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Monday, September 16, 2013

No problem: Weis not worried about QB play

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps throws to the sideline against Rice late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps throws to the sideline against Rice late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.

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Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps throws to the sideline against Rice late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has more than a few things occupying his mind as he tries to get his offense going and his team to bounce back from a tough loss at Rice.

But quarterback play is not one of them.

“There’s no problem with Jake,” said Weis of KU junior Jake Heaps on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday morning. “Jake knows that’s part of the deal. All his frustration is he’s trying to be error-free himself.”

Through two games, Heaps ranks 123rd in the country in passing and has yet to throw for more than 157 yards in a game. He has completed 23 passes in 48 attempts and thrown for 267 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked five times.

While those statistics — everyone in the KU locker room expected they would be significantly better — paint an average picture, Weis believes Heaps has been better than the numbers indicate, particularly during last weekend’s 23-14 loss at Rice.

“When (your receivers) drop five conversions on third down in plus territory, and one of ’em’s a walk-in touchdown, that’s significant,” he said. “Throw those on the completion category and tally them up and look at the percentage and yardage there, and all of a sudden you’re saying, ‘He played a heck of a game.’”

Don’t confuse Weis’ if/then statements for unqualified praise. Heaps has not been as sharp as either coach or player would have liked.

“It isn’t like he didn’t make any mistakes in the game,” Weis said of Heaps.

The confusing part for both of them is why things have not looked on Saturdays the way they have in practice and throughout fall camp. To back that up, Weis pointed to Wednesday’s practice, when Heaps completed 29 of 31 passes with no drops.

“It’s not consistent with what’s happening in practice,” Weis said. “... But I’m not worried about Jake. That’s the one person I know that I can count on (who) will handle things the right way.”

Coleman’s up

Weis has talked a lot about working wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman into the lineup more, and it sounds like the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Garden City Community College transfer will get a major increase in snaps Saturday during KU’s 11 a.m. match-up with Louisiana Tech.

“You won’t see Coleman a little this week,” Weis said Monday night on his weekly radio show. “You’ll see him a lot. That’s one of the things we’re talking about. Let’s see what he can do.”

La. Tech bracing for man-to-man

During Thursday’s 24-15 loss to Tulane, Louisiana Tech’s offense faced a lot of man-to-man defense and struggled against it. Bulldogs’ quarterbacks Scotty Young and Ryan Higgins combined to go 16-of-44 through the air for 165 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said Monday that his offense’s issues against Tulane were not strictly on the players, and he expects them to be better against KU’s man coverage this Saturday.

“We’ve got to have a plan for what we saw Thursday night,” Holtz said. “I don’t think we did a good enough job with it Thursday night, giving our players something they could execute more. We’ve gotta help ’em out.”

Take the day off

One area Holtz does not figure to spend much time working on this week is kickoff return. The first-year La. Tech coach sounded awfully impressed by the performance of KU kickoff specialist Trevor Pardula, who has recorded six touchbacks in nine kickoffs during KU’s first two games.

“I cannot image our kickoff return will get an opportunity,” Holtz said. “They kick pretty much everything out of the back of the end zone.”

During last week’s loss at Rice, all nine kickoffs — three by Pardula and six by Rice weapon Chris Boswell — resulted in touchbacks, which also impressed Weis.

“Our kicker continues to be exactly what we brought him in here for,” Weis said of Pardula. “I’ve never seen a game where every kickoff was a touchback.”

Comments

KURiggins 7 months ago

Heaps is going to be just fine. I predict he is going to be a beast. But like every qb he cannot do it alone. I have worried from the beginning about our ol. Qb has to be protected. Especially a true drop back qb like heaps. Our OL has not toughness. We need some hogs in there pushing that dl around and getting to the second level. And we need a new TE mundaine costs us this game. Hope heaps does not transfer again cause our folks cant catch

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kay_you 7 months, 1 week ago

According to the depth chart, McCay, Mundine and Ford have all lost their starting jobs.

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Pileofcrap 7 months, 1 week ago

Heaps is worst than Crist. I am so sick of watching this pile of crap!!

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bigtex 7 months, 1 week ago

Heaps played decent under the condition he was put in.

