Saturday, September 17, 2016


Tom Keegan: Less is more for Beaty, Jayhawks

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat to Kansas cornerback Marnez Ogletree (10) as the defense leaves the field following a Memphis touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn.

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat to Kansas cornerback Marnez Ogletree (10) as the defense leaves the field following a Memphis touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn.


— Seemingly in disbelief that the team he coaches vomited the football over and over for the second week in a row and made it so easy on the opponent, Kansas second-year head coach David Beaty belly-flopped onto the sword to open Saturday’s post-game press conference.

“They’ve done that two weeks in a row,” Beaty said after KU’s road futility streak swelled to 36 games with a 43-7 loss to Memphis. “That starts with me. That’s not the kids’ fault. That’s me. That’s not them coaches’ fault. That’s me. I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get a lot better because obviously what we’re doing right now is not working.”

An accomplished recruiter of Texas athletes and in his second season as a college head coach, Beaty did not say how he needs to improve. As always, I’m here to help.

A three-step plan to become a better head coach:

Step 1: Ditch as your default position personally taking over what’s broken, be it coordinating the offense, coaching quarterbacks, teaching catching punts, whatever.

Rob Likens coordinated an offense short on blocks, yards and points last season and Beaty demoted him and took his place, installing his version of the Air Raid. So far, in two games vs. quality opposition, the offense has looked short on blocks, yards, points and ball security.

Step 2: Stop rotating quarterbacks. It often has been said that a team that has two quarterbacks doesn’t have any. Settle on one quarterback, let him know before the game that no matter what happens he’ll stay in the game, unless he’s not healthy enough to continue. Decide on Carter Stanley, Ryan Willis or Montell Cozart, give him 80 percent of the reps during the week and see if that doesn’t accelerate his understanding of the offense and of his own abilities.

Step 3: Decide on a depth chart well before the final week of fall camp and let the first-stringers at every position get the majority of the reps in hopes that it will result in cleaner football on game days.

Back to Step 2, I asked Beaty whether he planned on settling on one quarterback or continuing to use multiple trigger men.

“We have three really good quarterbacks that I really like,” Beaty said. “They continue to grow in our offense.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Postgame: David Beaty on 43-7 loss at Memphis

Kansas football coach David Beaty answers questions following his team's 43-7 loss at Memphis, which moved the Jayhawks to 1-2.

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I maintain any one of them would grow faster if entrusted with the clear-cut, first-string job. Growth of any sort was not evident Saturday when the Jayhawks turned it over six times.

“We played Ryan in that third series and then we had some turnovers by Montell,” Beaty said. “The decision we made was, ‘Hey, listen, let’s go to Ryan, give him that shot.’ Things weren’t working real well with Montell at that point so we basically gave Ryan an opportunity for a while, then we went back to Montell and he made another mistake there late.”

Two problems with that line of thinking: Cozart did nothing that merited being taken out of the game the first time and he did nothing all day to deserve being put back in the game. Pulling him the second time was the obvious move. The first time? No. Beaty changes quarterbacks as quickly as Kansas changes football coaches, not fertile soil for growth.

It must make it difficult to get into a rhythm as a quarterback, knowing that your stay on the field is so temporary, right?

“No," Willis said. "You just have to take advantage of the opportunities you’re given. You have to make the routine plays. Our coaches know what they’re doing and we’re going to trust them.”

Cozart gave the team answer as well.

"When one guy’s in there we’re learning off one another and when we’re coming off the field, we’re asking each other what we’re seeing and what the defense is trying to do to us," said Cozart, who threw two bad interceptions and lost another possession on an unforced fumble. "It helps a little bit having another guy go through it before you go out there, just kind of go to school on it, and when it’s your chance to get out there, you have to move the offense up and down the field.”

In charge of a young, undermanned roster, Beaty has no easy answers at his disposal, but he's making it too hard on himself by wearing too many hats and playing too many quarterbacks. And the harder he makes it on himself, the easier he makes it on the opponent.

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Memphis during’s live coverage

More news and notes from the loss against Memphis


Marc Frey 5 years, 11 months ago

2 and #3 tell me there is a lack of talent. We need two more years to get a decent group in here that can play at this level. As for #1, I agree. Beaty does not appear to be a X and O guy.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 11 months ago

Right as rain, Tom. Bring back Likens. Bring back Willis. Set a depth chart and quit making things harder than they already are.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes Tom nailed it with this column. I feel bad for Beaty because he's trying so hard but he's only digging a deeper hole.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, if we want to start bringing things back..nah, not even going to go there.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Ill say it though Ill get skewered for it. Gill, Weis and Beaty had/have neither the termperament nor the knowledge for how to resurrect a team. One man does. And he's out there. Available!!! Sitting there for the taking! Nobody wants to say it but both Mark Mangino and Kansas are better with each other than without. Since they parted ways both have hit the skids. Swallow that big lump of pride in your throat, bring them back together, and make some magic happen. A shoe and a sock. Peas and carrots. Chocolate and peanut butter. Peanut butter and jelly.

