Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 21, 2010


Player Interviews:Patterson | Rojas | Sands | Webb | Young

Weekly Press Conference

Kansas Football

Sept. 21, 2010 – Lawrence, Kan.

Head Coach Turner Gill

Opening Statements:

“I want to first start off on a little side note here. This week is “Coach-To-Cure”; the American Football Coaches Association picked this weekend here to really help support a tremendous cause, muscular dystrophy, which is really a genetic disease that affects a lot of the young men in our society today, so we are very supportive of that. This weekend we will have coaches wearing a patch or an armband in support of the “Coach-To-Cure”.”

Before I get to New Mexico State, I want to first talk about the kind of things that are positive about that occurred this past week. I thought that our team played well in the second half. I thought that they competed throughout the football game and I think that is what we really have to have is our team competing on every single play. Obviously, execution-wise we didn’t do that but I thought we competed well on the road since that was our first opportunity to do that. We didn’t have any turnovers and that gave us a chance to do some things toward the end. Then I thought Jordan Webb showed some toughness, some things that I had not seen yet in a game. I saw not only physical toughness, but also mental toughness.”

“Moving on to about our staff, another thing I want to speak about is that our coaches have coached 75 bowl games. So again, I am always going to bring up something about our staff because I think it is a very, very special staff and I think you will continue to see our staff do good things for our football team not only this year, but also in the future.”

“Now for our opponent New Mexico State. Dwayne Walker, I know of him, I have really admired him from afar and I know people who have coached with him, particularly at UCLA, everyone respects him very highly as a man and also as a coach. I think his resume speaks for itself and I think he is trying to build a program there too. Their quarterback, Matt Christen, a guy from a junior college, shows some good skills. I like his arm, it sounds like he can put the ball from point A to point B in a quick manner. I think he’s done some good things there. They really haven’t had a whole lot of sacks. That tells me that one, scheme-wise, they actually get rid of the football and number two, they are able to protect.”

“I think the keys to this game that I will really emphasize to our football team this week and our staff is to really have a tremendous work ethic. Not to say that we haven’t, but I think this is a week where we have to make sure that our work ethic is extremely well throughout the week and throughout the football game. We want to make sure that we are showing consistency. The thing I am looking at more specifically offensively, I am looking for more cohesiveness out of our play calling and also just the way that we are executing.”

“Defensively, I am looking for them to play more physical and to be more consistent with their passion of the game. Like they did with Georgia Tech, we have to have some more consistency game after game week after week, and hopefully as we go along year after year.

(On) special teams, we must win every phase in the game in special teams. We have to be excellent in that phase. We need to start making sure that the special teams is not an area where we are not productive. Those are the things that we have spoken about coach to coach and also now from our coaches to our players. The only update from an injury standpoint is everything should be good to go with (Jeremiah) Hatch. (Chea) Peterman is questionable, a guy that plays quite a bit on our special teams.”

On Jordan Webb:

“We are definitely anticipating throwing the ball. We have already been doing that throughout the whole season, it just has not shown up as much as we have liked for it. I am very pleased with the way he has protected the football. I initially did not know since he had not played in a game, so I am very pleased with what he has done from that standpoint. He is taking care of the football extremely well and he has taken some hits and has been able to hang on to the ball. He has also been able to throw the ball away, and has been able to take off running, so he has made some good decisions from that standpoint. We have to protect him better and we have to do a better job on every phase of our offensive side. It is still a maturity issue. It is not going to happen overnight and it is probably going to take a little longer than I probably would have liked for it to happen, but that is life and that is football. We expect for it to get cleaned up real quick.”

On the team’s progress:

“We are always making adjustments to make ourselves better. I would like for our defense to create more turnovers. That has to happen to where hopefully we are getting three or four turnovers in a football game. We are re-emphasizing creating the take-aways. I would say, defensively, I am OK with it, maybe a little above average. The only thing negative about it is the turnovers. I would like to have more. Offensively, I really don’t know what to expect. Obviously you want it to be great but I knew that it was going to be a slower process, since we have a new quarterback and trying to find out that mesh. Also, you have the new offensive scheme. I didn’t know where we were at for the running back spot. All that has to come together and that takes time. Overall, you would love to be better than our win-loss record but I am not totally unpleased about where we are at this point in time. I see some plusses about it. I do like the running back, James Sims. He has shown some good things. We have found someone at the quarterback spot we feel pretty good about. Jordan Webb has made progress and that’s all you can ask the guy to do, particularly his first year playing and starting.”

