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Monday, August 6, 2012

Daymond Patterson is making up for lost time

Daymond Patterson (15) finds an open hole for a 51-yard dash in the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in the home opener Kansas against North Dakota State at Kivisto Field.

Daymond Patterson (15) finds an open hole for a 51-yard dash in the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in the home opener Kansas against North Dakota State at Kivisto Field.

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Daymond Patterson (15) finds an open hole for a 51-yard dash in the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in the home opener Kansas against North Dakota State at Kivisto Field.

When Kansas University wide receiver Daymond Patterson first realized that the groin injury he suffered early in the 2011 season opener would keep him out for an extended period of time, his thoughts quickly shifted to 2012.

“I rehabbed as fast as I could,” Patterson said. “But it wasn’t fast enough to get back.”

So instead of playing out his senior season, which he hoped would propel him into an opportunity to play professional football, Patterson sat out and watched his teammates limp to a 2-10 season.

When the Jayhawks were drubbed at Georgia Tech, Patterson was forced to watch on television, marking the first time in his KU career that he did not travel with the team. At other games — home games, even — Patterson sat in the stands and watched “just like any other person.”

It killed him.

But it also drove him, and, instead of pouting, the man known as “DP” hit the weight room, studied extra film and tried to take his skills to a higher level.

As the veteran receiver works his way through his first week of Charlie Weis’ preseason camp — Patterson’s third head coach at Kansas — the long road appears to be paying off.

“I’ve fine-tuned my game, and I feel like I’m an overall better receiver,” Patterson said. “Routes … size … I just knew it would all work out in the end. We got Coach Weis now. Dayne (Crist) came in at quarterback. I’m really close to both of those guys, and I just feel like everything’s in a good position for me to be successful this year.”

That feeling, good as it may be, has not tricked Patterson into pulling back. Up 12 pounds from his previous heaviest playing weight, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound playmaker believes that even though the improvements have set him up for a monster season, he wants more.

He’s particularly pleased with the status of his route-running, which took a hit after he switched from receiver to defensive back early in his KU career.

“I felt like that was the best part of my game when I got here,” Patterson said. “And I still ran good routes when I came back, but I didn’t feel like it was where I was when I first got here.”

The crisp routes are there again — sharper even. And that, he says, only makes him a more dangerous weapon. As for the added weight, it’s good weight, he insists, and it has not taken away any of his electricity.

“It hasn’t,” he said, grinning. “It took me a little while to get used to (the) conditioning, just putting on the extra weight. But as far as speed and quickness, it hasn’t hampered me at all.”

While Patterson is by far KU’s most

experienced wideout, his veteran status has done nothing to change his attacking mentality, much to the delight of receivers coach Rob Ianello.

“Daymond certainly has been here quite some time and has some experience to him,” Ianello said. “But everybody here is in their first training camp in our system, and we’re just continuing to grow and work, and Daymond’s no different than any of the other receivers in that regard.”

Crowded position

A quick look at the 2012 Kansas University football roster reveals that the team has a ton of receivers.

Ianello, who spoke with the media prior to Sunday’s practice, explained how the coaching staff will decide which play and which don’t.

“If you’ve got a guy who’s got size and speed and quick feet and good hands and all that, then that’s the guy you want,” said Ianello with the kind of smile that showed he knew he was stating the obvious. “But we’re just trying to, within the framework of our offense, develop the players we have, and then coach (Weis) will find ways to use the guys we have and showcase their abilities.”

In addition to seniors Patterson, D.J. Beshears and Kale Pick, Ianello rattled off seven other names who were in the mix.

“We have a lot of other emerging guys, like Chris Omigie and Drew Turzilli, JaCorey Shepherd, and then we have a couple of new guys — Tre Parmalee and Josh Ford,” said Ianello, who later praised sophomore Ricki Herod’s maturity. “Christian Matthews … he’s battling. We’ve got great competition, great spirit, and it’s a fun group to work with.”

Go-to guy?

If Ianello’s time in Weis’ offense has taught him anything, it’s that the ball can be spread easily.

“We’ve had tight ends catch a lot of passes, we’ve had receivers catch a lot of passes. I would think the backs certainly will be a factor here,” Ianello said.

Having a go-to wide receiver is not a necessary staple of the offense.

“It’s a personnel-driven system,” Ianello said. “And as we get through training camp and we see where our personnel sits, coach will design a system that will take advantage of the playmakers, whatever position they are.”

Comments

fearthephog512 1 year, 11 months ago

Great to have DP's explosiveness back on the field. I can't wait to see him and the other receivers in action -- it seems Weis will have quite a few weapons at his disposal. Rock Chalk!

