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Monday, September 6, 2010

Keegan

Harder edge in order

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Pride, ego and so many other factors rank high among the reasons football players take losses so hard. So does the fear of what they’ll be put through in the coming week of practice from a cranky coach bent on punishing them as a deterrent to future embarrassing outcomes.

No such fear was evident after Kansas University’s 6-3 loss to North Dakota State in front of a stunned, at-times booing crowd.

I asked junior slot receiver/back Daymond Patterson, the most impressive player on the offense, if he expected to be put through brutal practices in the wake of such a bad loss, in keeping with tradition.

“To tell you the truth, I’m not expecting that at all,” Patterson said. “That’s not the type of coaches we have, and that’s not going to do anything. It’s execution, and just because you’re going out there hitting harder and making practices longer is not going to make you a better team at execution.”

Kansas couldn’t have been much worse at execution while losing to a Division I-AA opponent that looked so out of synch itself it was flagged for 105 yards in penalties in victory.

Disorganization led to the exhaustion of all of KU’s timeouts midway through the fourth quarter. On one special-teams play, Tanner Hawkinson ran onto the field at the last second. At times, KU looked so overmatched it’s worth wondering whether it had only 10 players on the field.

Lack of discipline led to a pair of personal-foul penalties and to Isiah Barfield, after a terrific interception, getting pulled down at the one.

After Terry Allen’s teams showed similar traits, Mark Mangino was hired and ordered to restore discipline. He did and somehow went 12-1 with an Orange Bowl victory and a No. 7 national ranking, only to get fired two years later for being too hard on the players.

Turner Gill’s marching orders: Make playing college football an enjoyable experience. Noble concept, but that only flies if the team wins. Players don’t enjoy losing.

A recent KUSports.com video had a “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-level cringe factor because multiple players in it described Gill as “laid-back.” Football’s a nasty sport. Players must be driven out of their comfort zones to play it well.

Patterson insists the new coaching staff isn’t soft.

“We’re just going to keep our heads up, and the coaches are going to push us the same way they have,” he said. “Our practices have been intense already. This had nothing to do with how our practices have been formatted. It was just simply taking care of the ball and not making mistakes.”

I asked Barfield if he anticipated a punitive week of practices.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Coach Gill’s saying it’s just Game 1. We’ve got to come up next week firing, play hard and get a victory. I wouldn’t expect anything to change.”

The game-day videos had better change. In the fourth quarter of a tight game in which the offensive line was playing very poorly, the new scoreboard showed a light-hearted video skit of the blockers clowning around.

Johnathan Wilson, a receiver, not a yell leader, led the team out of the new, cheesy, inflatable tunnel carrying a flag. Later with that. A harder edge is in order. This is football.

Comments

mfabla 11 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree here--this team has done a 180 from sawing wood to becoming soft and unorganized. I can't believe we didn't learn our lessons from the Terry Allen days. Pathetic.

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

"The value of Reesing (was) overinflated"

champs528808 11 years, 1 month ago

I guess we've forgotten that we lost SEVEN straight games to close out last season with the best QB and WR's we've had in a long time. Yes, you can say that moving Toben to LB was a mistake, but our line blocked about as well as a Pee Wee line. And don't give the excuse about Jeremiah Hatch - I believe he's out-of-shape - that's exactly what we needed Saturday night. And before we start wishing Mangino back here, let's remember there was one great season - one that included getting picked for the Orange Bowl simply because of money and the promise of selling tickets - sounds like a familiar, tragic refrain for the KUAC. Maybe that was the beginning of the end...

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 1 month ago

I couldn't agree more, champs! People seem to have forgotten last year. Pete Carroll is a nice guy who goofs around at practice, and nobody ever accused USC of being soft. When teams aren't winning with a nice coach, the AD brings in a hard-ass. When teams aren't winning with a hard-ass, they bring in a nice guy. This is nothing new, and it can work.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

Great point, champs! When people begin to revise history, it always leads to confusing conclusions. Under "hard edged" Mangino, we lose seven straight, so I, for one, am ready for a different approach. And I will say it one more time, Turner Gill is not Terry Allen!

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

We didn't lose those last 7 games because Mangino had become "too mean". We lost them for a few reasons. We had a bad defensive coordinator. We had failed to recruit much talent on the defensive side of the ball. When Reesing got hurt against Colorado, we failed to adjust and try Meier, Pick, or Webb until Reesing was healthy. I probably would of fired Mangino too, though it would of been a very tough decision. I would of brought in a sound defensive mind, so the whole season dosent go down the tubes the next time your QB gets hurt.

mtdewjunkie 11 years, 1 month ago

here is another reason...the team quit on mangino.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 1 month ago

"Mark Mangino was ... fired two years later for being too hard on the players."

MM was fired for being a rectum and having no respect for the players or others around him. It had nothing to do with how hard he was. The guy that was burned doing the bear crawls said he's do it again (b/c he is a football player/athlete that is that tough) but thought it was disrespectful to later be ridiculed and taunted about it by MM in front of the team.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

Didn't Mangino goe to more bowl games that any coach in KU History?

Not too mention win the games.

Expectations were to win the North last year. Expectations this year were a 4-8 season, and now most of us think that is abou 3-4 too many wins.

mtdewjunkie 11 years, 1 month ago

he did. of course there are about 40 more bowl games now then there ever were before. 6-6, 6-5 teams didnt make bowls prior to 10-15 yrs ago.

