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Monday, September 20, 2010

Keegan

No easy fixes for KU football

Kansas head coach Turner Gill closes his eyes as he paces past his players during the fourth quarter against Southern Miss, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill closes his eyes as he paces past his players during the fourth quarter against Southern Miss, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

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In many ways, Friday night’s one-sided loss to Southern Miss illustrated more completely than did its first setback why Kansas University’s football team falls short of bowl-caliber quality.

The North Dakota State outcome involved so many peripheral factors — players too relaxed during the post-Mark Mangino reign needing a loss to pay closer attention to Turner Gill, for one — that set the climate for a stunning loss to a Div. I-AA opponent.

Friday night’s 31-16 bummer felt more like a simple case of the faster, stronger, deeper, more organized football team winning the game. Southern Miss of Conference USA has a good football team, but it’s not as if the Golden Eagles would rate as a popular pick to win the Big 12 North if they played in it.

KU’s problems start up front, and it looks as if they’ll be tough to reverse. Blocking problems on the punt team should be easier to remedy.

An overmatched offensive line, more than anything in football, is the domino that makes everything fall apart. It also leads to questions about play-calling. For example, some might wonder why Kansas ran the ball so often on second down when it didn’t work particularly well (16 rushes, 61 yards, 3.8 average). Maybe because it worked better than passing (2-for-6, 13 yards, one sack for a five-yard loss. That’s a net eight yards in seven plays, an average of 1.1 yards).

James Sims and Deshaun Sands both looked sharp, considering how few holes the line blew open.

Jeremiah Hatch continues to battle back problems. Even if Hatch can return to health — he’s listed as probable for Saturday’s game against New Mexico State — that doesn’t address the bigger issue.

All three games so far, the left defensive end has had no problem consistently getting to the quarterback. Right tackle Brad Thorson, who missed the start of preseason camp because of a foot injury, doesn’t closely resemble the reliable blocker of seasons past. Yet, he has remained in the starting lineup, which raises questions as to the readiness of his backup, red-shirt freshman Riley Spencer.

Look for KU to consider keeping an extra man in the backfield to fortify the protection on the right side. That gives quarterback Jordan Webb one less target from which to choose, but at this point he hasn’t yet mastered the art of scanning the field to find the open man, so the extra time will help him more than the extra receiver.

The pass-blocking failures always stand out more, but the run-blocking also needs improvement. Left tackle Tanner Hawkinson, the team’s most talented blocker, has kept defenders away from Webb, but isn’t as advanced run-blocking. He’ll get there, but it won’t happen overnight.

Scanning the roster for possible solutions to the O-line depth problem, moving defensive tackle John Williams back to offense might seem desperate, but is worth considering.

Not that the defensive line is loaded, either. Defensive end Jake Laptad, the program’s most celebrated player, hasn’t looked as quick. A shoulder injury limited him greatly during the spring, so it might just be a case of needing to catch up.

Bottom line: Quick fixes for teams losing battles up front rarely occur.

Comments

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

Keegan--- As much as I hate to admit it, you're right on target with this article. I guess I am disappointed with the offensive line, especially since, they were supposed to be experienced and seasoned going into the campaign.

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Robert Brock 3 years, 10 months ago

There is experience but not a lot of talent.

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Bear86 3 years, 10 months ago

There's the "A", the "B", the "C" & "D". "D" is the biggest!

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

Excellent analysis. I never quite understood the hype about this returning OL - they simply weren't very good in 2009. The only team that gave up more sacks than Kansas last year (in the Big 12) was Colorado, and that was with one of the best scrambling QB's (in my opinion) to ever play Div-I football. I believe they will continue to improve, but they are not going to control the trenches in 2010. Coach Gill and his staff have done an admirable job of adjusting around the problem, but I think its fair to say Webb is going to get his clock cleaned a few times this year.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

You! You don't belong on this site. Your clearly not a Kansas supporter. Please do us all a favor and go someplace else.

