Beaty talks Oklahoma State at weekly press conference
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty addressed the media Tuesday at his weekly press conference, discussing the Jayhawks’ final game of the 2017 season against No. 18/21 Oklahoma State.
A video of the press conference can be seen on the Kansas Football Facebook Page and a transcript is below.
DAVID BEATY: I know a lot of you were able to tune into the Big 12 Conference call yesterday, so I won’t go back over all of that. But I did want to just start with saying a couple things. I met with our captains on a couple of occasions over the last three days, and one of those meetings did deal with accountability. Those guys understand and they value the platform of being a captain. They understand what a privilege it is to be there, and like I said yesterday, they made a mistake in the heat of the moment that obviously they regret and we certainly would never want to happen again. It was certainly unacceptable. But there’s always a consequence for that.
In visiting with those guys yesterday, we talked a little bit about what was going to take place, and it was good listening to their thoughts, as well. One of the things that they articulated before I talked about what we were going to do with them was the fact that they felt terrible about a lot of different things, but one of which was senior day, and that those guys were not able to be really honored in the way that they wished they could have.
We are going to — those guys are not going to be captains for us this week. In their place we’re going to send our seniors out to be the captains this week in an attempt to give these guys the proper honoring that they deserve, and I know those guys felt strongly about that. As a matter of fact, they were the ones who actually brought it up to me, which I was really impressed with.
You know, we do a lot of training here on a lot of different things, but particularly with our leaders. Every Monday at 2:15 I meet with our captains, and at 2:15 on Wednesday I meet with our leadership council, which includes our captains, and each year we choose a resource, and this year our resource just happened to be a John Maxwell book “Titled How Successful People Lead,” and it deals with the different levels of leadership, the five levels of leadership, and we’ve been working our way through it since the spring, and it’s a terrific book, and it really helps us a lot with our decision making. There’s five different levels. The first one is position, the second one is permission, the third one is production, the fourth one is people development, and the fifth and final is the pinnacle, and one of the things that came out of our conversations is how that chapter of that book or that phase taught us that people will follow you because they respect you for who you are and what you stand for. Our guys have worked really, really hard throughout their careers here to maintain a very respectful position amongst their teammates, and they are terrific kids, and they have done an enormous amount for our university.
These three guys are probably — there’s no probably. They are the leaders in community service for our team. Daniel Wise has been the leader for years here. He is a big kid guy, and I know that those two kids being out there Saturday is something that really resonated with him, and I know that that is something that he has been struggling with is knowing that those two kids were out there.
That resource helps us, and we do a lot of training. We do it every week. We’ve been doing it for weeks, and we change the resource from time to time, and then we also — we teach a lot here, and we teach off these five life skills that I just believe will help you no matter where you go or what you do, the first of which is for us physical conditioning and how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The second is discipline. The third is relating to peers. The fourth is relating to authority, and fifth is reacting to and handling emotion, which may be one of the most difficult life skills that we all face in our lives.
Saturday that situation certainly dealt with about four of those things, so we teach off of that as we talk to our guys and counsel them. We always come back to our life skills and how we could have used that to drive our decision making, and that’s something we certainly will continue to do.
Our ultimate goal is not to gain followers, it’s to develop leaders, and we’re going to continue to do that for sure. These guys will be speaking to you today, and I know that those guys are excited to be able to be in front of you and to be able to give you their words about the situation moving forward.
But we’ve also got a really, really big challenge this week against a really, really good football team, a passing quarterback combo that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. Man, you know, you just get done playing one of the best quarterbacks you’ve ever seen in your life, and you go and play another one that’s really, really good. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us, and I know you guys got some questions, so let’s take it away.
Q. You mentioned not having them be captains. Is that the extent of punishment? Will they still start and play like they normally would?
DAVID BEATY: They will still play, and they will — if they’re starting at the end of the week, they’ll be starting, yeah. There’s a little bit more to it than that, but we’re handling that. We also have a policy here if you’re involved in a personal foul situation here, there’s accountability for that, and we had one that Hasan Defense was involved in that, and we’ve handled his consequences, as well.
The thing that I’m most proud of, I think, is that that’s the first one that we’ve had throughout the year that we really throw in that dumb category situation. I can handle when you’re hustling and you get there just a hair late, but when you make a selfish mistake, that’s another thing altogether, and I know Hasan felt badly about it because he knew he was a little bit later than what he thought, but there’s still accountability that goes along with it. So we handled that, as well.
