Advertisement

Advertisement

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KU coaches keeping it simple for QB Jordan Webb

Kansas university quarterback Jordan Webb watches the final moments against Southern Miss from the ground last Friday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Jayhawks’ coaching staff has tried to take the pressure off Webb as much as possible since he’s still a red-shirt freshman. Results have varied.

Kansas university quarterback Jordan Webb watches the final moments against Southern Miss from the ground last Friday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Jayhawks’ coaching staff has tried to take the pressure off Webb as much as possible since he’s still a red-shirt freshman. Results have varied.

Advertisement

The first three weeks of the Kansas University football season have been anything but a smooth ride, particularly for the offense. Young players have been put into prime-time roles, play-calls have been slow to get to the huddle and the offensive line has struggled to move together as one unit.

Jayhawk football needs to get better at the fundamentals

Coach Turner Gill said KU needs to execute their plays better during game time.

Every decision made by the KU coaching staff takes into consideration just how little college game experience red-shirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb has. The staff’s attempt to compensate for Webb’s lack of live action puts an even greater premium on the communication chain that starts upstairs, moves to the sideline and ends on the field.

Clearly, the chain needs polishing.

“When you have a young quarterback, you try to take as much off of his plate as possible,” offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. “As he grows, and as young guys grow in the system, they’ll be able to do more on their own. What we’re trying to do is take it off of them, in just about everything we do, and put it on us, which is why you see some slow pace at times and them looking back and getting calls and things of that nature.”

That’s not a knock on Webb or the rest of the KU offense. It’s just reality. In fact, Long, a former college quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist, said he was impressed with a number of things Webb had done in the early going. Long is excited to see more.

“We’re just trying to make it as simple as possible for him, being a first-year player in our system,” Long said. “As we get better, as we get older, then it gets faster. Things start to slow down, he’ll see it more. He’ll be able to say, ‘Hey, coach, I got it,’ and he’ll be able to take over those checks, those audibles, those recognition things. It’s just part of the process.”

Asked if focusing too much on simplifying things for Webb may have cost the Jayhawks during their most recent loss, Long whole-heartedly agreed.

“Looking back on it, we probably did,” he said. “I’m just trying to take as much off of his plate as possible and just let him perform, just let him play and put the calls on us.”

That’s what makes Webb’s start to the season all the more impressive. Though he has not set the college football world on fire with his numbers — 40-of-66 for 376 yards and four TDs in nine quarters — his inexperience has not cost his team. Despite facing serious pressure every week, Webb has turned the ball over just once, and that came on an interception that was bobbled by a KU receiver before being picked off.

“This is probably the first time I’ve been around a team that had a freshman quarterback and a freshman running back (and) was not turning the ball over,” Long said. “We went through the (Southern Miss) game with no turnovers and one penalty on offense, and that speaks well to their discipline and how they’re protecting the football.”

Long went on to say that taking care of the football tends to keep teams in games. Despite losing two of their first three, the Jayhawks have been in all three contests. Many players believe it’s just a matter of time before the wrinkles get ironed out for good.

“We’ll just have to get the plays in quicker and execute better,” sophomore wide receiver Bradley McDougald said. “The coaches felt we were a no-huddle offense last year and we would easily be able to transition to a no-huddle this year, but with just a little longer play titles and play calling it was a little tougher for the players to get used to. We’ll be better this week.”

Added Webb: “Once I play more, I’ll be more aware of the pocket. I think it’s just about getting the ball into my receiver’s hands a little quicker and making my reads a little faster and then we’ll be all right.”

Comments

CatsEatBirds 3 years, 7 months ago

That's the irony of being one of the best roundball programs in the country:

You get the best athletes. But they are much more likely to leave early and not be quality student-athletes.

Characters like Manning are so incredibly rare in today's roundball.

Good luck finding the balance. Even UNC and the cheating schools are battling that and sometimes losing.

0

gardenjay 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, you're in the wrong candy store!

