Friday, September 14, 2012

Jayhawks focused on fixing passing attack

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist fires a pass to receiver Daymond Patterson (15) Rice during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist fires a pass to receiver Daymond Patterson (15) Rice during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


Kansas University senior Daymond Patterson didn’t hide his frustration when asked how he would grade KU’s receivers through two games this season.

“For our standards, I would say below average ... well below average,” the wideout said, “because I know what kind of receivers we can be, and I know how we’ve performed throughout camp and spring ball.”

The statistics so far have been disappointing for a KU receiving unit with three senior starters.

The Jayhawks are averaging just 4.9 yards per pass attempt, which is tied for 119th out of 124 teams.

KU also has just two passing plays of 20 or more yards; only five teams in all of Div. I have fewer 20-plus-yard passing plays than that.

“I wouldn’t say I’m very happy with the passing game right now. To say that might be an understatement on my part,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “But I do believe that the passing game has a lot of room for improvement. I think that it better come on in a hurry, because the better your opponents are each week, you’re going to need to score more than 24 points.”

So what are the issues?

Patterson believes, for one, that KU’s receivers are still trying to get timing down with transfer quarterback Dayne Crist in a new offensive system.

“We’ve been together, as far as winter, summer, spring and stuff, but we’ve only had two games,” Patterson said. “Games are a lot different than going against the guys you go against every day, because you know people’s tendencies. So we’re just trying to get familiar with each other in live action.”

Crist admitted earlier in the week to playing a bit tight, and Patterson has sensed the same nervousness in receivers as well.

When that happens, Patterson believes it’s tougher for receivers to go make plays.

“You don’t play up to your abilities, because you’re worried too much about not messing up and being perfect,” Patterson said. “You’re never going to be perfect, so you might as well go out there and have fun and let the game come to you.”

Video sessions have been the most frustrating part for Patterson, as he sees all the little mistakes that shouldn’t be happening.

“There have been a lot of plays that, you watch film, and you just wish you could get back,” Patterson said. “Run your route a little different, stick them a little harder, block this dude one more second and the running back springs. Like coaches say, you don’t know whether it’s going to be the third play of the game or the 57th play of the game that will win or lose you the game.”

KU threw for just 144 yards on 28 passing attempts in last week’s 25-24 loss to Rice.

Following an injury to senior receiver Kale Pick in the first half, KU’s wideouts appeared to have trouble getting open for Crist. That included a critical fourth-quarter interception with 3:47 left, as Crist scanned the field for six seconds before attempting a jump-ball throw for Chris Omigie.

“I think we are getting separation — not the way we would want to, but we are getting separation,” Patterson said. “We just have to do it more consistently.”

Pick’s leg injury (he’s officially listed as day-to-day) could open up some playing time for backups like Omigie and sophomore Andrew Turzilli.

Neither player has a catch this year. In fact, only three KU receivers (Pick, Patterson and D.J. Beshears) have recorded receptions this season.

“We feel like this week’s a very big week for us,” Patterson said, “to prove that we can be the guys to help this team move forward.”


jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 7 months ago

Matt Marcincin. Does anyone know about him? I can't find a scouting report, but it is reported that he left the Penn State football team. Not a guy that we could for this year, but could probably be a guy for next season. He has better size and is about 197 lbs. Just don't know the speed.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I have no problem whatsoever with Weis' passing offense. Very excited when I heard Weis was coming specifically regarding the offense. BUT, it is a heady offense, takes time to install and learn, and is dependent on fine-tuning the timing, even more so than other offenses. Y'all just havent seen it properly executed yet. Hang in there everyone! Exciting, positive plays will come...


Randy Bombardier 1 year, 7 months ago

Suggestion for improving our play: Forget the passing game. If Crist is not accurate again he has an injury he hasn't told anyone about. You can't be off that much unless there is an injury. If Patterson and others are getting frustrated and Weiss doesn't deal with it then we will have a huge morale problem, which will lead to an effort problem, which will lead to a credibility problem across the board. If Crist does not start making some throws Charlie Weiss is going to have more problems than he started with. He himself has already stated that Cummings has a cannon for an arm. He can also run if need be. He can't be any less accurate.

As far as throwing to the receiver or to space, depends on the play but almost always a quarterback is throwing to receivers. Can't do it any other way on a broken play. Imagine Reesing, Briscoe, Meier with this backfield. The 2008 season would have been much different.


KGphoto 1 year, 7 months ago

Patterson being nice and PC: He was open on almost every play I just re-watched on DVR. Crist missed him in the end zone early, because he waited too long. He missed him on nearly the same pattern later in the game, high and inside like the first one. He didn't even look at him on the failed fade to Beshears in the end zone, where Patterson was completely alone over the middle with his arm in the air for an easy TD. Late in the game in a third and long Crist fired a pass to an open Patterson that forced him out of bounds instead of giving him a chance to make a play after the catch. After that play, I saw the frustration on Patterson's face. He wanted to scream!

Finally Crist steps into one: Turzilli was WIDE open flying down the sideline in the 2nd half. This is the play Crist was brought in for. This is the money shot! He let it rip! A beautiful spiral, arching and pointing directly down... past TZ by several yards. Too bad because that would have most likely shut everybody up for awhile, and given us a nice cushion. Not to mention put his average back in place.

Perhaps there is a chemistry thing. Perhaps some receivers aren't getting open or they aren't on the same page, but on most of the BIG plays, the touchdown plays, Crist has failed miserably. Weis knows it. Crist knows it. And be damn sure Patterson knows it because he has a zero in the TD column, and he'a earned a 3.

