Thursday, August 30, 2012


Dayne Crist not the only playmaker in KU’s offense


It sometimes seems as if the moment a college football coach signs a contract to head a program he then moves to the next chair and has injected into his DNA a gene that makes him poor-mouth the talent he inherits.

That’s what made Kansas University coach Charlie Weis’ words echo Tuesday throughout George Mrkonic Auditorium when discussing the material with which Dayne Crist will work in his first and only season as KU’s quarterback.

“We’ve got some players around him who are pretty good,” Weis said. “It isn’t like he’s coming into an empty cupboard. Everyone likes to talk about, ‘Well, there aren’t enough players.’ Well, we maybe don’t have a ton of them. But we have some, and the ones we have, they’re pretty good. So he’s going to have an opportunity to make some plays.”

The right side of the line remains an area of concern for Weis’ first of many Kansas offenses, but if Weis and offensive line coach Tim Grunhard can find a way to shift things around to mask the inexperience of that side of the line and Crist has time to make his throws, Kansas could find itself in a number of shootouts, even if the defense can’t stop the high-scoring Big 12 offenses it will face nearly every week.

The most exciting playmakers on the offense:

1) Tony Pierson: James Sims, suspended for the first three games, brings the most versatility and durability, but it’s Pierson who will supply the most memorable plays among the KU running backs. He said he never has been caught from behind on a football field and doesn’t plan to start now. Pierson’s narrow build prevents him from having the durability to play every down and excel in pass-blocking, but there is an advantage to it as well. He doesn’t need big holes through which to slither, and with feet so quick, the tacklers will have a tough time anticipating his moves.

2) Daymond Patterson: Injured for the season in last year’s opener, Patterson is something of a forgotten man, but Crist no doubt already has figured out that good things happen when Patterson has the ball in his hands. He’s fast, has great balance and deceptive strength. Coming off an injury and playing for yet another coach — that makes three since coming to Kansas — Patterson got off to a great start in impressing Weis, the team’s head coach/offensive coordinator/academic liaison by earning a 4.0 grade-point average last spring. His 487 receiving yards led the team in 2010.

“For me I just like the ball in my hands and like to do something with it,” Patterson said. “I’m always messing around with my quarterbacks telling them, ‘In the paper you’re going to see a 70-yard touchdown, but the throw might not have been across the line. I can help you do that.’”

Patterson, the team’s best yards-after-catch receiver, said all the pass-catchers have developed “great chemistry” with Crist since his arrival in January and said the former Notre Dame QB throws a “very catchable ball.”

3) Kale Pick: When a receiver hauls an inaccurate throw out of the sky and holds onto it to keep the punt team on the sidelines and the chains moving, that’s a big play that inspires the entire team. Pick has that capability and he has a good shot of leading the team in receptions.

4) Andrew Turzilli: A third-year sophomore from Butler, N.J., Turzilli caught three passes and a touchdown against Georgia Tech last season, but never worked his way onto the depth chart. He showed in training camp that he has the potential to turn Crist’s strong arm into six points.

5) D.J. Beshears: He’s not as shifty as Patterson after catching the ball, but he has a knack for getting behind the defense and, for a guy his size, does an exceptional job of reaching out to grab long tosses.


Chris Bruning 7 years, 3 months ago

Tony Pierson, nobody's catching him from behind. Guy is fun as hell to watch. Two days away from kickoff, ROCK CHALK!!!

Phil Leister 7 years, 3 months ago

Keeeeeeegan, please revise that first sentence. Come on man, at least ACT like you're trying.

Phil Leister 7 years, 3 months ago

And, please fix the obvious error in the paragraph regarding Kale Pick. "A inaccurate throw"

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 3 months ago

You are the winner of the most disturbing avatar award

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 3 months ago

Could be a long season. Still I have faith that given time...Weis will turn the tide on the teams fortunes.

