Tuesday Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 14, 2010


Player Interviews: Biere | Harris | S. Johnson | Webb

Tuesday Press Conference

Sept. 14, 2010

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

Opening comments:

“Good afternoon, I want to thank everyone for coming. It’s definitely another week where we’ve got to get ready to play another outstanding football team. Just a few comments about last week; first of all, on behalf of the staff and our players, I want to thank the fans. They had tremendous energy and tremendous enthusiasm. I also want to thank the student body for staying engaged throughout the whole game. It was awesome. The Marching Jayhawk Band and the spirit squad and everybody there did a tremendous job. They really helped our football team win the game.”

“I think our guys played with a tremendous purpose and they played with outstanding passion. That’ s what we’ve got to have week after week. Hopefully our players and coaching staff have that tremendous energy and tremendous passion. The challenge is to do that week after week. The last positive; we executed better. In every phase of the game whether it be offense, defense, special teams, I thought we drastically improved. Again, I’m always going to bring up something about our staff. I could speak about them a whole lot, but one tidbit about this staff is that they’ve coached 93 all-conference players. That’s a lot of people that our guys have coached and they have tremendous experience.”

On Southern Miss:

“I know that they play well at home. They do a fantastic job at their home stadium. I’ve coached there on one other occasion, so I have had an experience there and there will be an issue with crowd noise, particularly it being a Friday night game on ESPN.

From a player’s standpoint, they have very good athletes on every side of the ball. They have a great return guy on punts and kickoffs that really is going to be a person that we have to stop. Everybody has heard about their receiver DeAndre Brown. (He’s an) outstanding player, (who) has size and speed and is a big-play guy. He’s somebody we have to limit. We’re not going to shut him down, but we do have to limit his big plays. Their defense is extremely solid. They have nine returning starters. They all can run and are dynamic players, so we are going to have our hands full there. The keys to the game–we have to play with tenacity. Our guys have to play with the same type of execution, passion, and confidence that we played with last week. We have to win the special teams battle. That’s going to be an important phase. Obviously you have offense and defense, but special teams we are going to have to play well. That’s going to be very important. We have to have more big plays than they do. They are a big play team, particularly on offense. They will throw the ball down the field quite a bit and we cannot allow them to have big plays in the passing game. They also do some pretty good things in the running game with their quarterback and they also have some good running backs. The other area that is going to have to be taken care of is penalties. We cannot have more penalty yards than they do, otherwise it will be very difficult to accomplish our goal of winning the game.”

Injury updates:

“AJ Stewart has a shoulder injury. He is out three to four weeks. Angus Quigley has a leg injury and he is questionable.”

On the difference between week one and week two:

“If I had to say one thing, they (our players) played relaxed. As young men who are 18-22 year olds, you’re never sure how they’re going to act or react. But I just thought there was a lot more relaxation in practice. Obviously in the game they were more relaxed. Maybe it was the newness of the first game and the staff and the new offense that caused some problems in the first game. You never know how people are going to respond until you play a football game. You do all the things you do in practice and spring ball, but until you actually play you don’t know for sure. I think the biggest thing is they were more relaxed.”

On how he handled the difficulties of week one:

“I don’t read the newspapers and I don’t read the internet. I don’t get involved in that. I’m so focused on what I have to get done. That is teaching our coaches how to teach our players. Teaching our players how to perform on and off the football field. That’s where I’m focused. It’s no different than me talking to our players. You can’t let outside distractions that are out of your control dictate how you’re going to perform or coach. Whether we win, lose, or draw I am going to be the same guy. Being a head coach at Buffalo, having that experience and going through some things there really taught me a lot. Also my mentors, the people who I talk to, obviously my wife, there are a lot of different people in that regard. The biggest thing is that I understand my purpose. I understand the direction, the vision and the mission. I understand what my purpose is here and nobody is going to take me off that track. I don’t know what the outcome is always going to be, but I do know how I’m always going to be as a teacher.”

Junior tight end Tim Biere

On if the team is still celebrating its win versus Georgia Tech:

“I think it is still kind of going on. Everyone is really excited but we have moved on to focusing on Southern Mississippi. We had practice on Sunday and we had Monday off. It was a good practice. I think we’re going to be ready to go on Friday.”

