Beaty talks West Virginia, Big 12 opener at weekly presser
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty spoke to the media on Tuesday at his weekly press conference, discussing the Jayhawks’ Big 12 opener against West Virginia.
A video of the press conference can be seen on the Kansas Football Facebook Page and a transcript is below.
DAVID BEATY: Appreciate you guys coming today. We’re going to be on the grass again today. Making sure that we let you know when that’s taking place.
Just a couple of things with availability. Possibility of getting a couple of guys back this week. We’ll see how the week goes. Hopefully we can get them to respond. Shaq (Shaquille) Richmond, who we haven’t had for a long time, good to see he’s possibly got a chance to be back this week. He’s responding well to his treatment.
Taylor Martin, a possibility to be back. We certainly would love to have him back in that lineup as well. Possibly Denzel Feaster. We’ve been missing some depth there at linebacker. Talented guy. Think he can help us.
Isi Holani, unfortunately his injury is going to be a season-ending injury. He injured his knee in the game a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately he’s not going to be available for the rest of the year. But the good thing for him is that he has not used the redshirt, he’s a guy we’ll get back in class next year. For the future it’s really good, but for right now feel bad for the kid because he’s come a long way. I thought it was going to be a really big year for him. He’s got some time left.
A couple other guys that I really don’t know, Derrick Neal is a guy, he may or may not be available. We’ll see how that goes. Other than that, that’s kind of where we’re at with that. I think that will help you.
Obviously very excited around here because we’re working into Big 12 play, starting against a very formidable opponent. I think Dana (Holgorsen) was Coach of the Year last year in a couple of different publications. Won a couple of awards. Certainly deservedly so. He’s a really, really good football coach.
The thing about this week for us, it really continues to be about us. It’s not as much about them because we certainly can’t control them. What we can control is us. We can control our development. We’ve got some obviously younger players in some positions, but our coaches are going to continue to coach ’em up and continue to develop them. That’s the name of the game.
Doesn’t matter where you’re at, you’re always going to be developing. You have a cycle of kids that you’re working through. It’s always developing, right? Doesn’t matter if you have a bunch of freshmen, bunch of sophomores, seniors, you’re always developing for that next group. 85 scholarships, really tough on anybody, doesn’t matter. Such a violent game, hard to keep them healthy. It’s one of those deals where it gives opportunity to others, so it’s important for you to be ready when your time comes.
I know we’re not the only team that has that opportunity available for guys, but we certainly are experiencing that in some spots.
I’m confident obviously moving forward in our players. I like the mindset that they carry week-to-week. They are just workmen-type, development guys. They’re continuing to work and develop. They care. They get up here Sunday. They go through watching the tape. They really diagnose what’s going on. We go out to practice Sunday. As coaches you want to make sure that the spirit is right when you walk on that field. That’s never a problem. It’s never a problem. I think that’s a tribute to our leaders that they have on our team. The older guys, our captains, leadership council, just really each individual. We’re very fortunate we have good kids. I’ve said it before, probably the best thing about this team is the guys on it. We got a bunch of young ones on it, but they’re developing, growing up fast, which is pretty good.
One of the things we talked about going into this last week is we have to be technically better from week one to week two, then we certainly have to be technically better from week two to week three. As we move into the conference play, we obviously have to be really ramped up because it’s going to be high stakes. We’ve been working all summer, all winter for this opportunity to go into Big 12 play.
We’re going to be really focused on technical play. As we look at the tape, you look at the breakdowns, schematics is not the issue, it comes down to technique and it comes down to each individual coach and player committing to making sure our commitment is good, and it will cut down on the number of errors we have. Not a lot of MAs, which is good. Those are missed assignments. We’re not having a lot of those. It comes down to technique at that point. We can get that fixed. I think we have a chance to do some fun things down the road here.