Tailback 11 years, 1 month ago

Not really correct. Reesing was hurt fairly early in the season. Afterward, he was never himself. It was easy to see because his footwork, once excellent, had become poor--almost as bad as Josh Freeman's. Sharp also was injured.

I have no idea whether Gill win win at KU, but let's not disparage the Mangino years, when KU went to 4 bowls in 8 years, winning 3.

ZDKC 11 years, 1 month ago

I think you're the one who has forgotten.

1) We lost seven straight games to QUALITY opponents.
3) If we would have played NDSU last year, we would have rolled them by 40+ points 3) We had the chance to win A LOT of those games.

...key words are: we had a CHANCE to win. The way things are going now, against any legit D1 opponent we don't even stand a chance. Your seven loss argument is misguided to say the least.

champs528808 11 years, 1 month ago

  1. You've made fans in Boulder and Manhattan calling CU and KSU quality opponents - neither went to a bowl game.
  2. If we would have played... that argument is pointless - the fact is - we DIDN'T.
  3. We had a chance to win - but we DIDN'T. The difference between last year and 2007 was that we WON those games.

So I guess we didn't have a chance to win that game on Saturday even though the quarterback threw an interception in the end zone trailing 6-3 or that the kicker missed a field goal that would have tied the game.

Your three point argument is definitely misguided.

ZDKC 11 years, 1 month ago

Definitions: KSU/CU = BSC D1 Team = "Quality Team" = millions invested NDSU = high school team = shtbag team

Being able to compete with a "quality team" means that you should roll a shtbag team by 14+ no questions asked (this includes KSU/CU if they were to play NDSU).

cobweb 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure a good prayer session will solve the problem.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

Amen, cobweb. I would certainly not be so foolish as to refuse some divine assistance.

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

Too funny, and unfortunately too true... the term 'hard edge' is good to use here - Gill isn't developing one at all.

Viggo3003 11 years, 1 month ago

Why all the panic. It's not importaant that we win every game. The most important thing is to be nice, and be happy. Let's just follow coach Gill's lead and be happy losers. That's what Jesus would do.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

Uh, somehow, I don't think the best description of Jesus is a "happy loser." "King of kings, Lord of lords, the Lion of Judah," all come to mind, but not "happy loser." But if you're suggesting that Jesus would treat people with grace, dignity, respect and genuine concern even when they fail miserably, then yeah, I wholeheartedly agree.

Steve Yeakel 11 years, 1 month ago

Immediate "sky is falling," "need to take them out to the woodshed and bring back Mangino's abusive ways," immature over reaction by someone who is designated and paid as a senior writer. Pay attention, senior editors, let's give Bedore the job if we continue to get this drivel.

prairie_dog 11 years, 1 month ago

Jesus turned over the money-changers tables in the temple and threw the bums out. Don't blame this pathetic operation (it's only the first game) on Jesus.

The sky is falling and we can only pray that it stops falling next week. If George Patton could have found a way to be nice and still get the 3rd Army to Berlin, he would have done that.

We are dealing with middling talent (at best). You make up for that with intensity and execution. That's what Buddha did. Can a nice guy coach do that? I doubt it but "it's only one game."

I'm too old and too impatient to sit through another nice guy coach cycle in the disfunctional history of KU football. Time to move on and I am sure I am not alone.

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

You are definitely NOT alone... I've said it a few other places here on kusports.com, but Lew should've seriously considered and pursued more aggressively Mr. Tuberville.

I also said it elsewhere too, but Gill's ideal of developing 'quality young men' is a little pretentious on his part. Be a football coach Turner, not a life coach.

FTC_Jayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

You truly are a maniac. Read your second paragraph again. I would venture to guess that almost every college coach with a successful program would say that their first priority is to develop quality young men, and not to be a football coach.

I'm sure most coaches of unsuccessful teams would also say the same thing, but that isn't really relevant to this discussion.

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

Football should be first over having personal relationships with each player... I think Gill has it backwards.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

I know many Jayhawk fans think the sky is falling and all hope is lost because we lost our first game of the season. May I suggest that it is time for a reality check?

We lost our three top playmakers from a season ago, including one of the best quarterbacks in KU history. We have a young, sophomore quarterback who made his first start in three years. We have an entirely new coaching staff that will need time to establish their own identity with their own players.

I know we live in an age of instant gratification, but come on people, get a grip! It may sound a bit trite, but this really was only one game. This ship has just left the harbor on a long (and I believe, successful) voyage. Let's don't jump ship because suddenly we see a few dark clouds in the sky.

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

The type of ship Gill is building and steering is meant more for a small lake than the open sea of BCS football...

Joseph Kuebel 11 years, 1 month ago

-1

GOOD ONE! LOL. (SARCASM)...that was one of the most foolish things I've heard in 10 hours, congrats.

Ted Toulouse 11 years, 1 month ago

Is it too much to ask for both? A compassionate disciplinarian who gets the most out of their players but still cares what happens to them after football? No sense in being reactive to the last regime. I too am seeing signs of the Terry Allen area creeping back in here. Not down with that. Fully agree that you gotta have a little nasty to play football, especially when they start talking about your momma on the other side of the ball.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

I repeat, Turner Gill is not Terry Allen. Allen, a nice gentleman indeed, failed to maintain necessary discipline. Gill, though also a very nice gentleman, does exercise discipline, but it is measured, constructive and yes, "compassionate." In time the difference between the two, as well as the end results they produce, will become obvious.

Geekinout 11 years, 1 month ago

I was at the game and I'm pretty sure I only saw 10 players on the field for KU during a punt return..