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hawkfansa 7 months, 1 week ago

I was at the game. Along with the drops I have to say I was disappointed with the interception down the sideline that was intended for McKay. He didn't have a chance for that ball and should at least made an effort to knock it down even at the risk of a penalty. Although not the most mobile of QB's, Heaps throws a nice ball when given a little time. For the most part he seemed to have decent time. There's no excuse for the balls that were dropped. Two of those drops were right between the numbers.

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jgkojak 7 months, 1 week ago

We may have one of the better Defenses in the B12 - because B12 teams don't play D -

so we may surprise a few teams (like Texas) and give ourselves a chance to win.

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shelleysue 7 months, 1 week ago

The defensive coaches are doing just fine. Rice averaged 30 points a game and our defense allowed them 13. The other 10 points were on the offense. Our defense is clearly headed in the right direction and I think that's the last thing we should complain about. Our kicking games is fine and not just compared to last year. The kicking game is fine. Period. As for Heaps, he hasn't played in two years people. My guess was that it would take half a season for him to get into the swing of things. The offense needs to get it together, no doubt about that. Let's see how the next two games go.

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JayHawkFanToo 7 months, 1 week ago

Here is an idea. Get Kerry Meir, currently not playing in the NFL, to coach wide receivers. He was the best at running routes and getting open and had one great pair of hands. Having played QB, he knew what the QB expected of the WRs/TEs and was always on the money. there is no question KU receiving corps can use all the help it can get, who could be better than one of the best WRs ever to play at KU.

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stanleys 7 months, 1 week ago

If CW is not worried about his QB he should be. All I've heard all summer and fall is the highly powered offense with a 5 star QB, all the terrific receivers and tight ends plus all the talent KU is sposed to have in the backfield?????? Heaps is so slow he can't get out of his own way, our receivers have hands of stone and the OC calls plays that never gives our RB's a chance. Pathetic, it's my own damn fault though, every year I make the mistake of setting the team's goals way too high. BUT, I ask YOU ALL---how many more years can we keep saying we are rebuilding??? Weis, the offensive coaches and the defensive coaches are one BIG joke. If that gray-haired ole boy in Manhattan had this team it'd be a totally different team and we'd all be cheering and not crying!!!

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JayDocMD 7 months, 1 week ago

We all knew heading into this season that this team would have very little margin. It was going to take more things going right than going wrong to turn the corner in the win-loss column. There's a lot of new players at new positions; some upgrades (DB's, DL, kicking game) and some not (OL & WR.) And still very little depth. We needed some things to fall our way with the new guys...

Well guess what. Pretty much ALL those personnel situations have gone against us:

  • Chris Martin = not-so-smooth criminal

  • Nick Harwell = Miami of OH screwjob

  • Pearce Slater = "Family Emergency" / "what have I done leaving CA for KS"

  • Marcus Jenkins-Moore = season-ending injury

  • Marquel Combs = ????????

  • Kevin Short = NCAA screwjob

Did I forget anybody? Sure, we all understand the risk of JUCO's and transfers. But who would have guessed that ALL of these guys would not be playing. These are all guys who would have been/should be starting. These 6 players represent over a quarter of a starting football team.

We were never going to be world-beaters this year. But these pre-season hits appear to be more than enough to help sink us and say "next year." The big question for me: with so few underclassmen recruits for development, will we be doing this all over again next year?

Side note: The biggest loss of all looks like Nick Harwell. He is just what Heaps and our stagnant offense needs.

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Marvin Blackburn 7 months, 1 week ago

If the first word in the title of the article was A instead of No, I would agree with it.

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Micky Baker 7 months, 1 week ago

There were a lot of people with the same negative attitude after Kansas men's basketball lost to Oklahoma State, TCU, etc. I think Kansas fans are like a typical progressive, utopia, and bitter when it never happens.

In fact, people were writing off KU after the TCU loss, thinking the streak of conference championships was going to end.

Time for some Jayhawk fans to mature a little. I wouldn't be so hateful if you're not the players on the field. They are the ones with the most invested in it in terms of sweat and blood.

