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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekend reunion: A&M’s Sherman, KU’s Gill share ties from days in NFL

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman watches from the sidelines in this Sept. 4 file photo in College Station, Texas. Sherman and Kansas University coach Turner Gill are familiar with one another from their days on the sidelines in 2005 with the Green Bay Packers. Kansas university coach Turner Gill watches from the sidelines Thursday at Memorial Stadium. Gill shares NFL ties with Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, whose Aggies will visit Lawrence for a Saturday battle at KU.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman watches from the sidelines in this Sept. 4 file photo in College Station, Texas. Sherman and Kansas University coach Turner Gill are familiar with one another from their days on the sidelines in 2005 with the Green Bay Packers. Kansas university coach Turner Gill watches from the sidelines Thursday at Memorial Stadium. Gill shares NFL ties with Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, whose Aggies will visit Lawrence for a Saturday battle at KU.

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It has been five years since Mike Sherman and Turner Gill stalked the Green Bay Packers sidelines together, Sherman as the head coach and Gill as the Packers’ director of player development.

But it only took Sherman a fraction of a second Monday to remember what it was about Gill that inspired him to hire the current Kansas University head coach despite Gill’s having no professional coaching experience to that point.

“Once I met him and talked with him, there’s a lot to him as a person and as a coach,” Sherman said during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. “I could see that he would relate well to our players. I think in coaching you have to be a great teacher, and you have to be able to communicate, and I thought he was a great communicator because everything he said was true and honest.”

Gill and Sherman’s paths crossed because of a man named Tom Rossley, Sherman’s offensive coordinator in Green Bay, who, as the head coach at SMU from 1991-96, had hired Gill to be the Mustangs’ wide receivers coach in 1991.

At the time, Gill, a former all-conference quarterback at Nebraska, had spent one season as a graduate assistant with the Huskers.

“I decided it was time for me to make a move (away from Nebraska),” Gill said. “I had known Tom Rossley for a while, and we had always communicated that if there was an opportunity that presented itself or a job opening at Green Bay, he would let me know and see if I was interested.”

That opening came when the Packers were looking for a new receivers coach in 2005. Gill interviewed for the position but instead was named the team’s director of player development.

“More than anything else, (I remember) his character as a person,” Sherman said of what impressed him about Gill. “I mean, you knew what you were getting. He was just somebody that you had tremendous trust and confidence in. The coaches and the players believed in him, and he was just a man that was true to his word and had a tireless work ethic.”

Green Bay finished just 4-12 during the ’05 season, the first in which both current Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and future Hall-of-Famer and former Packer Brett Favre were on the team’s roster.

This weekend, Gill and Sherman will meet as foes, when the Jayhawks welcome Texas A&M; to Memorial Stadium for a 6 p.m. Saturday kickoff.

Then, just as before, the man who connected Sherman and Gill also will be present, as Rossley, currently A&M;’s senior assistant and quarterbacks coach, will be in Lawrence attempting to lead A&M; past Gill and the Jayhawks.

Despite having history together, Sherman said the past would have no bearing on this weekend’s game.

“At this point in the season, it’s the players who play the game on Saturday night,” Sherman said. “I don’t think either one of us has an advantage over the other in relationship to a prior knowledge of each other.”

Quarterback change coming for A&M;?

Rumors have run wild, since Texas A&M;’s 30-9 loss to Missouri last weekend, about Sherman exploring the idea of a change at quarterback. Monday, the third-year Texas A&M; coach shined some light on the topic of potentially benching Jerrod Johnson, the Aggies’ starting QB and preseason pick for Big 12 offensive player of the year.

“Every week, and these players know this, we evaluate every player after every game,” Sherman said. “We will go with who gives us the best chance to win. Everyone knows that is looming, including Jerrod. I have zero favorites. Some guys I’m usually harder on, the star players for example, but I don’t have any favorites one way or the other. I care about all of them, but as far as winning, my decision goes with who gives us the best chance to win.”

Pressed to expand on his answer, Sherman did not hesitate to throw a vote of confidence Johnson’s way.

“I believe in Jerrod Johnson,” Sherman said. “He’s a leader on that team, he’s averaging 300 yards a game, I trust him, I have confidence in him and I believe in him.”

Should the Aggies (3-3 overall, 0-2 Big 12) elect to go in a different direction at QB, junior Ryan Tannehill, is listed as Johnson’s backup.

“He’ll get his reps this week and we’ll continue to play it like we normally play it,” Sherman said.

Comments

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

Any predictions? A lot of folks thought we would beat the kitty kats. What is the Jayhawks record against South teams in Memorial Stadium? Just curious.

Herb Derpson 11 years ago

So there is now a 72 point play in football? good to know

Stephen Johnson 11 years ago

Another beat down is coming our way, due to inept coaching.

hailtoku 11 years ago

Sad part is, no one is arguing that line... its likley..

Roy Scherff 11 years ago

Not a lot of question here. so far we haven't played like we are capable of beating A&M. However we will be pretty much equal in 2012 and I predict a win for us in 2012.

Larry Smith 11 years ago

KU_FanSince75,

Since Mangino's first year we are 4-20 against the south. I think with 1 win vs Baylor in Memorial. So our record at home against the south has not been good.

Maracas 11 years ago

If we win? The only thing in doubt will be how badly NU wants to embarrass Gill.