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hawk316 1 year, 11 months ago

Like many others, I would love to see DP have a monster senior season. His injury last year could have been a blessing in disguise, setting him up to flourish in a better situation this year. With Crist throwing behind a solid o-line and a strong complimentary running game, a more physical, more mature DP may very well have the opportunity to shine big time. GO DP! May you enjoy outstanding success this season.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 11 months ago

We don't have a whole lot of weakness in our offensive positions. The opposing defenses will have their hands full when competing against this Charlie Weis master minded offense. Weis certainly has the tools and the talent available to assemble a darn good offense.

Still have MAJOR reservations regarding our defense. Our D-line will struggle against the Big 12 offensive lines. This could lead to some high scoring games. We still need some talented, young, and big nasties on the D-line for next years recruiting class.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

What NDSU game? I don't remember a NDSU game. There was no NDSU game. THERE WAS NO NDSU GAME!!!

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Simmer down junior -

2010

TWO THOUSAND AND TEN - THERE WAS A NDSU GAME!!

lol

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I would love to be proven wrong here, but I don't see Patterson and Beshears both being big time players. While their speed is definitely a plus, their height hinders them a bit unless they are in the slot position. I see us being very solid at the slot, but it seems that those guys will make for a crowded position. Not a lot of Steve Smith types out there who can be under 6 foot and dominate at the wide receiver position. It definitely could happen but I see it playing out like this.

WR: Shepard/Matthews/Ford/Omigee (One of these big talented guys will hopefully become a big play threat)

WR: Kale Pick... Dependable hands, good on 3rd down.

Slot: Beshears/Patterson...

Again, would love to be proven wrong here. Nobody would be a bigger fan than me if both these guys played big time football next year.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

All very good points. Pick, Beshears, and Patterson could very well end up being our main 3 if guys like Omigee, Ford, Matthews, and Shepard don't progress.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree the heighth could hinder; however, in college you are more likely able to get away with it.

Broyles at OU was a classic example. Crisp routes and new how to get open.

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Kman_blue 1 year, 11 months ago

You're forgetting about Turzilli (6'4" 195lbs.) who's currently listed as Beshears backup. He was a track & field star in HS (I believe he was the state champ in the 200m in NJ) and has the fastest 40 time of any returning WR on the team. He's an emerging WR with big play making ability IMO.

And as phog points out Ford coming in has great size(6'3" 211lbs.) and great athleticism and he may be even faster than Turzilli.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree with Ianello about not having a "go to" guy. We don't have a Briscoe or a Kerry Meier on the team. What we do have is a couple RBs who can catch a few, a couple TEs who can catch a few, a guy in Pick who has great hands and is good on 3rd down, a guy in Shepard who looked great at times, a few guys like Matthews, Omigee, and Ford who may be decent, and a couple guys like DP and Beshears who should do well in the slot.

I would be surprised if we have a 1,000 yard guy, but I bet we at least 3 guys with 600!

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troutsee 1 year, 11 months ago

B 12 alert!! Look out for KU this year. This team will not roll over. This team will be prepared. This team has the toughness and mindset to play every play. Most importantly, this team and their coaching staff have a lot to prove. It won't be easy but we are going to win some games this year, surprise one or two teams, and just maybe make it to a bowl game. The brew is still being stirred, but I think it is going to taste pretty darn good.

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Mike Hart 1 year, 11 months ago

You obviously have tasted quite a bit of that brew if you are thinking of a potential bowl game. I'm all for being optimistic... But let's stay within the bounds of being realistic. No, we won't roll over, but on defense teams ran through us and around us.

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KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't forget, part of that was because the offense couldn't stay on the field for more than three plays at a time. A boost in time of possession keeps our D off the field and makes the games more competitive.

Even if we don't improve on D the stats should level out a little. But I think we have improved. On the Dline alone we've added an NFL talent, experienced depth, and bulked up the best returning talent. Opurum and McDougald finally get to play a second season at the same position, and the DC is for real. No reason this defense resembles last season at all.

Don't forget, we aren't exactly facing the same offenses as last year. No Georgia Tech, Okie St. starts a freshman QB, RGII, Tannehill and even Chandler Harnish are gone. We add Geno Smith, but still, if we played this schedule last year, I think it would've looked better.

Bowl game!

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bigtex 1 year, 11 months ago

Getting rid of Gill and Long will make a huge difference for this offense. I believe we do have a Brisco and Meier type of players on this team. Remember people it was Warrnier's offense and play calling that made Mangino's O move.Coach Weis will take this offense to another level and this will allow are players to blossom.