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ralphus 3 years, 10 months ago

One of them is a baseball player.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

I feel like I'm arguing with a 9-year old. The sure sign you have nothing of substance to say is that you chose to turn this into a pissing contest about Todd Reesing.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you. Another person who said it better than I could.

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Kenneth Hillman 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm siding with mulaza on this one. I am a HUGE KU fan and he's right on both points. Just because you support your school doesn't mean you can't be realistic. I liked TR as our QB as well but would not rank him with the best scramblers ever. And Gill and staff doing an admirable job in the adjustment category is a joke, correct?

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hailtoku 3 years, 10 months ago

I think you're both talking about different things here.

mulaza is talking about QB's with a great track record for rushing yards. Not to many plays were designed for Reesing to run but he still tallied a lot of yards.

He's not one of the greatest scramblers of all time, but he's one of the best at avoiding sacks I've seen in a long time.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 10 months ago

Apples and oranges.

Obviously Reesing doesn't compare to those guys--two of the three you named were two of the best dual-threat quarterbacks ever. In other words, classifying guys like Vick and Young as "scrambling quarterbacks" really doesn't do justice to what they really were.

They were a threat to run out of the backfield on any given play. By contrast, the only time Reesing ever ran was when he had to "scramble"--i.e., find somewhere to go because his offensive line fell apart.

So while you're technically correct--that Reesing doesn't belong with those other three names--I think the point is that Reesing was really good at avoiding a sack when his line collapsed.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you marchphog. You explained it better than I could. Reesing ranks 28th on the list of All-Time Division I FBS Career Passing Leaders, right behind some guy named Payton Manning. But unlike most of the QB's ahead of him on that list, Reesing got his yards primarily through his scrambling skills (largely because of our OL and lack of protection). That he was able to rack up passing yards like that, with the kind of OL he had, to me puts him among the best scramblers in Div-I history - at least one of the best I've ever seen. We can split hairs all day long about what constitutes "one of the best", and mulaza can give me all the Homer awards he wants, but it misses the point I was trying to make. That point being that we still gave up more sacks than any other team except one in the Big-12, even though we had, by all accounts, a very good scrambling quarterback.

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Benjamin Piehler 3 years, 10 months ago

ive been reading your comments for awhile now, and sure, we get some haters. no biggie, usually they have some sort of valid point. but you have never even come close. please just stop trying to analyze sports while you are already behind, you are only looking dumber by the post.

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yates33333 3 years, 10 months ago

Wonder if Keegan still thinks that if Opurum (of whatever his name is) were shifted to running back they'd win 3 more games? BTW his analysis this time is right on. When you get right down to what he says, KU needs another football team, maybe Nebraska?

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Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 10 months ago

KU's o-line is the sticking point...and it makes everything else look 2nd rate. and i would take issue with one thing Keegan said....i saw Hawkinson give up a sack in the NDSU game....if he gives up a sack there, what will he do vs. KSU or NU?

we need to pick our spots for wins this year....and as HCTG says, "recruit, recruit, recruit!" at this point, four or five wins this year would be pretty darn good.

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100 3 years, 10 months ago

Every word written on the next post is from a troll.

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cg1029 3 years, 10 months ago

Gill is correct... We need to recruit, recruit, recruit.... A coaching staff that has a clue how to coach a D1 program would be a good place to start.

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100 3 years, 10 months ago

Your point about recruit, recruit, recruit is right. The implication by you which is clearly stated is "a coaching staff is needed first."

Do you know how many "D1" national championship rings are on this coaching staff?

Do you know how hard it is to win (on the road mind you) without a solid O line?

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ilikestuff 3 years, 10 months ago

We need to recruit a "coaching staff that has a clue how to coach a D1 program"... I thought AD's hired coaches and coach's recruited players.

Anywho, in his 1st season as head coach Gill largely has to make due w/what was left him. The O-line was horrible last season, presumably, it will be weak this season too. No O-line, no offense.

