Coach Gill Meets with Media Following Practice Wednesday

Sept. 14, 2011

Postpractice Interviews:Hawkinson | Opurum

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill met with members of the media following the team’s practice on Wednesday. Coach Gill looked ahead to the Jayhawks’ game Saturday at Georgia Tech, which can be seen on various Fox Sports Net affiliates throughout the country.

Below is a transcript of Coach Gill’s interview session:

Head Coach Turner Gill

Opening Statement:
“I think our guys are very focused and are showing a lot of passion out there. I sense and feel that they’re not satisfied. They want to get better and try to get better as a football team. That’s good to see as a head coach, seeing that on both sides of the ball. The coaching staff is doing a good job. (Georgia Tech) is definitely a good opponent and we’re going to need to play very well.”

On where his team stands this year compared to last year:
“It’s a night and day difference from last year as far as where we’re at as a football team and where we’re at as a football program. We (the coaching staff) know the players better. They know us better. They know our schemes better. They know what we’re trying to accomplish and how to go about doing it the way we teach them how to do it. (We) Know they’re trying to teach each other along with our coaching staff. We’re still trying to move forward. We obviously have a long way to go, but we’re definitely liking what we’re seeing.”

On if the players are more prepared for Georgia Tech now compared to last year:
“Quite a few of them (played in the game last year), but there are still a few that didn’t play in the game last year on the defensive side of the ball. They’re in tune to what we’re trying to accomplish. They understand their assignments and they have to be disciplined in their assignments and they have to execute them. Then it comes down to being able to tackle. You need to be able to tackle against any opponent, but this one you’re going to have some situations where you’re definitely going to be one-on-one with somebody and you need to be able to make a play.”

On if his team’s defensive scheme will change or stay the same for this game:
“You mix it up. You always mix it up with different coverage or different fronts and different schemes. (There are) certain things that you try to give yourself the best chance to be successful. We’re doing that on offense, defense and special teams. You don’t want to do a whole lot of different things, but it’s all about execution. It’s all about doing what you’re supposed to do and if you do that then you’re going to do well.”

On how difficult it is to prepare for going up against players who haven’t played much before this season:
“Offensively and defensively they are still going to run their scheme, because they’ve done it for so long. Their personnel might be a little different, so with that part you need to find out what the differences are with that person that’s executing. Whether it’s the quarterback or defensive end or linebacker, it doesn’t matter; we’re trying to look at personnel and if they’re a strong guy, a fast guy or a quick guy that may alternate some things we do or something that we could take advantage of. That’s what it takes for us to evaluate every team and evaluate their personnel to give us the best chance to be successful no matter who the opponent is.”

On if the players are looking forward to this first road game:
“I’m sure each guy has their own unique thing that they get excited for as they go into a game. There’s a lot of people that look forward to being on TV and playing in front of a national audience or maybe playing against a BCS school and all those little things as far as what people look up to. We just want guys to come out and play. We’re excited about our football team. Our guys are excited about playing and they definitely know they have a formidable opponent in Georgia Tech and we’re going to have to play well.”

On how happy he is with the progression of some of the freshmen up to this point:
“We’re excited about it. We were excited about it when we got them to sign the papers on signing day. Now that they’re here, it confirms even more that they are as talented as we thought. You never know sometimes when you watch a high school kid. Most cases they’re all going to turn out pretty well, but sometimes there are cases when they may not. We really feel good about this whole class. Even though there are some guys we may redshirt this year, they’re definitely going to help our football program in the future. We’re very excited about it. We have some great upperclassmen too. We have some great freshman that we redshirted last year and we felt good about them. We’ve got a good group of guys and now we’re just trying to mesh together.”

On if the freshmen are farther along at this point then he thought they would be:
“Yes, definitely. I think a lot of that has to do with their hard work. They came in here ready to go. They’re confident in their own ability. They came in over the summer and it looks like they did some great things. They joined up with our football team and our upperclassmen took them in and taught them what we are trying to do offensively and defensively. Once we got together as a coaching staff in the fall they were farther ahead and prepared to have a legitimate chance to play. It’s great to see our guys come in and execute.”

On how well his team does at having a short memory:
“I’m glad to see that a lot of our players have started to do that. You’ve got to take that to heart and it’s good that we’re seeing that our guys are doing that. We need our whole team to do it so they can gel when the football game starts.”