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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

KU football coach David Beaty: ‘I’m going back to the way that I was’

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a signal to his players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a signal to his players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

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Whether you’re the top dog at Alabama or running the show at Kansas, the job of a college football coach is not easy.

But it tends to get harder when a head coach packs on his back a bunch of extra tasks he’s paying other people to handle.

That has been the path traveled by second-year Kansas coach David Beaty during the first 15 games of his college coaching career. And it appears to be changing.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bye week Q&A: David Beaty on locker room renovations and lessons learned from losses

After a 43-7 loss against Memphis last week, Kansas football coach David Beaty met with the media to talk about what changes are needed, how the team needs to develop, locker room renovations and a look ahead to Texas Tech.

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“I’ve got a terrific staff,” Beaty said Tuesday, three days after his team fell to 1-2 with a lopsided loss at Memphis. “I’ve gotta let those guys do their job better, like get out of their way a little bit.”

Whether it came in the form of taking over the play-calling, coaching the quarterbacks, instructing the punt returners or any other number of smaller tasks that often go unnoticed, Beaty, in recent months, added a lot to his unending role as the head coach at Kansas. Tuesday, he vowed to change that in the coming weeks by falling back on a core philosophy he leaned on when putting together his staff in the first place.

“We have a bunch of smart guys here,” Beaty said. “We really do. So maybe just taking more input from those guys when it comes to general things that we’re doing and not micromanaging as much. That’s always been a goal of mine, not to be a micromanager, to hire good guys and let ’em do their job. I did something a little bit different here the last couple weeks and I think it cost us.”

Such an admission is not one you hear often from the head coach of a college football program. But the thing about it that caught his staff off guard was not that Beaty had the humility to say it, rather that he felt he needed to in the first place.

“He's the head coach. He can do whatever he wants. It's his watch and his program,” said receivers coach Jason Phillips. “We need to get on board with his plan and his goals and make his vision a reality. For him to say that, obviously he's done some self-reflection, it speaks to him as a man, someone that is willing to say, ‘Hey, look, maybe I feel I'm doing something and I need to change what I'm doing and maybe we'll get better results.’”

How and if those results come remains to be seen and certainly will depend upon a lot more than the specific duties carried out by the Kansas coaching staff. Players still have to block, protect the football, stop the opponent and catch a break or two. But defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said it was nice to hear Beaty confirm what he already believed — that the head coach has faith in his staff.

“He's always been good about allowing us to have and do what we need to do,” Bowen said. “I think he's just reaffirming that he has confidence in the assistant coaches to get their jobs done.

“Coach Beaty is working extremely hard to get this program turned around, to get everything right that you can get right and to can get it done as fast as we can. He's just always continuing to try to find a better way to do things and I think that's where he is coming from. He's always just keeping his eyes open on the best ways to get the job done.”

Defensive backs coach Kenny Perry doubles as one of Beaty’s nearest and dearest friends. Perry said Beaty’s latest move would not have been made if he did not care as much as he did.

“Boy, I tell you what, he bears a heavy heart for this program,” Perry said. “He really does. He wants, like no other, for this thing to go the right way. At the end of the day, he wants to win for the state of Kansas, not just for David Beaty.”

If there’s one thing Perry hopes people will learn from Beaty’s most recent move, it’s that Beaty has no agenda other than to do everything in his power to make Kansas football a winner.

“He ain’t an ‘I’ guy by any means,” Perry said of Beaty. “He’s done some things kind of unconventional for a head coach, but that’s the way it is. I’ve been coaching 25 years and whatever the guy does, right, wrong or indifferent, I’m gonna follow him and we’re gonna go down together. Hopefully we go up together. That’s our plan. That’s why everybody’s here.”

Added Beaty: “I’m going back to the way that I was. ... I can make changes. If I’m gonna ask any of these guys to look inside, I’m gonna be the first one to pick up the paint brush. If I’m gonna ask them to do something hard, I gotta do it.”

Dineen to miss time

Beaty revealed Tuesday that junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., who missed most of the Memphis game because of an injury, would miss at least a couple of weeks because of a hamstring injury.

Both Beaty and Dineen, who was seen walking with the help of crutches on Tuesday, were relieved to find out that the news was not as bad as once feared.

Still, taking a co-captain and one of the team’s top players out of the lineup was not necessarily good news.

“It’s a blow because he’s such a leader on our football team, in addition to his production,” Beaty said. “Our guys really look to 'The Mayor' for leadership ... Joe will get back as quick as he can.”

