Advertisement

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Keegan

Webb proves toughness in face of adversity

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb is sacked by Southern Miss defensive lineman Cordarro Law during the third quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb is sacked by Southern Miss defensive lineman Cordarro Law during the third quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

Advertisement

KU fans weigh in on football team

Students on the KU campus weighed in on the current status of the KU football team. The Jayhawks lost to Southern Mississippi on national television Friday night.

— Now Kansas University red-shirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb knows what it feels like to stand on top of a freeway median with semis barreling toward him from both directions.

Time to panic. Time to run in place the way so many quarterbacks do when surroundings freeze them into inaction. Time to fumble the ball away. Time to throw it to the guys wearing the other jerseys. Time to swing the finger of blame like a pendulum, making sure everyone knows it wasn’t his fault.

Webb did none of that on a night he showed his inexperience in many ways during a 31-16 loss to Southern Mississippi on a hot and steamy night at The Rock.

Webb showed the toughness to take buckling hits, the maturity to focus on the next play. On nights he receives better protection, it will be easier to judge his talent level. A Southern Miss defense too swift and strong for the Kansas offensive line created the perfect environment in which to judge Webb’s toughness.

That test Webb passed, in part because of how well he ran for his life. He had 39 yards in gains running the football and 29 yards in losses, many of them coming in the time it takes to break into a sweat in the Mississippi heat.

“In general I would say it probably was OK,” first-year Kansas coach Turner Gill said of Webb’s play. “There were some reads there that should have been made from the standpoint of the way they are taught from upstairs.”

As is the case with most young quarterbacks at all levels, to watch Webb is to ask repeatedly, “Why did he throw it there when he could have thrown it over there?” Some overcome such flaws. Others don’t. It’s not always easy to forecast which ones will. The guys who panic don’t hold the job long enough for anybody to find out whether they’ll fine-tune their abilities to read defenses. Webb has earned a long look.

“He showed very good toughness,” Gill said. “Jordan’s a good football player. Again, this is his first time on the road. I know it sounds like a cliché deal, but he’s got to get experience, and I think he’ll play better as we continue to move on.”

Wrinkles need to get smoother in the area of game-management. Gill, neither one to duck blame when things sour nor hog credit when they go well, addressed the annoying recurrence of confusion as the play-clock dwindled.

“Some of it was probably us as coaches, and some of it was a little bit of Jordan,” Gill said. “We are making our calls from the sideline from upstairs, and sometimes we were waiting too long to get the plays in.”

Those issues figure to smooth out with time, but it’s tougher to predict better blocking. Center Jeremiah Hatch, dogged by back problems, left the game and didn’t return when it acted up. Right tackle Brad Thorson, not the same player since coming back from a broken foot as before it, isn’t the answer for now.

Webb blamed himself: “Maybe I held the ball too long a few times. I’m sure I did.”

The hits he took didn’t force him out of the game.

“I don’t want to sit out a play, ever,” Webb said. “That’s just the way I play. Nothing to it, really.”

His toughness will come in handy.

Comments

Larry Evans 9 years, 5 months ago

What's toughness?,,he needs to acquire QB skills,like throwing the ball more accurate without bouncing it off the turf,,same goes for long balls.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

C'mon guys, cut the kid a little slack. He's a redshirt freshman, for goodness sakes! I thought he did reasonably well under very difficult circumstances. I totally agree with Keegan's analysis.

number1jayhawker 9 years, 5 months ago

He was getting hammered all night. You would be a little gun shy too. Plus our receivers were not getting open for the most part on the long pass patterns.

He did however miss a couple of short crossing passes to Patterson that were terrible throws.

deathtomizzou 9 years, 5 months ago

The kid hasn't played in a competitive game since Oct 2008. Webb will get better. There are a lot of directions to point the finger last night. The defense was horrible. The play calling by the offensive coordinator is so predictable. The kicking game is a joke.

