What caught my eye at Wednesday's practice: Oct. 24


KU's running backs work on blocking drills during Wednesday's practice at Memorial Stadium. KU will play host to Texas at 11 a.m. Saturday and the Longhorns have the lowest-rated rushing defense in the Big 12.

KU's running backs work on blocking drills during Wednesday's practice at Memorial Stadium. KU will play host to Texas at 11 a.m. Saturday and the Longhorns have the lowest-rated rushing defense in the Big 12. by Matt Tait

Well, it looked for a while like KU wide receiver Daymond Patterson was set to go through a full practice on Wednesday, but it was not to be.

Patterson, a senior who missed last week’s game against Oklahoma because of a head injury, appears to still be dealing with the effects and, evidently, has not yet been cleared by doctors to return to practice.

For the second day in a row, Patterson ran through warm-ups and stretching, but when it came time to go to individual drills, he was sent to the exercise bike. It’s not as if Patterson isn’t trying to get back out there. At one point, as he stood in line to begin receiving drills, strength coach — and former Patterson teammate — Justin Springer pulled him out of line and walked him down to head trainer Murphy Grant to see if he had been cleared.

Evidently, Grant told them that he was not because Patterson quickly removed his helmet and hit the bike.

I’ve said all week that it’s probably a 50-50 deal with Patterson this week, but it’s definitely clear that the more time he misses the less likely it becomes that he will play against Texas at 11 a.m. Saturday.

At least it does look like Patterson is closer to a full return. We’ll see Saturday. My official guess here is that he’ll miss one more week.

Here’s a quick look at a couple of other things that caught my eye during Wednesday’s practice:

• Offensive lineman Damon Martin, who received extended playing time last week at OU and was praised earlier this week by KU coach Charlie Weis, was in fact working some with the first team offensive line. Weis opened up the spot at left guard, listing both starter Duane Zlatnik and Martin as first-team possibilities. We weren’t out there long enough to get a real look at how Martin has handled the mini-promotion, but confidence can play a big role in things like this and it looked, to me, like Martin was carrying himself with the confidence of a guy who believes he’s a starter. We’ll see how it plays out on Saturday. Unseating Zlatnik would be no small feat.

• I noticed that senior defensive end Josh Williams jumped out front and led stretches with the three captains today (Crist, Opurum and Hawkinson). I’m not sure if that’s new or not or if it’s an indication that Williams will be the fourth captain this weekend, but it did make me think of something. I know people had hoped that Williams would be this disruptive force and dominant pass rusher and that many are somewhat bummed out by his stats through seven games — 16 tackles, 1 for-loss, 1 pass break-up, 2 QB hurries, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 forced fumble. But I’m a firm believer that Williams’ presence has been a good thing for this defense. Not only has he been pencilled in — and performed — as a starter each week, but he’s also helped the younger guys understand what it means to work hard and helped them learn to take nothing for granted. Would it be better if Williams had six sacks right now? Of course. But I still think he proved to be a nice pick-up. I feel the same way about all of those fifth-year guys.

• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Runaway” by Bon Jovi.


pepper_bar 5 years, 7 months ago

Weis' creativity with his musical selections matches the creativity of his offensive schemes.

Hard to see this guy as an innovator when he's stuck in a washed-up genre with the tunes.

Lance Cheney 5 years, 7 months ago

Amen to that. It's actually pretty weird that he plays nothing but Springsteen and Bon Jovi. I mean, come on, at least throw in some Outfield, Eddie Money, or Motley Crue!

Lance Cheney 5 years, 7 months ago

Come on, at least give me a LITTLE variety! More than two artists! Maybe Weis is using the Springsteen/Bon Jovi two-band rotation as a metaphor for our 2-man quarterback rotation. That's deep... (I'm joking.)

Lance Cheney 5 years, 7 months ago

And just for the record, I'm not griping about his play-calling, just his music selection!

texashawk10 5 years, 7 months ago

It's one song out of many that are played during practice so why is Weis (a Jersey guy) being a big fan of Bon Jovi and The Boss such an issue with people? This is about the 4th or 5th time I've seen people bitch out the music. If it was nothing but Bon Jovi or Springsteen, I could see that being an issue with the players, but if the variety of music played during practice is as varied as it is on Saturdays then just about everything popular today is covered.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 7 months ago

"SONG OF THE DAY," people!

He doesn't just play the "The Best of Springsteen" all day everyday in practice. We're nitpicking at this point anyways. Who cares?

