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Sunday, October 16, 2016

David Beaty understands frustration with KU’s offense

Head coach: 'I'm upset at me'

Kansas head coach David Beaty and quarterback Ryan Willis (13) walk back to the sideline after a botched snap by offensive lineman Joe Gibson (77) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas head coach David Beaty and quarterback Ryan Willis (13) walk back to the sideline after a botched snap by offensive lineman Joe Gibson (77) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

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Between the Kansas football program losing 17 of its 18 games since he took over and the Jayhawks’ often defective offense under his watch as coordinator and quarterbacks coach during his second season in Lawrence, David Beaty can’t help but discern the swelling groans from within KU’s fan base.

Shortly after his team only scored one touchdown to Baylor’s seven Saturday in Waco, Texas, Beaty addressed numerous questions regarding the ineptitude of the Kansas passing game in particular.

In his second start of the season, sophomore quarterback Ryan Willis never achieved any rhythm or confidence against the Bears’ first-rate pass defense. Willis completed 10 of his 19 throws for just 89 yards — with three interceptions — prior to watching the final quarter-plus of the 49-7 blowout from the bench.

Before clarifying he, as the coach, deserved blame for the lousy numbers, Beaty said Willis often failed to survey the field thoroughly at BU.

“The majority of the mistakes we've made from a quarterback standpoint to this point have been the inability to read, and locking on and just thinking, ‘Hey, I've got this.’ When you do that, you usually pay a price,” Beaty said. “So there's really no steps you can skip at that quarterback position.”

With that topic as a jumping off point, the second-year KU head coach then alluded to the heat he feels when the offense flatlines.

“But, hey, at the end of the day, I'm coaching those guys and that's my fault. I've got to get better at that. There’s nobody else to blame but me,” Beaty said. “And, hey, listen, I would be upset at me, too. I'm upset at me, because I haven't gotten it fixed and we've got to get better at it.”

photo

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis (13) throws his helmet in frustration after throwing his second interception of the game during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Willis, who started eight games as a true freshman, rotated in as a backup to junior Montell Cozart during the first four games of the season before Beaty named him KU’s starter leading up to a home game against TCU. Though Willis completed 68.9 percent of his throws for 348 yards versus the Horned Frogs, he also gave away three interceptions in a 24-23 loss.

His laboring afternoon at Baylor gave Willis six interceptions in a two-game stretch. At the midway point of the season, the QB has three touchdown passes and seven picks. He has completed 61.5 percent of his throws for 811 yards on 117 attempts.

In four games as KU’s starter, which included frequent possessions on the bench as Willis subbed in, Cozart completed 62.6 percent of his passes for six touchdowns (five in the first two games of the season, versus Rhode Island and Ohio) and four interceptions. Cozart, who hasn’t played in the past two games, has thrown for 581 yards on 91 passes.

Beaty showed no indications of bailing on Willis at QB following the Baylor loss. The coach just hoped the experience would be another for his second-year signal-caller to learn from some difficult lessons.

“One of the things young quarterbacks go through, and really all quarterbacks, in college football you have to read, OK. And reading doesn't mean picking (a receiver), OK. If it was picking, a lot of us could play quarterback,” Beaty said. “You don't get to pick a route. You don't get to do that. You have to read, because any defense that's worth their salt in this country in Division I football are not gonna show you what they're doing on the pre-snap. They're going to either move and disguise and do all the things they can to try to confuse you as quarterback. So it's imperative you don't lock in on guys.”

KU (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) plays host to Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday, at Memorial Stadium for homecoming.

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 years, 9 months ago

“The majority of the mistakes we've made from a quarterback standpoint to this point have been the inability to read, and locking on and just thinking, ‘Hey, I've got this.’ When you do that, you usually pay a price,”

O.C., H.C., QB. C. and head bus driver.

Please make it stop.

Tell me tomorrow morning that the AD's office and the HC's office are vacant and I will stand up and cheer.

This guy has literally, and I mean literally, proven nothing in regards to his ability to coach. And Zenger has proven, literally, and I mean literally, that he has no friggin' clue about how to build a football program. If you ever wanted to see a living example of "in over your head", just drive to Larryville.

Time for a clean sweep. Lots of exec's and coaches out there who actually know that rah rah's don't build football programs. Seriously, Zenger, you go from and old loud mouth to the head camp fire girl? Seriously bad judgment and seriously bad talent evaluation.