Long snapper injured

Starting long snapper John Wirtel, a senior from Orland Park, Ill., is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in last week’s loss to Memphis.

Wirtel, who has played in 37 games as a Jayhawk, was replaced by freshman Logan Klusman, of Lafayette, La.

“That was unbelievable,” Perry said of Klusman’s effort in relief. “I’ve never in 25 years seen a deep snapper that was the only deep snapper go down in a game and then have a kid come in and snap the way that true freshman did. That was frickin’ unbelievable.”

New-look locker room

The local media received a 30-minute tour of the Jayhawks newly renovated locker room prior to Beaty's news conference on Tuesday.

Jeff Love, KU's director of football technology, opened up the locker room and showed off all of the bells and whistles that included everything from a block of nine 42-inch television screens in the main area and state-of-the-art sound system to an extensive and varied lighting display.

The project, which cost right around $2 million, was completed just before the start of the 2016 season. Additional features include an homage to past KU greats, a more modern gaming area and ventilated lockers that feature pictures, hometowns and Twitter handles of each player on the Kansas roster.

"This is a recruiting tool, no doubt," said Love, noting that each visit made by a recruit is tracked so that the next time that athlete sets foot in the locker room, it will look different than it did the time before. "No detail was left unturned when the thought process went into this, and the idea is that this is home away from home."

Comments

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 2 months ago

Move Cozart to a running back or end. He does not read the defense fast enough to be an effective QB in the offense. He has a great completion record only because of the calls given to him by the Coaches. If this team is to be a fast moving offense, similar to OSU or BU, then the QBs must fit the situation. Cozart does not.

Steve Corder 4 years, 2 months ago

So, does this mean Likens is back to calling plays? DeForest to coach punt returners?

Bee Bee 4 years, 2 months ago

I don't think it really matters without any talent on the field.

Glen Miller 4 years, 2 months ago

We may not have the talent of Ohio State, Bama or schools like that...... but there is talent on our team. Had you said this a couple years ago I wouldn't argue..... but to say we don't have any talent is just not true.

David Williams 4 years, 2 months ago

Wondering if someone had a come-to-Jesus conversation with him...I sort of doubt he made that decision on his own. Perhaps he read/heard what has been noted in the media. Who knows.

The first principle of good management is to hire good people (who hopefully are actually better than you in some area in which you are not as strong), and then get out of the way and let them do their job. Micromanagement usually is a symptom of a panic situation. Hopefully, he has realized this and will now act like a manager/CEO and run the program more efficiently.

Jack Hoff 4 years, 2 months ago

If ya'll sat and listened to his press conference I don't see how you could find any body better for turning around Kansas football that Coach Beaty. The guy loves this place, he wants more than anything to have Kansas win again and he's trying hard. My biggest thing I like about him is he admits his faults and takes accountable, most people try to protect their ego and would never do that to the degree he just did.

Alot of positives can be found at this point versus last year. Special teams is much improved, defense is much improved and the skills of the offensive players are improved but the QB situation needs to be fixed. Does no good to beg for his and Zenger's firing 3 games into his second year when he is still playing mostly Weis players. How can you say it's a 5 year fix then lose patience in year 2? Don't be the same fans who when KU actually starts to win say " I believed in Beaty all along" Fair weather fans grind my gears.

Also stop the nonsense about moving Cozart to receiver or running back or whatever. If that's the case answer this question. Who is he gonna play over? How long will it take him to learn the position and if it's not a natural fit does he jeopardize taking reps from those who actually need it? He ain't no Kerry Meier so stop the nonsense. The honest truth is as of today Kansas does not have a QB capable of leading a stellar offense. Not Willis not Cozart and Stanley and Starks are to be determined. Until Beaty gets to recruit his depth of QB's and develop them from the start its kind of unfair to pin their failures on him entirely.

Obviously they need to improved in many areas but you don't just wave your hand and boom problems fixed. It takes years or reps and chemistry to address most issues. They will get there!

Joe Auten 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with the first part, but I think Cozart is worth a shot a a WR. He's got athleticism and if he has time to think about his role, I believe he could contribute as a WR. He's proven incapable of handling game pressure every down.

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 2 months ago

Name one receiver he could play in front of. There isn't one. Keep him in the QB room as his knowledge will help the guys on the field.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps Cozart has about the same speed as Patrick but Patrick catches the ball and does not fumble the ball. Those are two big things Cozart has not demonstrated any ability toward doing.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 2 months ago

Jack, wrong on so many points. Loving this place has about as much to do with being successful as recruiting Kansas kids - zilch. True, Charlie only loved money and an audience, but if you aren't passionate about winning, don't apply to be a head coach.

