Jayhawks Return To Practice Fields For Second Day of Fall Camp

Aug. 5, 2011 Coach Stamn on special teams


For the second-straight day a morning rain parlayed into more tolerable afternoon temperatures as the Kansas football team took to the practice fields adjacent to Memorial Stadium here today. The Jayhawks continued to work on individual skills, in addition to 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills before ending the day by working on special teams and situational situations.

As the Jayhawks continued to prepare for the 2011 season, in particular their season-opening game versus McNeese State on Saturday, Sept. 3, Kansas head coach Turner Gill announced that sophomore tight end Justin Putoff would miss the next 6-8 weeks with an injured clavicle. With Putoff no longer participating in Fall Camp, freshman tight end Scott Baron joined the team for Friday’s afternoon practice as KU returned to its 105-player camp roster. Baron is a Santa Ana, Calif., native, who prepped at Orange Lutheran High School.

Following the second practice session, tight ends/special teams coach Aaron Stamn met with the media to offer insight on the day’s activities.

Kansas Tight Ends/Special Teams Coach Aaron Stamn:

On the competition between place kickers Ron Doherty and Alex Mueller

“It has already been a good competition between the two. Ron Doherty has come off of a good spring and prepared himself well. I think so far he has only had one miss in two days. Alex was a little nervous his first day but he has very good legs and great style. I think the competition is good for both of them because they know they cannot afford to make mistakes.”

On strengths of Doherty and Mueller

“Ronnie has a real strong leg, a great work ethic and is very consistent. Alex gets the ball up really fast and really high and that prevents people from getting through the middle on a field goal rush and blocking the ball easily. They are both a little different in how they are because Ronnie is a bit of a bigger guy, but they are both very consistent, which is key for me.”

On who will be responsible for kick-offs

“Both of them (Ron Doherty and Alex Mueller) are going to go after the kick-off job because they both have good hang times on their kick-offs and are both accurate and really consistent guys, so both those jobs, the two of them will compete for.”

On who will be the punter for the Jayhawks come September

“Punting is between Ronnie (Doherty) and (Victor) Mcbride. They both are getting into the swing of things and coming out of spring Doherty was the guy. Ronnie had a pretty good day today and hit the ball well. Victor (McBride) has progressed well too, so it is just one of those situations, where by the end of training camp or in a couple weeks we might know who our starters are going to be in both those spots.”

On when starters will be named in the special teams competitions

“Ideally we are looking at the second or third scrimmage, so that we make sure we get the timing of the first group. Obviously the back-up guys still have to get reps in case something happens in a game but probably by then we will have a better idea. If not though, I am not going to force the issue and we will make sure whoever ends up being the starter is ready when their name is called.”

On freshman long snapper Tanner Gibas’ progress

“Tanner has done a good job so far. The first two days he stepped right in and he can zing it, which is why he came here. He has a good attitude and work ethic, plus he goes out there and runs well and pays attention, so he has fit right in so far.”

On how the team’s punting will improve this season

“Last year when we had punts blocked, it was one guy not executing and that is ultimately my fault for not teaching them. We have addressed that fully and everybody on our football team knows it. Right now our focus is going out there and being one of the best punting units in the Big 12.”

On how the team’s kick-off return unit is looking thus far

“D.J. (Beshears) as a kick-off returner will be our number one guy with Bradley McDougald back there. We have not really got into kick-off return phases yet with it being only two days in, but I expect to have four really good ones by the time we come out of camp. Brandon Bourbon is another guy I want to take a good hard look at because he is a big guy who can run well and is strong, so we will see. “

On what impresses him about D.J. Beshears

He just runs with passion and D.J. does not like getting tackled. Sometimes he dishes it out more than the other guy tries to hand it to him, and as a returner that is great because you design a kick-off return for a guy who has the ability to take it to the house and the rest of his teammates go harder for him. Last year we saw that with our own team and this year we are just going to keep moving forward as we get better at it too.”

On his excitement to coach some of the new players on the special teams unit

“It is nice for me as a special teams coordinator to see all these new young guys out there. We redshirted a lot of them too, and they are coming out right away and want to get onto the field. For me that is exciting because I have a lot of guys who want to get out there and play and are hungry to play for Kansas.”