Q. How much Friday as compared to Monday — I’m sorry, Saturday as compared to Monday, Saturday after the game as compared to Monday, seemed to suggest that in that 48-hour period you understood it less than at the time? Did Sheahon (Zenger) sit down and talk with you about it or did you think about it on your own that it bothered you more?
DAVID BEATY: I think the best way to help you understand that is I walk — I’m not privy to really what you’re seeing as a fan or you’re seeing as a media member. We are down there working. We’re coaching. I didn’t even realize some of the things that had taken place out there. I saw a couple things, but not anything that I thought was going to be maybe out there publicly. You just don’t — we’re busy working. I come right off the field. I go straight into our locker room, and I talk to our guys. We talk a little bit about what happened in that game, how we need to move forward, what the schedule is for Sunday, and then I come directly in here to you.
I don’t get the vantage point that you do when you’re sitting at home or when you’re at the game. Obviously when you get done, you’re able to take everything in. You’re able to see and digest a little bit more than what you do in that particular situation. But I’ve always been very big on discipline here. That has been a platform by which we teach, creating one good man at a time, and we live it daily. We’re going to continue to live it. It doesn’t mean we’re perfect. We’re going to make mistakes from time to time. But our guys, they want to represent that bird on their chest with ultimate integrity, and they understand that, and we’re going to demand it from them.
Q. Did Sheahon talk to you about the whole thing in between Saturday and Monday?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we speak. We speak every Sunday. We speak every Sunday, we speak every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so we absolutely talk.
Q. You predicted that some of the mistakes were because the players weren’t in — they were too upright and not in proper knee bend positioning. Upon watching film, did that validate your suspicions?
DAVID BEATY: I’ll tell you what, you go back and look at it, and it always comes back to something little that you can control a little bit better. Now, the throw coming out of our end zone that he was scrambled on and he threw that laser, man, I don’t — we could have been — we might have been hanging on the guy and he still would have got it in there. It was a terrific throw. But we still nonetheless could have been more bent-legged because the tight end retraced and ran. We need to be bent-kneed right there, more of a football position, and we could have closed the gap, made it a little tougher of a throw.
Q. Denzel Evans injured before the year but still part of the program, and then a walk-on like Kyle Pullia, those guys don’t help in games, but how do people like that still help the program?
DAVID BEATY: Man, Kyle Pullia, first of all, he works every day to improve our defense, and he’s been a very valued member playing a tackle for us. He plays the opposing team’s left tackle for us every week, and he still gets himself ready to play. He still gets himself ready to play. If we were to need him and his services, he still knows everything he needs to know. Very smart, very, very intelligent guy, so he can do that.
And then Denzel Evans, man, Denzel Evans can be a football coach. He helps us every day. He is here every day. He’s basically our assistant running back coach. Those guys respect him. He coaches those guys. He has taken Dom under his wing from the day he got here and has really, really been a good guiding force for him, and he helps Coach Hull and he helps me in a lot of different things. He’s got a lot of knowledge because he’s been around for a long time, so that’s how those guys have helped.
Q. You mentioned Hasan; will his playing time be impacted —
DAVID BEATY: No, it won’t. He’s fine.
Q. Is the punishment something that happens at practice or something —
DAVID BEATY: Yep. It’s the policy.
Q. When does your off-season approach begin? What are the first things you’re going to do, and are you planning on tweaking at all in your fourth season?
DAVID BEATY: Well, first of all, the first thing that we do is we’ve already — you already have to start — you don’t have the luxury of being able to wait until the season ends. There has to be a lot of planning done between now and the time we hit the road, which is Sunday. We’re going to hit the road Sunday recruiting. Now with those two signing days it’s going to be even more important, those three weeks before everything goes quiet. So that’s very, very important. We have already began working and reworking our off-season based on what we think our needs are in terms of what we’re going to be doing with development, what we’re going to be doing with mental development in terms of how we’re working on their mind when it comes to the game of football, and then obviously continuing to develop them mentally as men, like we talk about, and then working towards what we’re going to be doing with that spring football, what should be the number one things that we do to get ourselves ready to go for fall.