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Brandon Mahon 7 months, 1 week ago

I wonder how TJ Millweard looks in practice. Coming from UCLA transfers to KU will have 4 years left after this season red-shirting. Heaps will only be around for one year so really 3 years left for him

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Joan Kalivoda 7 months, 1 week ago

Ku has one of the poorest football programs in the country, as bad as Kansas State was back some time ago. It is hard to believe that Ku could be in that bad of situation. Now Kansas ST. is one of the best programs in the nation, with a basketball program to match. Firing Mark M. was a big mistake, look they could have a head coach like Bo Pelini of Nebraska, what a mess this is, another laughing program. Weis might get this program turned around after the mess Gill got it in to, but it will not be any better than a middle of the road program, and that might be a lower level (middle of the road). Ku needs to watch out for the basketball program as it has gone down hill some with the way Self has conducted its progress, or lack of.

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Jim Jackson 7 months, 1 week ago

Would also like to know the status of Marquel; I don't think he would redshirt as he only has 2 years to play 2.

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danno1313 7 months, 1 week ago

I wouldn't be worried about quarterback, "PLAY" either if KU had any. It s amazing that only at KU can FIVE star recruits play like they've never played football before. Amazing.

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Brennan Keller 7 months, 1 week ago

I am predicting 4 wins for KU football this year. We have one already against South Dakota (obviously), we will beat La-tech this weekend, we will knock off Iowa State at Ames to end the road losing drought, and we will defeat West Virginia or Texas at home.

West Virginia and Texas have terrible rush defense**

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tophawk87 7 months, 1 week ago

For those of you predicting 6 wins this season, can you kindly point out where we get FIVE more wins out of this upcoming schedule please? Thanks....

Sat, Sept. 21 La. Tech at Kansas Sat, Oct. 5 TxTech at Kansas Sat, Oct. 12 Kansas at TCU
Sat, Oct. 19 Oklahoma at Kansas Sat, Oct. 26 Baylor at Kansas Sat, Nov. 2 Kansas at Texas
Sat, Nov. 9 Kansas at Okla. St.
Sat, Nov. 16 West Virginia at Kansas
Sat, Nov. 23 Kansas at Iowa State
Sat, Nov. 30 Kansas State at Kansas

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jaymar74 7 months, 1 week ago

Most are concentrating on the offense while the first key to turning around a program is the defense. We held Rice to 16 offensive points. A big step forward.

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nuleafjhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Whenever a coach says he's not worried about something - he's worried about it.

I'm not worried about the rest of the football season.

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leonard 7 months, 1 week ago

-- Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said Monday that his offense’s issues against Tulane were not strictly on the players...“We’ve got to have a plan for what we saw Thursday night,” Holtz said. “I don’t think we did a good enough job with it Thursday night, giving our players something they could execute more. We’ve gotta help ’em out.” --

Are you paying attention, Charlie?

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Doug Fogleman 7 months, 1 week ago

Where is Marquel Combs? I have not noticed him playing. So many articles was done on him, but I have not heard anything since the seasons begun.

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Robert Brock 7 months, 1 week ago

I think that Heaps is plenty capable of being a good quarterback. The BIG problem is his receivers and TEs. They rarely get open, and when they do, Heaps puts the ball in their hands of granite and they drop the thang! I cringe when it is Third And Six - you know that a case of the dropsies is coming.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 7 months, 1 week ago

I still, for some reason, have faith that Weis can do it.

But lose on Saturday....at home to Louisiana Tech....and this baby is over.

The biggest disappoint in the game Saturday wasn't the passing game (which was clinically depressing), but rather the running game; or lack thereof.

Our offense was less stagnant last year....and that's a truly crazy thing to say.

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Jim Jackson 7 months, 1 week ago

10 years ago Mangina brought in the same amount of JUCOs in his second season following a 2-10 season and we finished 6-6 in regular season before being smoked by Philip Rivers and NC St in the Tangerine bowl.

I'm expecting 6 wins this year and losing to Rice obviously does not help our cause. Playcalling was horrific and so were the receivers(would like to see more Charles Brooks and maybe pull Mark Thomas' redshirt??) and O line.

On th other hand, Defense was terrific; great job by Dave Campo coaching these guys and grreat job by Ben Heeney, dude is an animal.

Rock Chalk let's go bowling this year!