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

The posts are saying that happened 3 times during the game in either punt return or punting formations.

Embarrassing.

But don't worry Gill will give them a hug and tell them to do better.

John Mueller 11 years, 1 month ago

hawk316,

go watch any other college football game from this weekend. Watch Rice play Texas. Watch SMU play Texas Tech. They both got beat, but they also looked like football teams.

I think they sky done fell. We are horrendous!

We need players in a serious way and, of course, that is not on Turner Gill.

But the way that team played is. We sucked at every phase of the game.

Our kicking game, which is something that any team can play well if emphasized and prioritized WAS HORRENDOUS!!

We will need the mercy rule on Saturday. We will need fat guys out of the stands to play d-line cuz our defense will be gassed.

And, you can't fix it all right away, but for cripe sakes, move Toben back to RB. WE DONT HAVE A RUNNING BACK!

And try to build a power running game so we can AT LEAST try to run some clock and give our defense a break.

It won't look good, but it will at least keep the other offense off the field.

IT IS UNBELIEVABLY BAD. And for all you optimists, you have your head up your %$!. IT IS BAD.

gongs4ku 11 years, 1 month ago

It's impossible to know whether we have a running back when nobody can block for a darn.

Dan Harris 11 years, 1 month ago

Yes it's going to be a long painful season but lets at least give Gill more then 1 game before we have him walk the plank!

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

Ah, springtxhawk, though it will surprise some, my head is not at all where you suggest (I always look like this). :-) Actually, we both agree that our beloved football team did not perform well on Saturday. One would have to be blind not to see that, or, as you so colorfully suggested, have their head in a dark, smelly place. Obviously, this team has lots of work to do. I'm not really sure how much talent we may or may not have, but I'm convinced that Gill and staff will get the most out of these players. Let's be patient and give them time to do their jobs.

Brad Avery 11 years, 1 month ago

Mangino was 2-10 in his first year. It took him awhile to find a quarterback and establish an offensive philosophy. Turner Gill has been the coach at KU for a little over 9 months. He is coaching an inherited roster that lost most of its offensive stars from last season and has some obvlous needs. Give the guy a break.

The defeat Saturday, as horrible as it was, had nothing to do with the motivation and desire of the players. Punishing them as a group for their failure would be stupid. Bad stuff happens in sports; ask Bill Self. The staff needs to reevaluate and perhaps move some players around, but it doesn't need the media making suggestions about how it should handle the players. "Coach Keegan" should probably concentrate on writing a better sports page rather than jumping on the "harder edge" band wagon.

kuhawks28 11 years, 1 month ago

Doolindalton - The cupboard is not as bare now as it was when Mangino came in. There is a TON of talent on this squad.

Dan Harris 11 years, 1 month ago

Ton of talent ? WTF have you been smoking?

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

We were 5-7 last year, and you expect going 0-12 is acceptable?

We are coming off of 2 of the last 3 years having bowl winning seasons.

pmohr13 11 years, 1 month ago

5-7 season and we lost all our offensive weapons and our best defensive player. Our offensive line was bad last year as well. There is reason why this team had so many questions about it.

kuhawks28 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm not saying we should fire Coach Gill right here and now, but let me point something out red_devil, last year everyone ended up hurt. That contributed to last half of the season's woes.

Jake Sharp had a broken leg for heaven sakes!!!

I saw poor play Saturday and disorganization. Apparently some of the team wasn't aware who was playing special teams and who wasn't. That comes down to the coaches. So, once again..not saying fire them. I'm just saying that we have gotten a lot of talk the past few months and it sure appears they didn't have our team prepared.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

Mangino had a winning record at his tenure at KU.

Also he went to more bowl games in KU history and won at least the last two bowl games.

You aren't going to win the battle saying that Mangino wasn't a good coach.

I live in Oklahoma right now, and they haven't won the national championship since Mangino left as offensive coordinator.

Believe me one thing that shouldn't be questioned is the ability of Mangino to coach.

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

red devil- Mangino went 50-48 at Kansas. Make sure you have your facts straight next time when you decide you want to criticize someone.

Tony Bushard 11 years, 1 month ago

Oooh, 2 games over .500. I'd rather be hopeful and optimistic of what Turner Gill can do for this program than clamor for a guy who was abysmal when it counted--Big 12 Conference games. Moreover, the last person who needs to lecture anyone about discipline is Tom Keegan.

Maracas 11 years, 1 month ago

Warm and fuzzy practices and practice philosophy results in things like NDSU 6, KU 3. Is there a mercy rule we can invoke for the Georgia Tech game?

Kevin Crook 11 years, 1 month ago

I can't believe anyone actually thought we would be good this season anyway. Give Pick a real chance. He has the potential to be a great college quarterback. He lacks only what experience will bring him.Changing coaches in college football is a devastating ordeal. Don't forget that we had much better offensive talent last year and lost our last seven games in a row. We need more players. We were thin before we lost the four guys we lost, before the season started. Had our tight end played better, had our kicker not missed, had we not been penalized so much, we would have probably won that game. We'd still be facing maybe 2-10. This was never going to be a good year for us!!! Give Pick a year to develop. Give Gill and the staff a year to recruit more talent. I can't believe so many people are this surprised by this loss.We were dreadful last year in the last half of the season. Why would anyone think Mangino could make this team different? I am stunned by what I am reading on these forums. People who thought this was going to be a good team are incredibly naive, and must really know nothing about football. Give Gill a chance. It's not like he lost Saturday with Texas' depth and talent.

