Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 31, 2006

Head Coach Mark Mangino
Opening statement

“Good afternoon. I would like to announce the players of the game from the Colorado contest as voted by our coaching staff. The offensive player of the game was (freshman quarterback) Todd Reesing. The defensive player of the game was (sophomore cornerback) Aqib Talib. The special teams player of the game was (junior wide receiver) Jeff Foster. Our scout team offensive player of the week was Alex Smith, and our defensive scout team player of the week was Brian Seymour.”

“Recapping last week’s game, I am really pleased with the progress we made on all areas of the defense. I like the way we are continuing to play the run, though there are always areas where we could improve. Our pass defense continues to improve. Aqib Talib played well and has done so all season.”

“On the offensive side of the ball, we ran the ball okay. I think we can run it better. Jon Cornish was able to get over 1,000 yards this season, but they certainly were tough, hard-earned yards. I was pleased with Todd Reesing coming off the bench and being able to operate our offense efficiently and make plays. A lot of other people stepped up and made plays for us in the game as well. Jeff Foster had a key reception and played well on special teams. I am very pleased with the leadership we are getting from David Ochoa. Our pass protection was decent, though we had a couple of breakdowns we need to shore up and will. Overall, it was a good effort for our kids and we got back on the winning track.”

“This week we have Iowa State, who has a very talented, dual-threat quarterback (Bret Meyer). He throws the ball very well and has great escapability from the pocket. They have some outstanding receivers, including three players with more than 30 catches. They are getting good ball distribution from their passing game. On defense, they have one of the best defensive lineman in the conference, Brent Curvey, who is an outstanding player. They have one of the top tacklers in the conference and country in Alvin Bowen. Iowa State is a hard-playing, well-coached football team. We look forward to going to Ames and playing well ourselves.”

On whether Iowa State’s record is surprising:
“I don’t say surprising because as a coach, you look into the other factors. They have had some adversity. They have had some setbacks in personnel. All of those things need to be taken into consideration.”

On how Todd Reesing’s athleticism affects the game:
“He displayed a little escapabilitiy from the pocket and looked down the field to throw it, but our preference would be to have good protection. The fact that he has escapability adds another dimension to his game. Looking at the quarterbacks in the league that we have played, a lot have the ability to do that. It’s a nice feature to have.”

On whether Reesing’s lack of playing time gives Kansas an advantage against opponent scouting:
“I don’t necessarily think so. We will still execute the same offense. There will be no new wrinkles when you have a different person at that position.”

On Dominic Roux’s move to cornerback:
“Dominic Roux has excellent speed. He runs very well and is an unheralded guy in our receiving corps. He runs routes well and tries to clear zones because he can stretch the defense. He is pretty athletic and wants to play and help out. We felt he was the best available guy to help us at the corner position. He’s learning, but you have to respect a guy who is willing to do that for his teammates. It is hard to ignore his speed in an area where he can help us. We asked him if switching positions was something he wanted to do, so it tells you something about the kids on our ballclub.”
On whether bowl eligibility is a motivating factor for the team:
“I don’t think I have to say anything. That does not have to be said on my part. The kids understand what the goals are for themselves and as a team. It’s sitting right in the middle of the room and everyone knows it’s there.”

On whether the win has resulted in a better spirit in the locker room and practice field:
“We’ve only been on the practice field Sunday and I can’t tell you that there is a noticeable difference in their work. Their tempo is always good. They just want to win and they are doing their part to do it. We spent a lot of time in the offseason talking with our kids. We talk to them about how to handle success and how to handle adversity. I tell our players that when I get phone calls from former players, I hardly ever think about their statistics or what they accomplished on the field. I think about them in terms of their attitude, how they approached things, what kind of teammate they were and what kind of person they were. Ten, 15 years from now, people are unlikely to remember any stats from any player from this team. More often than that, you’ll remember your relationship with that player. We talk to our kids about the fact that they will be remembered more for their attitude than for what they did at Memorial Stadium.”