The Harbaughs and Sabans of the world ain't comin' to Kansas. We keep trying to fit this slipper of a team onto the feet of coaches but it appears it can only be worn by one person.

You aint gonna want to hear this but a few things are true. One, if a coach is ever gonna be successful at Kansas its gonna be the kind of coach who has the fire that M and M had (translate: he's gonna yell at players). Two, the longer we languish in squallor the harder its going to be to turn things around. Good coaches who are capable of turning things around wont want the job, and if they DO come here and start improving they will likely be picked off by a more prestigious program. Three, we've tried everything else seemingly so it can't hurt.

Beaty is not the guy. Im sorry. He's not. When your program is as bad as Kansas' is, you have to be adaptable. And you have to be comfortable embracing change in a different direction. Beaty would have stayed with Kerry Meier and rode that horse until it was dead. Beaty is a "system" guy; as in trust in a process to yield good results. That may have worked at aTm but the nature of their program was not where Kansas is at right now. Youre in a different situation, here. If as a head coach you can't see that Cozart is not the guy, and that some other guy who IS is missing vital experience, then you're coaching in a fog. I really do believe Beaty is confused right now about how to move this program forward. Play calling has been terrible. Utilizing a qb who has proven a thousand times he cant get it done under center is inexcusable. And WASTING his athleticism when it could be fruitful elsewhere is so damned frustrating to watch it drains the scant bit of enthusiasm I have for the prospects of improvement.


No Joy In Mudville

P.S. Say something nice about Kansas Football? There is still a faint glimmer of hope. It has a name.

Jerry Walker 5 years, 11 months ago

I loved the Fat Man and the largest letter-jacket in history but he's not coming back...that ship has sailed.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 11 months ago

There is another guy out there that Kansas may want to consider. His name is Art Briles.http:

If Briles can learn and grow from his experiences, his proven coaching record is exactly what Kansas needs.

Kansas will finish up paying Weis this December, so the balance sheet will be cleared to spend some money on a proven coach like Briles.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

If he would come, Id take Briles. As for the point you make about moving beyond the scandals, you are exactly right. Kansas may need to make a hire who can get the job done and iterate and reiterate the importance of avoiding future scandal once they're here so as not to derail progress. But the University can learn from its mistakes also. Hiring the "good guy" isnt always the best option. Any number of the best coaches have had some scandal follow them: Tressel, JoePa, Briles, Patino, etc., etc. Im not suggesting that we ignore misdeeds in a coaching hire, but we cant have a knee-jerk reaction against certain people based on their past. For one, personalities can be managed in a way that is productive for both the individual in question and a University which hires him. Two, being unforgiving towards people who are committed to change is as morally reprehensible (and hypocritical) as the failures some of these guys have displayed. And three, Kansas is in serious need of rescue right now and doesnt have the luxury of being snobbish in its hiring process. So yeah...Id take Briles. Id take Mangino. Id take anyone with a proven track record of doing the job. In saying that, I wouldnt disqualify our former coach at all. When your world is upside down you have to show some flexibility in decision making. Staying with the old recipe for hiring coaches is not producing good results.

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

There is no way KU would bring a coach like Mangino back. He was a flash in the pan and is on a self-destructing trajectory. He's had no lasting success since leaving and character determines one's destiny.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

RE: "There is no way KU would bring a coach like Mangino back."

Considering how Kansas makes poor decisions about coaches, your observation would not be at all surprising.

Cliff Leiker 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, I had a good laugh reading your comment. Of the 3 QBs that played yesterday, I thought Carter Stanley did the best. Montell has the smarts and athleticism, but seems to panic. Willis has potential. Carter reminds me of Todd when he was a sophomore.

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree, Stanley looked pretty sharp. Wish we'd have seen more of what he can do.

Steve Corder 5 years, 11 months ago

Joe, you're one fine writer, and your ability to communicate an analytical piece is evident.

Unfortunately, coach B's window is closing on KU faster than I thought might happen, which has to weigh heavily on the AD.

I don't know if Mangino is the best move, but I too am losing heart watching my team playing in a"fog".

Dale Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

What's the story on Carter Stanley? Does he merit getting some serious game time to see how he develops? What are his strengths and shortcomings?