Now, if Coach Gill recruited some fine, cornfed linemen in '10 we're not going to see most of them contribute for 2-3 years.

Still, that's a good one, "Gill needs to recruit a coaching staff w/a clue how to coach a D1 program." You crack me up!

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ralphus 3 years, 10 months ago

The fact that Gill took one look at this group and immediately went out and recruited eleventy billion O-liners should have clued everyone in to the talent level he inherited at that position.

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100 3 years, 10 months ago

Every word on the next post is from a troll.

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diehardjhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

you are right on cg1029....he couldn't post a winning record @ Buffalo...why in the he!! would we pay him gobs of money thinking he can win against the big boys...hopefully the new AD puts him on a short leash

I'm tired of TG wanting to be the players best friend rather than their football coach. Winning is #1....college football is a business, not a feel good campfire sing-along.

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steamboat 3 years, 10 months ago

EXCELLENT POINT!!!!! I do like Gill though, he will be ok I think in a couple years, I hope the alums give him that long at least. The ONLY asst coach that HAS GOT to GO is CHUCK 3rd AND LONG. He's doesn't have a clue on his play calling-his pesonnel or evn how to manage the freakin' clock. It's almost embarrassing.

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diehardjhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

definitely agree Steamboat....Long needs to go...if we are going to get any W's in conference play we need to put points on the board. D and ST are not going to win us games

Why are we not using Wilson ???? he is our most experienced WR....we need to go DOWN THE FIELD....i know that is going to come with some INT's b/c of our young QB's but we can't baby them forever...they need to get experience throwing the deep ball down the field...this is the season to do it...we have nothing to lose

Give the fans something to get a little excited about....a deep ball every now and then is not too much to ask for

I'll be out there cheering from start to finish no matter what....we need a W and some momentum going down to Waco.

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justinryman 3 years, 10 months ago

How does he not manage the clock? KU won the time of possesion battle Friday night, its that they just couldn't finish the drives off. Maybe that is a little play calling, maybe its the personell on the field, but to say hedosent know how to manage the clock is crazy.

That is unless you think that you don't want the ball as long as the other team????

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steamboat 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry I was referring to all those times we call time out when we need to be saving them for crucial times. e.g the last 4 minutes of the NDSU game. When we get in the Big 12 part of the schedule it's gonna kill us.

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hawk316 3 years, 10 months ago

Diehard, you've got to see Gill's time in Buffalo in proper context. No, he didn't have an awesome won-loss record, but he took what may have been the worst program in America when he arrived to a conference championship and bowl game. You need to see what he did more in the light of the '69 Mets or the USA hockey team that beat Russia. Granted, what he accomplished is not quite on that level, but approachs it. Just give him a little time to do his thing here in Lawrence, and you're going to change your tune.

And apparently, it was his coaching philosophy (that you are dissing) that produced such amazing results, so your second paragraph is also without substance or credibility, quite honestly.

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diehardjhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

You have got to be joking even bringing up those to sporting events and comparing it to TG at Buffalo.

We are in the Big XII...time is $...we need to Win and we need to win NOW...we can't have 2-3 seasons of mediocre football and let this program slip back into the bottom feeder mentality of the past

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yed 3 years, 10 months ago

At least hawk316 has a good understanding of Gill's record and what he managed to accomplish at Buffalo, which made 1988 Kansas look like 2005 USC when he took over there. There are always going to be setbacks when you have a completely new regime take over a football program like the one we have at Kansas. We don't have the brand that the powerhouse programs have, so it's not that easy for us to simply reload. I'm sure that you remember where we came from, diehard, which is understandably why you're concerned about going back to that. I don't see it this time around. With Terry Allen, I definitely saw it in year one. With Gill, they're already showing us some growth. We likely won't go .500+ this year, but we'll see good things to build on for next year.
I'm calling it. 2011 KU football = minimum 7 wins + bowl game. I just don't see it this year, not with the personnel and injury issues that we've already had. Also, didn't most of us realistically expect to be 2-2 after non-con? We still have a really good shot at that in spite of our struggles.

