Tuesday, April 24, 2012


QBs should steal show


I’m a little confused. In general, that is. I’m a lot confused as to why football players Collin Garrett and Chris Robinson were smoking in The Hawk, or anywhere else for that matter.

When I was in college, it seemed to me the guys who smoked did so because they thought it made them look cool. The harder they slammed the pack into their palms before peeling the plastic, the cooler they looked. But doesn’t a uniform and a football helmet generate even more cool points?

Now, because they refused to look cool outside and insisted on doing so indoors and allegedly got a little rough with employees and ran from cops, Garrett, a talented linebacker, and Robinson had to surrender their shoulder pads, helmets, uniforms and, ultimately, their scholarships.

With each passing week, it becomes more evident just how deep a mess Charlie Weis inherited. Obsessing on that grew too depressing, so I forced myself to concentrate instead on last Thursday’s 6 a.m. practice. The only visible smoke flew off the footballs thrown by Dayne Crist, the one-year transfer from Notre Dame.

Sure, no pass rush closed in on him, and he was launching long passes to receivers facing single coverage. Still, the quarterback built like a tight end showed remarkable accuracy throwing long passes to a variety of receivers who either caught or dropped them in the end zone.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crist is one of those quarterbacks who looks like he’s playing 10-yard catch when he slings it 50 yards. It will be interesting to see what No. 10 can do in Saturday’s spring game. (Brigham Young transfer Jake Heaps, eligible in 2013, threw with a lot of zip as well, maybe a little too much mustard on short passes.)

Early in the spring, Weis summed up what will bring Kansas football fans to Memorial Stadium for Saturday’s spring game.

“At the end of the day, what are the two things that people really want to see?” Weis asked and then answered. “Can the defense stop anybody? And what’s going on with Crist?”

Pre-spring game guesses to those questions: 1. Not yet. 2. Plenty, all of it good.

The defense usually looks better in spring games because they know the plays, but this game could be an exception. Without what Weis calls the cavalry — junior college and fifth-year transfers and high school recruits — both Crist and Heaps could have big days Saturday.


kureader 10 years, 5 months ago

Tom, though I'm no journalist, I've never understood why your article headings bear no resemblence to your articles. This article references KU quarterbacks, but more than half of the article was about two guys who just got kicked off the team. I love KU athletics, so I read lots of your articles ... this is a characteristic of your writing style, not an exception. I've never seen anything like it elsewhere. It's really confusing to read your stuff.

Whatever ... But, I, too, don't understand why an athlete would smoke. Very few quality players do it ... even in the offseason. As for the new quarterbacks, I'm excited to watch them play this Saturday. Rock Chalk!

kellerman411 10 years, 5 months ago

The final 60% of the article is about Dayne Christ and the other QBs..... What would you have titled this article as? The first part of the article is a build up to a conclusion that Charlie Weis inherited an undisciplined team. So, the ultra focused and talented Dayne Christ "should steal show". Pretty basic writing structure, I thought it was a good read.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 5 months ago

You are correct. You are not a journalist.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Wasn't Michael Jordan notorious for smoking (oh it was cigars, but still was famous for it).

SaltLakeHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I smoke crack every day, and I'm a phenomenal athlete.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

Definitely agreeing with kureader. While a bit long, I appreciate the thoughts on the program in general to start the article, but then it just ends before it even begins. Is that really all you've got from an entire hour of practice, or is it a function of being the one called out for being late?

JakeBarnes 10 years, 5 months ago

"Without what Weis calls the cavalry — junior college and fifth-year transfers and high school recruits — both Crist and Heaps could have big days Saturday." Keegan.

Anyone know whether this is a positive or negative comment? Sounds like Crist and Heaps could do better if Weis hadn't recruited "the cavalry." Is the cavalry the defense? If so, since they can't stop anybody the QBs ought to have a field day.

BTW, I doubt "Tom" writes the headlines. They are usually understandable.

Ashwin Rao 10 years, 5 months ago

The Cavalry consists of the new guys who have not yet stepped on the campus. They will be on campus in summer after they graduate from wherever they are currently.

Jeff Smith 10 years, 5 months ago

It means they are playing against a D that has about 60% of our projected starters

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 5 months ago

Weis may have inherited a mess but at least he is not brushing it under the rug. You should feel optimism if anything...not depression. Focus on what he is setting in motion and not enabling with behavior like that of those two guys. It is a process...and as KU football fans we are all a bit weary of such processes but give Weiss a chance to at least attempt to put this train back on the right track.

cato_the_elder 10 years, 5 months ago

"Brigham Young transfer Jake Heaps, eligible in 2013, threw with a lot of zip as well, maybe a little too much mustard on short passes."

Keegs, you should have seen Bobby Douglass.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I remember a story back in 1967-68 that he split a receiver's (George McGowan??) hand open with a pass thrown so hard.

KemDooKU 10 years, 5 months ago

As famous words go - its hard to make chicken salad out of chicken bones and poo. Coaching only goes so far and in the end it comes down to talent- thanks Turner Gil.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

This team has the talent to compete with most of the teams in the Big 12 and the country. What it didn't have the past two years was a coaching staff to develop the talent. Three of the five recruiting classes that will take the field for KU this year have been top 40 classes according to Rivals so there is the talent to compete with most teams on the KU roster. The class of 2008 was ranked 40th, 2009 was ranked 31st, and 2011 was ranked 34th. Players from that 2008 class that will be starters/major contributors are Greg Brown, Tanner Hawkinson, Trevor Marrongelli, Daymond Patterson, Kale Pick, Lubbock Smith, John Williams, and Duane Zlatnik. That's half the secondary, 3/5 of the OLine, and the top 2 WR's along with a DT. The class of 2009 has DJ Beshears, Bradley McDougald, Toben Opurum, Tyler Patmon, Riley Spencer, and Holden Tharpe. That group includes the other half of the secondary, the best all-around athlete on the team, the best pass rusher on the team, and the 4th OLine starter. That's 15 of 22 starters coming from classes that got to experience at least 1 year under Mangino and that coaching staff and get a little bit of development under that staff.