Senior defensive end Jake Laptad

On the front four against Southern Miss:

“Up front, (Patrick) Dorsey got defensive player of the game so he had a really good game. I feel like we just got out of our gaps a couple of times. If you take away about five plays, then we are in that ball game. The pass rush, we have to get better at that. Obviously we have no sacks and that is a big thing with pass rush. The more pressure we can get with four the more guys we will have back in coverage, which makes everyone’s job easier. “

On his senior leadership:

“Right now it is the time to turn it up. This week we have to concentrate on ourselves and get better every day. Last week was a disappointment for us but this week is a new week.”

On New Mexico State:

“Obviously their strengths are passing. They are a big passing team so it will be a big test for the front four, getting pressure on the quarterback with a four-man rush. It is a lot of stand in the pocket. The quarterback gets rid of the ball fast, so it will be up to the defensive linemen to put pressure on him.”

Freshman running back Deshaun Sands

On his performance individually:

“If you have a bad game there is no good going in to being not prepared. I feel like that first touchdown was nothing because as a team we lost. So I don’t care what I do individually, I care to help the team.”

On not being prepared:

“We let the quarterback get beat up all game, so we have to come in this week have better prepared and better technique, focusing on getting a block, and the offensive line doing better.”

Freshman defensive end Kevin Young

On if he puts pressure on himself to get to the quarterback:

“That’s the whole point (of being on the defensive line). We’re going to play some teams that throw the ball really well, so that’s an important part of having a great defense. We’re definitely going to keep working on that and bring a four-man rush and get more sacks. I think that’s a huge deciding factor in how good our defense can be.”

On how he thinks the team will improve its pass rush:

“It’s a little bit of everything. It’s a little technique; it’s knowing your opponent, what he does well, what some of his weaknesses are. We just need to keep practicing it and we’ll continue to get better at it.”

On if there is a sense of urgency to get a win this week:

“There has definitely been a sense of urgency since week one. Things just didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to (against North Dakota State), but we’re going to keep coming out here every day, practicing with a sense of urgency and be ready to play. We’re not really looking back, we’re not too focused on that. We need to keep moving forward and be ready to go for the next game.”

Freshman quarterback Jordan Webb

On playing the final non-conference game:

“It’s going to be big. It’s going to be big to get some momentum going into conference play and I think we will. We definitely want to get back up to where we were at the Georgia Tech week and I think if we keep working hard we’re definitely going to. We’re going to be really focused.”

On the team’s strides from week two to week three:

“Obviously, we didn’t get the win last week, and that’s a little disappointing but I think we need to keep growing. We’ve got some young guys out there. I think we need to keep getting better as the weeks progress. We’ve got a lot of potential on this offense.”

On avoiding the sack and not fumbling in the pocket:

“Once I play more I’ll be more aware of the pocket. I think it’s just about getting the ball into my receiver’s hands a little quicker and making my reads a little faster and then we’ll be alright. Being around the game and playing quarterback for a while, you know when you’re about to get hit. You just have to take the loss and not make it a bigger play for the defense.”

Senior punter Alonso Rojas

On the performance of special teams through week three:

“I don’t want to take away any credit from the other teams. They’re executing what they’re taught to do. On our part; it’s little things, it’s the miscues. We’ll get it fixed; it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. I have faith in all of my teammates. I know that they have my back and I don’t need to think about it, just keep executing.”

On the pressure on him and special teams:

“I don’t like to blame myself. We play as a team, we lose as a team; we win as a team. As far as everything is concerned, you can always do a little better. As far as what’s going on lately, it’s just little miscues. We want to go out and execute correctly. We’ve been working on the fundamentals and going back to the basics and little things like that to help us improve our current situation.”

On helping the team:
“I’m comfortable helping the team win. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team win. If my coach wants me to do a handstand I’m going to do a handstand. No matter what he wants me to do I’m going to do it.”

Sophomore wide receiver Bradley McDougal

On Jordan Webb’s strengths as a quarterback:

“He definitely puts it in a place that we can go up and make a play on the ball. A lot of quarterbacks throw it to a place that makes it easy for the defender to make a play, but he puts it in a place that usually only (his receivers) can go get it or he’s going to locate it for us down field.”

On Webb’s first two starts:

“I think he’s done great. He just came in and has done whatever we asked of him. He’s made plays downfield with the ball; he does a great job of scrambling and staying in the pocket to give us that extra time to get open down field. If he needs to, he even shows the running game. He’s able to tuck and run and take it in for a first down. He’s showing good strides of improvement each and every week.”

On the potential of the offense:

“I think we can be very good. We showed glimpses of that against Georgia Tech but we still had some errors and missed assignments out there in that game, and we were still young as an offense and still figuring each other out a little bit. But come game four and come conference play, I think we’ll be showing many more improvements and shocking many more people.”