Jeremy D. Morris 5 years, 11 months ago

I am behind Beaty and think he can turn this thing around but he must deal with Cozart's lack of production. Tom, please ask Beaty "At one point does game performance (or lack thereof) trump how well a player performs during practice in terms of playing time?"

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 11 months ago

Good article. I think the coach has to trust his staff and his players, and his decisions. Stop second guessing everything and everyone. Remember how Vince Lombardi started every season, "this is a football. " stick with a plan, a system. Keep the same guys, coaches and players in said system and get better at it.
Stability at all levels. It's stability , perseverance, execution, attention to detail that will eventually create reliability. Right now it still looks bad but stay the course, don't panic. I am stI'll shocked at the outcome but last week's loss doesn't look so bad considering how Ohio faced up to Tennessee.

Doug Roberts 5 years, 11 months ago

For three years now Cozart has failed as the starting quarterback. Willis showed promise last year, so why isn't he starting?! And if Beaty says Stanley is a gamer, why isn't he playing more? Gamers shine when they're in the game, not while riding the bench. That's why they call them "gamers"!!!

Brett McCabe 5 years, 11 months ago

Doug, quick comment regarding the older game thread. I do not talk politics on this site - I assume that you were referencing my Avatar. I had set that Avatar for the Lawrence Journal World comments on editorials and opinion pieces, and it carries over to this site. I agree with you fully that this should be a politic-free zone and have lectured others about it before. So, I'll try to change the avatar when posting here. If I forget, and you see the "H", consider it an accident. RCJHK!

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

Cozart is a great athlete, but not a great quarterback. Get him involved in the offense and use Willis or Stanley as quarterback. Cozart can help the team but not in the quarterback roll. Chew out your assistant coaches and teach them what you expect, but stop demoting them for every failure. If KU supporters did this to Beaty, he'd already be gone. I support Beaty, but coaching in panic mode isn't going to get us where we want to be. Tired of not seeing improvement!

David Kemp 5 years, 11 months ago

As I see it nothing has improved with Beaty running offense I fact it looks even worse.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 11 months ago

Harvard put 51 on URI yesterday. URI is now 0-3 including a loss to Albany.

We squandered an opportunity to do something in the non-con by doing too much shuffling between year one and year two and not enough building on what we had.

It's interesting that most people agree that it will take time to rebuild this program but it's actually the actions of the head coach that seem a little bit like panic.

With all of the changes on the coaching staff this year, one thing to look for is staff turnover between years 2 and 3. If it's again excessive, then "Houston, we have a problem".

There is a lot to like about David Beaty, and I believe that he could still be successful at KU but he's going to have to overcome his own inexperience, and do it quickly. Zenger isn't going to be allowed to fire/hire another football coach. Beaty is the guy, so let's hope he grows quickly into the job.

Sean Kelly 5 years, 11 months ago

What you all don't seem willing to accept is that Cozart is the best they have on the roster. That is why he's getting the starts. Think about that for a while. KU seems to have more difficulty than any other program in finding a serviceable QB. In spite of all the potential tough, country strong, tough-minded farm boys throughout this state, they can never develop a serviceable OL. Unbelievable.

David Kemp 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes there are thousands of 300 lb lineman out there and we can't find 5 who can block, yet mangino not only found them but one of his best Hawkins was a converted tight end. Speaking of tight end when was the last time you heard that name called in a pass play? Never!

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

Cozart is likely the best athlete in practices, but he has proven incapable of consistently handling game pressure. He could be a great asset as a wide receiver or RB, and Beaty said this last year too. Why wouldn't you give him a shot at this position? Makes sense to me.

Doug Wallace 5 years, 11 months ago

Cozart is a good RB/WR not a QB! Sorry the experiment has failed hasnt worked move on!

Also our O line needs to get better!

Overall I was impressed overall by the defense.

Beaty I like some things you have done, but there is one thing I really hate you doing and that is not letting your offensive coordinator call the plays.Let go let Likens take the reins already.

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

Doug, I agree about Cozart. Great athlete, but has proven to be very inconsistent as a QB. Move him to WR. He isn't able to handle game time pressure, and our OL needs to get much better. Make a plan and stay the course and work the plan.

David Denning 5 years, 11 months ago

Let me start be saying I think Beaty can be a good Head Coach. I also think he can be a good offensive coordinator. But being a HC is a 100 hr a week job and being a OC is a 100 hr a week job. There is not enough time to do both. Any coach that is trying to do both end up doing a poor job at both. If the OC is not doing what Beaty wants, then fire him and get a new OC. If Beaty want to be the OC, then step down and let someone else take over as HC. Quit trying to do it all.

