Tony Dungy, name one successful nice guy coach. Apparently someone needs to tell Coach Gill the Jayhawks are not God's team.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 4 months ago

No one wants to come here with a head coach like Gill and his staff, I don't really blame them. Better start and clean house from the top with a new AD. Get rid of Gill.

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hammerhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Kansas would also certainly do better with a real Big Time coach too, not the loser, so-called nice guy, we have now. That's just my opinion at 62 years old, having personally experienced KU sports since 1965.

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Robert Brock 3 years, 4 months ago

By the way, the starting quarterback next year is named Cummings. Yep, the kid from Killeen.

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Sean Edmiston 3 years, 4 months ago

On a side note, I love the all-white uni's

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cobweb 3 years, 4 months ago

The suckiest quarterback on the team is Turner Gill.

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Dillon Davis 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah why are we hanging our hopes on getting a 3-star juco qb who's ranked 45 out of 50 in the juco ranks. Mecham was ranked 47th. And btw Mississippi has now entered their name into the race so look out for them. He does seem to have good size being 6-5 and 225 with a 4.8 40. But how can you say he's gona come in and save this team based on that. I'm all for getting him but I'll wait till he steps on the field to give him this much praise. And by the way lookin at the juco ranks on rivals, a ton of the top ranked juco players are from Butler and Hutch. I think we need to start hitting the Juco guys a lot harder. Keep this in-state talent in state.

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 4 months ago

I hadn't heard of this guy, so I looked him up. Looks like we'll have to beat out the likes of Akron, Louisiana Tech and Toledo. Now, I'm no Tom Keegan, but it doesn't sound like we're talking about Cam Newton here. As for the offensive line, getting Spikes and Marongelli back will be like recruiting quality OL, so that should help.

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Mark Lindrud 3 years, 4 months ago

Zack pick KU and the starting job is yours. The offensive line will be improved now that they know what they are doing. The Wide Receivers will be more experienced and have a year under their belts. You have a solid TE in Biere who was underutilized this year.

The second year in most programs is a big year for improvements and I do believe we will improve next year. We need to get the right players for the system and with Zack we will make a major move in that direction. With the amount of beef we recruited on the line things are progressing.

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, Keegan! It is very evident that this article was written specifically for Stoudt, just in case he reads articles on the website! In that case, let me help you!

Zack, we are all hoping that you pick KU! You will be an instant celebrity on campus! You will have the entire team tailored to your style! KU is your HOME!! Please sign immediately! :)

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