Bob Zielinski 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure Webb will improve overall as a QB but there is something about his poorly thrown long passes which looks to be beyond help. He just doesn't have a very strong or accurate arm and tossing up 50/50 balls is not going to work out in our favor very often.

ShockHawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Webb was facing pressure all night; however, his throws were so inaccurate that he did not give his receivers an opportunity to catch the ball. Every down field ball that was caught was because of our receivers making adjustments to come back and "get" the ball. I still contend that Webb is not the answer at QB. Pick is the better runner and passer. Gill pulled the trigger on Pick WAY too early. Pick's three quarters against NDSU were decent given the poor performances all around (OL / Coaching). BTW... Why in the world did James Simms only get a handful of carries following his 101 yard breakout against GT? HCTG has lost my faith. Poor game managment and personel decisions fall on the head coach, and Gill is proving he is bad at dealing with both. I expected a rough season, but not the disorganization that the Hawks have showed in two of their first three games. As a grad and a fan, I'm truly disappointed.

rastameta 9 years, 5 months ago

Sims had 20 carries, what are you talking about? It was hot and humid, they couldn't give it to him to him 35 times and expect him to be fresh. Plus, he is not a good blocker.

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 5 months ago

mulaza-"hey webb, three words for you transfer", if he does [transfer], will [mulaza] transfer with him.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Ok, mulaza, time to come clean. You're an MU fan, right? Your stripes really show through in a statement like this. It's hard to imagine a KU fan making this kind of comment.

DaNeille Dani Davis 9 years, 5 months ago

You can't blame it all on a freshman QB...there have been plenty of freshmen QB's that have lead their teams to greatness. http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=913691 KU didn't play with the passion and fire that they did last weekend.

Lone_salina_kufan 9 years, 5 months ago

Webb played well enough. It just seems to be me on this night (however, happening twice makes it look like a trend) we had a stupid football team. How a person can run by 4 people to block a punt while they just stand there like they didn't see him coming up the gut, is ridiculous. With 9 mins left in the 4th qt, a team has a 3 possession lead (18 points) not a chance in hell they're throwing the ball, and yet we get gashed for big runs, because everyones dropping into coverage. Just some really dumb mistakes out there.

I want Gill to succeed, but what worries me is that I think he had the idea he was coming into the same situation here as he did in Buffalo. This is not a program that needs to be rebuilt. It may be now though. It only needed a new environment and some tweaking. It looks like sometimes he's going the Hoosiers route, "tear em down, and then build em up again. Very worrisome to watch the discipline and physicality of this team deteriorate instead of getting better.

sava12 9 years, 5 months ago

Give it time Salina. Unwind a little; go to the Scheme, have a slice and then walk over to the Paramount and wash it down with a beer. There is some youth on the team and adjusting to new coaches takes time - if the same problems persist next year then you can worry.

Tribehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

There were definitely some errors in this game, but overall I'm not worried. Though we lost last night, we weren't the team that lost to NDSU. I would have liked to have seen us open up the vertical passing game early like we did against GT. That put their defense on their heels the rest of the game. We played very conservatively on offense this game, and we don't yet have the talent to do that against a team like USM and expect a win. Webb's accuracy was not there last night, which really hurt, but I like everything else I saw. Showed toughness and leadership. On D, I really wish we could get more pressure on the QB with our front four... but Jayhawk fans have been saying that for years now. But we'll bounce back. We have a lot of positives to build on.

ShockHawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Tribehawk - Positives? For instance? Take off the rose tinted glasses. I'm as big a fan as there is out there and a graduate of KU, but we digressed last night. We got out played and out coached in every aspect of the game. While Southern Miss is a solid team, this is the type of team we should be able to beat on the road. Gill and the Hawks showed little intensity last night. Webb looked overwhelmed and Simms did not get enough touches in space (nearly all of his plays were between the tackles). Gill continues to make mistakes in game prep and personel. Pick should be our starter and we should take a look at the success Nebraska is having with a very similar QB (Hernandez). I want to believe in Gill, but thus far it doesn't seem to be working.

redlegger 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes, the Jayhawks looked out of sync and were playing timid, which allowed a good Southern Miss team to hurt us with a few big plays. At the end of the game we lost by two touchdowns - one of which came from a blocked punt (that was painful to watch).