And those of you out there that think that it takes time to build a program. How thick are you? Improvement is easily identifiable. And so is the same 'ole, same 'ole. I present to you, the definition of insanity.

Here's a news flash to anyone who has ever watched a football game. The air-raid offense has never won a Big 12 championship, a Pac 12 Championship and certainly not a National Championship. That's because it's a contrivance, not a philosophy.

Mrs. Air Raid? I'd like to introduce you to Mrs. Run and Shoot. What you both have in common is that you are horrible ideas. Just like the Mason-Dixon line or whatever horrible country band our current coach has listed as his favorite. Literally, of all the bands in the world?

Right now, there are people who believe that KU has the worst football program in America. If this is true, couldn't we have accomplished the same feat by just not trying?

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 9 months ago

Are suggesting that the head bus driver's seat needs to be also vacant? :)

Jim Stauffer 2 years, 9 months ago

While I might agree the results of our offense are unacceptable, those results are not nearly as irrational and pathetic as your post, Brett. We are at the point where we must allow someone to build his team.

So, we fire Zenger and Beaty. Let's just go ahead and do it today. Then the next guy comes in and can't recruit because what parent wants their kid to go to a school that fires their coach every two years. Then he fails in a year and a half and we fire him.

Calm down man. The foundation is being laid. Go away and come back and see what we have in '18 and '19.

Stephen Young 2 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, Jim, for injecting a bit of sanity into these comments. Fact is, we don't have a lot of top-tier talent on the field. We can thank Charlie Weis for that. But we ARE making strides, in recruitment, in conditioning, and in player development. Our best days are ahead of us, and I believe Coach Beaty will take us there. He deserves our support. For the impatient (and unrealistic) among us who are already calling for heads to (again) roll, who in the world do you think would WANT to be Head Coach in a place where you get only one full season to climb out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon AND ascent to the top of Mount Everest? News Flash: We won't be luring Urban Meyer or Nick Saban to Lawrence!

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 9 months ago

I get your frustration and I'm right there with you. I don't think it's time to let go of Beaty, though. I count this as is first year because of the crap he walked into. If next year we are seeing the same results then I'll start to jump on that wagon, but until then I think we're stuck with him.

Joe Ross 2 years, 9 months ago

If everything is put on either side of a set of scales weighing whether Beaty stays or goes, I think--for NOW--the decision to keep him comes out the heavier...but only slightly!

His indecisiveness, poor game management, questionable personnel utilization, unclear personal and asst. coaching duties (which speaks to lack of vision for the program) are all liabilities. He DOES seem to be a decent recruiter, and keeping his players motivated is a strength. But what tips the scales in his favor from my perspective has something only indirectly to do with Beaty: continuity of the direction of a program.

All of this would change in my own mind if a guy like Art Briles were not only available, but interested in coming to Kansas. But right now, there is no one else like that on the radar, so I think for the sake of long-term stability, we have to stay with the guy...frustrations and all.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 9 months ago

My biggest reasoning on keeping him is we don't have any better options. And my second biggest would be his recruiting. If improvements aren't made next year, and we somehow manage to get worse then move on.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

No! No! No! A thousand times no to Art Briles! Kansas football may be in a desperate situation, but it should not be so desperate as to stoop to hiring a guy who covers up sexual assault!

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

". But what tips the scales in his favor from my perspective has something only indirectly to do with Beaty: continuity of the direction of a program." Not sure what games you are watching----this team is playing worse than last year. And the stats such as total and scoring offense and defense are trending downward--looks like they will both be at the bottom of FBS stats at the end of the year.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 9 months ago

Backing slowly away from the ledge....

So, if he stays, then this O.C. idiocy needs to end.

Joe Ross 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Willis made some bad plays. I totally expected he would. Baylor is a tough opponent. The Kansas line is ineffective. Willis is young. He doesn't seem to have been coached in some important areas. There are many reasons one can point to as to why Ryan's performance was terrible. But hey...he's better than Cozart at the position. You have to ride Willis the rest of the season and get the guy some experience so he can get better. Stay with it.

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 9 months ago

You have good points, but there are some things that needs to come naturally (and not have to be coached)... "That" is what makes a successful star... I am not sure if either of the two top QBs have it.

