What caught my eye at Wednesday's practice, complete with a mini-reaction to the recent KU-UDK showdown
First thing’s first... Let me just tell you that there were two reporters from the University Daily Kansan present at today’s practice and, at least from where I stood, there did not appear to be too much bad blood floating around between them and the football program over the fiasco that has emerged regarding the Kansan’s KU football coverage and KU’s response to it.
I’m not going to get into it too much because it has nothing to do with me or the football team that I cover, but I will say that I think a little of the blame falls on both sides for the way this thing has been handled. And it seems certain to me that both sides are remorseful about that.
Do I think KU coach Charlie Weis is bullying UDK reporters? Absolutely not. Do I think things could have been handled better? You bet.
Whether the Kansan reporter in question was called aside by KU officials out of a courtesy to him or as an intimidation tactic, here’s hoping all parties involved — and even those not involved — learned a valuable lesson here and can move on without any ill feelings.
OK, back to practice...
Just a couple of quick things that caught my eye today and the most relevant of them all was the giant brace on Tony Pierson’s left elbow.
Weis has said all week that Pierson should play this weekend against Oklahoma State and it certainly looks like that will be the case. But I do think there’s at least some pain still associated with the elbow and that Pierson will have to overcome some potential pain to be effective. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, Pierson’s biggest weapon is his speed and a bum elbow does nothing to hurt that.
I noticed that Pierson was treated a little differently during some of the drills at practice today. For instance, in the drill where the other running backs bash the guy with the ball with pads as he runs through the line, Pierson ran through untouched. And when the rest of his teammates did cut blocking drills by diving on the turf, Pierson sat out.
It’s not a huge deal — likely more of a precaution than anything. But I think it’s safe to say that Tony won’t quite be 100 percent when KU takes on OSU this weekend. Oh well, though, right? Tony Pierson at 88% is still a lot better than most.
• Quickly, I kept a closer eye on back-up QB Michael Cummings today and a couple of things stood out. I focused mostly on his throwing motion, but it should be noted that what I watched came during warm-up drills and not live action. That said, aside from being more on the short side (he’s listed at 5-foot-10), Cummings appears to have a long wind-up and releases the ball a little later than most QBs. Most of what I watched came with Cummings lined up next to Jake Heaps, who went through the same drills at the same time. Heaps is a little taller than Cummings (6-1) but seems, overall, to have a more fluid throwing motion.
There’s a lot more that goes into the decision to put Cummings on the field than his throwing motion, with his understanding of the offense, experience and size all being relevant. But since what I watched today was a throwing drill, I figured I’d offer up my amateur critique of the way he wings it.
• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi. Great song.