KU basketball is such a win-at-all-costs affair anymore that it almost requires a different kind of fan. Following the character failings of the national championship team members in the sports pages is like reading about over-grown teenagers. What might help is if they actually stay at KU for 4 years like Manning did. He was worth being a fan of B-ball.

0

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

@ Oakvillle---A couple clarifications----first of all, there was no line on the North Dakota State game because Vegas doesn't give predictions (a line) on teams that play a FCS school. Other examples: When K-State played Missouri State, you know, the team that was coached by Terry Allen, there was no line---Nebraska plays the dreaded Jack Rabbits from South Dakota State, this Saturday, which happens to be their Homecoming, btw, there is no line because SDSU is a FCS school. New Mexico State is a D-1 school, and yes, like in the "Waterboy" movie, they suck! The line I saw this morning was 23 points.

I have a comment and question for you-------okay, I am reading Lindy's college basketball preview magazine----the magazine has K-State at #4 and KU at #17. So, I pick up the Sporting News college basketball preview and they have KU at #4 and K-State at #6. Quite the difference, don't you think? That was my question, btw.

Marcus and Markief will be at my local Sports Clips store on October 2nd---can't wait---Marcus is on the cover of the Sporting News basketball preview and hopefully, will autograph it for me---I'm like a kid at a candy store! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

0

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

Did I see the line was 22 1/2 in KU's favor this week against New Mexico State??!!

Is this a misprint or is NMS really, really suck?

Aren't they Division One?

What was the line for our first game against North Dakota State?

We better win the "State" games [Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico] or we are screwed!

0

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

@grandpa, kenhil and fllyingfinn----all good points! I see Webb inexperienced but improving. All things considered, he has done a respectable job. Now, don't get me wrong---he has plenty of areas to improve upon.

Keeping it positive,

Fan75

0

kureader 3 years, 7 months ago

... another good article by Tait.

Long's comments make sense.

As for Webb: He's 40-66 and 4 TD's ... with one turnover on an interception that bounced through a receiver's hands. That's respectible performance for a first year quarterback, and he'll only get better.

0

jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 7 months ago

The only way things are going to get better is to get rid of Gill.

0

flyingfinn 3 years, 7 months ago

With all of the downsides to this year's football program Webb's showing with practically no protection in front of him has been more than expected...he will continue to improve and I beleive be a top notch QB in the future

0

bigtex 3 years, 7 months ago

Webb must have a lucky horse shoe in his pocket. Fumble in game 2 that wasn't called by the official on our 7 yd. line early in the game. Game 3 Webb should of had 4 ints. and recovered his own fumble.But we should dominate NM St.,extremely poor defense,they try to run to much man coverage.

0

grandpa 3 years, 7 months ago

I think Webb is doing alright. Not great. I am tired of reading all of this Freshman crap. Has anybody been watching Mr. Martinez, the Freshman QB at Nebraska??

0

kranny 3 years, 7 months ago

Put Opurum back in the offense!!

0

KURiggins 3 years, 7 months ago

Correction: "As a sophomore he was all-state second team... As a senior he threw for 3,100 yards and 31 touchdowns while rushing for 1,024 yards and 24 touchdowns... Team was 11-1 advancing to the state sectionals... As a junior he threw for 3,832 yards and 46 touchdowns". per www.kuathletics.com. My mistake I had misstated Jordan's Sr. HS numbers. However, still in two years he threw 77 TD passes. Playstation numbers.

0

KURiggins 3 years, 7 months ago

By the way. Todd Reesing's numbers as a Sr. QB at Lake Travis HS in Austin, TX. 756 rush yards 8rush TD's, 3,343pass yards 41TD's 5 int's. Not comparing Webb to Reesing. Not yet, he has a lot to prove. Just an interesting side note. Similar numbers, and both overlooked because of size. Webb not as overlooked as Reesing, but still overlooked for quite a while. Missouri got on him late. And I am glad, cause we got him.