ZDKC 11 years, 1 month ago

In your words, You can't believe "so many people are surprised by this loss?"

Maybe you should stick to the volleyball articles here on kusports because you apparently don't know anything about D1 football. To put things in perspective, A multi-million dollar BSC program lost to the equivalent of a high school football team. Anyone trying to downplay the loss doesn't know a lick about college football.

KU79 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, that video late in the game of the offensive line clowing around made me want to puke. Down 6-3 against a lower-level opponent is no time to play a dumb video like that. Somebody had their head up their arse.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

grasshopper, your last sentence makes me think that there is some good in you, after all. Yes, get in touch with "the true Jayhawk" within and don't give up hope.

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm out of state and didn't get to see the game. If I gave you my address, could you mail me a copy of the game? I really need to see exactly what happened.

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 1 month ago

I've posted a number of times now that we need to give the coaches a chance and things can get better. But I do agree with KU79 that the video was poorly timed at best. But on a positive note, I sure am glad we got rid of the silver pants. Maybe we will suck this year, but we'll look good doing it.

jayhawkintexas 11 years, 1 month ago

Compare Turner Gill's comment after a loss: "It's only one game" to Mack Brown's after a win at Rice : "We have areas we have to improve. I'm running out of patience." Mack Brown also is a nice guy. I also have a friend who used to coach for Nick Saban when Saban was at LSU and won the national championship. His word to describe Saban: Intense. Turner Gill so far hasn't shown the intensity and has too much patience to make this a winning football program.

blackhawkjayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Bottom line: there is no excuse for this loss. We have superior facilities, a bigger name, more resources for scouting, recruiting and developing players. Most importantly, we have more resources for coaching these players than our opponent has. Middle of the road players or not, this game was a chance to show that our coaching staff could put a disciplined, organized and smart team on the field. The coaching staff failed as badly as almost any I've seen.

To all of you who think Lew Perkins is the next best thing to Donald Trump - doesn't having all of that money feel great right now? We may have lost, but look at that pile of money we have! Woo Hoo! Idiots.......

HawkTronic 11 years, 1 month ago

Uh, we actually don't have a pile of money. $ 35 million a year goes to Lew, the platoon of $150K Assistant ADs and scores of positions that have nothing to do with winning games. Now we know what the "best sports executive" critera must have been: Greatest increase in personal wealth and professional empire while providing the least sustsained success for employer. (11th in B12 all sports trophy, no attributable improvement in football or basketball)

Ron Prichard 11 years, 1 month ago

You're right, blackhawk. I think the new football facilities suck. The new basketball facilities are even worse. I can't imagine how much better off we would be without those facilities. But hey, at least all those "true" fans who sat third row, midcourt in Allen wouldn't have to pay more for their seats than the "wannabe" fans in the last row. Or, we could be watching that ridiculous lineman video on a 32" screen at the football games. That would totally be better than the giant new screen. At least then no one would actually have to watch replays of us getting the cr@p knocked out of us. Besides, all we really want is a better team, and we all know recruits don't care a lick about facilities.

Lew brought our athletic department into the 21st century. With everything that happened recently, it was time for him to go. However, don't sit out there and tell me you want to win the Big XII in football but don't want to pay Lew's salary. Don't tell me you want to win a National Championship in basketball but the ticket plan for Allen is unfair. Don't tell me you want to be competitive in all sports but can't stand the occasional scandal or misconduct by an athlete. You can't have both. I totally wish you could, but you can't. I have two degrees from KU and I love being a Jayhawk. I don't like the scandals, there is a price you pay to compete and win. Lew can't control everything (football/basketball fight, for example) but he definitely gets blamed for everything, and that is part of being in his position.

I was there on Saturday. I sat through the game from beginning to end. I want to win as badly as the next person, and I was completely disappointed by what I saw. Still, we can't overreact and can't judge Gill based on one game only.

Rockchalkku2005 11 years, 1 month ago

Agree 100% with this article. Turner Gill is in over his head. The man's calling is a minister, not a football coach. There is not one player on this team that is afraid of being called in to HCTG's office. Not one. Do you think that players like to get called into Bob Stoop's office? Nick Saban's? Urban Meyer's? Bo Pelini's? Bill Snyder's? Do I need to go any further? Hell no they don't like it, at all. But all of these coaches have made their mark and they have done so while remaining in the good graces of their players and even more so, their fans. This is Turner Gill's year to show us something, anything. And if that "something" is zero wins, extreme lack of preparation (example #1 - Saturday evening), boilerplate answers after every game, and minimal improvement throughout the season, then let's scrap this experiment and move forward with a new coach that actually has proven himself at the college level. KU fans deserve better and if Turner Gill is such a great guy, he would agree.

Tony Bushard 11 years, 1 month ago

Right. And Reggie White--who was an ordained minister--was in over his head and lacked intensity. Nice guy Tony Dungy too. Man, what was he thinking. All he has to show for it is a Super Bowl Ring and one of the best careers as a coach in NFL history. Finally, none of the coaches you mentioned above were fired after one season at an institution. A good football program--like any athletic team--is a like a great meal: once you have ALL the right ingredients and the right amount of cooking time, the ed result is special.

stravinsky 11 years, 1 month ago

"Mark Mangino was hired ... only to get fired two years later for being too hard on the players."

If by 'being too hard' you mean 'liability nightmare level verbal and physical abuse.' Easy to gloss over the past, isn't it?