Mike Hart 7 years, 3 months ago

So our best offensive playmakers aside from Crist and Pick... Are 5'9" or smaller. Good stuff. We'll tear up any Jr High team that gets in our way

TheSportsDon 7 years, 3 months ago

Turzilli is about 6'4. But I am with you on the 5'9 or smaller. Trouble being the big boys with all the good toys in the League have guys just as fast as our 5'9er's, but go 6-1 or so and weigh 25 pounds more.

KGphoto 7 years, 3 months ago

6'1" 210lb cornerbacks? You'll have to show me. I think you're talking about safeties, because most corners are under 6' and under 200lbs.

It's good to have a mix. We have almost every kind of receiver you want. A waterbug like Patterson, a CB sized tough guy, a possession guy, tall and speedy downfield threats and three very different but capable TEs. Throw in a potential playmaker in Parmalee, and I don't know what more you could ask for.

number1jayhawker 7 years, 3 months ago

5'10'' ex OU and now NFL Ryan Broyles says hello.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 3 months ago

With Sizemore hurt are we going 2 RBs or 2 TEs or 3 WRs?

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 3 months ago

I think the answer is yes!

Knowing HCCW, he will run many different formations and on down and situations he'll have all of those sets. As long as our team doesn't get confused it should help us with defenses needing to adjust on the fly.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 3 months ago

Sizemore hasn't been on the 2-deep in ages. Smiley has been on top since 8/1, Jackson and now Bourbon behind him.

Still, sounds like 12 or 11 formations are likely. Count on CWto mix things up to our advantage.

KGphoto 7 years, 3 months ago

After what Parmalee has been doing, I'm sure he'll get plenty of chances, but the depth chart is posted.

KR: Beshears, Cox

PR: Patterson, McDougald or Parmalee

KGphoto 7 years, 3 months ago

I think you could add a #6. Tre' Parmalee. Sounds like he's been pretty exciting. And wasn't Omigie supposed to be coming along as a threat? Probably before Weis found out Turzilli is from Jersey, lol.

rockchalk_dpu 7 years, 3 months ago

Whenever your readers have to re-read sentences several times to understand the point you are trying to make, its not a good thing Tom.

What's disappointing is that you had been on such a promising roll recently and we as readers really thought you turned the corner from this sort of sophomoric writing, but I guess old habits die hard and you were bound to have a few relapses.

Mike Hart 7 years, 3 months ago

..." Throw in a potential playmaker in Parmalee, and I don't know what more you could ask for"....

I could ask for size to go with the speed... Which was my whole point. At WR, we don't have any... And top of food chain RB's are smallish on our team

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Just because a guy is number 2 doesn't mean they won't have plays for a guy like Jacorey or Omigie. Omigie needs to make sure he catches the ball, and he'll be fine, but Jacorey can come in in a 4 wide set, and I think we'll probably see this more often than we are thinking.

I think Crist has the ability to make quick decisions and that offsets the disadvantage of having smaller receivers with quick slants, and both Patterson and Beshears have the ability to beat some guys deep with good sharp routes and good moves. It requires more finesse.

But I do see Jacorey Sheperd getting some 40 plus yard catches.

As far as running backs, we have good backs that can catch the ball, and a few that can run inside or out. Our Wide outs must do the small things on running plays like hold a block for 8 or 9 seconds down the field and force the defenses to chase from behind.

Tightends are versatile. I wouldn't be suprised if they combine for 60 catches this year on little jerk plays, which is usually done on the goal line but when needed to move the chains, the TEs will at least occupy a defender.

The O-line<< This is the weakest part of the offense, but I wouldn't say its weak by NCCA standards.

The D-line is the weakest, but it's going to be improved. Stopping the run without cheating up a safety will prevent many of the big over the middle gashers that we had against us last year. I think McDougald and Pattmon will be fine. I like the linebacker core, got some added speed and that will help cover the tight ends and crossing routes and force some turnovers potentially.

The defense has something to prove, and we have a coach that is able and willing to make adjustments on both sides of the ball, and there is enough versatility to game plan using some of the 2 deeps on offense particularly, because we can cause some match up problems against even some of the Big 12 foes.

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