Kale Pick and Jordan Webb signed up for the Evelyn Wood speed-reading class for college football defenses. Their checks cleared. So look for them to make their reads as if they had a combined 35 starts now, instead of one.
It’s just that simple in today’s world of instant gratification. Just think, it used to take a pony to get a letter from here to Colorado. Now all that’s required is one press of a computer button and in seconds your message arrives halfway across the world.
Head coach Turner Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long shoved both quarterbacks into a microwave earlier this week and in 60 seconds every aspect of the job reached full maturation.
For most quarterbacks, barring freaks of nature such as Todd Reesing, it used to take years for athletes manning the most difficult position on the field to learn what to do when and why not to do something else. Bit by bit, the good ones blossomed from overwhelmed athletes too young to order a drink and given to making bad decisions into quick decision-makers thriving under pressure.
Now, thanks to the Evelyn Wood speed-reading class for college football defenses, and to microwaves, all quarterbacks are as good as they’ll ever be after just one week on the job.
Such is the standard by which modern athletes are judged. Thankfully, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, so much of the viewing pleasure of sports would vanish because so much of it comes from trying to forecast which players will develop into top performers, which will fade into the background.
Pick earned the start last week, Webb today against Georgia Tech.
“The quarterback position didn’t have a great game,” offensive coordinator Chuck Long said of the 6-3 loss to North Dakota State.
He quickly shifted to what he liked about the two novices.
“There were some examples of them staying in the pocket, taking some hits and keeping their concentration down the field, which I thought was pretty impressive for young quarterbacks that had a redshirt on the entire time they’ve been here at Kansas,” Long said. “They hadn’t had a hit yet, and they stood there and took some shots.”
Most of the lessons learned came from mistakes.
“The interception down in the end zone, those are things you have to learn from,” Long said. “You can’t make those critical mistakes down there, and Kale knew that. They’re both very green. They haven’t played that position since high school, basically, and it’s going to take some time.”
Long was quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma when Jason White was green and was offensive coordinator when White won the Heisman Trophy. He knows what to show quarterbacks willing to swallow their insecurities and listen. So does Gill, who at Nebraska was position coach for All-American quarterbacks Tommie Frazier and Heisman winner Eric Crouch.
Speaking of All-Americans, former KU QB David Jaynes (1971-73), a real thoroughbred, will make an appearance in the lobby of the Oread from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The Budweiser Clydesdales will also be there from 10-10:30, though they probably won’t make it all the way into the lobby.