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

Poking someone in a chest with full pads on is hardly physical abuse.

Additionally, this is football.

Finally, go cry somewhere, because this post is probably verbally abusive to you.

stravinsky 11 years, 1 month ago

Guess you weren't paying attention to the parts where he told Raymond Brown ‘If you don’t shut up, I’m going to send you back to St. Louis so you can get shot with your homies.’ Or asked another KU player ‘Are you going to be a lawyer or do you want to become an alcoholic like your dad?’ Or told Joe Mortensen, a player who I think hardly needed a harder edge, “He told me he’d send me back to Oakland where I could be drinking out of a brown paper bag.” Or the Cory Kipp second-degree burn bear crawl thing.

Yep, no big.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

stravinsky, you make beautiful music. No wonder they named a violin after you...

Gary Wirsig 11 years, 1 month ago

Actually, Stravinsky was a composer. The violin is Stradivarius. :)

Dan Harris 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm all for giving Gill a chance but I sure wish we would have hired TT instead.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of Texas Tech coaches....let's go get LEACH.

He has proven he can beat OU/UT among others.

kvskubball 11 years, 1 month ago

I try to treat others as I would want to be treated...

All of you who are slamming Coach Gill, AFTER ONE GAME....I suppose you wouldn't mind if your boss came to you after your first big task was completed at your new job, and said...you're just not cut out for this...I think we're going to need to consider letting you go....

You'd all be for that, wouldn't you?

This team will need time to learn to win, all over again,...they lost 7 consecutive games to end last season....

Another thing to ask yourself...If KU football is soooo great, and the football head coaching job is such a great position...why weren't we able to get a Pete Carroll or other superstar coach to come?

Be a little more realistic about what is and how to change...In order for KU to become better, people need to support our coach and team in good and bad...look for the good, because even with good facilities, our football fanbase is weak. I admit that I'm much more a basketball fan than a football fan, but I'd rather have a head coach that is not going to play mind games with these young men's minds, or mistreat their bodies.

So, instead of griping and making the easy suggestion to change the coach...be a fan and support him through at least one full season and then see how well he gets recruits to come for a second season, then support him thru one more season...if no improvement has been made, get ready to get a new coach...

Even Coach John Wooden didn't win a championship in his first season as a head coach!

Coach Gill comes from a winning program at NU, his long-time head coach, both as a player and coach, is a rather quiet guy most of the time. Yes Coach Osborne let his emotions show sometimes, but most of the time it looked like he was just out walking the dog. Nothing important going on here. Coach Gill hasn't been a headcoach for 30 years. He did enough at his previous head coaching gig to get noticed by KU, and we hired him...join the team or get off the dam bus.

I think everyone on the team, players and coaches were probably uptight and it got worse as the performance didn't meet expectations....I'm willing to support our new Coach and the team, and give him a chance to succeed. Why aren't you?

I don't think the coaching staff or team were anywhere near perfect, but that was just the first game. I also was disappointed that Coach Gill pulled the starting QB, Pick, after 3 quarters in a game that we could still win. I think it might have been better to pull him out for one series and talk to him and then put him back in...on the other hand maybe he saw that Pick was worn out from being chased around all day...I believe in giving others the benefit of the doubt.

Rock Chalk KU....Get better team! I support you.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

Wow. You rock, kvskubball! I mean, you nailed it. Way to bring everyone back to the facts.

kureader 11 years, 1 month ago

This wasn't an unexpected loss to Colorado or Iowa State, it was a pathetic loss to North Dakota State, a I-AA college where 50% of the players played 9 man high school football. We may not have the athletes that Texas has, but our athletes should have been able to draw plays in the dirt and score 3 or 4 touchdowns.
I don't know if Gill is soft, and it doesn't matter what Mangino would have done. This is poor coaching, period ... not just by Gill but by the entire offensive coaching staff ... mistake after mistake ... and, incredibly, a lack of energy. The only players that seemed "sky-high" for this game were from North Dakota.
When we had a $300,000 head coach, you could say we expected too much. But we have a 2 million dollar head coach and and offensive coordinator who makes more than some Division I head coaches. We have every reason to expect more against a I-AA school. Texas and Oklahoma didn't look good this weekend either. Let's hope last weekend was a North Dakota miracle and that KU looks like a Division I team this week. If not, my tickets are going to become available cheap. Regardless of what you think of Gill's coaching style ... it seems clear that Lew could have done more with his $2 million head coaching salary than to give Gill a 7X increase to come to Kansas. Lew had much better alternatives.

Tony Bushard 11 years, 1 month ago

Right, and yet no one is clamoring for Bill Self's job (rightfully so, of course) for losing to Northern Iowa--a team comprised largely of kids from towns with 9-man football teams and whose head coach hails from North Dakota.

MOHAWK 11 years, 1 month ago

KU Football is an entertainment business. The prices that are charged make people expect an exciting, winning, focused team. If KAI continues to charge these prices, they need to produce or people will leave in droves. KAI tugs on our emotions and pushes our buttons to continue to buy but eventually that no longer works. You wouldn't pay the price of a new Jag and be happy with a used Yugo. People don't want to spend a lot of money and invest themselves emotionally in something and then get kicked below the belt. We have been sold a bill of goods by Lew and Gill. That is how I am feeling with what happened Saturday.

