Seven-on-seven work provides glimpses of KU's offense and defense


Kansas safety Mike Lee takes off to cover a receiver during practice on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Kansas safety Mike Lee takes off to cover a receiver during practice on Thursday, April 6, 2017. by Nick Krug

Every time the Kansas football team practices this spring, the Jayhawks address their strengths and weaknesses under the watchful eyes of head coach David Beaty and his numerous assistants.

For approximately 15 minutes of most sessions, the media is allowed to observe, too. And typically there is not much to see. Some warm-ups. Extra-point and field goal work. Players fielding punts. Position drills. The sort of mundane aspects of practicing that have to be done but hardly qualify as entertaining or informative.

Thankfully on Thursday, during the eighth of 15 spring practices, Beaty threw in a couple series of seven-on-seven action, an alteration welcomed by those in attendance who don’t get to witness the vast majority of KU’s repetitions.

The variation — though it didn’t include linemen from either side of the ball — provided somewhat of a peek at the Jayhawks’ offense and defense and highlighted a few of the subjects Beaty, offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen already have discussed in conversations about where KU stands at this point.

Here’s a quick recap of the seven-on-seven, which featured a series apiece for quarterbacks Carter Stanley and Peyton Bender.

Stanley’s series

  • On first down, Stanley, a redshirt sophomore, looked to hit junior receiver Steven Sims Jr. deep in the back left corner of the end zone. Stanley put the ball in a pretty good spot. But sophomore corner Kyle Mayberry rose up to knock the would-be score to the turf.

  • Spotting former running back Ryan Schadler, now a slot receiver, coming open over the middle of the field, Stanley threw Schadler’s way but junior linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. hustled in to deflect the pass.

  • Two plays after Mayberry made a strong stop in the end zone, Sims beat him down the sideline on third down to haul in a wide-open TD — much to the chagrin of Bowen, who let the cornerback know that kind of mistake was unacceptable.

Bender’s series

  • Bender, a junior who began his college career at Washington State, opened by displaying his precision. The 6-foot-1 transfer flung a pass through a small window, between defenders, to find 6-foot-4 sophomore receiver Chase Harrell.

  • After picking up a first down on the pass to Harrell, Bender made a quick read and completed a short throw to redshirt freshman receiver Kwamie Lassiter II.

  • Bender’s only incompletion of the brief period came on second down, when sophomore corner DeAnte Ford dove in at the last moment to break up a pass intended for sophomore receiver Daylon Charlot.

  • After the offense hurried back to the line of scrimmage, Bender dumped off a pass to junior running back Taylor Martin on the right side.

  • To complete his series with a touchdown, too, Bender hit Charlot, the 6-foot Alabama transfer, near the right sideline.


‘Young and immature’ at Alabama, O-lineman Charles Baldwin rebooting college career at KU

Tight end Jace Sternberger transferring from Kansas

Running back Khalil Herbert standing out this spring

Instilling confidence in KU quarterbacks priority for assistant Garrett Riley

Daylon Charlot sees more positive attitude in Jayhawks now than last season

Friend and KU teammate Ben Heeney shares Brandon Bourbon’s tragic story hoping to help others

No. 3 QB Tyriek Starks making most of limited spring snaps


Brock Wells 1 year, 3 months ago

A non-clandestine practice! or at least for two series.

Benton- What do you think the chances are that David, Doug, and Garrett name a starting QB? And if they do, what are the chances they let us people know?

In your article Instilling confidence in KU quarterbacks priority for assistant Garrett Riley, Garrett alluded to the fact that they might name a starter sooner than last year.

Benton Smith 1 year, 3 months ago

I honestly don't think one will be named until August.

Brock Wells 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks for your response. Looking forward to the spring game.

Ashwin Rao 1 year, 3 months ago

From the description of the two QB series, I got the impression that you were more impressed with Bender. (Though you didn't explicitly say it) Is that a fair assessment?

Benton Smith 1 year, 3 months ago

I wouldn't necessarily say that. But Bender had the best throw of the brief session. The throw to Harrell.

Ashwin Rao 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks for your response! Thanks for being our eyes & ears while we wait for the GAMEDAY!

Ashwin Rao 1 year, 3 months ago

From what I gathered, (in the small sample set) Bender was more aware of defenders than Stanley. I really like Stanley, so hope that this was not normal.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 3 months ago

It would seem that hitting the quick passes and picking up first downs is a primary part of the Air Raid which sounds more like what Bender did but also hard to say without seeing (more).

Commenting has been disabled for this item.