Cliff Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 9/1/09


Much like we did on Media Day, here are the Cliff Notes version of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's comments at his weekly press conference today.

Full audio of the press conference can be found here.

• KU is still working to get the right players in the right spots.

• Northern Colorado is a team that gives a lot of different looks on offense.

• KU will not be overly concerned with what UNC does on Saturday. Mostly, Mangino says he will have his players compete against themselves.

• On Dezmon Briscoe at kick return: "Dez has made a world of difference back there."

Briscoe should be the starting kick returner Saturday.

• Defensive line and offensive line have been about equal in practice. Neither has consistently dominated the other.

• The game week routine at KU is the same for no matter the opponent.

• Mangino gave no comment on linebacker Justin Springer's injury situation, saying he doesn't discuss injuries.

• On offensive lineman Brad Thorson, who moved from center to guard: "It was a situation where he was doing very well at the center position. ... You just knew that he belonged on the field somewhere."

Mangino said Thorson was still learning some things, but that his switch was a good move for the team, as the coaches want to put the five best offensive linemen on the field.

Talking about how difficult it is to switch from center to guard, Mangino joked: "It would be a lot tougher to go from center to quarterback."

• Jeremiah Hatch is a guy that has a lot of tools and does a good job of getting under defensive linemen. He's becoming more comfortable getting the team in the right protections and right calls.

• Mangino talking about possibly getting backups in the game: "I have to be honest with you: The No. 1 priority is going in there with your 1s and winning the game."

• On Kale Pick: "I think he's been steady. He's been steady everyday."

Mangino said the QB is picking up the little things better and watching tape on his own.

• Mangino would like to get Pick some action against UNC if the game is in hand.

• Mangino said he heard the kids and strength coaches talk highly of receiver Bradley McDougald in the offseason. A few days into practice, Mangino and the coaches realized he was a talented guy. Mangino believes McDougald will adapt to the offense well.

• Mangino said the coaching staff originally moved Tanner Hawkinson to defense out of necessity.

"I'd always had in the back of my mind that he'd be an offensive tackle," Mangino said.

Mangino says he has seen Hawkinson get better everyday, and that his confidence has improved with his repetitions at the position.

• Mangino said though offensive lineman Sal Capra was a linebacker in high school, the coach knew he wasn't going to play that position at KU. The coaches thought maybe be would play on the defensive line at first, but then moved him to offensive line because of need.

"At first it was difficult for him, but he did everything he had to do to make himself a better player," Mangino said. " ... Sal Capra is a guy that I would term a program guy."

A "program guy," Mangino says, is one of the highest compliments that he gives. That means Capra has done everything that the team has asked of him.

"We'd be in trouble without him," Mangino said.

• Special teams have been highly competitive. There will be a lot of personnel changes there from last year. Mangino pinpointed special teams as an area that needed improvement from last season.

"I'm convinced we'll be better," Mangino said.


Joe Joseph 10 years, 7 months ago


Thanks for the cliff notes. Can't always listen to audio on the job...

slantrox 10 years, 7 months ago

Yea Jesse,

Thanks from me also. My bosses hate it when I work and listen to the press conference, but they don't seem to have a problem if I take 5 or 10 minutes off to sit and read what I could have listened to instead. They also are very supportive of me posting comment after comment if that is what it takes to make me happy.

I love my job.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 7 months ago

Just a few thoughts...Mangino is a guy that seems to never overlook...and always respects an opponent no matter who it is. Caught my attention when he said that he's not overly concerned about what UNC does on Saturday.

I think Dez Briscoe is going to be a freak when it comes to returning kicks. Look for big things from our special teams this year. The offense will benefit greatly with good field position when taking the field.

When it comes to playing Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and TTech...I worry about how our team will perform in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Mangino mentioned that we would be in trouble if we didn't have Capra on the team...think thats an indication that he's not confident with the depth of our offensive line.

It's encouraging to hear that Kale Pick is improving. Seems like in the last week or two, Mangino has had an elevated level of confidence in Kale.

McDougald sounds like the real deal...and that he could be another Briscoe in the making.

Thanks for the update Jesse

KGphoto 10 years, 7 months ago

5 years ago, if you'd have told me that the Kansas football opener would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up because the team had expectations of a Big 12 championship, I would have fallen out of my chair laughing.

But here we are. Four days.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 7 months ago

Trojan - I'm excited about the OL. They are definitely inexperienced, but I think they are going to show themselves to be very talented and a strength of the team as the year goes on and for years to come.

The OL is Mangino's secret development stash (Hatch = McDougald, Thorson = Meier, Capra = BMac, Hawkinson = Sharp), and I think one of the areas he quietly, understatedly, Manginoly loves to relish in developing. It is so much easier to get caught up in and hype the other areas - there is no positive personal stat for the OL, but Mangino knows it is the heart of his program. Where you really "saw wood".

The DL is more experienced - yes, but I don't think it will be a case of being better as the year goes on. It is always tough to eval any position without some competition to measure things objectively. Hopefully, it is a case of both being strengths this year.

KU 10 years, 7 months ago

I've only seen him once this fall, but I wasn't impressed with Kale Pick at all at the open practice a week ago Wednesday. He underthrew many balls and had numerous picks (no pun intended). He seemed very slow to make decisions in the passing game. Hopefully he was just having a bad day. Otherwise, we have to hope Jordan Webb or Christian Matthews can make a move. The QB is the "baton" in this relay race called the developing KU football program. If Sparky doesn't have a good backup to hand off to next season, a team that should be better overall and benefits from an easier schedule won't be able to excel.

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