0

JayhawkRock 3 years, 7 months ago

The only problem with keeping the offense simple is that we are too predictable on offense and easy to stop. I know Webb has three years after this year and so we have him long term but I would like them to let him throw the ball more down the field.

0

hawk316 3 years, 7 months ago

KURiggins, I agree. I think, if seen in proper context, Webb's performance thus far has been very impressive. Besides his other abilities, he seems to have that "something" that really good quarterbacks have...call it leadership, the ability to inspire others, never-say-die/don't quit attitude or whatever. As I've said before, I think we may have a special quarterback here.

0

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

@ youowethehawks---100% in agreement about mulaza's orca. Nice one!

0

KURiggins 3 years, 7 months ago

Great post jc1306. I agree 100%. Webb is going to be a beast. It just takes time and reps. No way to simualte that in practice. He needs more games. Great article too. By the way. If anyone cares to know. Webb's stats as a Sr. in HS at Union Mo. Rushing 143att for 604yards, for 4.22yard per att with 11 rushing TD's. Passing: 281 comp on 446 att for 63%comp pct, with 53TD's and only 6int's. 53 TD's..incredible, in one season. He also took a losing HS team, and made them into a winner. He has skills. He will be a beast, just takes time. ..P.S. great comment about him looking like that dude from Friday Night Lights. He kinda does. you can find those stats at www.maxpreps.com

0

jc1306 3 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else think that Webb kind of looks like the QB in the movie "Friday Night Lights". I can't remember the characters name, but thats who I picture everytime I see Webb.

He's a freshman, it looks to me like he has the tools to be a good QB in the Big 12. Experience is what he needs, this whole team will grow quickly.

0

Kenneth Hillman 3 years, 7 months ago

Good article. Let's just show improvement week to week.

0

KGphoto 3 years, 7 months ago

Last night, for the first time since the game, I was able to watch the DVR. I actually thought KU played a pretty good game against a team that was racked on crowd noise and purple drank. Subtract a flukie jump shot pass and stupid blocked punt, KU played well enough to win.

Webb had great presence in the pocket. On one play he even looked a little like Reesing, avoiding defenders from three sides and running for a big first down. He has better pocket presence and grit than Matt Cassell. (is that a compliment?)

He looked pretty tough taking the sacks. He held onto the ball and never panicked. If anything, it was his accuracy and supposed arm strength that I questioned. Biere saved him with a great catch early on, and he threw a couple of easy interceptions that were dropped. One was a deep passed to the endzone that was simply under thrown. Basically I found myself cursing the throws and play calling more than the "presence".

That was a tough environment though. The pride of a nine game home streak on the line. Last years loss in Lawrence, and a national HD audience. It was too easy for SM to imagine themselves as the underdog, and get riled up beyond belief. They were so jacked! Tarzan couldn't pound that much chest if he bagged 11 Janes and snorted half a columbian retirement package. I was sure there would be an injury from celebration at some point.

All in all? A great experience for a young KU team. Hopefully Webb and the rest of the youngsters learned how to maintain an even strain, on the road.

0

deathtomizzou 3 years, 7 months ago

This is a very young program. It is going to be interesting to see how these young kids on offense grow this year. I hope Coach Long will turn the offense loose a little more and push the ball down field. No suprise that Webb hasn't turned the ball over as all during his high school career he took care of the ball extremely well.

0

mulaza 3 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

JayViking 3 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't be too thrilled with the 0 turnovers at USM. Didn't Webb throw some tailor-made interceptions that were dropped by USM players?

0

khummel60 3 years, 7 months ago

Great article! It gives us an inside glimpse into the realities of grooming a red-shirt freshman quarterback, and explains some of what we've seen on the field. At the risk of jinxing us, I think its pretty impressive that he hasn't thrown a true interception this year. I'll be interested to see how he improves his reads, getting rid of the ball, timing, and ability to sense pressure.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.