Mangino Addresses The Media To Kick-Off Spring Football

March 13, 2007

Spring Media Guide

News & Notes:<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

– It was announced today that kickoff time for the Spring Scrimmage has been moved to 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

– Practice on Friday, March 16 is open to the media and public and is scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m. at the KU practice fields.

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening Statement

“We are prepared to start spring practices tomorrow. There will be fifteen of them. We will have the first two practices non-padded on Wednesday and Friday. Saturday morning we will work with pads. We will conclude spring practice with our spring scrimmage on Sunday, April 15th. We have not previously announced this, but we will move the kickoff to 3:30 p.m. We originally had set it earlier in the day. The players are really anxious to start spring ball. You have to understand that they have been involved in the winter out-of-season program since school began this semester. We had approximately seven weeks of lifting, speed drills, change of direction work and endurance work getting more powerful and thicker and more physical. That has been a goal of ours and, without any testing results in front of me, I would say we have accomplished many of those goals. We are probably a little bit bigger, stronger and thicker than we’ve been since we’ve been here. Our players are looking forward to spring ball. I think they’ve had enough of that indoor complex at 6 a.m.. So they’re anxious to get started and we all are.”

“I’ll give you a little capsule of offense and defense. On offense there are some things we want to try to get established by the end of the spring to at least give us an idea of things we need to work on in the fall. On the offensive line we lose four seniors including our center, both guards and a rotating guard. So obviously we’re working in that situation to try to develop some kids. We’ve got some talented kids and we’re looking forward to seeing them out on the field this spring and see how they’ve developed since last season. We have a newcomer, Chet Hartley, who will compete for one of the guard positions. He’s a versatile player. In his career, he’s played some center and he has played tackle.

“There are a number of kids competing for the wide receiver position. There are some veterans back, but some kids are going to be pushing for playing time. The running back position has to be established. Brandon McAnderson is the most experienced player we have and he’s had a great winter. We look for some big things from Brandon. We also have Jake Sharp who played a little bit last year. Donte Bean and Angus Quigley have jumped in the mix there as well. At the quarterback position, Kerry Meier is considered the incumbent, but he has to compete with that position. Todd Reesing has had a very productive winter. He looks really good. He cut some weight, put some more muscle on and increased his speed. So we’re looking forward to that competition.

“On the defensive side of the ball, we have competition in the secondary. We have two quality junior college players that have come in. Kendrick Harper and Patrick Resby are going to push people and compete for jobs. We think it will be highly competitive. At the linebacking position, we’re looking to elevate our play across the board. We we can play better, we can play faster and that’s what we’re looking for out of the linebacking group. On the defensive line, we’ve got returners like James McClinton, who has been a real pillar for us the last couple of years and will continue to be. We’re looking at the development of some young guys. Maxwell Onyegbule, we have taken from linebacker and put him at defensive end. He has looked really good at that position. Jeff Wheeler is competing for a job there. We have Russell Brorsen back who has played some quality minutes for us. On the inside, we have mentioned James McClinton. We also have Caleb Blakesley, Todd Haselhorst and Jamal Greene. There’s a lot of competition on the inside as well. That’s good, we want competition at positions in the spring and help elevate the play of the entire team. So that’s kind of it in a summation. I’ll be glad to take some questions.”

On Angus Quigley recovering from last season’s injury:

“He has worked hard during the winter workouts. Obviously there hasn’t benn any contact involved, but he doesn’t show any signs of being impaired at all by that injury. We will ease him into spring ball. We’re not going to just throw him in there, but gradually work him in hopefully to the point where we feel comfortable that he’s able to do work on a day-to-day basis in a full contact environment. It would be our hope that at some point in time we’ll say `hey, he’s ready for contact work and full scrimmage type work.’ That’s the only way we’re ever going to know if he’s going to be able to go. We think he is, we’re just going to play it a little bit cautious and not take any chances. We don’t anticipate him being limited in any way.”

On whether there is a position that has to make the most improvement during the spring:

“I can’t point to any that really has to. I’ll be honest with you, I think the more competition and better competition you have going into two-a-days and the season, it makes us better. When guys are competing for jobs, the level of play elevates. Where you run into problems is when the guys get a job by default. We don’t anticipate having many default job problems with this ball club.”

On whether Brandon McAnderson will see his role expand beyond playing fullback:

“He will play some one-back stuff. He is a guy when he carries the ball from tackle to tackle, he is an outstanding back. Now he’s not a guy we will pitch the ball to him on a toss and get him out on the perimeter. But with his vision, quick feet, and balance, he can carry the ball very well between the tackles. He’s an excellent pass protector as well. He takes his pass protection very seriously. So Brandon can play many roles for us this spring and this upcoming season.”

On Gary Green:

“Gary Green looks the best he’s been since he got here. We’re anxious to get him out on the field practicing. He’s looked good, his quickness is there. But it’s almost like he’s a freshman — he just hasn’t had a lot of repetitions because he’s been injured for a good part of his career here. So far, he’s looked good. We hope that carries over to the spring and then the fall. We’ve been working him at the corner position right now. He seems to be comfortable there. We have some quality corners, but we still believe we have a depth issue at that position. That’s where Gary was going to be last year until he got hurt, so this is not a new change.”

On Kerry Meier and the quarterback position:

“He’s the incumbent, he played most of the repetitions last year. I think it would be an oversight on our part as coaches to just say that’s the way it’s going to be. Todd Reesing has done some good things and he’s proven that he’s capable. So we’re going to let those guys compete and they’ll make each other better. It’s not a goal [to decide who will get the starting job this spring], it’s possible, but it’s not something that I think we have to do. If it played out that way, it’d be fine with me. But if it didn’t, it’d be fine as well.”

On the importance of spring football and it’s impact on the starting positions:

“Any position can be won in the spring. What we do, is we look at every situation very carefully. We evaluate it on a daily basis. Every practice and every drill is videotaped. As coaches, we go in and look at it. We look at some things that are not on videotape like how they handle themselves in pressure situations on the field. For example at the quarterback position, how is that guy managing the huddle, how is he recognizing things, and how are his leadership qualities? But that can go for a lot of positions on the field. There have been players who have outright won jobs in the spring. Other times it’s too close to call. We’re gaining the byproduct of that competition. You can see both players elevating their play, getting better and better. Sometimes you just step back and say `hey let these guys fight this thing out.’ It can be in the spring or in the fall.”

On if the players use not getting a bowl bid last season as motivation for next season:

“I think it affected the players in a positive manner. The kids were disappointed because we had opportunities to win games that we did not. I am disappointed [about not getting a bowl bid] and we’re angered by it. We’re determined to get it right.”