Tuesday, October 18, 2016

KU quarterbacks not progressing like David Beaty hoped

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis (13) is brought down by TCU defensive tackle Aaron Curry (95) and other Horned Frog defenders on the Jayhawks' final drive of the game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis (13) is brought down by TCU defensive tackle Aaron Curry (95) and other Horned Frog defenders on the Jayhawks' final drive of the game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.


David Beaty possesses no “magic little answer.” If the head coach could “sprinkle some dust” on a quarterback and fix the Kansas football team’s offensive tribulations, he would.

At the midway mark of his second season in charge and first as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Beaty said Tuesday at his weekly press conference the Jayhawks’ passers have not made the progress he envisioned. And how could he argue otherwise? As the man in charge referenced, “the production’s not there.”

In conference games, Kansas (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) ranks last in points (16.3 per game), ninth in total offense (327.7 yards a game), eighth in passing offense (244 yards per game) and ninth in passing efficiency (100.9).

“The trajectory and how we are training them and how they are progressing in practice needs to carry over to the football field,” Beaty said 15 days after naming sophomore Ryan Willis KU’s new starting quarterback. “And, hey, at the end of the day, that's my job as a coach to be able to make that things carry over to the field. So I've got to continue to do the things that I've got to do to make sure that it's working for them as they pass it onto the field. Sometimes that's just motivating guys in different ways to really pay attention to details.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Game week Q&A: David Beaty talks struggles on offense, looking ahead to Oklahoma State

Kansas football coach David Beaty speaks with the media about problems on offense, evaluating quarterbacks, Saturday's homecoming game against Oklahoma State, and much more.

Download podcast

Willis has thrown six interceptions and been sacked 10 times in two starts, while completing 41 of his 64 throws (64.1 percent) for 437 yards (6.8 yards an attempt). The sophomore could only give the struggling offense 89 passing yards on Saturday in a 49-7 loss at Baylor.

“I take a lot of the blame,” Willis said. “I need to get my eyes in the right place. When I do, we can be pretty lethal. And when I don’t, I’m gonna make mistakes. And I need to bounce back on it, not dwell on it. I’m gonna move forward.”

Beaty said Willis’ issues come down to basic mistakes. The coach said his current No. 1 QB needs to read the defense in front of him, get his cue quickly and determine the correct target on passing downs, instead of fixing in on a route before surveying.

“So that's been frustrating for me and for them as well,” Beaty said of the quarterbacking problems, which began with Montell Cozart and Willis rotating at the position the first four games. “But those are things that we can fix and I'm gonna expect them to get fixed. In a hurry.”

Willis’ turnovers — two lost fumbles, seven interceptions, contributing to KU’s nation-worst 22 giveaways — are the more obvious examples of what Beaty considers insufficient progress.

“We've gotta be better there — we’ve gotta be much better there. When you don't see it in practice a whole lot, you don't really know that it's gonna be much of a problem until you get ’em in the game,” Beaty said. “… You gotta evaluate what you see in practice by what you see every day, and then when you get your opportunity to play in the game, that's another piece of the evaluation. It was for Montell and it is for Ryan, as well.”

As far as moving past a forgettable outing, Willis said he tries to operate with a “24-hour memory.” It will be on him to rebound and improve quickly for the offense, and really the whole team, to have a better showing Saturday versus Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1) at Memorial Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff, FOX Sports 1).

“It’s gonna take perseverance. We’ve battled through this," Willis said. "We had a rough season last year. We just need to be able to bounce back and have a good week of practice, and get ready for Oklahoma State for our homecoming game.”


Bob Bailey 5 years, 8 months ago

The mistakes are brutally obvious, and they are on Beatty as well. How many competent OC's would let his starting center turn over the ball on your 4 yd line, because the Defensive Tackle was calling the signals? In 71 yrs, Beaty is the only one! Why can't he teach a QB how many receivers are on the field. Max count is 5, and one or two may be helping protect him. Why can't he see the 3 or4 going out. He takes the ball from the center and backs up 3 steps -- why can't he see the best prospect after 2 steps and heave the ball when the third foot touches the ground/ Those who follow Mich State know that the QB drills, daily, throw more than 100 balls a day. who knows what he's teaching? It never shows up on game dat!

Marc Frey 5 years, 8 months ago

We all know what the issues are. They have been documented on this website. HC turnover every 2 years, lack of recruits, lack of D-1 talent starting for us, and lack of play calling experience. It all adds up to the last 6 seasons. And most of the last 35 seasons.

Jay Beakum 5 years, 8 months ago

It’s staggering that we can’t produce at least a medium grade QB after all these years. Division II schools are sending guys to the NFL. We have a recruiting advantage on a ton of schools who are just kicking our butts.

Larry Jackson 5 years, 8 months ago

The last 2 coaches chose Cozart over Micheal Cummings, the only QB in the last 10 years to make KU resemble an offense. Willis will be alright in time, and we're invested at this point. Cozart should never take another snap at KU.

