What caught my eye at Tuesday's practice: Nov. 6

KU senior D.J. Beshears (in the end zone, not in uniform) returned to the practice field Tuesday.

KU senior D.J. Beshears (in the end zone, not in uniform) returned to the practice field Tuesday. by Matt Tait

For the first time in all of my trips to KU’s football practices this season, we had one without a Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi song.

Not sure if that was out of respect for Election Day, some statement of support for the folks back east impacted by Superstorm Sandy or if someone on Charlie Weis’ staff simply forgot to charge the iPod. Either way, it was really weird and it offered a chance to hear just about every word yelled or screamed from all four corners of Memorial Stadium.

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell was in a particularly entertaining mood today. Not sure if it was because he was angry or because he was feeling good, but Reggie was loving his role as the guy beating the running backs with the bag as they ran through individual drills.

“Makes me feel better,” he kept saying, while calling his shot about what type of swing he was going to take at each back.

Pretty funny stuff. If there’s one group and position coach who can feel really good about what they’ve done this season, it’s Reggie and the running backs.

Here’s a quick look at what else caught my eye from a chilly Memorial Stadium on Election Night.

• Senior wide receiver D.J. Beshears was back out on the field but did not fully practice. He went through warm-ups — looked great running — and did all of the stretching, but he was not wearing pads. He also was no longer wearing a sling, which should be taken as a good sign that his shoulder is healing. At this point, it seems like the best-case-scenario and something for which Beshears is likely hoping for is for him to be able to play against Iowa State on Nov. 17, which also would be his senior day. We’ll see.

• I spent a little more time watching the QBs — mostly to keep a closer eye on BYU transfer Jake Heaps — and while I liked what I saw from Heaps, both in terms of the way he threw the ball and the way his feet moved, it’s worth pointing out that it’s hard to tell much during individual drills. Still, it looked to me like Heaps has the best (read: quickest) feet of the bunch, with Michael Cummings a close second. Turner Baty’s probably third, though his footwork is a little choppier, with Dayne Crist fourth and Blake Jablonski fifth. That should tell you all you need to know about why Cummings is the guy they’re sticking with and also should get you excited for the future... Just not too excited, OK?

• One more quick injury update, Toben Opurum, who missed a lot of last Saturday’s loss to Baylor, also was a full-go for practice. Weis said Sunday night that Opurum was in much better shape this Sunday than he was last (after suffering an injury vs. Texas) so look for Toben to be out there a little more this weekend.



Greg Ledom 1 year, 5 months ago

Sad really that a comment from someone touting an iconic name such as RJC, puts forth such a week stance. You would have never heard that from the real man who held that name if only in character.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 5 months ago

Our patience hasn't bought much. Whether it's the high-profile basketball reputation, a geographic complication, or just an old-fashioned thing is certain:

The University of Kansas will never be successful at football.


Greg Ledom 1 year, 5 months ago

Ralster, I completely agree with your assessment. Why we would care about the past, and as far back as Mason is beyond me. Move on people, the current administration and staff are completely 100% bought in. To channel Ralster......"...stay patient." RCJH


AzHawk97 1 year, 5 months ago

Reggie Mitchell is a cool guy and has been through a lot of Kansas football. I bet he has a unique perspective on the things he has seen through the years. You should ask for his take on why he thinks the administration did not support KU football and Glen Mason back when they had the chance to truly make a difference. KU was ahead of KSU in recovering from some bad football. The difference was that the KSU administration supported and invested in the football program. And with Coach Snyder they are still reaping those benefits today. Mason only got wanderlust after years of frustration from this scenerio. Was it as simple as KU is a basketball school and Bob Frederick and Roy Williams were never going to allow anything to remotely challenge that? It would be interesting to hear what Coach Mitchell thinks or knows about any of this.


ccarp 1 year, 5 months ago

I am loving our backfield and the daylight they get from the Oline.


panalytic 1 year, 5 months ago

Uh oh! No music from the Jersey guys at practice?? Somethings happened...


Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

Holy crap, Matt is still going to practice?


kujhawk001 1 year, 5 months ago

Is there even a remote chance of DJ getting a medical redshirt? It seems like he has missed almost the entire season.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Injuries happen. For example, when Eric Berry+Jamaal Charles+Moeiaki all went out for KC, it hurt that season. We havent had a full set of WRs in uniform since Game 2. And we were desperately trying to find chemistry with a new QB during all that (Crist+Cummings), so not offerring an excuse, just an analytical observation. It is possible, with the return of Patterson, Beshears, Oporum...we could look a lot more competetive. We are so thin in terms of depth that we just cannot keep executing effectively when the main guy getting most of the reps goes down. Need 2-3yrs worth of recruits and EVERYBODY during those 3yrs having a STABLE system and staff environment to grow in. You wonder what Snyder does with his stable of 3star+juco guys? He drills them with reps, reps, reps literally until the cows come home...he has that down to a science. Building a machine-like system simply takes time...


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