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oldalum 1 year, 11 months ago

It must have been awful for the players the last two years. Trying hard, but knowing it made no difference. They must have felt beaten before they ever took the field. Patterson says, "We got Coach Weis now. Dayne (Crist) came in at quarterback." Just the new hopeful attitude is going to go a long ways.

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Fototherapist 1 year, 11 months ago

I swear I am salivating all over myself! I can't wait for the games to begin!!!!

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Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 1 year, 11 months ago

We are going to be much improved this year. Think of last year, with an incompetent coach we won 2. We should have beat Iowa State and Baylor but our coaches were worthless and didn't know how to finish games. Any other coach worth their weight would have led us to 4 wins last year (my mom and her tiny dog would have done a better job coaching than Gill)

Alas here's a look at this years schedule and my thoughts on winnable games. Prediction for season at the end. . .

SDSU at Kansas - WIN

Rice at Kansas - WIN

TCU at Kansas - LOSS - we will show them a new swagger - this game is winnable but I think TCU edges us with their offense

Kansas at No. Illinois - WIN - a convincing victory (45-24)

Kansas at Kansas State - LOSS - BUT a scary game for KSU

Okla. St. at Kansas - LOSS - they loose QB/receiver and we be angry from last year. This game will be a little closer than 56-7 at halftime domination of last year. . . again with my mother coaching and not Gill we could have made that gap closer.

Kansas at Oklahoma - LOSS - in a note OU's starting TE is a Juco transfer (a Kansan thru and thru) and Gill didn't even offer. . . but he's good enough to start for OU. Screw Gill that guy didn't know anything. he didn't even offer to DGB, even though DGB's mom went to KU. Gill was so outclassed. Makes me so angry how worthless he was. I would have tried to get fired for a 10 million dollar payday as well so I guess we can't blame him.

Texas at Kansas - LOSS - but TX is not what they used to be. Overall superior athleticism better than KU's

Kansas at Baylor - WIN - should have won last year - they lose QB and WR

Kansas at TT - WIN - they are not who they used to be without the Pirate. This game is very winnable and we have the possibility of stringing 2 away victories together

Iowa State at Kansas - WIN - major swagger

Kansas at West Virginia - LOSS - this is a good team and will outlast our Jayhawks

That is 6-6 folks. A bowl season with our last game to up our bowl bid. OK ST, TX, KSU are all winnable games as well.

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Lucas Town 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know about @ Baylor and @ TT. TT offense will have a hay day against our poor D. Baylor...road game against a descent team. We are not a descent team yet. Maybe next year.

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truefan 1 year, 11 months ago

True, but the good news is that we don't know how good/bad our defense is yet. We added a 5th year senior at DE from Nebraska (great D last year) and he can only help to free up Toben Opurum on the other side. John Williams is healthy again and he was our best DT until he got injured last season. We added some depth to the DT position which was sorely needed. We added a three time super bowl champion as our DC. So who knows, maybe we won't be so bad...then again, maybe we'll still be terrible on D, and this is why they play the games.

Side note: I believe our offense will be able to stay on the field for more than 3 downs which should help rest our D.

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

In case anyone has forgotten, this is what DP is capable of doing:

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BayPark 1 year, 11 months ago

I like how positive the comments are, and I too am hopeful, but the truth is our talent level lags far behind most of the Big 12. The direction of the team is great, and I'm certain we'll see tangible improvement.

But it's likely going to be another long year.

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truefan 1 year, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, you are absolutely right, however, there will be a completely different feel to the losses that we see this season. Much like Mangino's early years, the losses will pile up, but as fans we will be able to see the improved effort and dedication of our players. We'll be able to see a team that is, once again, turning the corner to become a respectable team.

This team has the ability to shock the conference and get 6 wins, but even if that doesn't happen I believe our fans will be able to show pride in this program because our team didn't quit like they did the last 2 seasons.

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Kman_blue 1 year, 11 months ago

" the truth is our talent level lags far behind most of the Big 12."

Respectfully, no it doesn't.

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BayPark 1 year, 11 months ago

To name but one measure of talent: Rivals 2012 - UT #2, OU #11, TT #26, OSU #32, TCU #37, BU #45, WV #48, KSU #58, KU #74

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KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

Most of those recruits aren't playing this year. This year we have two OL, two DL, a QB, a CB, a Safety, a TE and a couple of WRs who might get drafted. They are seniors and beyond, and right now they are better than almost all of the recruits listed in the 2012 class.