I like and agree with Tom Keegan's article - I saw Jordan Webb's toughness on several third-and-long plays that kept the drive going. He took some hard hits and kept fighting. Sure, he made some mistakes and had some bad throws - so what?

As for whether or not Coach Gill made the right decision when he repalced Kale Pick with Jordan Webb - I guess we'll never no (so why be critical). My guess is that Coach Gill made his decision based on taking care of the ball. Kale Pick fumbled a snap on first-and-goal, and later threw an interception in the end zone. At the end of the day, I think we're fortunate to have both of these good Quarterbacks playing for us.

I see a bright future with Coach Gill and the Jayhawk Football Team(s). These young players will develop and come along. It will be a tough year, and we may not win many games, but this Jayhawk Fan is going to continue to root loud and proud for this Team of Jayhawks!

ShockHawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

We need to put the team on the field that gives us the best opportunity to win. Webb would have turned the ball over at least twice if USM DBs could hang on to the ball. I don't think I'm being overly critical here, I believe that Pick would give us a better chance to win. He won the starting job after the staff had a spring, summer, and early fall to evaluate the position. After a game where every aspect of the game was disorganized he gets pulled. Raw deal.

Larry Ewart 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you Shock. Throwing Pick under the Bus was a raw deal. Obviously he does not like Pick. If I am Kale I am out of here. It is not a good deal for him because he burned a redshirt year already but he is talented and to sit and watch a kid who is not better than you is tough to take. Would have to drop down a level to play right away but to wait on Gill to make another move well it is going to be awhile because now he will not want to make it look like he made a bad decision.

Tribehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Overall, our D looked good in the second half. Special teams can be fixed, and will. Take away the blocked punt for TD, and we lose by only one score. That was a tough atmosphere for our young guys to be playing in. Once they got over the shock of playing on the road in an environment like that, they pulled it together. The team is still adjusting to a new coaching staff, a different way of doing things--like, everything. I think this team gets better by leaps and bounds over the course of the season. We will be a dangerous team by season's end.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Tribehawk, good points. I agree with you that this team is going to keep getting better. We have a great coaching staff and committed players who work hard and believe. It's onward and upward!!!

kureader 9 years, 5 months ago

Webb played a bit like a freshman ... oh, wait ... he is a freshman. But, he didn't lose the ball or throw a pick. And, he ran us out of trouble a couple times. He doesn't see the field yet, but he'll improve. Many of our guys were playing their first away game ... and in a pretty intimidating stadium. After last week against Georgia Tech, I decided to quit criticizing for awhile. I also re-read the resume of every coach on our staff from last week's program. This is an experienced coaching staff. Let's see if we come back again next week. Spotting Southern Miss a touchdown on a blocked punt was the biggest inexcusable mistake. It put us in the hole for the rest of the game.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Tom, I thought this was an excellent article and very solid analysis, and I totally agree with you. (Ha! I think I just patted myself on the back). :-) Anyway, I think Webb really held his own which is not easy to do in such a challenging environment. Factor in his lack of experience, his first road game, his youth, a sometimes struggling o-line, a tough defense, etc, and I think he played reasonably well. In fact, this kid may turn out to be pretty darn special. I can't help but see a little Reesing in him...

