Cliff's Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 10/13/09
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: Todd Reesing; Defense: No selection; Special teams: No selection; Defensive scout team: Dexter Linton; Offensive scout team: Riley Spencer.
• Quarterback Tyler Hansen brings a new dimension to Colorado's offense with his speed.
• Jake Sharp once again will be a gameday decision.
• Mangino has seen different approaches to try to stop KU's passing game, including eight-man drops and exotic blitzes. Reesing is doing a good job of managing that.
• As Mangino watched tape, he still feels like the team needs to play on defense to his players' strengths. Some good, sound schemes don't fit KU's personnel. Communication on the field needs to get better as well. The defensive calls need to get out sooner, too. The coach also believes his team needs to tackle better.
• KU doesn't play a lot of man coverage on defense — some, but not a lot.
• The maturity of his team's group, especially on defense, has not developed the way he would have liked. Some of that comes back to fundamentals. Some guys aren't understanding why the team is trying to do some of the things it is doing. Some guys are reverting back to the ways they've always done things instead of carrying out their assignment. The 2007 defense made plays when it had to. If you do that, you have a chance.
• If your team is well-conditioned, the elevation is not a factor. Conditioning has been a high priority the past few years at KU.
• Vernon Brooks has not progressed as well as the team would have liked. He needs to make a commitment to the team, or he's going to get lost in the shuffle.
• KU misses James Holt most in the linebacking core, as he could play in space and bring pressure from the edge. Mangino doesn't see a major dropoff in the inside linebacker spots from last year to this year. The versatility of James Holt is something the team has to make up for.
• Mangino isn't obsessed with Reesing for Heisman chatter, but after watching a lot of college football, he believes Reesing should be in the conversation. For Todd to be in the talk, though, Mangino realizes KU has to win a lot of games. KU's athletic department will start to get out some information to media sources about Reesing to inform them more about him. If KU keeps winning, the coach thinks Reesing would have a legitimate chance at the Heisman. Though highlight videos haven't been made to be sent out, Mangino said he would consider that if things kept progressing the way they are now.
• A Heisman winner would be great because KU has never had one even with the great players it has had in the past. But the team has "a lot of wood to saw," Mangino said with a laugh. If it does happen, Mangino said, "We'll be a bunch of happy dogs."