Cliff's Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 11/03/09
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's comments at his press conference today.
• Players of the game, voted on by the coaching staff: Offense: No selection; Defense: Arist Wright; Special teams: Alonso Rojas; Offensive scout team: Offensive lineman Joe Semple; Defensive scout team: Linebacker Chea Peterman.
• Mangino still thinks his team squandered a good defensive effort against Texas Tech. The coach is very pleased with the progression of his defense.
• The offense's problems are numerous, including poor blocking on the perimeter, bad decision-making by players and drops by receivers.
• Mangino thinks "you guys" (the media) make Todd Reesing's benching a big deal. It's not a big deal. It was the appropriate thing to do to take him out of the game against Texas Tech.
• The coach doesn't think you can look at the North standings. You have to look at yourself. The Jayhawks need a win more than they need to get caught up in the standings. This KU-KSU game is an important game because it's an in-state rival. To Kansans, this is one of the biggest sporting events in the state.
• In Mangino's world, benching a quarterback is the same as benching any other player. KU has 11 players on the field and all are asked to do specific things. When he goes into a house to recruit, Mangino doesn't tell parents he'll treat quarterbacks different from right guards.
• Hard work and teaching fundamentals will be the key to get the offensive line back to playing better. The coaches will just go back to teaching all the little things that are important.
• Quinton Woods is learning to use his hands. He's relied on his speed and quickness prior to coming to KU. He's learning how to gain leverage and learning how to make moves instead of running around people.
• Kansas State is back to playing basic football. The Wildcats are not really flashy. KSU doesn't leave anything to chance. Everything is carefully choreographed.
• Mangino thinks some position changes have helped the defense. The defensive line also is coming together. Last year, the coach felt the unit was inconsistent. This year, he feels the defensive line is much more consistent. The younger players on defense also are becoming more comfortable.
• Mangino thinks Alonso Rojas has improved his game in directional kicking. When he first got here, he wanted to kick with all his might. The coach thinks he has to be one of the best punters in the nation in sky kicks and dropping them inside the 20. Rojas is doing a great job.
• A lot of kids growing up in Kansas grow up in a KU or K-State household. That means most of the Kansas recruits you find are either K-State kids or KU kids already. Therefore, the coach thinks the result of the Sunflower Showdown game does not impact recruiting as much as the coaches would like for it to.
• KSU running back Daniel Thomas is a pretty good player. He has the quickness to make you miss. He has a strong lower body, so you really have to wrap up. Mangino is really impressed with Thomas.
• Arist Wright is getting more comfortable in the run game and also is jumping the pass routes.
• Mangino has spent 95 percent of his time with the defense this year in practice. That's unusual, as he's usually closer to 50-50 with the offense and defense. The coach said he knew back in April that the team had some major problems on defense. Now, the coach has turned his attention to the offense. It's not because he has a magic wand to fix things, but the coach wonders if it's a little like children: that without the head coach paying much attention to the offense, perhaps the players get the impression that the offense isn't as important.
• Reesing is running the same plays that were working earlier in his career. Mangino is not going to panic, because he has a lot of faith in Reesing. Mangino thinks he'll be fine. Ressing isn't happy with the way things are going, and he's going to change it. There's no panic and no worry from the coach.
• Mangino told the players in the locker room after the Texas Tech game that he coached lousy.