New Kansas linebackers coach Todd Bradford says when he arrived in Lawrence this offseason, the first thing he heard from head coach David Beaty and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen was the importance of the linebacking corps — just like every other unit within the program — finding ways to make improvements every single day.
But just as important, Bradford adds, is recruiting players to KU that can help the Jayhawks win in the Big 12.
“We think we have a core group of guys here that we can do that,” Bradford says.
The goal for all involved in the program, the new assistant explains, is to make Kansas a great place for players and coaches alike.
“And by the time we get to that first game,” Bradford adds, “we’ll be ready to play.”
According to Bradford, KU’s linebackers have adopted that mentality.
“It’s been a great spring. They had a great winter before I got here, with coach Jackson (Je’Ney, strength and conditioning). I feel like they’ve prepared well for spring practice, that they’ve changed their body types. They’re a little bit faster, a little bit bigger, they’re a little bit stronger, which is all part of playing football in the Big 12.”
Kansas senior cornerback Brandon Stewart says the defensive work during spring practices seems a lot smoother this year, the second at KU for head coach David Beaty and cornerbacks coach Kenny Perry.
“Last year, we were all pretty new,” Stewart says, “including Coach Perry. So this year, we all got a year underneath our belt. So we know what to do, and then the guys behind us can follow us. Everything is smoother in and out of drills, the transition from individual to seven-on-seven — everything’s just smoother than it was last year.”
Returning defensive players such as Stewart, the corner added, expect much more out of themselves in 2016.