I actually think Ego has been his main issue. Micro-managing the staff, taking control of the offense, getting in the head of his returning QB all smack of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out.

As far as improvements - special teams are better and credit to Beaty for bringing in a real coach, and then cutting his legs out from under him. The defense has always been Bowen's.

As far as QB, Willis clearly showed the potential to be a P5 quarterback last year. If the offense had been tweaked a bit to match his skills and those of the players on the roster, we would be a far better offensive team right now.

Golly-gee rah-rah's don't win at this level. Smart guys who now how to properly execute a plan, and motivate young men do win. It's not over for Beaty, and I'm guessing that he gets another year to show improvement, but improve he absolutely must.

Doug Roberts 4 years, 2 months ago

If we had a good offensive line Willis would be destroying defenses. It all starts with the big uglies. Same on defense.

Joe Auten 4 years, 2 months ago

This is Beaty's first head coaching job as we all know. For him to admit he's been micro-managing his coaching staff is huge. Heck, this has almost never happened in my industry I've worked in for 31 years! It's a good sign for sure and the only way the entire staff, in my opinion, will continue to support him and get better. Beaty needs to take a big picture approach to what is happening, keep an open mind to who is a game player, not just good in practice, teach his coaches what he expects them to teach the players and the progression he wants, and then get out of the way. He should take a page from the man in Manhattan, and learn how to coach discipline in players, because this is obviously lacking. I hope he can do what he says he wants to do, and go back to the way he was. He's inexperienced as a head coach, but he needs to learn to oversee the coaching staff without micro-managing them and to do this sooner rather than later. I think he can, I think he can, I think he can, and I think most KU supporters would like to see him create improvement rather than change coaches. We can build on getting better every game, and no one should complain about that. Improving every game should be the ultimate goal, in my opinion, until we get enough talent to be competitive.

Joe Ross 4 years, 2 months ago

Pretty crazy that Coach Beaty would start the season leaning on Cozart but not his coaching staff. This press conference gets half of this problem right, and he can fix the other half of it by going with Willis to start the next game.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 2 months ago

“He's always been good about allowing us to have and do what we need to do,” Bowen said.

Except that this whole article is based around the fact that he hasn't been doing that for the past 10 months or so. Fortunately, Coach Bowen is absolutely correct that “Coach Beaty is working extremely hard to get this program turned around, to get everything right that you can get right and to can get it done as fast as we can."

This is as reassuring as I could possibly imagine given the program performance during the past 2 games in particular.

Brian Wilson 4 years, 2 months ago

This all great as Beatty is growing into his job. HOWEVER, this won't change a damn thing as far as wins this year. Hence, we should not be pressuring for a change in coaching. It was obvious we would have two of KU's most miserable seasons when we hired Beatty. This year as far as I'm concerned Beatty gets another free ride to recruit and learn. Next year I am hoping for 2 wins, and then 4.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 2 months ago

The over/under was 1.5 going into the season. Win one and you are on the underperforming side of things. Those of us with rose-colored glasses saw 3 wins as possible (all the non-con's or two of the non-con's and surprise). I'd be satisfied with one win if the Ohio game had been close or if the Memphis game had been close or if we had shown improvement from last season. Offensively, we have not.

Just because it takes five years to build a program doesn't mean you have to stand in the mud until someone pulls you out 5 years later. If improvement is a sign of progress then lack of improvement is a sign of no progress. Twenty-one yards in a half and one penalty-produced first down is not improvement. Seven points in a game against an unranked opponent is not improvement.

I agree with Joe, above, the last thing that I actually want to see is another coaching change. I was not in favor of the Beaty hire, but I am all in on hoping that he succeeds. He gets paid $800,000 a year to get it right - not all the time and not on every little thing, but on the big things and on the overall direction of the program. We need to start getting it right.

