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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jury still out on new Kansas QBs

Freshmen Brock Berglund, Michael Cummings make early impression

Freshman quarterback Brock Berglund works out with the quarterbacks during the team's first practice on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.

Freshman quarterback Brock Berglund works out with the quarterbacks during the team's first practice on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.

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Thursday’s first practice of the season marked the first time Kansas University offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chuck Long had the opportunity to work with freshmen QBs Brock Berglund and Michael Cummings.

As much as he enjoyed the chance to see the two three-star prospects up close, Long said one day was not nearly enough time to make a true evaluation on either player.

The most telling moments will come in the next few practices.

“We’ll see how much they can comprehend, see how much they know, see how much they can consume and retain,” Long said. “Those are the big things with young quarterbacks. If they make a good throw, can they make the same throw or do they forget about it and misread it?”

Thursday, teammates and coaches said both players did enough to show why they were ranked so high coming out of high school.

At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Berglund is the bigger of the two, but Cummings, at 6-foot, 196, also possesses decent size.

The biggest thing both players bring to the roster is the ability to make plays with their arm and their legs.

A couple of Jayhawks said Berglund and Cummings showed that Thursday, but most of the day was spent throwing the ball and demonstrating how much of the playbook they had learned.

With things only getting more intense in the coming weeks, Long cautioned about making a read too soon.

“This (was) Day One and Base One defensively, too,” Long said. “They see very simple things for a while.”

Because of the team’s overall experience and renewed focus, the simple stuff might not stick around as long as it did a season ago. Long said that would be by design.

“We ran a lot of football plays today,” he said Thursday. “We taxed ’em really good. Our pace was good, much faster than the first day last year, and that’s gonna help us. Hey, it’s gonna be a tough camp. It really is. We’re giving them a lot. They gotta fight through it. There’s gonna be that mental strain. It’s coming.”

So, too, is a heavy dose of the offense.

“We’re gonna have a lot of our offense installed early,” Long said. “It’s the flood theory. Flood ’em early, and then repeat, repeat, repeat and see how much they can pick up.”

TE Putoff out 6-8 weeks

Gill announced Friday that tight end Justin Putoff, a sophomore from Goddard, would miss up to two months because of an injured clavicle.

Gill also announced the addition of Scott Baron, a freshman tight end from Orange Lutheran High in Santa Ana, Calif.

The addition of Baron, 6-foot-2, 238 pounds, gives KU depth behind returning tight ends Tim Biere, Ted McNulty, Jimmay Mundine and Trent Smiley.

Young receivers impress

It might have been just one day, but freshmen wide receivers JaCorey Shepherd and Marquis Jackson demonstrated right away they were here to play.

“They looked good today,” Long said. “Both are very smooth. JaCorey runs smooth routes, and you can tell he’s been coached well, and Marquis, he’ll give you that explosion. Both are very eager guys who want to learn. If you’re an older receiver on the team, you better pick it up. We recruited very well, and we’ve got some talent. They’re gonna keep plugging along, and these other guys need to make sure they’re competing as well.”

It wasn’t just the coaches who were impressed by Shepherd and Jackson. Red-shirt freshman running back Brandon Bourbon cited Shepherd as one of the guys who stood out to him.

“I saw a little move he put on somebody, and I was just, like, ‘Wow,’” Bourbon said.

That notion is in line with what many around the program have said all summer as Shepherd already has established a reputation as a guy who’s tough to cover one-on-one.

More talk of the 3-4

There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks that the Jayhawks might play more of a 3-4 defense that employs three linemen and four linebackers instead of four linemen and three linebackers they did a season ago.

In Dallas, Steven Johnson said new defensive coordinator Vic Shealy told the team in mid-July that it would run a 3-4 base. Thursday, junior defensive tackle John Williams echoed Johnson’s thoughts.

“It’s definitely 100 percent,” he said. “We’ve switched up everything, so it’s a whole new ballgame for us. We’re getting it down quickly, and it’s not too bad. They’ve just adjusted some stuff.”

KU coach Turner Gill has said the 3-4 would be in the Jayhawks’ repertoire this season, but has not said definitively that it would be the team’s base look.

Last year, the Jayhawks operated out of a 4-3 base defense.

The year before that, former KU coach Mark Mangino elected to go with a 4-2-5, which put one more defensive back on the field in an effort to slow down the Big 12’s spread offenses.