On how coach Turner Gill kept the team’s spirits up after their loss to North Dakota State:

“After our game against North Dakota State, he (coach Gill) came into the locker room and said, `It’s the first game. It is the least important game. You always make the biggest improvement between weeks one and two. Just get ready for this next game.’ Everyone bought into it and we had the best week of practice we had all year last week.”

On if coach Gill advises the team to not read newspapers and other media:

“No, he just tells us to stay humble and worry about what the team is doing. What really matters is what your team is doing.”

On how the team is reacting attitude-wise following Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech:

“The team is doing well. I thought we came out Sunday (at practice) with a lot of fire. Coming off a loss there is certain motivation but there are still certain motivations (after a win) to keep going and keep building this (season) into something special.”

On the team’s first road trip of the season:

“It’s our first road game and everyone is excited to go on the road. We haven’t done it in a while and we get to go play somewhere that most of us have never been. Most of us have not heard much about Hattiesburg, but know it has a great atmosphere and I think it is going to be a fun night.”

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb

On how much more comfortable he feels going into this Friday’s game knowing he is the starting quarterback:

“I think it definitely raises the comfort level, but you can’t be complacent in this sport and expect to have success.”

On his demeanor on the field and in the huddle:

“On the field I am an excited guy. I love the game and I have fun out there, that’s what it’s all about. I think the guys respond well to that. They know I’m out there having fun and that I’m going to give it my all and they’re going to do the same.”

On how he felt his first start went after watching the game film versus Georgia Tech:

“There were some things, obviously, that I missed. That’s going to happen every game no matter how old you are or how seasoned you are. I think I took what the defense gave us and as an offense, we just executed well.”

On the importance of the coaching staff keeping the team motivated after their loss to Georgia Tech:

“That’s definitely huge coming from a coach’s standpoint. They had to keep us motivated. I think we were very motivated after that loss and the coaches really handled it well, as well as the players. He’s going to tell you what you did and then tell you how to fix it.”

On how comfortable he feels having sophomore quarterback Kale Pick enter the game at times:

“I’m very comfortable with it. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win and I think the change of pace can be a great thing for our offense and it’s just going to help us be more potent on offense.”

On how they are going to prepare for Southern Mississippi:

“We started the week off early since we are playing earlier. We are just going to go into the game pretty much the same as we did last week. There shouldn’t be much change. The coaches should have us prepared. We’re going to go in and hopefully execute and stick to our game plan.”

Senior cornerback Chris Harris

On the defense being more physical:

“We have been doing a great job of tackling these first two games. We have taken a lot of pride in being physical. The first thing we said on defense was that we wanted to be more physical.”

On teammate Justin Springer:

“He is doing a great job, he has learned a lot from the older guys that played before him. He is continuing the linebacker tradition. He has a great knack for the ball, can run very well, and has been doing a great job.”

On how the defense is being coached:

“I feel that as a defense we are well prepared and we always have a great game plan going into the game. The coaches are using everybody’s strengths’ and it has been working. I believe that as long as we continue to be well prepared going into the game we should play well.”

On what he remembers about DeAndre Brown:

“I remember that he was a big and very physical guy. I feel like our coaching staff is doing a great job getting up prepared to play him this upcoming game.”

Junior linebacker Steven Johnson

On the defense:

“Every week is a challenge and you always have to prove what you can do every week. Every week you have to show that you are capable of being a great defensive team. We go out each and every day ready to improve so we can be ready to win a game.”

On the confidence of this team:

“I believe that right now we are pretty good, but we went back and watched the film and saw that there is still room for improvement. There are some areas that I know that I can improve upon. Every day the coaches are pushing us to be the best we are capable of being.”

On teammate Justin Springer:

“He was making some amazing plays last game. He was always there making plays. He has so much passion for the game and when you’re out there playing with someone who has that much passion as you do its exciting.”

On the defense’s work ethic:

The great thing is that everyone is working hard and everyone wants to win. We have been working hard every day since the spring and summer to be able to win games and be a great defensive team.”