Jack Hoff 4 years, 2 months ago

I would also say the team should earn a little bit more credit for their effort against Ohio and in the second half of games in general. Granted they made many poor mistakes. However Ohio is a solid ball club with a veteran coach. In the last 2 games they have only given up 19 second half points and it was due to halftime adjustments. Obviously they need to learn to not dig themselves into such holes and that is mutually on the coaches and players. But it also speaks to them at least being able to properly adjust at half an it isn't the same formula they try to pound for the whole game. Ohio just took a very good Tennessee team to the wire and KU was competitive outside of shooting themselves in the foot. i would say it bodes well for the future that the team hasn't looked out manned as much as they've just been getting in their own way repeatedly.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 2 months ago

Defensively, we've been competitive. Offensively, we've been horrific. This is due to changing our offensive system from year one to year two, demoting the offensive coordinator and choosing the wrong quarterback (again). That's coaching.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 2 months ago

Has Beaty been reading the comment sections on this website? Because it sounds like he's taking our advice!

Randy Bombardier 4 years, 2 months ago

I listened to his presser today at work. I know he is a great guy. What I hope he is not is passive, meaning you see someone who needs called out, you call them out. You don't overlook behavior, passivity in others, you are driven and surround yourself with other people who are driven.

Furthermore, I think turnovers is our single biggest problem and I don't think he sees why this is happening. You don't coach being turnover free anymore than you coach a driver to be accident free if they already know that stuff.

He talked a bit about psychology of the team. I don't think he really gets that. He better learn to be a hard task master or he has no future, here or elsewhere.

If he'd required the whole team to run wind sprints for every turnover after the Ohio game I seriously doubt we would have had an even worse performance against Memphis.

I would not do that every week, maybe just the receivers running for each pick their quarterback throws. Then the whole offense for a fumble. Mix it up. It's about unit execution. They play as a unit, they live as a unit, they celebrate as a unit and they need to pay the piper as a unit, or as a team. Win or lose.

In order to have this many turnovers you have people not taking care of the ball because they do not fear the consequences. The practices are drill, drill, drill. It's not like they don't have the skills or ability. It's mental.

And if this is a philosophy that he will not embrace then get out of the way of the assistant coaches who do embrace this kind of discipline.

Finally, if we have a coach who above all wants to be liked by his players we have a problem. If he would rather be respected then we have hope. Hopefully he understands the difference.

I still think he needs five years minimum. I hope he is successful and the rest of his tenure is not so painful.

Joe Auten 4 years, 2 months ago

Some of the most rewarding years for me as a coach of be it football, baseball, or basketball were when the teams I coached were less talented than the opponents and yet we played as a team and played better than anyone expected, and then some. We won some and lost some, but the measure of success I employed was based on an incredible book called "Building and leading successful teams," by Bill Butterworth. I knew parents were counting on me and the other coaches to help each player improve, and to do this, Butterworth says you have to get each team member to contribute what they can, and nothing less. How? I can still remember making sure every member on the team understood and remembered the acronym RSCU, which stood for Respect, Sacrifice, Coachability, and Unity. I believed this started with the coaching staff, who then explained this and modeled it to the players. Respect for one another on the team.(ie; appreciate what unique talent each member brings to the team.) Sacrifice (ie: sometimes you have two or three players who can play quarterback, but the gamer plays, and the 2nd or third string sacrifice and play other positions to help the team become even more successful for the sake of the team.) Coachability (ie: All coaches were on board with the head coach's plan and each player was expected to develop and improve during the season. Sometimes this was as small as catching a pass or getting a single hit, but it was astonishing when that catch or hit would come and how it elevated these teams). And lastly and most importantly, Unity, which Butterworth says is a team's greatest strength. (ie: play unified at all times because it's much more rewarding to win as a team and easier to handle setbacks as a team as well.)

When Bill Self talked to the football team prior to the season opener about how this team could be builders rather than maintainers, it reminded me of this book and was very similar to what Bill ways trying to get the players to see, and maybe even the coaches. I found that having a vision and philosophy for the team that was consistent and that everyone understood, even the parents, prevented a whole lot of drama that could have happened, and everyone, together and unified, enjoyed the ride. I wish this for this team. They deserve nothing less. Play like you've been there, and Rock Chalk!

Steve Macy 4 years, 2 months ago

Growing pains of a new Head Coach, it is painful to watch. RCJH, I think if given time to build the roster, he might make it to respectability.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 2 months ago

We all knew when Beaty was hired that he would need to grow into the job and patience would be required. From all accounts Beaty sure seems to have the passion for the job but geez he seems to be like a chicken running around with its head cut off. Most of Beaty's major problems seem to come from his QB play/selection.

Regardless of the defensive metrics, if we continue playing this way...Beaty and Zenger sadly will be the causalities this year.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 2 months ago

As I posted earlier, another thing to watch-out for is stay turnover this year. If it's excessive, then we all have our answer.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes, that is true. If another 6 or so coaches leave on top of a 1-13 record...yikes. Also hope the play calling improves.