Michael Leiker 2 years, 9 months ago

Willis has shown the ability to make the throws, problem is he just makes one really bad one for every 5 great ones he makes. I'm convinced if he would have started from the beginning of the year he would have gotten over this hump by now.

Joe Ross 2 years, 9 months ago

...that and the fact that he has probably not had adequate instruction in practice (Im assuming, because the issue has lingered). If it were me, at this point in the season, Im having Willis spend all of practice throwing passes. Nothing else. Crazy? I dont think so. He already knows the plays and an idiot can hand the ball off. He should spend an hour and a half every night throwing against coverage. That way, on Saturdays he will have had to proper instruction under him letting him know whether or not to throw a pass in the first place, and if he throws it the repetition will help him on his placement. These kinds of decisions and performances are coaching issues, I feel...with all due respect to Ashwin's opinion.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 9 months ago

How about making him practice against a 12 or 13 man defense? Add a few extra guys to account for so when it comes game time playing against 11 guys seems like a cake walk.

Michael Leiker 2 years, 9 months ago

It's about accurately depicting coverage that he would see on Saturdays, all playing against more people would do is mess up his thinking with his progressions...very different from practicing against 10 guys in basketball to mimic a press.

Micky Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm not so sure he hasn't been coached on the circumstances. Baylor was easily the quickest and fastest defense the offense has faced this season. The decision to make the throw that resulted in the pick 6 was in timing in my view. He throws that ball a half a second sooner while the defender is still back pedaling, it's a first down for us and we take that ball down and get points. That would have changed the whole tone of the game. Now there are other things that comes to the coaches and the newer playbook that isn't even the same one from a year ago but we really don't have as many options as long as our O-line remains porous.

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

Willis does have the abilities to be a better QB. He has arm strength and accuracy. Even the announcers in the Baylor game commented positively on Willis's ability to make the long and accurate throw when starting from the left hashmark to the right flat area.
The problem is that there is no QB coach on staff. Holding the title of QB coach does not make you a QB coach. Same situation for OC--Beaty is clueless with his playcalling. Give the playcalling back to Likens and hire an experienced QB coach.

Kevin Robert Fest 2 years, 9 months ago

Every week Beaty says that he has to get better whether it's being the head coach, oc or what have you every single week he knows he's not getting better especially with the OC position do something else. He says that with Willis needs to read the field I understand that at the line when he's under Center or in the shotgun but when you literally have two seconds from the time of the snap of the ball that half of the defense is in the backfield that's not the quarterback's fault. Willis does have a habit of holding the ball way too long taking bad snacks making risky throws wether its into double, triple coverage behind the receiver or getting the ball late to the receiver this all has to do with the timing of the offensive line but still a lot of it has to do with Willis's inability to make accurate throws.

Make no mistake it would have taken an absolutely perfect game for Kansas to beat Baylor and I'm not even sure a perfect game would have allow the team to beat Baylor but it's frustrating to hear the coach say week after week after every loss I have to get better okay coach when is that going to be?

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

He sounds a lot like Turner Gill when he keeps saying that.

Jim Stauffer 2 years, 9 months ago

Beaty is taking the heat for kids who should be back ups until they gain the necessary maturity. He and these kids will get better. They will get bigger and stronger and most of all they will get older and become more mature. When that happens, the rest of the league will be playing against young men of the same maturity level they are when they come to Memorial.

Michael Leiker 2 years, 9 months ago

You just have to write that one off as fan, too many ways that could have gone ugly Saturday, which it did. I do think that Willis starting from the get go this year would probably have KU at 2 wins at this point, whether the 2nd is TCU or Ohio. The game this Saturday will be a real barometer for what progress has been made.

Mike Barnhart 2 years, 9 months ago

The first quarter in Waco was a disaster. It's not surprising to see that happen to a young, inexperienced coach with young inexperienced players. I think it's important to separate what went right from what went wrong in that quarter.

We blocked pretty well, made some very nice throws and catches, the backs made athletic plays and the defense made Baylor earn their yards. Compared to the last five years, that's great stuff!

The QB mistakes, absurd play calling and unprecedented bad snap were devastating and impossible to overcome on the road against a top 25 program. If we'd scored on our initial drive, the whole day may have been different.