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Keith Hummel 7 months, 1 week ago

Something I think all the critics of Weis' play-calling need to consider is that he often doesn't have many choices. If you can't run the ball (as we couldn't against Rice) and you can't throw the ball (as we couldn't against Rice), then your left with trick plays and attempts to fool the defense. Everyone criticized the QB runs that were called, for example, but I actually thought he smart to go right back to it. No one expected Heaps to run the ball, and certainly not twice in a row. The problem is it got blown up because of poor blocking, and also because that was a veteran defense that wasn't easily fooled. As for not getting the ball to Pierson more, Weis said last night that Pierson was double-teamed the entire game. That should have opened up opportunities for other receivers, but as we know those other receivers couldn't catch the ball. Those same receivers catch virtually everything thrown their way in practice, so this is obviously a mental thing at game time. Perhaps there is too much pressure on these guys, I don't know. What I do know is the offense gave up on themselves sometime in the 3rd quarter, even though the outcome was very much still in question. I still contend the pieces are there, and once they work out the kinks and experience a little success, we will see a very capable offense. It's just gonna take some time.

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Bryce Landon 7 months, 1 week ago

Heaps does need to improve on not standing around too long with the ball and throwing it away when he can't escape the defense. And the receivers need to work on catching the damn ball when it comes their way.

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akgjenkintown 7 months, 1 week ago

It is not only the drops by receivers but the cover sacks of Heaps that are worrisome. The receivers are just not getting enough separation to provide good passing angles for Heaps. Heaps is clearly an upgrade as compared to last year due to his accuracy (granted it was a bit offer on Saturday), but the receivers need to improve not only catching passes but running better routes.

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Chris1955 7 months, 1 week ago

I was at the game Saturday and saw it live. The defense and the kicking game is showing significant signs of improvement over last year. The offense is still a disaster.

Our receivers cannot catch, cannot run routes well, and cannot improvise on a broken play. I saw Heaps have arm motion for Colemen to continue downfield on a broken play. Coleman actually stood there watching Heaps being chased. The offensive line doesn't seem to be able to move people out of their initial position in the blocking scheme. Heaps is s-l-o-w, and can't really put good moves on an oncoming pass rusheres.

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Ashwin Rao 7 months, 1 week ago

Yes, there is a HUGE improvement between the Gill years and now. There is also a big improvement from Mangino's last year and now. There is absolutely no doubt about it!

But so far, there "seems to be little to no" improvement between last year and this year. OK, I agree that the Qtr Back position seems to be an upgrade, and so is the secondary. But one of the big issues last year was in the receiving corps... They went an entire year without a TD (still can't believe that a D1 school can do that!). This year they have reached the end-zone, but the # of drops remains to be a problem, and until we fix that, we will be as bad as last year.

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Joey Meyer 7 months, 1 week ago

I can certainly sympathize with the frustration of the fan base. I mean we've lost an incredible amount of games or a bcs program ever since week six of Manginos last year... but where is all of this pent up pessimism coming?

Tuner Gill was getting not just beaten but destroyed to the point that we weren't even remotely close to our peers. Are some of these angry fans still watching those games? We are raw and very rough in certain areas, but this team is already a dramatic improvement over the Gill era and in many ways over last years team.

We lost six games last year by less than two touchdowns... How would we not win at least three games this year with La Tech and a down Big 12? I'd be happy to take that bet. Iowa State, Texas anyone? We've got games that we can win and we've got a team that is starting to come together aside from being hungry enough to do it.

The Rice loss sucked but that was not our last chance for a win on the year... I just don't get the extreme negativity and fire Weis mentality.

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Janet Scott 7 months, 1 week ago

If Charlie says he ain't worried, then I ain't worried. Hey, what ever happened to all that cyber / virtual equipment the KU football team is supposed to have, which they used this year; the hardware and software that was supposed to be a first-of-its-kind in Div I football? You know, the vitual computer system Zenger was all ga-ga about this summer, the system Santa left for KU last December? Guess Weis boxed it up and put it in storage a month or so ago.

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Jim Erickson 7 months, 1 week ago

I hate to disagree with CW, but Heaps is playing the easiest teams he will all year and is not exactly dominating. Sure he will improve and things may fall into place a bit, but lets be honest and remind ourselves that South Dakota, Rice and La Tech are not exactly big time defenses.