Lloyd Kinnison 5 years, 11 months ago

How long will it take for the coaches to understand that Mr. Cozart may have all the physical assets for a QB, but he does not process the defense fast enough to be effective, His pass completion is high, only because he does not process the situation fast enough to be most effective. Make him a receiver or running back----he can do that! The last two games raises the question---Is this KU team at the level to play or is this team a Division II team?

John Waszak 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't post often, however, I do when anyone brings up Mangino. The Orange Bowl was magical, however, that team was due to the man running The Ohio State offense, Warinner. And, our DC was Bill Young. And what an amazing D we had. So, please stop the romantic memories of Mangino. Take away the Orange Bowl season and see how (un)successful he was in Big12 play and how many road wins he did not have in every other season. 2002 2-10 1 road win, 0 Big12 wins 2003 6-7 Bowl loss 1 road win, 0 Big12 road wins, 3-5 Big12 (no Texas or OU) 2004 4-7 1 road win (mizzou), 2-6 Big12 (Texas, OU & NU all on sched) 2005 7-5 Bowl win 0 road wins, 3-5 Big12 (Texas, OU & NU all on sched) 2006 6-6 1 road win, 3-5 Big12 (no Texas or OU) 2007 12-1 (YAY) 4 road wins, 7-1 Big12 (no Texas or OU) 2008 8-5 Bowl win 1 road win, 4-4 Big12, (Texas, OU & NU all on sched) 2009 5-7 1 road win, 1-7 Big12, (Texas, OU & NU all on sched)

totals with Orange Bowl Season 8 seasons 50-48 10 road wins (7 Big12 of which 4 during OB season) 23-41 Big12

totals without Orange Bowl Season 7 seasons 38-47 6 road wins (3 Big12) 16-40 Big12

PLEASE STOP ! This resume is not impressive... I see 1 season that was a perfect storm of schedule, talent, attitude, hard work and luck... that's all I see in this resume. Oh yeah, and a great OC (please see above... The Ohio State)

And, I love the hawks. Have for almost 40 years and will cheer them on even through the Charlie and Gill type years.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

Agree about Mangino. He lost his, what, last nine games in a row? Somehow because of his other successes people forget about his failures, particularly his last couple of years. How has Mangino done since leaving Lawrence? Mangino had some good successes but he sure doesn't walk on water and I doubt he'd do much better, if any, with this team in this short a time.

Doug Wallace 5 years, 11 months ago

Thank you exactly what ive been trying to say!

Beau Buckman 5 years, 11 months ago

Fire Zenger, we need a new AD that is competent to evaluate whether Beaty can get the job done and actually make improvements to the football program.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

What we really need is fans who understand these things take time.

David Robinett 5 years, 11 months ago

Jo Ross, glad to have you back! Where you been?

John W, you make an excellent point about the OC and DC - Warriner and Bill Young. Certainly Mangino had to recognize their talent and he put it all together but it's not automatic that Mandy and I would be successful here again.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Lost a member of the family that rocked us all pretty hard. Lost my appetite for debate and the like while taking a plunge into introspection. Thanks for the kind words. Missed my Jayhawk family as well.

Joe Auten 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry for you loss, Joe Ross. Been there and really know the pain. Be well.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the kind words, guys. It means a lot!

David Robinett 5 years, 11 months ago

Speech to text. Ugh. "... that mangino would automatically be successful here again."

Bill Kackley 5 years, 11 months ago

It is useless to even be discussing Mangino at this point. He isn't coming back. It doesn't matter whether you think he could restore what he had or not. What does matter is that our head football coach comes to realize that he is trying to do to much and has his offensive coordinator start calling the plays again. Also, about the QB situation. I for one was happy to see Cozart get his shot, he deserved it, but he failed. Time to move on. Make him a wide receiver or d-back. I personally don't see Willis being the guy to do the job either. I think he should give Carter Stanley a full shot at the job.

Titus Canby 5 years, 11 months ago

Great article Tom. Right on target.

Good leaders trust the managers who work for them. Beatty needs to do the same If you micro-manage, don't do it publicly. By continuing to take over their duties, he undercuts their abilities to do their jobs.

I still, however, believe Beatty is the man for the job. Love his enthusiasm, his recruiting, and I get the impression that the kids want to play for him and the other coaches.

Now, just let the other coaches do their jobs.

This team will get better. But it will probably take another two years. We need numbers.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

The best 'coach' we've got is Jackson, great for conditioning and strength.

Generally, the coaching plan, the recruiting, and the talent we have is pretty good.

The problem is that none of our coaches know how to use the talent we've got! The OCC and DC are dead busts! Zenger doesn't know the difference. What can actually be done now? Who is available now? Nobody! Maybe a retired coach could come in and consult for the season. But there can be no solution now -- except fire Zenger and start looking for an AD who knows the difference.

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