QBs should steal show

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I’m a little confused. In general, that is. I’m a lot confused as to why football players Collin Garrett and Chris Robinson were smoking in The Hawk, or anywhere else for that matter.

When I was in college, it seemed to me the guys who smoked did so because they thought it made them look cool. The harder they slammed the pack into their palms before peeling the plastic, the cooler they looked. But doesn’t a uniform and a football helmet generate even more cool points?

Now, because they refused to look cool outside and insisted on doing so indoors and allegedly got a little rough with employees and ran from cops, Garrett, a talented linebacker, and Robinson had to surrender their shoulder pads, helmets, uniforms and, ultimately, their scholarships.

With each passing week, it becomes more evident just how deep a mess Charlie Weis inherited. Obsessing on that grew too depressing, so I forced myself to concentrate instead on last Thursday’s 6 a.m. practice. The only visible smoke flew off the footballs thrown by Dayne Crist, the one-year transfer from Notre Dame.

Sure, no pass rush closed in on him, and he was launching long passes to receivers facing single coverage. Still, the quarterback built like a tight end showed remarkable accuracy throwing long passes to a variety of receivers who either caught or dropped them in the end zone.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crist is one of those quarterbacks who looks like he’s playing 10-yard catch when he slings it 50 yards. It will be interesting to see what No. 10 can do in Saturday’s spring game. (Brigham Young transfer Jake Heaps, eligible in 2013, threw with a lot of zip as well, maybe a little too much mustard on short passes.)

Early in the spring, Weis summed up what will bring Kansas football fans to Memorial Stadium for Saturday’s spring game.

“At the end of the day, what are the two things that people really want to see?” Weis asked and then answered. “Can the defense stop anybody? And what’s going on with Crist?”

Pre-spring game guesses to those questions: 1. Not yet. 2. Plenty, all of it good.

The defense usually looks better in spring games because they know the plays, but this game could be an exception. Without what Weis calls the cavalry — junior college and fifth-year transfers and high school recruits — both Crist and Heaps could have big days Saturday.