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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Don’t count out Quinn: Mecham worked hard in offseason to improve arm strength, mobility

Kansas quarterback Quinn Mecham rolls out to pass during practice on Monday, April 11, 2011 at the practice fields near Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Quinn Mecham rolls out to pass during practice on Monday, April 11, 2011 at the practice fields near Memorial Stadium.

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Kansas quarterback Quinn Mecham rolls out to pass during practice on Monday, April 11, 2011 at the practice fields near Memorial Stadium.

In six games last season, Kansas University quarterback Quinn Mecham was good but not great, solid but not spectacular, and still managed to set a school record for consecutive pass completions (19) and lead the greatest comeback in KU history.

While his performance in KU’s 52-45 victory over Colorado in Week 9 of the 2010 season offered a glimpse of his ideal style, KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long said it might not be a good idea to paint Mecham solely as a game manager.

“I’d say this,” Long said. “Be careful about doubting Quinn. Because the guy will come out and do something great right before your eyes.”

Never was that more evident than in the victory against Colorado, in which KU trailed 45-17 early in the fourth quarter. In that one, Mecham completed 23 of 28 passes — including the final 17 he threw — for 252 yards and two touchdowns while leading Kansas to 35 fourth-quarter points in just his second career start. Most of his success came on short routes and quick throws, as the KU coaching staff dialed up a game plan that suited Mecham’s strengths.

In that game, it worked. For much of the rest of the season, below-average arm strength and lack of mobility limited Mecham’s effectiveness.

With that in mind, the senior from Provo, Utah, hit the offseason determined to get bigger, stronger and faster.

“Quinn has worked hard on his development, physically, and it’s improved,” Long said. “He had a much stronger arm in the spring, and I know he’s gonna continue to do that in the summer and into the fall. He was throwing the long ball a lot better.”

Long also said Mecham’s mind — without question his biggest strength — began to process the game even faster than it already had.

Though there has been talk of Mecham’s improvement, the result did not show up on the biggest stage of the offseason.

Mecham completed six of 11 passes for 102 yards and a TD while being sacked four times during the spring game in April. Had it not been for an acrobatic catch between two defenders by Christian Matthews on a 53-yard TD, Mecham’s numbers would have been less impressive.

Again, Long cautioned reading too much into Mecham’s performance during one scrimmage in April.

“The thing with quarterbacks in the spring game is, they’re going in with all the players,” Long said. “They’re throwing and catching with all the guys, young and old, and everyone’s trying to kind of find their way. I don’t think Quinn really had a good spring game last year, but he ended up having the game of his life against Colorado. The thing about Quinn is, he just works through it. He’ll keep working until he gets it right.”

That’s what gives Long confidence about putting the ball in Mecham’s hands, should that become necessary, during 2011.

Mecham is battling with sophomore Jordan Webb and freshmen Michael Cummings and Brock Berglund for the right to be KU’s starter this fall. To this point, the competition has been mostly about individual improvement.

Once preseason camp opens Aug. 3, Long expects things to heat up.

“Once they get through the summer and get into training camp and work with the same receivers, it becomes a little different deal,” he said. “A lot can happen between the spring game and the regular season.”

Mangino kicks off camp

Former KU coach Mark Mangino was one of the featured guests at an NFL High School Player Development Camp in Immokalee, Fla., earlier this week. Mangino, who spent eight seasons at Kansas, kicked off the camp Monday night with a speech that not only talked about the fundamentals of the game but also emphasized the importance of strong character.

After resigning at the end of the 2009 season, Mangino, 54, and his wife, Mary Jane, moved to Naples, Fla., and have maintained a low profile. During the past 18 months, Mangino has dabbled in the football world via consulting. He’s been invited to several college campuses to talk offense and even spent time working with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In an interview with the Naples Daily News, Mangino told Adam Fisher that he would be interested in returning to football as a head coach as long as the situation was right, but added that he was in no hurry to do so.

“Naples is a beautiful place,” Mangino told Fisher. “My wife and I couldn’t have picked a better spot to buy a place and just relax for a little bit. We really like it here. No matter what the future brings, I think we will always have a place here in Naples.”

Comments

troutsee 2 years, 9 months ago

The Mighty Quinn.

This guy can play.

Having two QB's with game experience will help us this year. I am a little more optimistic than most of you guys.

Look for a BIG improvement from the Big Blue this year.

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Kenneth Hillman 2 years, 9 months ago

Yep, agree on the lost time but he will just be a freshman so he has time ahead of him. We all want improvement immediately which makes us fans a bit anxious. Thanks for the update though, that clarifies.

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ahpersecoachlngexperience 2 years, 9 months ago

Done with the ACT. Blew that joint. Threw my eraser at the old smelly lady on the way out and it stuck in her blue hair!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!?!?!?

Just finished @ the doctor....the positive is it was an in office procedure:)) The negative is I just had Vagina Reconstructive Surgery:(

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Kenneth Hillman 2 years, 9 months ago

Tait - can we get confirmation that Berglund is working out with the team now?

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jayhawkinnebr 2 years, 9 months ago

Hey Matt, could you give us a little infor. on who you thing is the better passer, Webb or Mecham?