With GT coming to town, I wonder if the scoreboard can display triple digits.

tophawk87 11 years, 1 month ago

Mangino wasnt tough, he was a bully, a tough leader knows when to dial it down, all Mangino did was bad mouth his own players all the time. That is not mental toughness, that is a playground thug who talks with his mouth and does not use his brains. By the way, Mangino had a horrible Big 12 record....

djhawk75 11 years, 1 month ago

Oh wow...he won the Fort Worth Bowl and the Insight Bowl...and lost the Tangerine Bowl by 30 points...take away the Orange Bowl and the typical Mangino team was one that was barely bowl eligible in the first place

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

The Orange Bowl happened. I know, I was there, so I won't "take away the Orange Bowl". When someone accomplishes a feat like that, you dont just "take it away". I dont see Gill winning an Orange Bowl anytime soon, but if he does, I won't tell anyone to "take it away".

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

It's agreed Mangino was a cactus... it was just him. It's just funny though how after eight years people were suddenly concerened with how he did things. He did things the same way when we went 12-1 by the way, and no one was complaining then.

And yes, his Big 12 record was poor... soon Gill's will be even worse.

murph 11 years, 1 month ago

The bottom line is, Mangino wasn't the reason for those successes. Credit for them is squarely on Todd Reesing and Kerry Meier. Without their level of talent and heart, a normal QB couldn't have survived the O-line any better than Kale Pick and Jordan Webb did. It's the same line - the guys with the ball in their hands is the difference. A HUGE part of that difference is that Kerry was willing to change and learn a new position - where he was a tremendous asset - instead of becoming a cancer in the locker room. Last year, Reesing got hurt and the Fat Man stepped on his face instead of helping him heal. Great coach, he was. Yessir. NOT!

ejlumus 11 years, 1 month ago

It is now fairly obvious MM could not recruit D1 players. The current players were recruited from the Orange Bowl year and a decent followup year. As TG said "recruit, recruit, recruit"! Give him a chance to pull us out of this death spiral!

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

I am still upset about the loss because we clearly had better players, but we had no identity on offense.

I am done complaining about it though. I'm going to treat this season as it should have been treated in the first place...a rebuilding year. We lost the best QB in KU history and two of the best wide receivers in KU history. There is still talent on this team, but even Mangino and company would have had to figure out how to use them. I don't think we would have made as many boneheaded mistakes with Mangino's staff but it wouldn't be because he is a hard-nosed coach, it would be because the players would not have had to learn a new offense and therefore would have been better prepared. Remember, Reesing did not have to learn the spread, his high school used that offense. Pick and Webb are learning a new offense and taking their first snaps as leaders in front of 50,000 fans.

Our defense did exactly what they were supposed to and for all those who say "well it's a 1AA team" KU gave up a ton of points last year to teams with terrible offenses and our special teams were just as bad if not worse than what we saw against NDSU. We lost to CU, almost lost to ISU, and made Southern Miss look like Texas Tech. I saw what was to be expected. The defense is always going to pick up new schemes faster than the offense and that's exactly what happened. Our defense wasn't perfect, but without short fields from the offense they wouldn't have given up a single point.

These are the things I want to see next week. 1) No delay of game penalties or time outs to avoid delay of game penalties 2) fewer false starts...some are going to happen with any team 3) another good showing by the defense against a legitimate offense 4) fewer fumbles 5) at least 2 touchdowns. If those five things happen and we still lose, then I won't have a single thing to complain about. I'm not saying we should win with only 2 touchdowns, just that I expected we would lose this game before the season started and now I just want to see at least some production and improvement from the offense.

hawk316 11 years, 1 month ago

truefan, very sound reasoning. As you may know, many I-AA schools field very good football teams that produce a significant amount of NFL talent. You will often see such schools beat D-1 schools or at least be very competitive. NDSU was not exactly "Sisters of the Poor." Yes, we should have beat them, but I won't be surprised if NDSU ends the season with a very good record.

jasscott 11 years, 1 month ago

C'mon people. Take a deep breath. It's one game. As I pointed out in a different post last night, Mangino was 2-10 his first year. One game was a 39 to 16 pasting at the hands of perennial football powerhouse Bowling Green State. And, he went out with a blaze of glory at 0-7! And that was with all the star players Coach Gill doesn't have. A few years back a new coach at KU lost his first 3 games, the last at home to Miami of Ohio. Imagine the bloodletting everyone was expecting when Nebraska came to town the next Saturday. Well, KU beat Nebraska 10-0, the first shutout Nebraska had been handed since WWII! The next year, this new coach by the name of Pepper Rodgers, took the Jayhawks to their 2nd Orange Bowl. Let's not give up on our new coach after one game. And let's not give up on our team. They still have to get revenge for the first Orange Bowl loss in 1947 to, that's right, Georgia Tech!

HawkTronic 11 years, 1 month ago

The coach at Bowling Green that year was Urban Meyer. He and his teams have won consistantly. We haven't.

harv89 11 years, 1 month ago

No Mangino shouldn't of been fired. Coaches say things all the time to try and get the extra edge out of their players. This is not a sport for panzies. You don't get results out of "hoodies" regardless of their color whispering sweet kittens and rainbows into their ears.

This decision to let mangino go is going to set this program back for a decade.

mtdewjunkie 11 years, 1 month ago

keeping mangino would have been a recruiting disaster. every time we went head to head with ksu/mu for a kid, pinkel & snyder could pull out stories of mangino threatening to send players back home to get shot with their homies. you really cant get results out of players you dont have.

harv89 11 years, 1 month ago

Back to the old refrain, "I can't wait for basketball season"

harv89 11 years, 1 month ago

One last thing. If you were having problems getting tickets to the game now you won't. It will be a ghost town out there for the rest of the year. I got nauseous watching it on TV.

troutsee 11 years, 1 month ago

ejlumus has hit the nail on the head.