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hailtoku 3 years, 10 months ago

You can't compare winning the MAC with the worst program in that conference with winning the Big 12 with its worst program.

To win the MAC he didn't have to beat Texas or OU... he had to be the Ohio Bobcats.

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ZDKC 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't agree. Turner Gill turned a losing Buffalo program into a less losing Buffalo program (still losing). In the MAC, 2 all-star players can easily win a conference.

Look at Marshall, when Randy Moss came through there, they won the 1AA National Championship. Unfortunately, It doesn't work this way with the big boys -- there's more to it.

So let's get off this misinformation that Turner Gill turned water into wine at Buffalo. He still had a trash bag LOSING record. Now, if he had won a FCS (1AA) national championship and/or a couple conference MAC titles (minimum 4) -- then sure, send him up.

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mtdewjunkie 3 years, 10 months ago

exactly! how dare coach gill try to make these guys into better men.... ok, moving on... winning might be #1 (for you at least) but its not the only thing. the players you refer to are 18-22 yr old kids. how many pro football players are on the roster this year? 0? 2? the rest have 40-60 years to do other things. try to remember that.

now for the big questions... who are you getting to replace gill? who would want a job where you are fired after 1 year of coaching leftover players? how many recruits would feel good about signing on to a school on its 3rd coach in 3 years?

college football is a GAME. its supposed to be FUN. go. have some beers with your buddies. cheer.

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lama 3 years, 10 months ago

Solid effort by the previous coaching staff to capitalize on the Orange Bowl victory by...doing nothing on the recruiting trail. If Mangenius had not chased off most of his good assistants (Bill Young) with his charming personality, perhaps things would have been different. Gill will have to recruit for this program to be competitive again.

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yed 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh boy, I nearly forgot about that. Losing Bill Young was downright catastrophic.

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youowethehawks 3 years, 10 months ago

TG is the man. Being a new coach is a process. You see your guys all spring and all summer. They lift weights and practice. You make evaluations on where they might fit best in your program. Then comes the regular season. All your evaluations on the practice field and in the weightroom get tempered by what you see when the lights are on and the clock starts ticking.

Sometimes, players don't react to the pressure of the game as well as you'd like them to. Sometimes, the stud you saw in practice turns out to only be a stud as compared to his teamate on the other side of the ball. Sometimes there are significant injuries or character issues that arise in the off-season and/or early-on in the regular season that limit your choices of who you can put on the field.

What you can't change is what's already happened. What you can do is do the best you can with the hand you've got. As far as X's and O's are concerned, I've got some questions, too. But by no means do I place the fault squarely at the feet of the head coach, or any of the coaches, for that matter. It comes down to execution, on the field, by players. As it's only this staff's first year, they don't have the luxury of having hand picked their team to fit their designs on the program. At the same time, there are still adjustments they need to make to fit their designs to the team they have. Like I said, it's a process.

TG is absolutely correct that we have to "recruit, recruit, recruit." He brought in some very talented freshmen that are already making an impact on the program, I don't see how you could fault him for that.

As for his approach with his players: we saw how the "stick before the carrot" approach worked with Mangina, ahem... Mangino, not well. Several players that were supposed to be key guys for us this year are no longer with the program because of character issues. Turner's approach, one that still involves discipline (but not for its own sake), is aimed at instilling self-motivation, self-discipline, responsibility (to one's self and one's team) and maturity in the student-athlete. This is 100% the correct approach. When you are switching gears from one style to another, some of your upperclassmen may see the change as a weakness, or feel like they have more room to play around and not take the game as seriously. That's not to say that there might not be some additional running or bear-crawls in their future. But when it comes to work ethic and feelings of mutual responsibility on your football team, lessons that your learn yourself are better kept than punishment meted out beacuse seeing you suffer makes your coach hornier than two 20 oz. porterhouse steaks all covered in butter.

