Gill Holds Media Session Following Wednesday Practice

Sept. 21, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head coach Turner Gill held his weekly session with the media following practice under cloudy skies on the practice fields adjacent to the Anderson Family Football Complex on Wednesday.

Gill opened the session by announcing that senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson will miss the remainder of the 2011 season with an injury he sustained in the season-opening win over McNeese State. Because Patterson will have only played in one game this year, he will likely receive a medical hardship for the year and be eligible to return to the team next season.

Below is a transcript of Gill’s interview session:

Opening Statement:
“Our guys are definitely still focused on trying to get better. I like what I’ve been seeing in the two practices we’ve had so far. Our guys are definitely in tune and trying to get better as a football team.”

On what went into the decision of holding out Daymond Patterson for the rest of the season:
“It’s tough but it’s what is best. You don’t want to have a senior year where you are only able to play half of the season. That’s really what it came down to. Yeah, he could maybe come back at some time during the season and be available, but then we only have a few games left. Do we want that to happen? We don’t know how long it would take him to come back at 100 percent. Both of us talked about it and we agreed together that sitting out the rest of the year would be the best thing for him and the best thing for our football team.”

On the advantages of having Daymond Patterson come back from a leadership standpoint:
“It’s nothing but good having a guy with that kind of experience come back for another year. He’s going to help us out this year as far as teaching our guys. We’re obviously going to miss him, but it’s an opportunity for someone else and it will definitely make us stronger as we move forward to next season.”

On whether the depth at the wide receiver spot helped him make the decision:
“We’ve got a lot of guys who haven’t played a whole lot of football and he especially is one of the more experienced guys on the team at this time. We’ve got a lot of good guys at that position and now we’ll have to see who will rise to the top. We are going to miss him though.”

On the overall health of the team:
“We’ll find out Tuesday or Wednesday if (Patrick) Dorsey could have a chance of being available. We’ll see how he practices in the next few days. I think we’ll get (JaCorey) Shepherd back. We’ll see what he does in the middle of next week. We’ll hopefully get back two or three guys. We should be a little more healthy then we were (going into the Georgia Tech game).”

On the recent play of cornerback Dexter McDonald:
“He played more (at Georgia Tech). (Isaiah) Barfield got hurt and he had to play in that position. I thought he did some good things. It was good to get him some experience, particularly playing at corner. He’s played some special teams, but it was great to get him on the defensive side and get a lot of reps. We definitely saw some good confidence out of him in how he played throughout the game. Obviously he’s inexperienced and he has a long way to go but there was good progress being made particularly in that ball game (Georgia Tech).”

On how he has felt about safety Keeston Terry’s progression:
“He’s doing alright. He’s still a freshman. We have a lot of youth on our football team and we have some talented guys. There are still some things he needs to get a feel for as far as what we’re doing defensively and what the offense is doing. I think he’s playing okay.”

On the mood in the locker room since Saturday’s loss:
“It’s been good. They’re moving on. That’s what you have to do in life. Learn from what your past experience is and what you can do to get better. That’s what our players are focused on. They’re getting their time in and talking to our coaches about what they need to do to improve their play and improve our football team’s play.”

On what his coaching staff has done to improve the defensive schemes:
“We talk about that. It’s always a daily talk. It’s putting together a lot of different things. Some of it is scheme-wise; some of it is personnel. You have to find the right combination of those two. Every day and every week we’re trying to find ways to get better. Whether you win or lose a football game, you’re always trying to find a way to get better. We’re talking about a lot of things. We’ll make some adjustments and we’ll be better prepared against Texas Tech.”