Lloyd Kinnison 5 years, 8 months ago

I would think the QBs do have problems progressing. The OC had a very difficult time giving the QBs the correct play. Look at the replays and amount of time the "O" waited for the call from the OQ. Very Slow.

Jay Scott 5 years, 8 months ago

Taking a program that's historically mediocre and presently awful, with reduced scholarships, at a basketball school, and rebuilding it to competitive status is a challenge all the top coaches relish... Why not just hire Saban or Cowher? On second thought, it's so easy that any coach should do.....

Heck, just hire a few of the "experts" right here...

Brett McCabe 5 years, 8 months ago

It's a d-board d-bag. But, maybe we should all relish 1-16 and call it good?

Jay Scott 5 years, 8 months ago

As if on demand, the personification of just such an "expert" drools...

Brett McCabe 5 years, 8 months ago

My one else's. Don't even bother Joe Ross. I'm in his head, you and Harrison can't even come close.

Jay Scott 5 years, 8 months ago

You replied to me...... Who's stalking?

It's sad what a fool you make of yourself on a daily basis.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 8 months ago

The problems have been documented but I will document them again.

After hiring a Power Surge (believe me, the name Charlie Weis and the words "power surge" have never before and never will be again uttered in the same sentence), we hired a WR coach, who just happened to be on two staffs when they had Todd Reesing and Johnny Manziel as their QB's.

We hired and fired an O.C.

We changed our offense from year one to year two.

Our H.C., based on his vast experience on the sidelines, took over play-calling duties.

We turned over half of our coaching staff.

Our H.C. decided to also take over punt-return duties.

We split reps with our top-2 QB's for three games because our H.C./O.C./Q.B.C./P.R.C. couldn't make up his friggin' mind.

And then we blamed it on the quarterbacks.

Other than a potential uptick in recruiting - not confirmed because no one has signed an L.O.I. - tell me what you've seen that makes you think that this is the guy?

Jim Stauffer 5 years, 8 months ago

I would but your blinded by your hatred and could not see it.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 8 months ago

And again, from the man with no actual input. You are a true believer, I'll give you credit for that.

Jack Hoff 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow Brett you seem to have been real fed up lately. I can't help but ask what would you do if you were the Head coach right now? What would you do if you were the AD right now. Not trying to be a jerk, I'm just curious since you are so openly upset.

In regards to your post I think we can let things go like the whole punt return coach thing. For one, he admitted that was a mistake and moved on. Next since that poor game against Ohio KU has actually done a nice job taking care of the ball in special teams. Relative to last year, the special teams has actually been vastly improved in alot of areas.

We argue about staff turnover but that really didn't have much to do with Beaty. All those guys were offered better jobs. Kane- DC position, Kubiak-Denver Broncos position with his dad, etc. Since last year the Denfense and Special teams have greatly improved so that points to Beaty's ability to find great coaching talents.

If we are looking at the program as a whole and not just the offense, then KU has made alot of strides. I know it can be frustrating but offense is the toughest to improve due to OL and QB development overtime. I personally believe Beaty is the man for the job and to not expect mistakes from a young coach is just being nieve. All and All he has done a tremndous job considering the position he was in.

Calvin Miller 5 years, 8 months ago

This has to be a tongue-in-cheek comment. You can't be serious if you believe that Beaty has done anything but less than mediocre. He has promoted himself as an OC and is responsible for an offense that is, for the second year under Beaty, trending towards the bottom of FCS football.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 8 months ago

Honestly Brett I'm as frustrated as you. But Beaty has laid out specific stats to show the team has improved based on speed and strength. He's also improved our recruiting, most notably bringing in the Alabama transfers and Mike Lee. Also, our defense has improved drastically under him. Now, I'm sure that's mainly credited to Bowen, but I'm sure Beaty has helped. Unfortunately though not much of this has translated to wins on the field, which is all we care about at this point. I'm not going to say he's 100% the guy, but he has made a little improvement and could be the only realistic option we have at this point. Getting rid of Beaty would put us in a really difficult spot. Was it a great hire by Zenger? So far, that's not apparent. But he's not getting paid squat compared to what other coaches are getting paid and if he did work out I believe Beaty would stick around for the long haul. It's hard to ask for patience when we've suffered for so long, but I think we just need to be a bit more patient. And if it's not because Beaty is the guy, it's so we can show the next guy, hopefully the right guy, that we're willing to give him time to build.

Micky Baker 5 years, 8 months ago

I know we don't know what the playbook has in it, but I'm betting there are plays that could help the QB situation if they were called, as long as they aren't called repeatedly multiple times. How about some quick slants. I mean, snap the ball, 2 seconds and the ball is out. Why not screens in the middle of the field instead of to the side? Why not let Quiv try to beat a guy on the outside one on one, 1--2--3, throw it. He's got the speed. I'm sure there are options. The key would be to do it early in a game and force the other players to play us close so we can get the double moves later on. Run shorter out patterns on 1st and 2nd down. Not 15 yard out patterns on the wide side of the field.

