Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beaty focusing on depth, development

Kansas University's new head football coach, David Beaty, speaks at an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday.

Kansas University's new head football coach, David Beaty, speaks at an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday.


Shortly before his hiring became official in early December, new Kansas University football coach David Beaty spent countless hours watching KU games from the 2014 season and studying the roster he would inherit.

The former Texas A&M; receivers coach and recruiting coordinator reviewed each game multiple times, took notes on the Jayhawks who would be back in 2015 and those who were graduating and tried to get a better feel for which guys on the Kansas roster looked able to compete at the Big 12 level.

Doing so gave Beaty a jump-start on the critical two-week recruiting period that led to the signing of eight mid-year junior-college transfers, many of whom figure to have a chance to impact KU’s roster immediately.

“It was fairly easy,” Beaty said. “And not because I’m smarter than the average guy. When you look at the board, if you know what you’re doing, you look at the numbers first and identify where you have enough numbers to get through a season. The No. 1 thing I was looking for when we started looking at our needs was roster management — getting the depth that we need and still getting the type of players that we need.”

Although adding talent is always important, Beaty consistently has said that college football is a player-development business. Because of that, adding depth, at least initially, seems to be just as important.

“If there are areas where you’re deficient, sometimes you don’t get to say, ‘We’re just gonna go get the best dadgum players,’” Beaty said. “You don’t get to do that. You’ve gotta have the depth.”

According to Beaty, sufficient depth for a program hoping to compete in the Big 12 goes beyond being two-deep at every position.

“The math works itself out, because the goal is to be three deep everywhere,” Beaty said. “If you can do that, you’ve got a chance to make it through the season. I say you’ve got a chance, because, in my opinion, 85 (scholarships is) not enough. It’s really not. You need more scholarships than that.”

Because the scholarship limit is not likely to increase anytime soon, Beaty is focusing on developing a strong walk-on program and being smart with the scholarships he does have in order to create depth.

It’s no small challenge. Sixteen players listed on KU’s two-deep depth chart during the final week of the 2014 season — 10 of them on defense — will not be a part of the 2015 roster. While having so many openings gives Beaty the opportunity to offer immediate playing time to the players he recruits, it also puts a premium on player development and increases the importance of quality depth.

“You might have the best player in the world,” Beaty said. “But if he gets hurt, and there’s air behind him, how are you gonna play the game?”


Len Shaffer 7 years, 8 months ago

Is it just me, or does the fact that Beaty uses the word "dadgum" bring some comfort? It reminds me of Roy.

Jonathan Briles 7 years, 8 months ago

Thats how I'm starting to feel to be honest. He said these guys were in bowl games, but there is only one game left. I'm starting to worry if some of the guys he had lined up were just all talk with him and didn't expect him to get a HC job so soon and now he is scrambling to try and fill coaching roles with whoever he can find. There is not anyone he has gotten already that has made me think wow we are going to have an advantage at that position so hopefully he brings in a couple guys that make me feel that way with his final couple of openings.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 8 months ago

It's Monday morning after a long holiday weekend full of bowl games. When did you expect the announcement to be made? Sunday night when no one was working/reading?

It would have been nice (comforting for fans) to know sooner, but the real question all along has been which day this week will they make the announcement?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 8 months ago

It's a dead period and Beaty wanted to let his future staff enjoy the holidays. And if any of the remaining 3 hires were coaching in New Years Day bowls or are still coaching, that's not a bad thing in the long run for KU.

Marc Frey 7 years, 8 months ago

Simple: Get an offensive line that can block then our running backs will put up totals that were thrown at us. Get a defensive line that can pressure the opposing QB so that he does not throw up Heisman like numbers against us. As I have watched bowl games, it becomes more obvious we need upgraded front lines. They are the ones that help make the other players better.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 8 months ago

Bingo! Our O-line was one of our biggest problems all season. Simply ask the RBs or the QBs (not that they would throw teammates under the bus).
And when you cannot pressure with your Dline without bringing a blitz pkg, it leaves openings in the zone for the opposition's hot read.