Turner Gill is making better men out of his team and, eventually, those better men will make a better team. Oh.. and hoardes of 3 and 4 star recruits won't hurt either.

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hawk316 3 years, 10 months ago

youowethehawks, you make entirely too much good sense. :-) You made some excellent points and need to post more often. We need to see more of that kind of sound and reasonable analysis on this site.

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yed 3 years, 10 months ago

well said, youowethehawks. now youoweusmoreposts.

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truefan 3 years, 10 months ago

Sound reasoning? What? You must be a troll. Good post.

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hailtoku 3 years, 10 months ago

On a related topic... water is wet.

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grandpa 3 years, 10 months ago

Keegan: As much as I dislike most of your articles, you have a lot of truth in this one. Thorson is doing a poor job of containing his man. Tanner Hawkinson is not doing much better. FB Foster has done a good job blocking everytime he has been in. Last game he was in one time . In addition, I am having problems with the play calling. I am telling my age but I would let the quarterback call the plays. I am sick of the delays from Gill and the offensive co-ordinator. Webb should ask the receivers: Who can beat his man in the defensivwe backfield ? and go from there. On third and two, ask the linemen"Who can move their man"? and make the first down. Our offensive calls have been poor and predictable!!

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 10 months ago

The problem is that with the new fangled synthetic turf, is no dirt for drawing up the plays.

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grandpa 3 years, 10 months ago

Keegan: As much as I dislike most of your articles, you have a lot of truth in this one. Thorson is doing a poor job of containing his man. Tanner Hawkinson is not doing much better. FB Foster has done a good job blocking everytime he has been in. Last game he was in one time . In addition, I am having problems with the play calling. I am telling my age but I would let the quarterback call the plays. I am sick of the delays from Gill and the offensive co-ordinator. Webb should ask the receivers: Who can beat his man in the defensivwe backfield ? and go from there. On third and two, ask the linemen"Who can move their man"? and make the first down. Our offensive calls have been poor and predictable!!

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hawk316 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom, yet another good article. You're on a roll, man! On a positive note, the defense has surprised me a little, thus far. They are playing hard, and for the most part, playing well.

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truefan 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree. The last game looked suspect because we gave up 31 points, but 7 of those were from a blocked punt and another 7 should have been a touchback but the refs blew it. This was one of those games where it was closer than the end score shows even though we didn't play well. A few less mistakes and this game could have been very interesting late in the fourth quarter. Mangino's defense gave up 28 last year and they didn't need a blocked extra point to get one of those touchdowns. I just hope we see some improvement on offense as Webb gets more comfortable with the play calls coming from the sideline.

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KURiggins 3 years, 10 months ago

Ok Jayhawk Fans/and fakes.Time to be truthful. First, if you are going to diss Todd Reesing you are an idiot. No doubt about it. He made Mark Mangino's career, not the other way around. Yeah, cheer for Vince Young. By the way, how did he do yesterday? Against a real Steelers defense. Oh, and didn't Kerry "I need Icy Hot" Collins start for a long time instead of him becaue he and Ricky Williams were off smokin weed and being depressed. The only reason Todd Reesing is not in the NFL, is because the NFL does not always take the chances they should. And quite often they are wrong: Ryan Leaf is a prime example. He sells tires now. And HE HAD all those supposed tools to be great. Oh..oh more recent example ..how about JaMarcus Russell. Yeah, yeah ..lets draft an SEC QB because he MUST be great. He started at LSU. He and Leaf are gonna sell tires together soon.And by the way. Any idiot, I said idiot who believes JaMarcus Russell or Vince Young even belong in the conversation with Todd Reesing does NOT know football. You better be great at Texas or LSU, you could take a nap behind their offensive lines. You have All-Americans at every position and as back ups. Todd Reesing created something out of NOTHING. No one but a fool would argue he had anywhere near the tools that those guys did in college. They just reload at those schools. Todd Reesing deserves to be in the NFL. And he is one of the greatest scrambling QB's of all time. If I talked over your head, perhaps golf is your sport. Football isn't. By the way. I am a true KU fan. I have suffered thru the hard years and the good ones. I will be cheering for the Jayhawks win or lose. Period. Bandwagoners need to leave. Let the true blue fans have it. I am gonna laugh at these fools when Turner Gill has KU winning year after year and going to bowl after bowl. Its three games in and people are giving up on a coach who doesn't even have his players yet. Who lost Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Dezmon Briscoe and Darrell Stuckey before he even got here.