We have got the receivers that can get it done, but we have to get a little more sophisticated in the offense and then teach which keys for the QB and receivers to look at and make quick passes. Our opponents do it to us often.

Jack Hoff 5 years, 8 months ago

I completely understand where you are coming from. However, I would argue that how can a team that can't even run basic plays from time to time be expected to run complicated schemes and routes? We can't even get off a good snap much less running a sophisticated offense. Those are for teams with players with great football IQ's and right now KU doesn't have those players. It seems so easy to say all you have to do is run these routes and set up these schemes but I'm sure alot more go into it than just that and at this point in the season it gets kind of tough to install new plays when you have to prepare for BIG 12 teams every week. Just my thoughts though! Rock Chalk

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 8 months ago

Holy cow, guys. Chill. I think coach Beaty is trying too hard. I think it would do him well to do what he believes he ought to do. I would continue to work hard on recruiting and trust his coaches. Be the manager, ensure you hear what they have to say what they need.

Mike Leach is finally having some success at Washington State but it hasn't been easy and I'm sure it is taking him more time then he would have thought.

I've always thought that our coach needed at least five years. Maybe we should make it 8. One thing is certain the revolving door would just absolutely kill the future of this program if it were to continue. Recruiting would be awful no coach would touch us and we would set a record for how bad a division 1 team could be.

The best thing we can do is to give a nice long stretch to our coach and prove that we are patient and supportive. How can we the most rabid fans help? I think it's time we each asked ourselves that. I don't have money but I do have zeal! I'm thinking scouting for unrecognized talent. Maybe there could be a camp for that?

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 8 months ago

Agreed 100%... Even if he's mediocre at best, we need to give him at least 5 years, maybe 8. Firing another coach within the 2 year window will cripple our program more than it is. The only way I see getting rid of Beaty before that is if a guy like Miles or Briles somehow miraculously become interested. Until then, let Beaty do his job and support his hard work.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 8 months ago

How an you give an HC/OC five years when he can't even make rational calls in a game. He doesn't have enough football smarts to understand what he is doing!

Where do we go from here? Nowhere. Take that $300,000 a year, or more and do whatever it takes to recruit the DC from Wisc. (Probably the best in BIG12) and there is no way to get him to move NOW! Same for an OC. Frankly we are thoroly screwed until Zenger departs -- and look at the happy faces with the Chanceollor.

Augustine Olobia 5 years, 8 months ago

Time for an expert opinion. Looking at the tapes the last 4 weeks here is where i see issues. First of all KU is trying to start with the short passes. Every opponent seems to know that and they are playing the short passing game. Secondly and this is the most glaring, teams are playing us cover 2 zone which means you cant play the sidelines as the corners are squatting, but most of all you attack 2 deep zone in the middle of the field which we are not doing. Whats most perplexing is that our QBs do not seem to understand the concepts of these kind of defenses. If you see cover 2 you have no business throwing outs. Middle of the field strikes in the whole between the CB and safety. Now one more glaring issue I see is that teams are squatting on us giving us little or no room on the short passes. Test them deep early. We dont, coaches have to help the QB and running backs. Even if you dont complete the pass, CBs get scared and will give you room. Finally we do nt have the best talent on OL. Coaches need to help by incorporating screen passes to slow down those DEs. I am tired of keeping my mouth shut. I know these coaches are busting their tails to turn this around. However its more than just Xs and Os. If you are a losing program, kicking the ball with a 2 point lead towards the end of the game with only a couple yards to go is playing not to lose. You turn thing around by taking chances. It does 2 things, it shows the kids you playing to win and are not scared, but also the upside is you get it there is unbelievable momentum. So bottom line read the defense, Throw deep in the first half not second half when we down 20, be creative i n taking chances. What the hell have you got to lose.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

Good points. There is also how we are coaching the QBs, Receivers, and OL. Keep watching and see what the rest of the season brings.

Joe Ross 5 years, 8 months ago

Excellent points. Nice to have someone very knowledgeable on the boards helping us see straight. I wont ask your opinion on Beaty for obvious reasons, but there are strong opinions on both sides. But maybe I can be tactful and ask what your opinion is of the progress made in the last season or so since Weis' departure.

Augustine Olobia 5 years, 8 months ago

Honestly I think Beaty is on the right track. It starts with recruiting which we are seeing improvements, the schemes are technically sound its more of tailing it to game time situations. Putting it bluntly we are the least talented team in the conference so we need to over achieve to win.

Augustine Olobia 5 years, 8 months ago

One more thing. We had a tail wind on us in the first half of the Baylor game and did not try a deep ball in the first quarter. like i said its more than Xs and Os, its also strategy.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.