The class of 2011 is likely to produce the 5th starter on the OLine and most of the backups for the starters this upcoming year as they work on getting bigger and stronger. Gill's one full recruiting class has quite a bit of talent in it and now with a real strength and conditioning program in place, they have a chance to develop into some very good football players.

Norm Jennings 10 years, 5 months ago

along with a DT.

could have saved the whole article.

Q. How will you win a conference game with "a" DT?

A. You won't - and history has shown...

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

Texas - Definitely agree that the problem is not. Once the next class gets here (calvary on the DL in particular) there is the possibility of a strong 2-deep. Using the rankings IMO is questionable due to the attrition during each of the coaching changes. CW made a statement about it rigt off the batt, but it was about the same with Gill - just quieter. Lots that those classes were ranked on are gone, but still think there will be a real quality 2-deep once the "calvary" arrives with 4 DT's (a 4-pack 4 6pack?), a DE, and TE.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Wow ! Someone is feeling very "glass half full" today!!

"...two of the best pure passers we have ever seen at Kansas" is pretty high praise for two guys who have never taken an official snap here!

I hope you're right, brother! RCJH !!

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Atl - I wasn't doggin you in any way - just making conversation.

And I sincerely hope you are right!!

I, too, am anxiously awaiting football season. (it's been a while since I've said that publicly!!)

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

lol - If only more of us had to work at tempering our enthusiasm!

I have to admit that I do tend to get more excited about basketball, but, dang - the beginning of every football season is special.

The beginning of fall is one of my favorite times of year, and there just ain't much better than watching college football on a crisp Saturday afternoon. Especially if we can get people to stay past halftime!!.

Hopefully, HCCW can make it so we're equally enthused about basketball and football.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

I'll add, having a canon arm only helps if you have the right receivers.

Reesing's touch made it much easier for any receiver.

machinegun 10 years, 5 months ago

Dayne Crist, 6-4, 235...reminds me of a Junior QB, #16, at Shawnee Mission East by the name of Jordan Darling. The cavalry is coming to the Spring Game!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

McCay has come home. Now if we can just get some more local talent (Cozart-check, Darling?)to stay around.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

Both receivers and d-backs have to have that attitude that when they see that ball in the air, it's mine. If a guy is dropping balls time after time make him a tackling dummy. He is no good to us unless he can haul it in, whether the ball is thrown like Reesing or Bobby Douglas. We absolutely must have QBs and receivers that intend to play at the next level.

colreader 10 years, 5 months ago

Tom, is the at&t all access feed going to be video or just audio? Sure would be nice to watch instead of just listening.

danmoore 10 years, 5 months ago

A couple of weeks ago someone posted a comment with a link to a story about the SEC and its questionable academic standards. Meant to read it but now I can't find it. Anyone know where that link is?

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

No, but here's a link to an SEC application form you should check out.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

This team was not all that far away from making a bowl last year even with the horrendous coaching job and lack of stamina. A 21 point lead against Texas Tech, any offense beats Iowa St., one defensive stop in the 4th quarter beats Baylor, and with any offense they beat Missouri last year as well. There was one thing the defense did really well the second half of last season that I hope Campo has noticed and will emphasize this year and that is creating turnovers. Who honestly thought the OU game would've still been competitive entering the 4th quarter, that was turnovers. The Baylor and Missouri games were winnable because of turnovers created by the defense. The defense doesn't have to be a top 50 defense to give KU a chance this year, they just need to create turnovers at the rate they were during the second half of last season and with a competent offense, this team should have a decent shot at reaching a bowl game this upcoming season.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

Top 90 to 100 would be an improvement (ouch), but it is very true that just the addition of Crist last year could have made this a bowl team. There is a massiv jump to even being competitive in the other games, but good QB play could have extended the season.

sekjayhawkfan 10 years, 5 months ago

I have a general suggestion for and I guess this is as good a place as any to submit it. I routinely find bits and pieces of very interesting KU sports news tacked on at the end of TOTALLY unrelated articles. Many times it’s something I was really interested in learning – but almost didn’t see because the main article didn’t particularly interest me. It's almost always something that wouldn't merit an individual article or headline, but it's newsworthy nonetheless.

I wish you would just put all those little newsy tidbits in a regular “running” feature so those of us who are addicted/regular visitors can “catch up” wherever we left off the last time. You could have the "newest news" post at the top of the column - and if you can't think of a name for the column/feature - you could run a contest to name the column and give the winning entrant a T-shirt or something. It just seems like it would make more sense and better serve your readership.

John Randall 10 years, 5 months ago

Huzzah! Bravo! You tell 'em!

Collecting those tidbits where they are visible would be a service to all.

kufootballcomeback 10 years, 5 months ago

I hate to say this Keegan, but your opening paragraph is a little off. Garrett and Robinson were smoking weed in The Hawk, not cigarettes, for 4/20 (The national marijuana holiday celebrated on college campuses across the nation). I don't know if your college friends were that cool.

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