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justinryman 3 years, 10 months ago

I was gonna say the same thing, but didn't know how. Thank you!!!

OK not really, but that said how I was feeling about some of the other post above. Way to put it in the right terms and not sound likea bleeding heart.

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KURiggins 3 years, 10 months ago

So, you know football. Really? Really? And you are ready to argue/debate that a new coach who was hired after the previous coach left under lets just say interesting circumstances mid-way, MID-WAY thru the recruiting season, who loses all of KU's Top Players from last year: Todd Reesing, Kerry "The Man" Meier, Dezmon Briscoe, Jake Sharp, Darrell Stuckey. Is suppose to win right away. Mark Mangino NEVER let another QB get any snaps. Oh..oh I forgot, Kale Pick got to run twice..sorry, forgot that idiotic stuff. Might I remind you, Mark Mangino had all those tools and still dropped seven in a row. SEVEN in a row. Now, in walks Turner Gill. First KU coach to be a Top15 team or higher since 1984 in Memorial Stadium. NOT Mark Mangino who did that. Turner Gill did! With a QB who had NEVER started a college game. By the way, I am really gonna laugh when Jordan Webb starts to kill teams and people who hated him want to jump on his bandwagon. If you know football as you claim you do, and if you can do math(which for some of the MU fans on this site I realize is an impossibility) I encourage you to look at rivals.com and check out what he did in HS. And you will know he is gonna be a beast in time. There are people out there who claim, claim to have played football and what to put the blame or our latest loss on Jordan ..then I say to them. You never really played football. I did. And its clear, very, very clear to anywhere who ever played, or actually knows football. The reason our offense was bad. ..its sad I have to explain this to the MU fans on this blog. Our OL. There was NO blast off the ball on running plays. Not sustaining their blocks. No fire in their belly. We LOST the "toughness" battle up front. At that point it does not matter what Webb, or Sims do. You MUST fire off your blocks, you MUST sustain your blocks and you must push around DL, not be pushed around. If you want/plan to have any success as an OL unit. Our OL has been horrible. But again, for the fools who do not check I will save you the time. On rivals.com, its clear to me that Turner Gill knew this and the first five guys he has recruited are OL for next year. He is gonna creat an OL similiar to the one he played behind at Nebraska. The kind that pushed people around, sustained blocks and always ALWAYS won the "toughness" battle. Turner Gill will be a success at KU. And Jordan Webb is gonna be a beast. Better count on it!

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Charlotte_Jhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Interesting comments. I watched the Colts-Giants game last night. The Colts OL was impressive. They seemed fast, well synchronized, and stronger than the Giants DL. My impression was that a lot of the Colts offensive success was directly attributable to their OL.

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Kenneth Hillman 3 years, 10 months ago

Are you arguing/debating with yourself Riggins? Maybe you sustained some concussions you're not aware of when playing football. And I'm sure you played since it says so in your post several times.

Nobody dissed Reesing, just disagreed with the post that he is the BEST scrambling qb EVER. Reesing was a huge part of our success over the last few years and I will definitely give him his props. He was able to make something out of nothing time and time again. He was very good for KU and I wish he was getting a chance in the NFL, he has the intangibles. Wes Welker is a prime example of not having all of the idealistic measurements but building himself into a Pro Bowler.

Additionally, your comment just reiterates what Keegan says above except you capitalized "MUST" a lot after talking about sustaining blocks and firing off the ball. You can just say you agree with Keegan about the OL being important and they're doing a poor job. Not sure you demonstrated a playing-knowledge of football with that post.