HawkInAL 9 years, 5 months ago

I went to the game last night and it was a pretty intense atmosphere- the Southern Miss crowd stayed in it the entire way, and they were loud. The Hawks had a short week of prep to get ready for a good football team playing at home with a chip on their shoulder after losing to KU last year. I don't think we played great; some of that was them, to be fair. Their pass rush was very good, which didn't give Webb much time to throw. It looks to me as if they're still implementing the playbook and they're not ready to run some plays yet- it was pretty vanilla. I was impressed with the fire the team came out with in the second half- good adjustments were made on both sides of the ball.
Why doesn't everybody come down off suicide watch and remember that this is a new coaching staff with a couple of young, unproven QBs. Anybody who expected this team to go to a BCS game this year is smoking crack.
A win next week and we're 2-2, which exactly where most rational people put us after 4 games. I totally agree with Keegan on this article. Webb showed some serious moxie last night and never gave up. This is going to be an up-and-down year, so fan up and quit whining like titty-babies.

In case you forgot...

steamboat 9 years, 5 months ago

I can probably name 5-6 Big 12 teams that would of gone down to So. Miss, maybe more. They are a fast talented team.

redlegger 9 years, 5 months ago

And so you would like to do what...??? I must be the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, because I just don't get how b!@ching and moaning does anything. What is wrong with supporting this Team - both Coaches and Players, and leave it at that?

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry Tom, but Webb did plenty of throwing "to the guys wearing the other jerseys." Those guys just happened to drop sure handed interceptions multiple times.

grandpa 9 years, 5 months ago

81, Johnathan Wilson , did some great catches and we need to be throwing to him more especially downfield. You are going to see more good things from him as the season progresses.!!!!!

truefan 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks gramps. I agree, but the young QB needs some more snaps and more protection.

eastcoasthawk 9 years, 5 months ago

There is no doubt Webb is tough after this game. And as fans we really need to show a little patience. You can expect to see this type of defense against our offense a lot this year. Take away the short comfortable throws from the young QB and make him run for his life waiting for a longer pass play to develop. Webb needs to go through his reads quickly and release the ball to the open man. Right now he stares his first read down and forces the ball into coverage. I just hope he learns how to do this sooner rather than later. Sometime this season would be good. Then we will have another Reesing type QB on our hands.

RuffHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Anyone Else Think Chuck Long Is Setting Webb Up To Fail? How Many Bubble Screens Did We Throw For Negative Yards ? Why Were We Running Every Play Early in 4th Quarter When We Still Had a Chance? Long Calls The Plays & He Is The Reason We Lost To NDSU Running 60% Of The Time Against The Worst Pass Defense In A Division 2 Conference...

OhioHawkfan 9 years, 5 months ago

I should have read your post before I made mine! I thought the same thing! TERRIBLE playcalling

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 5 months ago

eastcoast---I will show patience for Webb. On one play where he scrambled, he reminded me of Todd Reesing. He will get better.

BTW--these trolls that have been on the KU website---pretty disgusting, to say the least. All night, I am trying to follow Mulaza's thought process---hey, wait, his a MU troll---you have been a total ___ (fill in the blank) tonight! Mizzou barely got by San Diego State--I mean barely.

No matter what Coach Gill and his team does or does not do, there will be negative comments. I choose to remain positive and give them some time. Rock Chalk!

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 5 months ago

If anyone has any football knowledge at all, i.e., Don Fambrough, Gill is no Terry Allen. Like the triple post, pigballin. I have heard of a double post in basketball--LOL!

OhioHawkfan 9 years, 5 months ago

Am I the only one who thought that the offensive playcalling was horrible? Donw 21-3 and running screens and draws over and over? I know thats how you normally beat a blitz, but it wasn't working for us, yet we kept trying to run them over and over. It was frustrating to watch.

Armen Kurdian 9 years, 5 months ago

I thought Webb played well (though not great) considering his circumstances. But our O-line is terrible. There were a lot of completely blown blocks, and Webb was running for his life half the night. Maybe the offensive play-calling was terrible because the guys just couldn't do anything more complicated. Really, if I could change one thing, it would be Coach Gill's post-game conferences...he needs to be fired up and less passe.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.