So those are the things that you’ll do in addition to all of the recruiting that you’re going to be doing.
Q. Is there kind of a new aim with the mental development that you’re going to be approaching in terms of taking into account what you’ve seen this year?
DAVID BEATY: You know, I really like what we do. We’ve got a book about that thick of the things we do with our guys in terms of training. Much like parenting, though, every now and then something comes up that you add to the book. There was something that came up the other day that we’re going to add to the book.
We always have prided ourselves on making sure that we have a plan for sure for accountability with regard to anything that can fit into anything, but this was something good, and we’ve had a number of things over the years. We’ve had a texting and driving pop up where we’ve had a kid have an accident. We’ve had training over kids driving home for Christmas break because when I was at A&M we lost a kid. Unfortunately we lost him on the way back to school. He was in a fatal car accident. So we don’t take anything to chance with those guys.
Whether it becomes their mental development — I mean, listen, there’s times when — those things are good for me. They’re good for you. There’s times when I’ve been driving years ago where I realized I didn’t even realize that I just drove somewhere, and it was me being crazy at that point, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons by teaching our guys. So yeah, we’ll keep expanding it in a lot of different ways. Always working mental health for our kids, all the things that are coming up to continue to change, we’ll continue to address those things as we go through the off-season, and off-season is a great time for it.
Q. What is the identity of this year’s team?
DAVID BEATY: I would say resiliency. Resiliency is the thing that sticks out to me because they continue to come out each week and they practice as hard as any time I’ve ever had. They continue to work towards developing, and they block out distractions, and they continue to see the vision, and they continue to march towards it.
One of the things that I loved about Friday night is our seniors all spoke to our team, and every single one of those guys said something about stay the course, our time is coming. We’re doing the right things. Your time is going to be over just like mine, and it happens fast, but stay the course, make this foundation work, make all the work that we did worth it. Make all the work that we did worth it, stay the course.
So resiliency and just understanding of what you do to build something I think is something I’ll always remember this team by.
Q. Do you have an update on Mike Lee who’s missed the last couple games? Is he doing any better?
DAVID BEATY: You know, we’re going to get him out there moving a little bit today. We’ll see. He’s still in protocol there. Today will tell us a lot. It’ll tell us a whole lot. I’m hopeful, but we’ll see. He had a pretty severe one there, so it took — it’s going to be one of those deals where it’s in the hands of our doctors and our medical staff.
Q. Guessing he doesn’t enjoy missing games.
DAVID BEATY: No, he doesn’t. I don’t know that he enjoys anything in life more than hitting people, so the fact that he’s not getting to do that, he’s not a real happy guy right now. But the first and foremost thing is his health. It’s his health.
Q. Have you been kind of following along with the season Montell (Cozart) is having?
DAVID BEATY: I have not. I saw him play early in the year. I think their quarterback got hurt, and I saw him come in in relief of that guy, and then I think he played a little bit in the next game. We happened to be in a hotel. I think they were playing a Friday night game. You guys know how I feel about him; what a great kid, love him to death, wish him nothing but the best. I know they’re going to a bowl game. Happy for him that he’s going to get to experience that.
Q. OSU has got big yards, big points, but they’re also seemingly really efficient and they move the chains a ton, they’re way up there in terms of 1st downs. What’s made them efficient in addition to big plays?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, they’re good, they’re big, but they’re fast type deal, and they’re talented. Yeah, they’ve got a good football team, man. Really, really good football team. I think a lot of it to me that sticks out is those guys, they’ve got a lot of experience. There’s a lot of them back. That quarterback/receiver duo there that everybody talks about, they don’t talk about that 6’5″, 6’6″ Ateman kid on the other side. That is a monster now. That’s a big dude, very, very talented guy from Wylie East. He’s got some real capable targets. Tony Hull has a kid that played for him at Warren East that is playing for them now. He’s wearing No. 13, and he’s a great return man, and he just keeps making plays, too.
They’ve got a mammoth offensive line. Those guys are really, really big, and they do a good job of protecting. A lot of them are very experienced. Their sitter is as good as I’ve seen. I think this guy is really good. He’s talented. And then think always have a bevy of tight ends that are really good, and the quarterback, he’s outstanding. He’s a terrific player, knows how to operate that offense. He’s been doing it for a number of years.