Attention to detail, fundamentals and execution come from hard work and experience that this young program hasn't earned yet.

Michael Leiker 2 years, 9 months ago

This is the tough thing, you have to be watching really closely, as you obviously are, to see what is happening. There is improvement happening and as fans we need to make sure they understand we see that.

Mike Barnhart 2 years, 9 months ago

The key to experience is learning from it.

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 9 months ago

This is not the first time Beaty has expressed displeasure in his own coaching abilities. Perhaps it is time to reinstall Likens. He has no OC experience prior to arriving in Lawrence but he was instrumental in turning Cal’s offense around.

David Kemp 2 years, 9 months ago

Given the current he can do no worse the Beaty, and statistically it's a dead heat if you throw out D.C.'s games we have scored exactly 77 pts this year and 77 points last year.

John Brazelton 2 years, 9 months ago

Once again, everyone expects IMMEDIATE RESULTS! Look back in history at KU coaches who were successful at KU. It took most of them 4 or 5 years to win. Most left for greener pastures once they had winning team. That's why KU has no long--term winning football tradition like OU or Texas. Either the defense or offense develops first. During Glen Mason's first years, he had two good defensive teams, then the offensive caught up. Everyone needs to relax!!!

Brett McCabe 2 years, 9 months ago

Not true. Mason and Mangino made improvement in the second year. Snyder, too.

Micky Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

There are improvements this season, just not as great as you'd like. I don't see how you can realistically expect more with our shortage of scholarship players, which none of those coaches you mentioned inherited such a deficit from a previous staff.

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

Mason was 4-7 his second year. MM was 6-7 in 2nd year.

Mike Greer 2 years, 9 months ago

As I recall and my memory isn't all that great, but the team Mangino inherited wasn't nearly as bad as the one Beaty got, and that has a lot to do with how well you can be expected to do your second year.

I've always been a KU fan first, but not all of my kids went to KU, so I've watched a number of programs over the years. I remember back in the mid to late '90s KU taking OU in Memorial. That was near the end of Blake's tenure. But even then he had some good players and Stoops was able to win a NC with those same guys. For Beaty the cupboard was virtually bare a year ago. It's going to take time.

Terry N Tom Denner 2 years, 9 months ago

If Beaty can't help but discerns swelling groans from unhappy FANS? Relax you say John ? Wait until about half of the Student Body that now shows up now stops coming altogether. Along with the discerned groaning fan base. Alumni will have his butt pointed to the front door by the end of this season. Les Miles is still in the hunt to coach somewhere. I'd rather hire a proven veteran coach for what he was making at LSU than waste it all on wish to be's. Beaty has proven that he is not any good at calling his offense or coaching the QB's. 1-11 path for the next three years if they chose to keep him. If this nut job continues to over see's the QB & OC you are looking at a grand total with him for 5 years 4 - 56 record. Maybe 8-52 if they are lucky. Tom

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

Even if Les Miles comes to Kansas, you know he won't stay long. He'll jump at a better, higher-caliber job the moment it opens up.

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

Miles is 63 years old---his next job will probably be his last.

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

Yet Miles did not fire his OC, which was the core or LSU's relative struggles over the past few years. Well, maybe they were BFFs.
IF Miles cannot make a clear-cut decision that is needed for his team, why would he be better at KU? Reminds me of a certain coach who retains a sub-par DC because they are friends and their families vacation together. As attendance decreases along with season ticket sales, the (new) Chancellor will have to make the necessary decision to fire Zenger. Then the new AD will, hopefully, make an appropriate hire of a competent HC.

Clarence Haynes 2 years, 9 months ago

Until the O-Line develops, it'll be brutal for a QB in a drop back passing offense to effectively read defenses and make plays!

Joe Ross 2 years, 9 months ago

"Until the O-line develops, it'll be brutal for a QB in a drop back passing offense to effectively read defenses and make plays!"

(Let me add my own "amen"...)

Michael Leiker 2 years, 9 months ago

The comparison I like to make, is that for Willis it's like he's playing the Alabama front 7 every week. That's where you have to start when evaluating his performance.

Clarence Haynes 2 years, 9 months ago

Until the O-Line develops, it'll be brutal for a QB in a drop back passing offense to effectively read defenses and make turnover free plays!