On Reesing’s potential and attitude:
“Well, he’s played one half of one game and it was agreeable. He has a long way to go and he knows it. But he has the attitude to do it. He is just a happy guy. He will study his game plan, watch tape and be in tune at practice, but when he’s out playing, he’s not going to be a guy out there analyzing things. He is going to read his progression and throw the ball. If it’s not a great play, you don’t have to worry about him being philosophical about it. He is well-prepared when he goes in. I’ve never seen him have a bad day. His attitude is `Life is good.’ He has a quick wit about him. He is not bogged down by life. I don’t care how good of a player he is here or however well he does in his career afterwards, he will not be bogged down by life. He is having a good time.”

On Reesing’s recruitment process:
“He came up here and committed early to us. He came by in the summer time on a tour of colleges in the area and we liked him. We just wanted to see him in person. He showed up and we spent time with him and talked with him. He is exactly what he looked like on tape in terms of size and stature. His tape was too hard to ignore. We offered him a scholarship and he liked everything about the place. Being around him, he’s focused, but he’s not a reckless person or unaccountable. He’s also having fun.”

On the string of strong finishes the team has had in recent seasons:
“We do everything the same within our routine and make adjustments in areas that need focus. It’s a system, and one thing we have going for us is that our kids believe what we’re doing here because they line up and play hard every week.”

On Adam Barmann’s role as a teammate:
“Adam Barmann is a good teammate and a good person. He wants to win. He has come in at times and bailed us out. He has the respect of all the kids and coaches and always will. When he calls 10 years from now, I will remember his attitude and the kind of person he was. He helps the young guys. He is attentive and sharp in quarterbacks’ meeting. He is an important part of our football team.”

Kansas player Quotes

Travis Dambach, Senior, Offensive Line
On Todd Reesing:
“He came in really confident and you could tell he was ready to go. He was excited to get in there. It definitely gave the offense something, there is no doubt about that. He’s pretty cool under pressure. A lot of the situations he gets in to are like a challenge to him. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy. He jokes around a lot and just has fun with it.”

On dealing with different quarterbacks:
“We practice with all three quite a bit, so no matter who is back there, we are familiar with their cadence and know they can get the job done.”

On the win making practice different:
“We always work hard, whether the result is a win or a loss, but after four hard weeks, this is hopefully a turning point where we can get the season back on track the way we want.”

Jeff Foster, Junior, Wide Receiver
On more energy in practice:

“On Sunday everybody was really excited to get back to practice. With last year’s game against Iowa State, we know that we are going to have to bring our “A” game.”

On if it matters who is playing quarterback:
“To be honest, we have faith in all of our quarterbacks, whether it’s first string or third string. It really doesn’t make a difference. We know that whoever is in there is going to make the plays and do what it takes to win.”

On preparing for a road game:
“We don’t really have to change our game plan. We just need to go out there and do what we do.”

On Iowa State winless in the conference:
“Judging by how they did last year and how well they did in the Big 12, I think it is a surprise to see them winless. We know that they are still a really good team. We are going to have to really show up to play for us to win.”

On thinking being bowl eligible:
“We think we are ready to go to a bowl. We have high hopes for the rest of the season. We are not down and out, depressed or feeling sorry for ourselves. We know that we are turning things around. We are going to do what it takes to win.”

Aqib Talib, Sophomore, Cornerback
On playing on the road:

“We are not going to change anything at all. We are going to prepare for the game like we always prepare for the game. We haven’t won (on the road) in almost two seasons. We are due for a road win and it’s about that time we get one.”

On getting over the hump of losing leads:
“We have to play football. You win some and you lose some. It was close just this past Saturday at the end and we won so we already got that monkey off our back.”

On Iowa State’s recent struggles:
“I heard they had a couple of injuries. I guess other teams have been coming to play on Saturday. That’s all it comes down to is whoever prepares best for the game.”

On gaining momentum from Saturday’s win:
“That was last week and we are not focused on last week. Starting on Sunday, we started a new week and focusing on a new task at hand and preparing for an even bigger game.”