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Monday, June 26, 2017

Beaty pleased with KU’s progress during the offseason

Kansas head football coach David Beaty addresses the team following the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head football coach David Beaty addresses the team following the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

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Counting down the days until the start of the upcoming college football season, Kansas coach David Beaty said the Jayhawks have the same hopes and dreams as all of the other programs.

After completing their spring football practices, the Jayhawks have shifted their focus to the weight room, 7-on-7 drills with skill players and other individual work.

But there’s no denying the extra buzz around KU, and Beaty felt all of that enthusiasm when he spoke to a standing-room only crowd packed inside of The Well Bar in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday.

“The thing that really sticks out for us is the experience we finally have coming back,” Beaty said. “We didn’t have that luxury very much either of the last two years, but now we do. I think that in itself makes it exciting.”

Beaty was joined at the team’s “Football in June” event by defensive linemen Dorance Armstrong, Josh Ehambe and Daniel Wise, linebacker Joe Dineen, center Mesa Ribordy, tight end Ben Johnson and receiver Steven Sims.

At the meet-and-greet, Beaty said the players’ progress under Zac Woodfin, the team’s new director of strength and conditioning, was “the coolest new change in our program.”

“Coach Woodfin, we all love him,” Sims said. “He’s working us hard. He’s killing us every day. We feel different, our bodies feel different.

“I think we’re going to be a way more explosive team, more flexible. I think that’s going to help us win a lot of games.”

Woodfin previously was the strength and conditioning coach at Southern Mississippi and UAB, and Beaty said it’s not a coincidence that both schools saw their records improve when he joined their staffs.

“The things that (Woodfin) does technically to help them improve on their technique and help their bodies get more flexible and stronger have been ultra, ultra impressive,” Beaty said.

Speaking to the crowd, Beaty described his excitement in adding defensive line coach Jesse Williams, from Ohio, and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, from TCU, to his staff in the offseason.

Beaty, who served as the offensive coordinator last season, said he won’t call any plays this fall.

“There is no doubt Doug Meacham will call every football play this year and as long as he’s here, just so you know that,” Beaty said.

After ending last season with a 2-10 record, KU players cited the number of returning starters and their work ethic throughout the offseason as signs for a strong year.

“Everybody can’t wait to see what we’re going to do,” Sims said. “It’s fun and we know that, so that’s why we work so hard. Our coaches and everybody on the team is hard working and we’re going to prove everybody wrong.”

Beaty didn't shy away from sharing his expectations for his team.

“We expect to go to a bowl game,” Beaty said. “That’s big talk but we have to go do it.”

Comments

Brett McCabe 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, if your coach doesn't believe in you, who will? A bowl game? Setting skepticism aside, a bowl trip would be a game-changer for this program. It would absolutely catapult us in terms of recruiting, excitement, ticket sales, donations, etc.

What the heck...I'm in.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 3 months ago

Beaty has done a good job surrounding himself with quality assistants. As a manager, I've always adhered to the notion that I need to hire those who are at least as smart as I am or even smarter. Beaty seems to be doing the same. He's smart enough to know when he needs to hand over the reigns (a la Meacham), and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (Jesse Williams). It's easy to get caught up in the hype and anticipation, but I'm trying to temper my excitement and expectations. I'm not expecting to go to a bowl game this year, but there are a couple of things I do expect. First, we need to win more than one B12 game. Second, we have to get a road win. Some other things on my wish list: a 1,000 yard rusher, a 3,000 yard passer, and a 1,000 yard receiver. Is that too much to ask?

Gerry Butler 4 years, 3 months ago

No, Chris I don't believe what your hoping for, asking for is out of the question. If I were to question any of those it might be the 1,000 yd rusher, but I feel even that might be close. more then one Big 12 win, a 1000 yard receiver I feel like is very attainable. I'm looking forward to the season. We were just soooo far down, beaten up. I've followed KU all my life and don't ever remember the football program being in such shambles like the last two previous Coaches left it. - -It's taken time to rebuild and will still take time, hopefully with the projected 300 million dollar renovation project on the stadium nothing but positive can come from that and recruiting, which will be a huge bonus, you can do a lot of fixing up with that kind of money. - -Hang in there buddy I know it's been hard and frustrating I'm right there with you but feel we have the Coach and Staff in lace we gonna beat this thing. - -Got to get fannies back in the seats at the stadium that also helps recruiting to a player to see the fans support the program - -we on the way up. - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. Beaty is definitely turning this train wreck around faster than I thought he would. I was expecting a good 8 to 10 years to get back to respectability, but now it seems closer to 4 or 5. The renovated stadium should help it along.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 3 months ago

Things are definitely trending in the right direction. But this season will show us if we're still battling up hill or if we've finally made to the top and can start traveling down into the valley of relevance and respectability. I'm confident we have the team to make a bowl game. It will just be a matter of execution, grit, and staying healthy. Rock Chalk! September 2nd can't get here quick enough.

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 3 months ago

All this team needs to do from a record standpoint is be competitive, win at least 4 games and not be pounded by the big boys. To me that is the first step we have seen each and every time KU has rebounded in the past. The beauty of this situation is we have never had a staff that can recruit like this one. Once we show ourselves to be competitive we will see the locals and those in other states find it easier to say yes to these coaches.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 3 months ago

With a very pass first OC, and several good RBs, I suspect that our #2 WR will have more yards than any RB. It would be great if that were more than 1,000 yards but that might be a stretch this season.

A 3,000 yard passer will be a function of having 1 QB who isn't turning it over. Even last year the QBs combined for almost 2,800 yards.

Randy Bombardier 4 years, 3 months ago

Respectability, close the gap with top tier, grit, execution, game management, game planning. Those are the areas i would like to see improvement.

Does anyone remember 2006. We were barely beat by Toledo, 37-31 double OT in Toledo. Then we barely lost to Nebraska 39-32 (OT) in Lincoln. Then we lost to TAMU by 3, and OSU by 10, both in Lawrence. Next loss was by 1 in Waco. Last loss was a blowout to the hated Tigers, 42-17. Despite 6-6 showing we did not go bowling. With the close losses we had we should have. We were obviously competitive and building. Everyone wants to reminisce on the 2007 season and I'm no different but 2006 was the season that proved something. That's the kind of season I'm waiting to see.

Micky Baker 4 years, 3 months ago

There's no doubt that there is more talent and depth than a couple of seasons ago. A realistic goal for this year is to put up 4 or 5 wins and put a scare into a couple of teams in the Big 12. The WR group is upgraded, running back situation is deeper, OL has a little more depth and experience, and the QB situation looks so much better with Bender being the one I expect to start opening day and Stanley being the backup. Big upgrade at QB from opening day the past two seasons.

We have a solid defensive line, particularly at end. The linebacker core is much more experienced. The secondary might be a problem but there is Mike Lee and one or two other guys that showed something last season.

Special Teams is going to be a big deal this coming season. If we can make a couple of big plays on Special Teams we could get the 6th win in a close game.

The fall camp is going to be a good one I predict.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 3 months ago

Don't underestimate the importance of getting fans in the stands. Beaty can't recruit to an empty stadium.

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