However, I still say we were not prepared to play. I expected us to be more organized but maybe that was expecting too much considering a new coaching staff, but I don't think it is.

Again, In spite of the fact that we only gave up 6 points, we still let a 1-AA school fun between the tackles on us, and we still did not have a good pass rush. Hopefully, NDSU is a better team than billed. Right now, to these eyes, it looks like it is going to be a long Saturday vs. GT.

On offense, our line simply has to do a better job. If not, it will make no difference who the running back is or who the QB is.

Keegan, I agree with most of what you said in this article. I also agree that the scoreboard crap about the O-line was poorly timed and very tacky. Let's hope that hokey crap is not repeated.

Michael Leiker 11 years, 1 month ago

The fact that the players are now able to go out and make statements about what the coaching staff is saying, then giving their opinions on whether they think it is the right thing to do is what amazes me here. Making comments about "the type of coaches we have" seems out of line for a player, whether the comments are intended to be positive or negative.

Gill's reaction after the game that this is just one game tells me everything I need to know. He doesn't expect in his heart of hearts to win here at KU and definitely does not see losing as unaccceptable. You don't have to comment on players, call anyone out, etc. But a FBS coach who is not willing to say that losing to an FCS opponent is unacceptable, and does not understand that this is the only correct message after a game like this and, furthermore doesn't see this as an opportunity to make that statement about what the expectations are at KU is a loser in my book and deserves to be fired. There is no way that this coach can demand an expectation to win from his team after describing Saturday as "just game 1."

khummel60 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, but you can't question Gill's competitiveness. You can question his coaching skills (although I believe it is WAY too early to do so) but you can't question his desire to win. Anyone that does is either a fool, or simply never saw him play.

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

Gill comes across as someone who is more concerned with developing a young man's character than coaching football. As much as Mangino was gruff and grizzly, Gill is too much the other end of the spectrum.

troutsee 11 years, 1 month ago

Leikness, agree with everything except the firing. He deserves more time. However, his postgame comments were as unacceptable as his team's performance. I remember Glen Mason being so pissed off after he lost his first game. Losing to a 1-AA school is totally unacceptable and he should have said so. He should also have been upfront in admitting that the coaching staff did a poor job in getting the team ready to play. We were out-toughed in this game. However, the talent level left by Mangino also seems to be pretty bad, especially in the trenches where games are won.

djhawk75 11 years, 1 month ago

Just a question for Keegan (and the other Mangino apologists): Do you think that Tom Osborne resorted to insulting players' families and causing players severe burns during practice like Mangino did, or do you think that Osborne ran his practices were more like what Patterson described when you asked about them?

Very shortsighted article...Should have thought about that question before shooting off and questioning Gill's character as a football coach.

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

I thought this same thing when discussing my disappointment of the game with my brother. Gill is running this program the same way Tom Osborne ran the Nebraska program when they were winning Championships. Gill even graduated with the same pyschology degree as Osborne with the intentions of using his knowledge to get the best out of his players.

I know what we saw on Saturday was not the best from our players, but that doesn't mean that our performances will look just like that for the rest of the season. K-State lost to UL-Lafayette because they didn't have an offensive identity when they played them. They found out that Thomas is a great runner and they leaned on him for the rest of the season and pulled off some very good victories, including the one over us in Manhattan. If there is someone on here claiming that 1) Snyder is a bad coach or 2) UL-Lafayette had better talent than K-State then you are delusional and dumb. And don't tell me that K-State looked sharp in that game and just didn't pull off the victory, you don't lose to UL-Lafayette with superior talent without making some dumb mistakes. Believe me, after that game I heard all of my K-State friends griping about how Snyder is old news and can't coach anymore just to hear them proclaim his dominance after they beat us.

The big differences here are that Snyder had done it before and K-State fans got to blame everything on Ron Prince and Tom Osborne had the best of the best talent in the country while being a nice coach at Nebraska. I can't say for sure if Gill and staff will turn this around, but I also can't say for sure that he won't make some big strides this week and give GT a run for their money. If we go 0-12 like some bandwagon fans are saying, then I'll have to re-evaluate my opinion of him then, but the only thing that has been decided for sure is that we are 0-1 and we have to improve.

Jeff Soisson 11 years, 1 month ago

KU is paying top 20 money for this coaching staff which put an awful team on the field, awful. Embarrassing, and on KU football terms, that's hard to achieve. We all know Mangino got %$#@(&%, and I really hope he gets a good job after KU.

Now how many games left? Let's hope we beat Southern Miss, oh, that won't happen, oh well New Mexico State 1-11, really, 1-11 really. I called it! And we don't have Texas or OU, oh well, can't wait for a few years when UT and OU merge with the PAC 10 and our school goes broke-come on, this is about University survival now, not just football-HELLO.

Close your eyes Jayhawk Nation, this is not going to be pretty! I like Turner Gill as a role model but I only care about conference wins, that's it-pass or fail!!!!!

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

Gill needs to concentrate on being a football coach instead of a life coach.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 1 month ago

Would you please change your name to "broken_record" already?

William James 11 years, 1 month ago

Gill reminds me of those Pennsylvania Quakers in the 19th Century who moved out west to Texas to try convert Comanche and Apache to Christianity. Good intentioned. I'll say that for em.