If the Jayhawks do play a lot of 3-4, it’s likely because of the talent and depth they’ve developed at linebacker.

“I’m excited about that group of guys,” Gill said of his linebackers. “We definitely have a group to choose from, whereas last year, we didn’t really have a whole lot to choose from.”

Comments

100 3 years, 4 months ago

Welcome Scott!

Nice late pickup Coach Gill, keep 'em comin!!!!!!!!!

Funhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Crow may be served as early as four Saturdays from today.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 4 months ago

It's only McNeese State. A little can be learned each week; 2nd (NIU, '10 bowl team), 3rd (BCS team), or no "crow" will be eaten until the 4th week (TTU, Big12).

Mike Kendall 3 years, 4 months ago

Beat the Wildkitties, too, while you at it!

SEsco10 3 years, 4 months ago

To quote Bart Scott "CAN'T WAIT" for the season

blackhawkjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

After last year's debacle, it's difficult to take anything this coaching staff says seriously. Some of the comments about how much "tougher" practices and conditioning have been seem a little too politically correct.

Frankly, this is still the same staff that, after a spring camp, summer conditioning program in one of the top facilities in the country and a fall camp could only come out and score 3 points against NDSU......at home.

College football history is full of football coaches who can recruit - aka talk a good game - but couldn't coach. And if I get one stupid reply saying "believe", I'm going to track you down and paint a power cat on your house.

Seeing is believing. What I saw last year made me believe that Chuck Woodling was right when he called Gill a pendulum hire. Bad cop....good cop.

jaydee909 3 years, 4 months ago

If you come any where near my house and try to paint a replica of the big power cat existing on your house, frankly, I am going to take your power towel away and shred it to pieces. Or maybe I will give it to Bill Walker and he can relieve himself in it.

Can you tell me Bill Snyder's record his first year at K-State? I can, It was 1-10 and 0-7 in the conference.

John Randall 3 years, 4 months ago

Can you tell me the number of winning seasons in the 50 years of pre-Snyder football at K-State? Or the name of the conference when Wildcats won a championship – hint: it was the same year they lost to the Iast Fort Hays State ICC champions.

It is very simplistic to compare the perpetual futility Bill Snyder rescued that program from with the oscillations above and below mediocrity for Jayhawk fortunes with the old hoghide.

jaydee909 3 years, 4 months ago

And are you trying to tell me that KU was in great shape when Mangino left?

jaydee909 3 years, 4 months ago

Look again at my post and see that I am directing a "simplistic" response to another poster who obviously has no patience to allow Gill to establish his program. (Either that or is a Wildcat fan)

What if K-State had canned Snyder after his first season?

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 4 months ago

I love the threat of painting a power cat on somebody's house. It is a very disturbing thought, to have a power cat on one's house...

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Matthew........... I can't believe we're a a month away from the start of football season and the jury is * STILL * out as far as the quarterbacks go? That should have been set in stone long, long ago.

fromthatstandpoint 3 years, 4 months ago

Did you read the headline? Did you miss the word NEW, perhaps?

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I did read the headline, thank you. I believe that in our current situation, the key word is still and not new, because we don't know any more about our "old" QB's than we do our "new" ones, from that standpoint - pun intended.

William James 3 years, 4 months ago

nuleaf- Im sure your a nice guy, like Turner Gill, but I wish I had a time machine right now, and we would go back to early August 2007, when most people thought Kerry Meier was going to be the man to lead the KU offense into the 2007 season and beyond. I would expect a comment like this from anyone but a KU fan.

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

fabio - I really AM a nice guy! I was joking about this - it made sense to ME anyway. I guess my point was - if we were a month INTO the season and still didn't know what to do about the QB situation, then we could say the jury is still out. A month BEFORE the season, it just seemed silly to me - there are tons of programs out there who, at this point, don't have a clue what to do about their QB situation. Sorry if I offended you or anyone else.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah great, freshmen blah blah blah. How about a starting qb? Feel like naming one anytime soon so maybe the first team can have some time to develope.

Like Mac and Urb said on espn. You pick your starters in the spring and use the fall to get prepared to win some games.

billikenhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

It's funny and ironic to use "the jury is still out" considering one of them is actually going to trial.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

No, I got it. But I was totally expecting it to be a Keegan article.