And then defensively, Glenn Spencer, y’all know how I feel about him. I think he’s one of the best in the league. He continues to do great things. He’s got a lot of experience back. Those linebackers, you can tell they’ve played a lot of ball.
They are a good football team, and he does a great job of scheming you, a great job of scheming you. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us, but like I said, we — I’d like to think that we had a great Big 12 ballgame against those guys last year and had a ball bounced just a little bit differently as opposed to bouncing backwards, that game may have went a different way. I mean, it was very, very close there right toward the very end. I think we were really within striking distance there of maybe winning that thing, and we had the ball bounce the wrong way, and it just went the other way, and we weren’t able to close it out. I know our guys are looking forward to playing these guys again, and it’s going to be a great opportunity for us for sure.
But they’re a talented team. I can’t say enough about them. They’re a really, really good football team. Mike does a great job, man; year in and year out he does a terrific job.
Q. You talk a lot about stakeholders in this program. You talked about the seniors telling your players to stay the course. Have you been able to communicate with stakeholders to maybe deliver the same message?
DAVID BEATY: Well, you know, I’ve been in contact with as many Jayhawks as I possibly can since the day I walked in the doors here to make sure that they know that this is their program, that it’s theirs, and that when you’re there, that it feels a little bit more real to them. The thing that just I appreciate is honesty, candor, but at the same time I just can’t tell you how many people I’ve gotten personal support for our team from, which is just what makes it so good to be a Jayhawk is they — a lot of our supporters and stakeholders, they see progress even sometimes when it’s not as much as I would like it to be, which has been great. But they deserve better. They deserve better, and we’ve got to keep working until we can give it to them for sure.
Q. How frustrating have the offensive struggles been the past few weeks, no touchdowns obviously against Oklahoma and against Baylor a couple weeks before that. How are the guys on offense dealing with this stretch?
DAVID BEATY: You know, we talked a little bit last week about being consistent, right, not going up and down. We put 27 points or so against Texas the other day, and coming back and doing that this week would have been a nice deal for us. We’ve just got to find a way to get consistent, right. I know Steven was hurt and he’s a big part of what we do, but we also have some other very capable guys. We had some unfortunate things happen the other day in that game that we just simply can’t have happen. We had a tip that turned into a pick that was a big, big play in that ballgame. We’ve just got to make those plays.
I think as I go back and look at that game, up until about midway through the third, fourth quarter, the tell of the tale was there was about five plays made by them offensively, and we had not made those plays. We had our opportunities to do it, and we just had not made them. That’s really what this game is going to come down to, five or six really good opportunities, and you’ve got to capitalize on them. We’ve got to keep working to be able to do that.
Q. Have you ever in your life sported a Mike Gundy mullet?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I don’t have a lot of hair anyways, so it would have to be just something on the side. I don’t know, maybe mine will be different. I’ll never forget when I saw that the first time. I was like, man, I couldn’t pull that off. You’re really good. But it’s pretty unique, no doubt about it. He’s a funny guy. He takes his shirt off at basketball games. I’ll tell you what, he has got a great personality, and he recruited my school a bunch when I was a high school coach, and it was always fun being around him. You can tell that his team has a lot of fun, and they believe in him for sure. Yeah, that mullet is pretty slick.
Q. When you look at your offensive struggles, to what extent is lack of blocking the source of that, and how about dropped passes that seem to be more frequent lately?
DAVID BEATY: Well, as you look at it, it’s a little bit inconsistent. There’s a little bit of all of it sometimes that comes into play. It would help us if we can — we really need to try to work to continue to develop these guys to they can stay healthy. The different lineup up front make it challenging at times. I look out there against Oklahoma and it’s the same five guys that have been playing all year. I don’t know if we’ve had the same lineup back to back very often since I’ve been here, which means we’ve got to continue to develop them, continue to get them bigger, stronger, faster so they can last throughout the year.
It’s always a combination. It very rarely falls on one guy, one thing. It’s a combination. I think the challenge for us is to not let something new pop up all the time. We’ve got to close that margin of error on all those areas, right. We certainly can’t drop passes when we have the paw put there, we certainly have to protect the quarterback because I think Carter is definitely capable if we can keep him upright and not have him getting hit a bunch, and I think that’s a challenge for most teams, right.
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