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beenahawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Webb may throw a tighter spiral but he is terribly inaccurate. I would think it would be easier for Mecham to gain the necessary arm strength than for Webb to suddenly develop accuracy. No doubt in my mind though that whoever starts, the backup will likely be better.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 9 months ago

For those of you that say the CU game was a sign of things to come, you do know that we played three more games after the victory? I think it should be described as an epic fail on CU's part compared to a great comeback on ours.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 9 months ago

100 has been noticeably absent from the boards. Hmmmmmmmmm?!?

And in football related content...did our o-line seriously let Webb get sacked 4 times in the spring game? Thought they were a strength of the team going into the season.

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justanotherfan 2 years, 9 months ago

I think either Webb or Mecham gets the start at the beginning of the year. Had Berglund been around for spring, he may be in the mix, but there's a lot of ground to be made up for him. He could definitely be in there by midseason if the position is shaky.

My gut feeling is that if Cummings isn't fully cleared in the next couple of weeks, he will don the redshirt. No reason to risk reinjury by rushing him back.

Either Berglund or Cummings could be the guy in the future.

As for Jablonski, I don't know that he will ever be a starter at KU. I could definitely see him as a very serviceable backup, but it's telling that he didn't get in at all last year. Since he wasn't really labeled as the future QB, his redshirt year wasn't as valuable as either Berglund or Cummings' redshirt could be. It's possible he is much more ready this year, but I think that would still require at least Webb and Mecham to fail or get hurt, and the staff to determine that Berglund and Cummings are both unavailable. He's in the mix, but only in an extreme circumstance I think.

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Jayhawker111 2 years, 9 months ago

Tate says - Mecham is battling with sophomore Jordan Webb and freshmen Michael Cummings and Brock Berglund for the right to be KU’s starter this fall.

Mr Tait --For some reason you ignore the QB walkon from Wichita #17.

At the KU Spring Game #17 was the best QB on the field.

Cummings and Berklund will not be in the mix this year.

Cummings has not been cleared by doctors to go full speed (recovering from injury).

Berklund left after one week at school --missed all of spring drills. He showed up this summer to get his picture taken and has not been seen since. Berklund has not been to the summer workouts. He has never been to a workout even after he sent you the text saying he was 100% a Jayhawk.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 9 months ago

Quinn is definitely my sentimental favorite to win the job just because its his last year and because he seems like such a good kid. He was a proven winner in JC and demonstrated patience and smarts last year. If his arm strength did indeed improve, and he can stretch the field, then he may end up the starter. Will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 9 months ago

Mangino was at KU 8 years and this will be HCBS 9th year....Time flys

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kujakehawk 2 years, 9 months ago

IMO Ku and the fans need to give coach Gill a few years.. i honestly believe that he will get KU to become a good and consistant team. I mean in his first real year of recruiting he landed the #35 (i think) recruiting class in the nation.. not bad for the season they had. Also... i am ready for new QB's, Quinn Mecham and Jordan Webb dont impress me at all... I am ready for Brock and Michael Cummins. Also i really hope that having too much depth at the running back position doesnt come back to bite us... I love sims, and darrian miller and anthony pierson. i hope that they will get on the field enough to make an impact, my only concern is they realize how good they are and how good they can be and they dont transfer due to not enough PT. Also curious about the LB core, any freshmen making a splash in that area?

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't know how serious of a chance Mecham has to be our starting QB this season....but my money is still on Brock Berglund..

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ahpersecoachlngexperience 2 years, 9 months ago

Stravinksy, that is soooooooo true about taking your wins when you can get them. That's what I've been preaching to the football Gill headcases for the last year. Whenever I tease about that Colorado win it reminds me that a team will eventually take on the character of a coaching staff after awhile. That fourth quarter embodied leadership from a drunkcussing old man like Bobby Bowden who knows about winning NCAA championships---all guts, win at all costs----but somehow Bowden was nowhere to be seen---unless you're on the white sandy beaches wearing eyepatch sunglasses to block out his ongoing belly reddening attempt. Just fair warning, Stravinsky, I just took my cough medicine so you don't need to read any further if you don't want!?!?!?

Stravinsky if you're still reading I also want to apologize for the above post my nerves have really been tested the last few nights. So I ran into another problem last night after my girlfriend dosed my cough syrup with a serving spoon. Part of it revolved around my preoccupation with Vangino's replacement. Lesson learned....don't talk after taking the syrup for twelve hours. Things just seem to come out wrong when a guy mixes talking, football, robitussin, the alphabet, kitchen spoons and a girlfriend with the logic skills of a small aardvark. Not sure she'll be back tomorrow. Says she doesn't want surgery. I said did you think I was talking about you?!?!?! I was talking about me!?!?!? Now she's really upset. Says she's scheduling me for an ACT test tomorrow before she files custody paperwork!?!?!? I said custody of what---our retarded mice under the fridge who laugh at us when we step on their mousetraps?!?!?!? She said you'll find out after surgery!?!?!?? I said surgery for what?!?!?!?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 9 months ago

Remember when we beat Colorado yet they still finished better than us in league play?

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