Doug Roberts 5 years, 7 months ago

Solution to the Weis's song selection issue: MATT TAIT - please don't report what the song of the day was. It doesn't really matter anyway, and I'm tired of hating on Bon Jovi and Springsteen for the crappy product on the field.

kuilander 5 years, 7 months ago

matt ... you're too nice a guy! i've held that opinion under bait'd breath ... until now! here we are with your 30th something "what caught my eye" piece, but these are too damn rosy at this point. they've lost their projected enthusiasm, which i'm sure is the point of these. use your critical eye and share some of what you think might be wrong or questionable! i love all of your columns, and haven't missed a single one ... but at 1-and whatever now, there has to be something to share a critical opinion of what youre seeing! regardless, keep it coming and kudos to you, you've been a real asset to the fball program here : )

Matt Tait 5 years, 7 months ago

Appreciate the note, and I hear what you're saying, but you have to remember that I'm only there for a short period of time each day and it's much tougher to be critical and form any kind of analysis when most of what I'm watching is stretching and individual drills.

That's why I stick with the topical things — Patterson today, the demeanor of Crist, Pierson's elbow, etc. I know you'd rather hear about details of the offensive and defensive schemes and all of that, but I'm not there to see it so I can't comment on it beyond what I see on Saturdays.

Maybe in the future, but until then I'll keep bringing these smaller glimpses... Better than nothing, right!?!

Thanks for the feedback.

BrianCh 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm impressed that you're even able to watch & write about some of the practices. Out of curiosity, was that also the case with Gill or Mangino? (I'm fairly new to

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 7 months ago

Plus, kuilander,

I'm pretty sure, if we think about it really hard, we all know what the critical issues with this team are.

Demanding Matt point them out every week would become moot and redundant.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 7 months ago

Definitely appreciate the stone turning, but wasn't Zlatnick one of the better OL? I thought the OL crits were directed at the other side?

Definitely appreciate the perspective on the 5th yr pick ups, especially after TK's article earlier. It's been said many times in oter places that somethings can't be quantified.

Ken Tomberlin 5 years, 7 months ago

This is the same question I have. If Martin is going to replace an offensive lineman, why Zlatnick?

KGphoto 5 years, 7 months ago

Zlatnik still is one of the better offensive lineman. I mentioned this yesterday too, but I think Weis is pushing buttons. He must've seen something other than full effort from Z and he's using Martin to get it back. Otherwise I imagine he would be looking to plug Martin into the RG spot where we are having trouble. IMHO.

Ron Prichard 5 years, 7 months ago

I wondered about this, too, and I hope you are right. At the same time, its possible Martin can only play the left side. I know some players are great on one side and not on the other. And truly, for a right handed QB the left side of the can be totally different than the right when it comes to responsibilities and protections. If Martin is more of a specialist at one position and he is better than Zlatnik...? Maybe we'll see Zlatnik emerge on the other side of the line if he is more versatile than Martin.

KGphoto 5 years, 7 months ago

The other thing about Martin and Zlatnik, other than maybe Weis is pushing Z's buttons, is that he's thinking about next year too. He also mentioned giving Lewandowski reps in place of Hawkinson. Obviously Dylan Admire had a few for Trevor at C through a minor injury.

All things considered, it's possible we are getting a peep at next years potential OL.

LT - Ski

LG - Martin

C - Admire

RG - Howard

RT - Spencer/Sterling

But it certainly doesn't hurt to get Zlatnik revved before the Texas game. The guy still has an NFL future to think about, and losing your starting position will drop your stock in a hurry.

Kevin Kelly 5 years, 7 months ago

I've had the same questions about his 'one song' choices. Maybe these are the only rock groups he's really into. It's not like he can pop on the Byrds or Paul Simon. He might have wider selections that just wouldn't be worth trying to practice to.

With that all said. I've never gotten Springsteen. I mean I get putting him up there and above others of his day and today....but the way some people of a certian age and with a certian geographic history get all teary eyed about him really makes me feel like I missed something.

Lance Cheney 5 years, 7 months ago

Careful, don't be talking about the music! There are absolutely no other bands out there to practice football to, so stop talking about the song choices the head coach makes for practice. There are no other hair bands/80's pop bands in the same vein as Bon Jovi, and no other crappy middle-aged man rockers that sound anything like Springsteen, so quit griping about it, otherwise the other posters on here will jump your case about it. Talking about the music selection only shows that you're not a real football fan...

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