We've known about O- and D-line issues all season. It kept killing our chances at momentum.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 8 months ago

I don’t believe the limiting of scholarships by the NCAA had anything to do with football but it seems to me it benefits schools like KU by preventing the powerhouses from stockpiling players.

Robert Brock 7 years, 8 months ago

How many Big 12-level jocks are on the KU squad? Ten? Fifteen? The 2015 club is going to struggle mightily.

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

The starting 11 on offense and defense may not be half bad. It's the two-deep that worries me.

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

One thing that has irked me over the years is how trigger happy Weis and Gill were with burning a kid's red shirt year. Every case is different, but a program with a tendency to have 5th year seniors on the field instead of true freshman is going to be better off.

My take... If we win 4 games next year, and truly begin to develop players, then Beaty deserves a statue! :)

Dirk Medema 7 years, 8 months ago

Is winning 4 games next year while redshirting significant #'s of players really realistic?

I'm not sure about the non-con for next year, but if we win even 1 con game next year, and can remain fairly competitive with proper execution/player development, I'll consider it a good start moving forward.

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

Dirk... I wouldn't red shirt all of them. If I were the head coach (still can't believe they didn't interview me!) then I'd have a policy with red shirting: If they have the chance to go to the NFL early, if they will be a starter, or if they will play a role near that of a starter then they can play as true freshman. Joe Dineen, for example, was very seldom used last year and didn't have the opportunity to have an impact role yet he will not have an opportunity to be a 5th year senior because of it.

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

Also... 4 games would be excellent. Memphis and Rutgers both should be favored against us, meaning that winning 2 of the three non-cons will be great. Add in 2 Big 12 victories and it's at least a start, especially if there is some player development.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't think winning 4 games is realistic, but it will be possible next year. The style of offense KU is going to run next year will give them a better chance at pulling upsets than the offense Weis ran. Combine that with a very down Big 12 next year, and a 4 win season isn't out of the realm of possibilities. TCU and Baylor will be very good again next year, but beyond those two, I don't see a team that will be better than 8-4 next year. Texas is a year away, Stoops is slipping at OU, KSU will be good but not great, OSU will be better than last year but not as good as they've been, West Virginia is a big question mark, and KU, Texas Tech, and ISU will all be garbage next year. Based on pure talent and depth, KU is probably a 2 win team next year, but with the Air Raid, a couple of upsets aren't out of the picture either.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 8 months ago

My opinion on redshirting is if a kid isn't on the two deep coming out of fall camp, don't burn the redshirt, unless it's due to injuries, and let the kids develop on the scout team and in the weight room. KU needs to build its depth up as quickly as possible and redshirting as many kids as possible is the best and fastest way to build and develop depth within the program. My personal philosophy is depth breeds competition, competition breeds improvement, and improvement breeds wins.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, this isn't terribly different than the message delivered by Weis 3 yrs ago. Sadly, the # of JC (in particular) failures from recent classes keep us in the same boat. Glad to see that the JC recruits this year will be on campus this month and participating in spring ball. No more "What week of 2-a-days will recruit X arrive?"

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

I think Beaty will be forced to go the JUCO route this year as there simply isn't enough time to recruit a bunch of quality HS kids. Next year I hope to see a 25 man class (we will need one again) with at least 20 of them being HS kids.

Greg Ledom 7 years, 8 months ago

Probaby won't be any more juco kids recruited for this class. I believe I read that the new rule (Beaty and staff have put in place) is if a juco can't be in by January for Spring ball, he's not recruited. At least that's what I recall.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 8 months ago

A heavy juco philosophy was supposed to give quicker results than getting high-school 2- and 3-star kids and redshirting them. Weis initially didnt want to spend years and years the hard way--he was looking to do a quick turnaround, get us to a couple of bowl games, which would have re-polished his cred a bit, and then he'd springboard to a bigger job, or back to the NFL. Problem is that to run Weis' stuff, you need competent O-line, and a competent passing game. Well, KU couldnt pass protect, the WRs couldnt catch, and that meant whatever 5star QB he got was going to be ineffective. Weis' plan backfired.

