Coach Wyatt, Defensive Linemen Speak Prior to First Practice in Full Pads

Aug. 6, 2012

Players leaped over each other during a ball control drill Monday as KU donned pads for the first time.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and selected Kansas defensive linemen sat down with members of the media Monday afternoon at the Anderson Family Football Complex. The media session preceded practice Monday afternoon when the Jayhawks finally put on full pads in preparation for the 2012 regular season.

A transcript of Coach Wyatt’s session along with interviews from select student-athletes can be found below.

Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt

On working with some of the new guys:
“It’s been going well. I was excited to have a room full of guys. We have a little bit of depth now, so I know some of the guys who have been on the team feel good about it too, because they don’t have to take as many reps. It is good to have those guys here. We are excited. We have waited all spring and held our breath, just waiting until we get some reinforcements here. They are here now; hopefully we will get a couple more.”

On his defensive rotation:
“We are looking for a two-deep. In this league, with teams being so up tempo, you have to have as many guys as you can so you can keep everybody fresh and they can be productive. We are looking for a two-deep at every position.”

On senior Josh Williams as a leader:
“Josh is a very smart football player. A lot of that comes with the experience that he has, being a fifth-year guy. I think he brings the experience and some confidence to our meeting room. When we go out there on the field, you can hear him talking and making comments like, `watch this, look out for this.’ Those things have really helped our unit become better. I think Josh has helped Toben [Opurum], a little bit, to become a better leader. Toben is a good leader, but I think Josh has helped him as well.”

On Toben Opurum being more vocal as a leader this year:
“Toben has been more vocal this year. I think the team voting him as a captain has made him step up and say, `my teammates are counting on me, so I need to do what I need to do, to help them be as good as we can be.'”

On what he expects out of redshirt junior John Williams this year:
“John has really bought in. I didn’t realize what John weighed when he first got here. He was a big young man. Even before now he had dropped the weight, but now he has added some definition to his body. It has helped John in his endurance. John has always practiced hard for me, that part I have never had a problem with. I think now though, he can be more productive over a longer period of time, because of the conditioning.”

Senior defensive lineman Josh Williams

On his goals for this year:
“My goal is just to have a big senior year. I want to help this team be the best team that it can be.”

On what to expect from him this year:
“Expect me to go hard and just be the best player that I can be.”

On his mindset coming in:
“Being a senior and being around the game for awhile, I have seen a lot of things. I just wanted to come in, step up and show these guys that I was here to help them. I am here to help lead this team to something great. I think it was coming in and making a statement with my actions and showing everyone what I was going to do and what I was going to be about.”

Junior defensive lineman John Williams

On working with coach Wyatt:
“It has helped a lot. With all the different position coach changes from [Mark] Mangino to [Turner] Gill, I thought the same would happen from Gill to [Charlie] Weis. I was glad to see that Coach Wyatt stayed and that has helped, because there is familiarity there. It is more of a home feeling when we are in the defensive line room learning, instead of a whole new coach, with a new agenda and rules. It definitely helped out the defensive line.”

On tearing his ACL last year:
“It was extremely frustrating. Right when it happened, I knew something was wrong with my knee. It was hard watching my team go out there and not being able to help or anything. I couldn’t do much except rehab. I was just sitting there at home, basically just pouting and mad watching us on TV. It was a big deal for me not to be able to go out there and help.”

On his body changes since last year and coming off an ACL injury:
“Last year I was about 290, so I have put on 10 pounds. I have gotten a lot stronger. I am still developing my legs and my leg speed, but I have been able to get my speed back up and train my foot quickness and conditioning to go from not playing at all and then coming back and playing.”

Junior defensive lineman Keba Agostinho

On moving inside:
“When you move inside, things happen a lot quicker. You have to adjust to the quickness and the pace that goes on in there. You have to be a lot stronger to play inside. For me, since I have put on the weight, it has helped me out a lot. The strength staff has helped me get stronger this offseason, so I think that helped me out a lot making the change.”

On putting on extra weight:
“I feel a lot stronger. I knew I was going to get stronger, I knew I was going to gain weight, but the main thing I wanted to focus on was still being able to run. I didn’t want to be really big and not be able to move. I really tried hard throughout the offseason, to make my times during the runs and run as hard as I could and adjust to the weight. I still wanted to be able to move after I gained all the weight.”

On if his quickness helps him out playing inside:
“I feel like it’s an advantage. Two years of playing defensive end, you have to be quicker to play on the outside. I was able to maintain my quickness. When I moved inside against the guards, who are usually bigger and not as athletic as the tackles, it gives me an advantage with my quickness.”