Other things I noticed:

The right side of the line was exposed badly in the 4th quarter. Neither Dent nor Howard could block even a grain of Rice. We need Spencer back in there. The left three guys stick to their guy, in fact Zlatnik flat out terrorizes his guy. The right side is pushing and grabbing.

The first two plays of the game were gadgets. Both plays stunk out loud. No more gadgets the rest of the way. The second drive looked like what we need to be doing. Normal running plays over the left and quick, sharp 5-6 yard passes.

Crist CANNOT throw off his back foot. Two interceptions and two missed TD opportunities came after a bad throwing motion. Another near interception was also the result of him waiting too long then throwing while trying to avoid a direct hit.


phogphan2000 1 year, 7 months ago

Hope for a speedy recover for Pick, need you back against N. Illinois. Get it together Weis/Crist/Patterson/Beshears, no reason for the passing game to be dragging down the offense. Gonna need to show the defense there's a reason to stop TCU tomorrow. How many times in the Gill era did the defense look alright for a while and then fall apart when the offense gave it up quickly over and over in terrible field position? Do your jobs, help those guys out, give them something to be fired up about.


bigtex 1 year, 7 months ago

Too bad Pick got hurt early in the 3rd quarter against Rice, he is are best go to guy in the crunch. It hurt the team when he was not there in the 4th quarter. I think the out come of the game would of been different if he was on the field.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

The vector of distance must be coupled with the pre-established line of motion in order to be arriving at the point of oblong intersection for manual contact and compression. the right pattern, throw with accuracy, catch the ball.

It's not rocket science!!


flyingfinn 1 year, 7 months ago

"because the better your opponents are each week, your going to need to score more than 24 point"....that statement coupled with the statement coach Weis mad at halftime of last week's game "we're going to half to score more points" lead to believe Coach is well aware of glaring deficiencies on defense. The one postive is we could have scored more than 24 points if our QB had hit some open receivers. He is going to have to show some 5 star qualities or it will be long season. I have said all along that I just hoped we would be more competetive because the cupboard was left mighty bare. We'll see this week how competetive we really are.


vd 1 year, 7 months ago

Timing with receivers in game situations. I wonder if CW thought of this before he ran Webb off?


Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't put much faith in these receivers.


KMathis 1 year, 7 months ago

Next time just stop after writing "I know this us totally unrelated to football"


Keith Hummel 1 year, 7 months ago

I know this is totally unrelated to football, but I have to give a shout-out to Diamond Dixon, who is being recognized today at the White House. Diamond and the 2012 U.S. Olympic team will be honored on the South Lawn at 10am EST for their participation and success in London.

Diamond was the only current NCAA athlete to win gold in London, KU's first track and field gold medalist since 1968, the first female track runner in University of Kansas history to compete at the Olympics, and now the first female from the university to win gold. She ran the 2nd fastest leg in the semi-final, put the U.S. Team in first place in that qualifying run, and is only going to get faster.

I'm told over and over on this board that no one cares about Track and Field. Well here is a perfect example of why you should. Rock Chalk Diamond! Way to make us proud.


Chris1955 1 year, 7 months ago

When you have a QB who seems to be afraid of being hit, combined with below average receivers who can't run routes correctly, can't get separation from the DB, and don't particularly have good hands, why expect anything different? Have we ever heard of a screen pass to the RB out of the backfield?

Granted, I've only watched one game on TV, but the passing attack seems like it's still stuck in spring football.

I'll be attending the NIU game, and hope we have this figured out by then.


JakeBarnes 1 year, 7 months ago

The receivers do not get open very often and when they do Crist seems to miss them. Either he is nervous, and so are they, or the timing needs more work as noted, or Crist isn't the QB he once was.

However, they better concentrate on defense. TCU is a superb offensive team. Coach Patterson and/or his coordinators have always been first-rate at teaching offense. I hope this isn't a blow out.


rockymtnjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

One other comment and I promise to go away. Run some draw plays. The big key is to MIX IT UP and DIVERSIFY the plays.


rockymtnjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

7 yards per pass attempt, 9 yards per completion. I believe those are the base numbers you have to reach, kind of like 4 yards per rush. Of course, you want a receiver that can stretch the field for 15-20 yards per completion. We just are not getting the ball down the field enough passing. We get very little run after catch yardage. Lastly, if you are just getting 5 yards a throw, you should be completing 70% or better.


rockymtnjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd use that shovel pass a bit too. I think Pierson getting that shovel pass could do damage. It also helps slow down the pass rush a bit.


jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 7 months ago

Hint: Throw the ball to running backs to get them in the open field. Also, how about some quick hitters in the middle from the same set that the bubble screen is thrown. Spring a couple of guys for some long runs after the catch and it makes the defense back off the line of scrimmage and the running game can set up some deep balls.

You have to play to the strengths of the players within the system that Weis brought with him. It can happen, but the play calls have to be more diverse and some times it's okay to take a risk on first down and go down the field a bit. Do that consistently, and everything on offense opens up.

10 or 15 yards down the field, especially if the defense is playing zone. Sneak a guy like Beshears just past the Linebackers and have Crist put just a little air under the ball to get it over the linebackers and have some other receivers and a running back in a pattern to block down the field and break a few big plays and score some points early on Saturday, the the whole playbook is available for the second half.

On Defense, just be more aggressive on the edges with the D-backs and force their receivers to beat us deep. We have a couple of good safeties that can force a couple of INTs.

I know this is a work in progress, but these kids have the ability to learn this offense if the right game plan is used on both sides of the ball. The other team will eat us alive if we give them 5 or 6 yards underneath every first down. Force them into longer than 2 and 6 consistently and get Schyler Miles some more reps during the game.


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