And each season, there were 2 or 3 supposed starter-caliber impact juco kids that actually never saw the field.

Very disheartening that Nigel King, a true star from this season, will not be back for his Sr. season. We needed him.

We are almost to the point that the revolving door at coach is going to make recruits simply NOT trust the situation. When, in god's green earth, are we going to shut our collective mouths and give a coach, any coach the conventional-wisdom of a 4-5yr plan to recruit to their playstyle, redshirt, rep/rep/rep their recruits for years in the same playstyle??? We've changed offenses 3 times in the past 3 seasons. 2 of the last 3 years we changed it mid-season. Damn, not even an NFL team changes offenses in the middle of the season, and it takes them a whole off-season of roster acquisitions to have the "correct" pro players to do that. And here we are, asking non-pro, non-5star kids to learn new offenses every few months.

This carousel is just as irritating as the L's, and actually is partly to blame. As always, I offer my heartiest (sarcastic) "thank you" to Lew Perkins for initiating the avalanche/implosion of KU ftball. And I would tell my fellow WillamsFund alums to take about 5 deep breaths over the next 4-5 years. That's what it will take. Should be blatantly obvious. At least Beaty+Bowen have a lot more stamina and energy compared to Weis. They are going to need it, and we need to not forget what they are up against.

Jonathan Briles 7 years, 8 months ago

I think you are going to get what you want one way or another honestly. I think Beaty will be here for a few years and Bowen will be the coach in waiting unless his defense completely flops. I think if things go according to plan Beaty will be here a few years and turn things in the right direction and do some of the things you want and wether he leaves because of ineffectiveness or success Bowen will be waiting in the wings to take over and will almost certainly hold the staff mostly intact. That will help gain some sustained stability. There is a lot riding on the people he fills the rest of his staff with, but if he gets the right people he does have the right people and passion to get us moving in the right direction and Bowen will be all too happy to keep us moving in that direction after Beaty is gone.

Brandon Sieckman 7 years, 8 months ago

This is the most logical post I've seen on here in about 7 years.

Robert Brown 7 years, 8 months ago

While I agree with your comment that you need to allow a coach time to execute his plan, you can also get a good feeling if the hire was a mistake much earlier. I think the last two hires were terrible fits and some time you need to cut your losses.

I don't know how the conversation went between Weis and Zenger when Weis was outlining his vision for the program, but I imagine it has something to do with bringing in higher lever talent though transfers and JUCO players and quickly moving to bowl eligibility, setting the foundation for greater success in the future.

Let's say Zenger bought into that vision. Once we got though a few games in Year 3, it clearly was not going to work and so you make a change.

Had Zenger hired a coach who had a five year vision to respectability though developing hungry 2 and 3 star players, I imagine that coach would have been give more time to execute his vision which would also include articulating this vision to the fans encouraging them to watch the team get better each year.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 8 months ago

Forget about changing offensive philosophies, look at how much change there has been in defensive philosophy and tell me why anyone's shocked KU's defense in such poor shape. This past season was the first time since 2007 that KU didn't enter a season with a new defensive coordinator or change their defensive alignment. In 2006-07 Bill Young was DC and KU ran a 4-3 defense, in 2008 Clint Bowen took over the defense ran a 4-3, 2009 Bowen changed the defense to a 4-2-5, in 2010 Carl Torbush became DC and KU ran a 4-3, in 2011 Vic Shealy took over the defense and changed to a 3-4 defense, in 2012 Dave Campo took over and changed to a 4-3 defense, in 2013 Bowen took over again and ran a hybrid nickel defense, and this past season for the first time since 2007 KU did not change coordinators or its base defense. Keeping Bowen and Bowen running the same defense will allow Bowen to actually recruit to the system he runs and allow KU to actually make significant strides on defense.

Bob Bailey 7 years, 8 months ago

No matter what you do, Defense can lose for you. Can't tackle, till this year, no coverage, defense out of position, and little to justify the Defensive Scheme. Look at what OK and K State did to Defense. And both were lousy Bowl Teams. We'll be lucky to get 3 w - 9 l'

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