I could easily live with us being 1-2 now or even going 1-12 for the year but damn the way we lost is a kick in the teeth. I really like Beaty and Zenger and hope things come together for all of us.

Robert Brock 4 years, 2 months ago

Beaty needs to learn to be a head coach. Hire an offensive coordinator, Fella! You ain't one!

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 2 months ago

1.) Give the playing calling duties back to the OC.

2.) Start Willis and tell him he's starting. This will give him nearly two weeks to prepare knowing he's the starter and cannot lose it.

3.) Hold everyone accountable. This includes coaches, players, and yourself.

4.) Stop being so nice. No more pats on the head or we'll get em next time. If someone screws up make sure they know about it.

5.) No more damn bubble screens! If you start Willis let him play to his strength and throw it down field.

6.) Delegate, delegate, delegate. The best coaches, managers and CEO's are the best because they hire great people and they let them do their jobs.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 2 months ago

The offense will come together. I said at the beginning of the year, if Cozart won the job we'd be disappointed because we've seen what he can do, and it won't be successful at KU. If Willis won the job outright it would have pointed to a favorable jump. At last if Stanley had won the job it would have been a huge success because he would have just clearly outplayed the two. Unfortunately with the selection of the QB you knew we had some development this year.

I believe that Cozart was chosen because our offensive line isn't quite strong enough (proven by the 1.7 yards/carry) and Willis isn't going to run. Cozart can move a little more, so gives a little more chance of success, but not enough.

With the air raid the outside throws to the WR require a strong arm, Cozart's throws aren't getting there quick enough to give the WR the ability to make the man miss, basically ruining the chances of Sims/Quiv the opportunity to use their speed.

I know I've talked about our offense, I still think the defense is the big issue. Our tackle for losses has been good, our tackles in the open field have been atrocious. I'm not a fan of Bowen, he came in after the Orange Bowl when we were ranked in the 60s in defense and now we haven't left the triple digits since he has gotten here. I know some of that is the offensive make-up, but year-over-year if there is an avenue for change it's him.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh by the way, I think Beaty will do well. My complaint isn't wins/losses (yet).

My concern is make a decision. Two QBs, Two Defensive Coordinators, Two Offensive Coordinators (himself and Perry), etc.

Those are the tough decisions that the Coach makes, no one else.

Damian Glaze 4 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't agree more. The indecisiveness goes all the way to the simplest of things. One minor thing that drives me nuts is how many duplicate numbers we have on the roster. We're cultivating a "participation ribbon" mentality when everyone gets what they want. I know out of necessity there will be a few duplicates but there is no excuse to have three people wearing #1 and several numbers unused. I thought we were earning things on this team. Earn the number on your back and earn the clip board in your hand.

That's an annoyance on the simplest of scales. But, everything thing else with the 2 QBs, 2DCs, etc. mentioned above is a systematic problem. There have to be definitive decisions and the people in the program have to believe in those decisions.

Bob Bailey 4 years, 2 months ago

No DC; no OC; and there is no place to go from here!

Terry N Tom Denner 4 years, 2 months ago

i'd go as far as offering him a WR spot or transfer to the likes of Emporia State or Washburn. I have yet to see any anything that stands out with him as leader of the pack QB !! He can not read the defense, and throws way to many INT's because of it. That or gets his butt sacked !! Tom

Micky Baker 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree that Willis should be named the starting QB for the rest of this season and that it's his job to lose. Cozart can contribute in other ways, but Montell can't handle the game pressure. When it get's tough, he get's incredibly indecisive and it costs the team in a big way. If there is pressure and there is a hot receiver open right away, just throw it to him and make the defense pay. If there is 10 yards of green, take it right away. Don't let the pursuit catch up.

Willis should be starting the rest of the season, and no 2 series for him and 2 for someone else. But there will be growing pains if Willis does become the starter and those that are calling for it are going to have to stop jumping to the other side of the fence when the growing pains occur. The rest of this season with this offense and a key WR being eligible next season along with the others already playing along with one more year's worth of experience on the O-line then things can be provably moving in the right direction. This game coming up with Texas Tech is not winnable with Cozart at QB. We can be competitive and maybe pull of an upset with Willis.

To be quite frank, the 3 ints thrown by Cozart in the spring game should have disqualified him from being starter.

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