I'm not in a panic, but objectively I can't agree with any assessment of this team that is even remotely positive at this point. For reference, it will take a remarkable effort the rest of the season to top Turner Gill's 2 season win total... A total that got him run out of town.

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Jim Erickson 7 months, 1 week ago

I hate to disagree with CW, but Heaps is playing the easiest teams he will all year and is not exactly dominating. Sure he will improve and things may fall into place a bit, but lets be honest and remind ourselves that South Dakota, Rice and La Tech are not exactly big time defenses.

I'm not in a panic, but objectively I can't agree with any assessment of this team that is even remotely positive at this point. For reference, it will take a remarkable effort the rest of the season to top Turner Gill's 2 season win total... A total that got him run out of town.

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Jack Jones 7 months, 1 week ago

Absolutely ~ While we all ~ Jayhawk fans, players and coaches would have loved to have seen 'better' performances, including a win this past Saturday ~ two games in ~ the reality is that the description "a work in progress" is spot on. And, progress is being made, just as we watched progress being made throughout last season ~ a season with few new players, a new coaching staff, with a new 'system'. Keep the faith ~ my money is on 'better' days ahead.

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mahkmood 7 months, 1 week ago

Every time KU hires a coach that doesn't produce noticeable improvement there is a segment of fans that want to pass blame on the prior coach. You know the quotes, "This is a TOTAL rebuilding job", "This coach had NOTHING to work with when he arrived", etc. I've heard this over and over throughout the years: Terry Allen failed because of what Glen Mason left him; Turner Gill failed because of what Mangino left him; Weis is now failing because of what Turner Gill left him.

The flaw in this scapegoating method is apparent when a guy like Synder or Mangino gets hired and the team gets noticeably better immediately ("noticeably better" doesn't necessarily equate to W's right away). I think Weis is doing a better job than Gill, but I don't see the noticeable improvements that Mangino brought. Unfortunately, Mangino wasn't an excellent recruiter, so I think Weis has more potential. But the same argument was made against Snyder, and Ron Prince was supposed to pull a bunch of great recruits and take KSU to the next level. Didn't happen. Problem is... great coaching can trump raw talent at the college level. Weis is probably better suited for the NFL, but let's see what he can do for 3 seasons before giving up on him (if the only W this year is South Dakota, then I would say Zenger needs to fire him at the end of this year).

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pigballin 7 months, 1 week ago

laughable..typical crimson and blue glasses comments.

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David Leathers 7 months, 1 week ago

Although some of the major ingredients for success haven't existed yet, some of the complaints from last year have been satisfied. Pardula is a very impressive kicker and punter. Heaps -- regardless of what some you think -- isn't the problem. Cohesiveness is the biggest issue with our team right now. That, and "Stone Hands" Mundine. I know Jimmay can catch a pass in practice, but if he can't show the same ability vs LA Tech this week, it's time to see what the backups can do. I would love to see me some Charles Brooks or Ben Johnson. Not to mention, Josh Ford's drops last week weren't expected considering the great grab and run vs SDSU the week before.

I'm with ralster in thinking that KU has yet to show it's true colors. I'll stick by this team's side til the end. Rock Chalk #KUFBall

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Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Gotta love Jake Heaps "waving the wheat" after a TD! Such a KU-specific celebration, and he's joining the fans at that moment. Keep it up, Jake, cant wait til the next TD... :)

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Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Im not worried about already-proven Jake Heaps-->Just hasnt been proven here yet, so will wait patiently to see Heaps' supporting cast (O-line, WRs, TEs) become reliable and productive. This year's team is about 90% different from last year's team, so we are seeing pieces not-on-the-same-page yet. Gamefilm does not lie. We have a coaching staff--> watch nonproductive players correct their issues, or see some youngster on the 2deep get his chance. New learning curve for all players. Even Heeney & Sims have new guys right next to or in front of them...and those newbies are in very key positions. But ya know, as a fan I've got nothing but time, as I see the building blocks...couldnt say that about Gill's tenure. This is not a well-oiled machine yet...but keep working on it, guys! I cant wait til Saturday's game (will be there on the 50yd line). RCJakeHeaps!

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