Bud Stagg 2 years, 9 months ago

At most top notch programs, you get to play as a junior and senior. A little here and there as a sophmore. We are throwing guys with no experience out there because they are better athletes than the others. It's all we have. It takes time guys.

Chandler Accipiter 2 years, 9 months ago

It really pains me to throw this out there, but what if KU gets ahead of the curve and starts the process of dropping football altogether? There are smarter people than me on this board, and I wonder if any of you have thoughts on this. What effect would it have on the overall university and, let's be honest, the basketball program?

Joe Ross 2 years, 9 months ago

It would hurt Kansas as a University tremendously. Football and basketball are for Kansas, as they are nearly everywhere else, the two major revenue-generating sports. Even Kansas football, as bad as it is, produces more money than some might assume. If we improve the program, much more stands to be gained. The University knows that and will not walk away from football.

But its not just having football that is important. Being a part of a Power 5 conference is ideal...for MONEY. With what's at stake, I'd be tempted to say that University officials are acting in every way possible to keep Kansas' football program respectable in the Big 12, though the hiring decisions and performance of the team on the field as a reflection of them gives one pause. But it is certainly the case that the University will not willingly give up its program, because the money and the potential for money is too great to give up.

David Kemp 2 years, 9 months ago

Look no further than the money. As bad as the team is last year they made millions more than basketball, which is precisely why the stakes for success are so large.

Calvin Miller 2 years, 9 months ago

And KSU football l reportedly made more $$ in 2015 than KU basketball +KU football combined.

David Kemp 2 years, 9 months ago

Exactly why the stakes for success are so large.

Micky Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

That is just not an option. That would take KU basketball down to a mid major at best.

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 9 months ago

Chandler, I am very sympathetic to that idea, not just for KU. College football is not what it used to be. The money involved has created absurd stress on everyone from the chancellor to the players. It is out of whack. We are in an Era where the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. I would hate to see it happen unless it was the result of a movement to go back to amateur athletics. Maybe flag football.

But otherwise I agree that we need time, this coach needs time but in response to his comments I am having a hard time buying into the idea that our quarterbacks have time to read defenses and go through progressions.

You can be locked on to a receiver (in your mind) but disguise it. I don't recall seeing a pump fake but then that would probably result in a fumble.

Max Ledom 2 years, 9 months ago

What an incredibly stupid post Brett. Yeah, Mangino improved and so did Mason. But neither one of them inherited a team that CANT EVEN FILL IT ALOTMENT OF SCHOLARSHIPS TO GIVE. Beaty is playing teams with one hand tied behind his back because he still has 20 scholarships he can't give because of NCAA rules!

And oh you're so wise. Firing a coach a year and a half into his tenure...after Gill and Weis..yeah. Good thing you're not our AD. Sorry man, you can't rebuild a program that is as buried as ours in two years or even three. If we keep rebooting we will stay the same forever. Everyone needs to shut up and support our coach who's working his butt off. Because he's all we got.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

I am disappointed in how this season is turning out; I was hoping for 3-9. And I see little difference between this year's team and last year's. But we absolutely cannot fire David Beaty. Not during this season, not at the end of the season, not after his third season or his fourth. Gill and Weis ran this program so deep into the ground that it is going to take more time than usual to get this program to something resembling respectability. I don't think we'll be good enough to get to a bowl game until at least 2020. So I'm willing to take a chill pill and stick with Beaty until Year 5 of his regime at least.

Micky Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

I will say that it is still possible to win one more game this year, maybe two if we get some breaks go our way. We should have beaten TCU, but that would not have changed how the Baylor game turned out. We can beat Iowa State and maybe get lucky on another home game. No, I'm not making my judgment of improvement based on win-losses, not yet.

David Kemp 2 years, 9 months ago

If we play isu close I can watch, given the fact they lost 30 players off last years roster we should be able to hang with them otherwise we will continue to have these conversations!

Micky Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

Since you acknowledge that losing 30 players from a year ago, we can play them close, who can you not acknowledge our struggles due mainly being 20 scholarship players short? We should be judging this based on wins and losses at this point. We have a gap to close with other Big 12 teams. This is just the way that is right now. We cannot control the past or live in it.

Brad Sherp 2 years, 9 months ago

Weis was a horrible coach... but ultimately head coaches are measured by wins. On paper, Weis is a better coach than Beaty... as painful as that is to say.

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