I'm guessing there are two QBs that will get drafted higher than Crist in the entire Big 12, and only a few teams have comparable RB stable. This team has enough talent to compete right now.

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Kman_blue 1 year, 11 months ago

1 years worth of anyone's ratings does not tell how much talent is on any current Big 12 teams. Here's the Rivals 5 year average team rating for each Big 12 team which is more revealing since guys from all of those classes make up most of the teams -

UT - #5 OU - #10 OSU - #31 TTU - #33 WVU - #38 KU - #46 BU - #47 TCU - #50 KSU - #62 ISU - #67

And those ratings don't count our two 5 Star QB's who transferred in, nor our 4 Star TE from ND, nor our 4 Star LB who also transferred in from ND, nor our borderline 4 Star DE from Nebraska. If they did, I'd say KU's average ranking by Rivals would have been in the 30's as they heavily weight 5 Star guys in their ratings, especially at QB.

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 11 months ago

  That talent level rating suggests: Texas should be a championship contender. And K-State sucks. Rivals rankings for 2012 don't really matter at this point. Do the Rivals experts take a look teams coaches? KU won with 3 star players during the 12-1 '07 team and lost with 3 star players on a Turner Gill coached 2-10 '11 team. You can have all of the talent in the world, but if your coach is referred to as DERP by his own teams fans, you're going to have some problems.
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texashawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

Disagree for the most part. Is the talent on this team on par with Texas and OU, absolutely not and I don't think anybody on here is under that impression. West Virginia and TCU are also both significantly more talented than KU, but not to the degree that Texas and OU are. As for the other 5 teams in the Big 12, none of them have a significant advantage when it comes to talent over KU. Does that mean KU has more talent than those other 5 teams, no. At the same time, the horrendous coaching job over the past 2 years has made KU's talent level look like that at a MAC school instead of a Big 12 school. This year, we should see this team at least look like a Big 12 team even if the record doesn't show it. I would expect this season to feel more like the 2009 season where KU beat the teams they were supposed to beat, got handled by Texas and OU like expected, and all the rest of the games were pretty close. I really do think KU's record this year could range anywhere from 2-10 to 8-4 this year. 2-10 if everything goes wrong this year and 8-4 if everything goes right this year. Somewhere in the 4-6 win range is much more likely as this team learns to win close games and road games this year, something KU has always struggled at, even under Mangino.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 11 months ago

Any word on the open practice for Saturday? Is there a time set yet? not televised is it?

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Kman_blue 1 year, 11 months ago

Gates at Memorial Stadium open at 8:15AM. The practice begins at 8:45AM and lasts until 10:45AM. Players will sign autographs for 30 minutes after the practice when a horn will blow and that will be it.

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vd 1 year, 11 months ago

Kman, yesterday you said out Oline will be improved. Do you think Hatch and Riley were not very good?

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Kman_blue 1 year, 11 months ago

I thought Hatch was a bright spot on the Oline last year. He showed a lot of leadership on the Oline and was good. He will be the toughest to replace IMO, but Marrongelli was good last year too and I think he'll do a good job stepping in at C this year.

Riley Spencer is competing with newcomer monster JUCO transfer Aslam Sterling for the starting RT spot this year, so I think he's still good, but Aslam may be even better. He's certainly bigger!

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

I suggest we go to the Pepper Rodgers 1970 Orange Bowl Defense:

The good old 6 - 2 - 4 alignment. Rush 6 and drop back 6. Our opponents won't know what hit 'em!!!!

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texashawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

1970? I thought it was the 1969 Orange Bowl because KU won the Big 8 in 1968.

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Mike Hart 1 year, 11 months ago

For all the hype on Patterson as a kickoff returner. Bragging on how he led the Big 12 in kickoff return yardage... Well I hope so! We had 66 kickoff returns in 2010... Good for 16th most in country and the most attempts in the Big 12. Uh... We were only 10th in the Big 12 in AVERAGE kickoff yards per return. So you can tailor a stat in any way you want. But let's face it... If you lead the Big 12 in kickoff return attempts... I sure hope you're up there in most return yards, too. We were 81st in the NCAA and 10th in Big 12 in average return yards. Whoopee!

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 11 months ago

Texas or Texas Tech? Texas always seems to blow us out. Texas Tech did with Leach, but it was only 20-0 lead for KU last year at HOME.

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Micky Baker 1 year, 11 months ago

If, and I don't like ifs all that much, but if Kansas allows fewer than 14 points in week one and then fewer than 20 in game 2, Kansas will be bowling in December.

Nobody is going to score 50 on this team, maybe one or two over 40.

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