Cmill1221 11 years ago

Hopefully whoever we get does not waste any time getting rid of Gill. This guy Is just setting us back 5 years otherwise. I don't know how people can defend him? They talk about what a great recruiter he is but what has he done to make people think that?besides coaching is about getting the most from you players, developing a game plan and compeating. 3 things that Gill has failed at. If you think this guy is going to recruit 4 and 5 star players to come to KU you are crazy. I love KU and you would have a hard time getting me to play for this guy. Our players sure are responding well to his coaching style.... This guy is a joke. Put the names back on the jerseys, take gills name off the door that says head coach and let's move forward with out football program.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

"They talk about what a great recruiter he is but what has he done to make people think that?"

You appear to have been living under a rock until August without the ability to do even the most basic research to answer your own question. The group of committments that Gill & Co. have put together so far makes up for the HUGE void in recruiting over the past couple years (OL), and is at least on par with any recent class.

There is no basis for defending the play or coaching this season, but to slam recruiting is just plain ignorant.

Cmill1221 11 years ago

Move forward with OUR** football program. Not with out. Sry.

dtownhawkfan 11 years ago

they will hang atleast 60 on us, maybe even more. we had a week and a half to prepare for a rival and got EMBARRASSED. keep up the GREAT work turner

JayViking 11 years ago

49-14 aTm. Anything better and I'll be pleased AND surprised.

hawk316 11 years ago

“More than anything else, (I remember) his character as a person,” Sherman said of what impressed him about Gill. “I mean, you knew what you were getting. He was just somebody that you had tremendous trust and confidence in. The coaches and the players believed in him, and he was just a man that was true to his word and had a tireless work ethic.”

This is why we need to be patient, jayhawk fans. Because of the person Gill is, he attracts quality people, both coaches and players. As I've said before (but it bears repeating), he now has surrounded himself with an outstanding coaching staff who has a track record of recruiting excellence. If we give him time, Gill is going to build a strong football program. Again, patience is called for.

beenahawk 11 years ago

Yet even Sherman wouldn't allow Gill into the X's and O's portion of coaching at Green Bay. That says somethhing too!

hawk316 11 years ago

All coaches have different strengths and weaknesses. Right now X's and O's may not be Gill's greatest strength (although I would argue that it's too early to tell), but even if that's the case, he can grow in that area. I'm sure he would be the first to say that he is not a finished product.

In the mean time, Gill is smart enough to surround himself with an excellent coaching staff. They do a lot of the coaching, so in time we will see significant improvement on the field.

What we need now are more talented players (to add to those we already have). That means recruiting is a priority, and Gill and his staff have brought with them great reputations in that department. As a fan base, our job is to be patient and let this develop over the next couple of years.

newjayhawk 11 years ago

we will win.....they are getting tired of losing!

Jaminrawk 11 years ago

Sadly I see Johnson having a huge day and getting out of the doghouse at aTm. KU made Carson Coffman look like Michael Vick and he isn't nearly as talented as Johnson is. I hope I'm worng, but I am pretty confident the pain will continue.

hailtoku 11 years ago

Where are all the pro-Gill fans who bashed some of us for doubting Gill at the beginning of the season?????

Anyways, as a fan... this season is over... However, I'm still taking this one game at a time.

I'll root for KU and scream my lungs out... I reserve my critism until after the game from here on out.

Moral victories and a shot at Mizzou is what is keeping me sane for now.

hawk316 11 years ago

Uh, hailtoku, check three posts above...(although I wouldn't say that I ever "bashed" those who doubted Gill, but I certainly disagreed with them...and still do.) It's much too early to throw TG under the bus. It has been documented by others on this site how many great coaches and programs started off quite miserably. Let's allow Gill the opportunity to build something with his own players, not Mangino's.

hawk316 11 years ago

now make that five posts above... :-)

jaymar74 11 years ago

Gill was being tested for 40 days and 40 nights, that 40th day was Oct 14th. Now we will begin to see if he passed the test. As fans we certainly did not. I will say he seemed to remain firm to his path through everything.

Bodonna 11 years ago

“More than anything else, (I remember) his character as a person,” ...and he was just a man that was true to his word and had a tireless work ethic.”

Ever notice that when football people are interviewed regarding TG, they rave about TGs' character qualities, but NEVER say anything like "great coach" or "amazing football mind"? Now you know why.

JayhawkBigXII 11 years ago

Our boys are soft and undiciplined. They can't have girls in the dorm after 10 PM... yet the coach allows them act like foolish little kids on the sideline while we are taking a sobering ass whooping... from K-State no less! How many coaches, even in high school would allow that? Dicipline is not negotiable.

siltom 11 years ago

JayhawkBigXII, who did you see acting foolish on the sideline? I think their names should be posted b/c I am sure a coach of some sort reads the posts...There a still A LOT of boys on this team that want to win and they kept playing hard. Maybe the ones who acted like asses don't even get in. I think at the end of the season, there needs to be some re-evaluating of players and their scholarships. If they don't want to be at KU, send them packing!

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

@ Hawk316----You are calling for patience? Alright, I will take your advise because it is probably the right thing to do. However, Gill has to know that if he is not successful on the field within three years of his tenure, the end will come.

@ Hailtoku---- I'm with you man! "Moral victories and a shot at Mizzou is what is keeping me sane for now."

My thoughts exactly----I am assuming your version of "moral victories" means to at least be excited to play and compete! Rock Chalk!

hailtoku 11 years ago

I still am going to get excited every Friday night and Saturday morning for the game. Sunday is my time to complain.

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

@hailtoku----HA, HA, HA! Not on Church day?!

hailtoku 11 years ago

I celebrate Festivus. Sunday I practice the "airing of grievences"

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

Love to join you sometime, celebrating Festivus! Very funny! rcjh.

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