We all want to see our Hawks win.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

Since your misquoting me I guess I have to chime in. I did not say Reesing was the best scrambling QB ever. What I said was he was "one of the best scrambling QB's (in my opinion) to ever play Div-I football". Big difference. I stand by what I said. That he could put himself at number 28 (just behind Payton Manning) on the all-time list of career passing leaders (http://www.fbsstatistics.com/careerpassingleaders.htm) with the OL he had, largely by scrambling out of the pocket play after play, is pretty impressive I think. Like I said above, we can split hairs all day about what constitutes "one of the best", but it completely misses the point I originally made (or feebly tried to make). That point being that we gave up more sacks than any other team in the Big-IX last year except one (Colorado), even though we had, by all accounts, a pretty good scrambling QB.

I'm very sorry I tried to make that point now.

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Kenneth Hillman 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, we are beating a dead horse....maybe it's Monday and our team had a disappointing loss this past weekend. Impressive where Reesing stands on that list.

Have a good one

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

I think we are all a bit frustrated with the state of things. That just means we care, I think, even though we might disagree on the source of the problem, or what the solution might be.

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KURiggins 3 years, 10 months ago

Can you read? If not, I feel I have an unfair advantage. So, I will try to be brief. An earlier blogger says "ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm, if you think todd reesing is one of the best scrambling qb's ever then you should go". This is the blog I was responding to. By the way, although Keegan does speak to OL problems, he does not mention a lack of toughness, or swagger that makes the best OL great. Stick to golf Tiger..football isn't your sport. ...oh, and try reading other blogs, then you would know which one I was speaking to

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 10 months ago

Didn't Hatch and Spikes both start as frosh?

Generally speaking tho, you are spot on about OL needing a RS year to grow into the college game - unless you're one of the 5*'s.

Part of that is exactly the problem facing KU. Besides Hatch's back, we're completely without Spikes, and Thorsen obviously isn't 100%. On top of that, we have lost several (3 or 4?) from recent classes, so that there is a tremedous lack of bodies.

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KURiggins 3 years, 10 months ago

Can get much worse Maxhawk. And besides I said he is "building" an OL that can push people around. I never stated or implied that those HS OL would be ready by next year. Although, it does happen. Fr. play, Rookies in the NFL play. Not always with success, but sometimes they kill. And besides, tell me how it can get any worse on our OL. You don't know football.

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steamboat 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree KU will get alot better. What I find hard to figure out is how the OL can be so bad the 1st week so good the 2nd week and so bad the 3rd week. If it's a talent problem we would be bad all the time. It's called HEART and DESIRE. And Long ain't the coach to get it out of them.If I'm wrong KURiggins then set me straight. ROCK CHALK.

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ZDKC 3 years, 10 months ago

To call Georgia Tech a top 15 team is a big overstatement. 1)The ACC is trash this year. 2) This would be like calling Virginia Tech a #6 ranked team.

The first few weeks of college football, ranking means very little.

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hawk316 3 years, 10 months ago

Now KURiggins, tell us what you really think. :-) As usual, you have made some excellent points, and you have done so with p a s s i o n!!!

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you KURiggins. You said it way better than I could. Once again, I agree 1000%.

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Charlotte_Jhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm not a football expert. How can the Naval Academy beat Mizzou last year and the Air Force Academy give OU a tough game last week and yet we seem to flounder year after year? As I understand things, none of the players at the service academies are on an athletic scholarship so you would think they would be out matched in every game. Not so.

What are they doing that we are not? It would seem that we should have better football talent than they do.

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justinryman 3 years, 10 months ago

Service Academies such as the ones you mentioned Charlotte, have young men on thier team, who have went through boot camp, no not Bill Self's boot camp, but real boot camp.

They are Military trained, you get 1)percision, 2) no quit, 3) team play, they play as one and not as an individual.