ZDKC 11 years, 1 month ago

(music) Someone's laughing lord, Kumbaya...............

ZDKC 11 years, 1 month ago

To sum things up, this superficial Sound of Music crap such as taking the names off of the back of jerseys, and giving players pats on the butt for majorly screwing is a huge load of BS. Metaphorically speaking, just because you got a treadmill over Christmas, it doesn't mean you're going to magically transform into not being a fatass.

sammyr2 11 years, 1 month ago

You are unbelievable Keegan. You got exactly what you wanted when the media and administration led witch hunt drove Mangino out of town for having too much of a hard edge. You would say, It's just a game, how can you treat college kids like this?

Now Mr. Softy comes to town to coach the team and you write a piece saying a harder edge better be in order? Unbelievable.

Our chickens have come to roost. I really hope we haven't just blown up everything ku football was built up to be over the last six years.

djhawk75 11 years, 1 month ago

The issue with this team is not that they are soft; it's that they are still learning a new system. Under Gill they will play "edgier" when they are more comfortable with their assignments and can start to play without thinking too much. I'll be the first to admit, it's agony to behold this team's lack of performance. But I still believe that the team will make strides this year, and I bet I'll have some satisfaction in seeing the team improve over the coming weeks.

This talk about a football coach being "too nice" is simply ridiculous. The point of coaching is to get the players to execute, not to just show anger when a player fouls up. There have been several football coaches who would be considered "too nice" by this motley crew's standards but won championships anyway. Tom Osborne, Dick Vermeil, Bill Walsh and Eddie Robinson are a few that come to mind. Then there's John Wooden on the basketball side. He was supremely nice, a saint by all accounts. All of them still had some "edge" in their coaching. Turner Gill has some "edge" as well. If he hadn't, Buffalo would have been 1-10 every year under his watch. He just needs to find a way to bring that "edge" to this program. It will take some time.

Bullying players, as Mangino had done, is not "edgy," it's just stupid. If a player is making a mistake in his execution he does not need a coach to tell him that he's going back home to get shot or drunk, he needs instruction. Insulting him and smacking him upside the head won't make him better, only teaching him how to do the job correctly will. And any coach can do that without bullying the player

Mangino_Maniac 11 years, 1 month ago

I don't see how Gill will be 'edgier' as you mentioned... it's just not in him. As I said in a post elsewhere, as much as Mangino may have been too far to the gruff side, Gill is way too far to the other.

Kirk 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm rooting against KU now. The sooner we get rid of Gill, the better it will be for our football program.

I hope GT embarrasses us.

Gill sucks.

mtdewjunkie 11 years, 1 month ago

if you are rooting against ku, then you are no longer part of "our" football program. you will not be part of the "us" that GT "embarrasses: ( i concede no embarassment! go hawks!) you suck. go post on an mu board.

khummel60 11 years, 1 month ago

Kirk, I don't mean to interject politics, but this reminds me of the folks that root for the U.S. to fail so a certain President they dislike will get tossed. Just as I question their loyalty as an American I have to question your loyalty as a Jayhawk. This shouldn't be about who's right or wrong, or your personal dislike for Turner Gill and his coaching style. It should ultimately be about whether he can create a winning program. You (and apparently most folks on these blogs) believe you can determine that after just one game. I respectfully disagree. You and everyone else may indeed be correct about Gil, but there is simply no way you or I can know that after just one game, no matter how ugly it was.

redbull38 11 years, 1 month ago

Way to stay classy Kirk.

I am sure Gill blames himself for this loss. It would be appropriate for him to do so. He is the head coach and responsible for winning. I hardly think the answer to this problem is to punish the players. The answer is to coach the players better. You break down the film and you coach them. That is what is happening this week. Gill is all about dicipline and respect. He respects his players enough to avoid bashing them in the media. I am sure Gill very upset about this loss but he is also not going to react like a lunatic and abuse the players.

Really really bad loss but look at it objectively. 1) Defense played pretty good holding anyone to 6 points is good. 2) As horrible as the offense was KU still should have won. Lots of work to do there to get better.

Or everyone can just give up and scream for the coach to be fired. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself is fine with me.

Viggo3003 11 years, 1 month ago

OK Redbull we see what makes you feel better about yourself.

hawkone 11 years, 1 month ago

It will be extremely difficult to land good recruits if we do not win games. I would not call a team with mostly 3 star recruits a bare cupboard, but the cupboard will be bare soon if we do not recruit well.

Ryan Gerstner 11 years, 1 month ago

On the inflatable tunnel, I would rather have the south end closed, but we need a tunnel so that's what you have to do. ESPN did a big article on pregame intros and schools that don't have tunnels (like KU), that's what you have to do. Boise State does the same thing and last time I checked, they're just fine. When they get the Gridiron back up today, there's a pretty cool shot from the tunnel.

flowmaster 11 years, 1 month ago

Why is everyone preaching on talent so much? The problems Saturday have NOTHING to do with talent... 10 men on the field... switching quarterbacks while struggling in the second half, linemen goofing off on the sidelines in a losing effort. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are coaching and leadership problems.

I'm not saying Gill should be fired. Far from it. We need to let his year play out, and look at the big picture, not one game. But... These problems I described are things that need to be fixed IMMEDIATELY. If you have no foundation for discpline and organization, wins will NEVER come.

If we can develop that type of foundation, talent can be an arguement. But even players from OU or UT would have struggled with the way Gill has structured (or lack there of) things here.

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