Kevin Studer 3 years, 4 months ago

When you have 4 quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. Especially in August.

gdkadjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

When in doubt, re-read jhawkclassof02's response above. When you forget, read it again.

Kevin Studer 3 years, 4 months ago

He was announced "in the lead." Nothing more. We still haven't named a "starter" as it turns out. I believe having a starting quarterback is a good thing. But what do I know.

Larry Smith 3 years, 4 months ago

This is common among programs. Half the top 25 probably have not made a QB decision yet.

Randy Bombardier 3 years, 4 months ago

Agree. The quick passes are an OU staple where the pass rush is not even relevent. You are absolutely right about this style of play. How much we can attack the run out of it is the big question for me. Then, we need to blitz out of it as well. I think overall this could be a nice improvement. It may be the base, but I would certainly mix it up.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

Kansas Football Youtube version of COACH GILL MIC'D UP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=FExJJs1e9sE

Dude fumbles the punt return into the head coaches chest and the head coach jokes with him about it!?! It can be assumed the player mentions somethimg along the lines to doing it to see if the coach was ready. I'm sure Saban, Stoops, heck most high school coaches would have taken a different approach.

Jayhawk1116 3 years, 4 months ago

That was hilarious! Lighten up, Francis. Do think any coach who knows he's mic'd up and being videotaped is going to yell and curse at his players and cause a scene? It's a PR video. C'mon man!

fromthatstandpoint 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes. Everybody knows that no football player would respond to, "Whoa! What are you doing man," a long "I can't believe what I just saw" stare and a light-hearted suggestion that perhaps he doesn't belong with the group that is fielding punts.

Any decent coach would have gotten in his face and either grabbed him by the facemask or poked him in the chest and screamed at him, used multiple f-bombs, berated him, denigrated his family and threatened to yank his scholarship and send him back home to a dead end life.

You also forgot to mention that Gill has the wrong kind of whistle, that his shorts are too baggy and they are made from the wrong kind of material. The Jayhawks are doomed.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

i would agree had the player put his head down and went to the end of the line. watch it again and pay attention to the players body language, especially around the 140 mark and tell me that is a player that respects his head coach. there is a reason why nice guys finish where they do!

jaydee909 3 years, 4 months ago

You sure see and interpret a lot in that two minute video. No doubt that kid does not respect his coach in the least.

Coach Gill's sunflower field needs fertilizer and awaits your arrival.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 4 months ago

What kind of team do you think we're going to have if players aren't putting their heads downs dwelling on a mistake, or was that the latest insult, or maybe thinking about whether they are going to get yanked. Heck, next you're probably going to say that positive thought lead to positive actions or something ridiculous like that.

Mental and physical abuse. That's the only way to get ahead.

(and yes there very definitely is a difference between abuse and pushing physical limits.)

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 4 months ago

Ahperse real coaching translation:

What the "beep" are you doing man! Wow. I'm about ready to give you a "mother beeping" pink ticket and send you back the "beep" over there, boy. Gawd "beep" I don't even know if you could "beeping" do that again on purpose. (player mentions doing it to see if I was ready) Ready! I wish I didn't have to always be "beeping" ready but I have a punt returner that can't catch the "beeping" ball! Get the "beep" off my field.

jaydee909 3 years, 4 months ago

Brilliant response, ahper.

If this kid continues to fumble punts in practice, Coach Gill's response will be a seat on the bench when it comes to game time.

troutsee 3 years, 4 months ago

Gosh, I wish our coaching staff had the football acumen that many of you guys have. Most of you should be directors of player personnel in the NFL or coaches at any level.

Some of you should apply for Keegan's job.

And, of course, the most insightful of all, the one that brings out the ultimate joy of being a Jayhawk, Mr. Optimist himself, asper....aka ASFULLOFBS.

chalky 3 years, 4 months ago

Pulling so hard for Burglund to eventually blow the doors off of this team. A great QB brings hope and can bring more positive light to some of our posts.

vd 3 years, 4 months ago

3 of the 8 years MM was here, he had a starting QB named at this time. Whitimore's Sr. year and TR's Jr. and Sr. year. the other 5 years we and the coaching staff had no idea who was going to be the starting QB. Did the fuskers name their starting QB at this time last year? KSU? TT?

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