Thursday, May 3, 2018

I’m gonna talk that trash’: KU safety Mike Lee’s banter prominent throughout spring

Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) smiles as he chases Kansas running back Kendall Morris (28) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) smiles as he chases Kansas running back Kendall Morris (28) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


Every time a Kansas football quarterback experienced the misfortune of throwing an interception during a football practice this spring, the guilty party had more to deal with than the instantaneous frustration related to making a mistake.

Those passing turnovers, whether they transpired during drills, seven-on-seven work or team periods, came with an impromptu party in the KU secondary, hosted by safety Mike Lee.

The fiercest hitter among the Jayhawks’ defensive backs takes an equally savage disposition into his post-pick celebrations, letting even his QB teammates know about his feats.

“I do. I do feel bad,” a smirking Lee replied, when asked if any guilt accompanied those moments. “I’m gonna talk that trash. Even if I don’t catch the interception I’m still gonna talk that trash. Because I know before the game ends I’m gonna get my interception. Then I’m still gonna talk that trash.”

The banter initiated by Lee and other aspiring ball hawks in KU’s secondary comes with the territory of playing quarterback. The ribbing between teammates fires up corners, safeties and fellow defenders on that side of the ball, while simultaneously providing a QB and his intended targets with more motivation to win the next repetition.

Redshirt junior quarterback Carter Stanley knows all of this, of course, and thinks both the defense and offense can benefit from those miscues as long as a QB actively seeks to turn every such flub into an avenue toward improvement.

“You’ve got to learn how to move on,” Stanley said. “If it is your bad play you’ve got to go to your next play immediately and just forget about it. Move on. But sometimes it is funny to see those guys react.”

On the first day of practice, Stanley elaborated, cornerback Corione Harris intercepted a pass. What followed for the true freshman proved to be one of the most extravagant, if not flawed, after-parties of the spring, when Harris elected to punt his just-picked pigskin away.

“He missed the punt, picked it up, punted it again like 40 yards,” Stanley recounted. “It was really funny. Those guys are excited and they’re my teammates, so I’m happy for them when they make plays like that and it’s fun for the team.”


Kansas cornerback Corione Harris picks off a pass to Kansas wide receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. (14) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Of course, Stanley added, KU’s quarterbacks must “clean it up” between now and the season opener on Sept. 1. As they carry those endeavors into player-led summer workouts in the months leading into preseason camp, they will do so knowing any misfire they make will mean enduring the trash-talking wrath of junior defensive leader Lee and/or his company of defensive backs.

“No doubt,” Stanley said. “It’s all cool, because we’re teammates. But he’s — that’s kind of his style of play and it works out for him.”

Lee is of the opinion that his fun-loving antics help the secondary find a little enjoyment along the way as it attempts to improve.

“That’s what I like about all of our DBs. We like to have fun,” Lee said. “We’re like family. We’re getting close to each other. We need that combination to go on the field and just make plays like that.”

The Kansas defense would definitely benefit from more interceptions this coming fall. In 2017, Lee and cornerback Hasan Defense combined to account for all four (tied for 124th nationally) of the Jayhawks’ picks — two apiece.

“I’m really trying to catch a pick every game, though,” a smiling Lee divulged. “We have 12 games, right? I’m gonna try to catch 12 picks.”


Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 9 months ago

One of our most experienced qbs can't place a ball where some kid just out of high school can't get it? Oh boy :/ Mike Lee did a lot of talking last year during games if course it looks foolish to do so when you are down by 40. Just gotta let him be him.

[''] 3 years, 9 months ago

How about he and his teammates spend that trash-talking energy on finishing a game?...novel thought....I know....

John Joseph Gorski 3 years, 9 months ago

Let him talk that trash now, practice is gonna be the only time he get's to talk it!

[''] 3 years, 9 months ago

Normally he can only talk trash in the 1st quarter. Because thanks to his DC, he and his defensive buddies give up 68 TDs each season and they are down 28 points by halftime.

Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 9 months ago

I remember he got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the kick off I believe it was a few years ago against Texas Tech for trash talking and of course we got blown out in that game too. I was thinking at the time what's the point we're terrible they're probably going to beat us anyway what's the point of talking trash whether it's the 1st quarter or the 4th quarter if you're getting beat by 45?

I don't like the fact that hes just focusing on interceptions and not saying I'm trying to get better as a player or all I care about is winning it seems like he only cares about his personal stats trying to get an interception in each game. Let's say he does get an interception in each game if in each game we lose by double digits like last year is he happy because he got an interception in each game and not the fact that we're getting beat every game.

I believe they had to bench him for a while last year because I believe he was missing assignments or missing tackles or he wasn't too clear where he was supposed to be on the field. He probably needs to just focus on his technique and what he has to do to become a better player and not just focus on individual stats like interceptions if he smart have to step back and let the game come to him.

We are 3-33 all he cares about is trash talking and interceptions? I don't think that's smart.

Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 9 months ago

What kind of trash talking could he actually come up with.

"Hey other player on other team Vegas had the point spread at 50 you only beat us by 35 you didn't beat us by no 50 you thought you were gonna beat us by 50 you'll only beat us by 35!" " I only let you catch 2 touchdowns today I thought you were good only 2 in one game? I have no more respect for you"

Come on.

[''] 3 years, 9 months ago

Did Tom say "ball hawks" with THIS secondary that had just 4 INTs in 12 games? Aqib Talib had 5 INTs all by himself in the 2007 season. This secondary was bottom-5 in INTs amongst all 130 FBS teams. This team is allergic to catching INTs.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

Kinda appropriate that the trash talkers are out here in full force criticizing their teammates, not that they have an INT or anything of substance to offer on their own behalf.

Glad our players aren't quitters like so many of the "fans" here; living in the failures of the past.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 8 months ago

Hell Dirk You call these people fans? - - -that's funny I don't care who you are right there lmao. - These aren't fans - - maybe closet fans - -they run like stripped ass apes when things are down BUT if a team is winning man they thumping their chests slobbering all over themselves saying OH YA I'm the most devoted loyal fan there is.- -That's a fan lmao - - ya ok. - I hear ya Dirk

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