There are a few more reason why the Service Acadamies play well, but these are the basics.

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Cal Bender 3 years, 10 months ago

$2,000,000 a year. Wow! Look at this, from the KU Football history book:

Chuck Mather Named Football Coach at K.U. Massilon, O., High School. Succeeds Jules V. Sikes With 3-Year Contract to Start at $9,500;

That was in 1954.

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troutsee 3 years, 10 months ago

We have played three games. One poorly. One well. And one that was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. Gill deserves a chance. Come on guys. We are not loaded. We have a redshirt freshman QB, a freshman RB, and a freshman DE. The O-line was a very poor line last year.

Let's see what the rest of the season brings. Let's see how the recruiting process goes. By the way, give Gill credit for what he did at Buffalo, which was an unheard of program before he took over. So what if they played in the MAC. At that level of play, he brought more success to Buffalo University than they had experienced in years....maybe ever. Chuck Long was the OC at OU before bombing at SDS. However, I would not sell him short. Let's give this team and the coaches a little more time. Hopefully we will get better as the season progresses. I think we will..

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jayhawkintx73 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree they aren't doing well, but they can get better with good coaching. Technique. Really, at times this offensive line has excelled this season, but they have to get quicker and stronger, especially in pass protection against a blitz. The play calling can help with this too by putting a back in the back field to pick off a blitzer coming untouched through the line. The secondary looks much improved over a year ago.

With those things said, we have one guy who was a 4-star receiver playing safety. We shouldn't need to do those things, and until we don't have to we won't be a consistent high profile team.

I also have a few suggestions. Why can't we put two backs in the back field a little more often. Our running backs could use a lead blocker and it would make the defense have to defend another guy. It would soften the blitz packages they use against us. I also haven't seen an attempted shovel pass or a successful middle screen to a running back on a blitz. Putting an extra back in the back field could get that one extra block needed for the extra half second or so needed.

I thought the play calling against Southern Miss was atrocious. Where are the quick slants at? Maybe the team should pass more on first down too. Just a short pass in the flat or a quick hitter over the middle to Biere or the slot receiver would slow down the rush because there wouldn't be so many 2nd and 3rd and longs.

In my opinion, the coaches should allow the strengths of the players determine which plays will be ran, and not a desired system that doesn't give the matchup advantages of some of our players who are really much better than the statistics show such as Patterson and Jonathan Wilson. Webb also needs to be able to recognize when a blitz is coming, and the receivers and him need to communicate better. Stop the route short, or simply put in a system where the receivers change their routes on a blitz so that Webb gets the ball and gets rid of it on a one-one thousand count. Getting rid of the ball that quick doesn't give the defense time to react, and could set them up for a big play later in a game when we need to make a play to put a team away or get back into a game. Starting in 2012 we're going to be playing all the teams from the South every year and we need a full array of plays to keep them guessing.

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Ibajayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Lets try it this way. Everyone wants to blame the Oline for our problems or coach Long but maybe we might want to take a look at the head coach and the qb. Webb doesn't have a huge amount of time when he gets the ball but even an average qb who does his full progression can make better choices than he has so far. Webb's red zone abilities are a joke, he's all over the place with his throws and it can't all be put on the Oline. Ressing was able to make throws with similar time. I say if a qb can't make the throws in the time allowed then get somebody in there that can. I think coach Long's game plan has been pretty good so far it just needs to be executed. And last of all it's the head coaches responsibility to get it done. He should be taking the critizism and working on improving things instead of putting it to the fans who pays his salary and saying wait until next year. I'm not paying to wait until next year, Gill just doesn't care about this year, the fans or many of the players who are now on the team. There really is some very good talent on this team it just requires some decent coaching. So Gill get off your butt and help these kids become winners. I would like to win at least the easy ones this season and maybe not watch our qb get confused and sacked too many times. Maybe Gill could talk to him and tell him to knock off the bull-headed way of doing things and following the game plan. Make it about the team instead of himself.

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