Some of the things I really liked in that game is something a number of different offensive linemen play, Zach Hannon played in there for Antoine (Frazier). Being able to see Clyde (McCauley) get them snaps was good. We watched him develop over the last two years, hasn’t played a whole lot. Actually did pretty well. Then seeing Andru Tovi, the new kid we got, stepping in and basically played the entire game. Jayson Rhodes is another one that wasn’t completely healthy. Could have played if we needed him to. We think he’ll be healthy this week, which is good. Two really good guards on that left-hand side.
Liked to see Larry Hughes play even more for Chris (Hughes) on the right-hand side. We feel like we’re probably two deep in there that in guys we think can play really well, maybe some change, having some other guys that can step in and help us. I like that heading into Big 12 play, knowing you have that kind of depth up front.
Obviously very pleased with Khalil Herbert, what he was able to do the other day. We challenged him. He was a guy that kind of had slid down the chart a little bit. We certainly challenged him. He’s such a good kid, it wasn’t a problem. He really made a focus to get himself ready. When that opportunity came, he capitalized on it, which is exactly what you want. I thought he played really, really well. He’s one of those guys when he does something well, he always credits those in front of him. He was really big with those offensive linemen, because they did open some holes the other day, which was good.
As we move forward, obviously one of the main things, main objectives for us and any team, is to make sure that we keep the game manageable in all facets. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re down by 18. That slow start was probably a tough, tough deal for us. The thing I really liked is watching us battle and get back into it in that second quarter.
If we can eliminate those slow starts, I think we’re going to be in a lot better position as we go in at halftime to be able to make those adjustments and corrections.
I like our plan. We have a great plan. We believe in the plan. Our players believe in the plan. It’s going to happen, no doubt about it. We’re going to continue working. Even when people want us to quit, you’re not going to get quit here. It’s not going to happen in this building with these guys, coaches, players. We’re going to keep coming. It will turn, there’s no doubt about it. I think most of the credit is going to go to these players because they’re resilient and they want it to happen.
Let’s take some questions.
Q. The problems you have encountered in the secondary early on in this season, how close are you to giving some other guys more in-game reps?
DAVID BEATY: You like to get a few guys back, like Shaq Richmond. I think he can help from a depth standpoint.
It’s like anything else that we’ve said from the very beginning, you’re really only as good as your next. How you perform in practice is going to give you an opportunity to get into the game, right?
Is there going to be opportunity for other guys? Absolutely. I mean, there will be opportunity for other guys. They know that. But there’s also going to be opportunity for those that are playing to improve their technique, to be able to get back in there and help us, be able to do it at a higher level than what they’ve been doing.
They will. They’ll get coached up, close the gap, we’ll get better. It all works together. The pass-rush is effective when we cover well. The cover is great whether we get a good pass-rush. It all works together. We have to be complementary in that regard. We haven’t done that with consistency yet. We have some young guys, but we’re coaching ’em up.
Q. Can you talk Evan Fairs and his play? He only played a little last year, was he injured?
DAVID BEATY: He wasn’t injured. He was just young. Really the learning curve for some young ones is better than others. He’s a really bright kid. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he’s not a smart kid. It’s just a lot for a freshman. For some, they do it naturally well, then some they don’t. Even the best ones that I’ve ever been around, they hit a wall at some point. We don’t want them to.
We talk to them about it. We teach them about the walls they’re going to hit. We’re about to hit one. First road game, some excitement there. Now you’re a freshman, been through your first game, fall camp, first road game, all the excitement, and now it’s just hard. We’re practicing, you’ve been through all of it, no more firsts other than you’re playing in your first Big 12 game.
For them, they just play. They don’t care who the opponent is. The challenge for young guys is to get through those walls. It’s interesting to watch ’em grow up before your eyes because it takes about a year for most of ’em. Unfortunately some of them don’t get the luxury of being able to redshirt and garner that knowledge as they grow. Some of them have to play. They will all hit walls.
Dom Williams is going to hit a wall. Hit the wall the other day. He has a little more resilience about him than maybe some. He’ll be back playing for us, he’ll be fine. They all hit it at some point when they’re a freshman. Chris Harris, he played as a freshman. I just said, What would you tell guys about the wall that you hit? It was all the same stuff that we’re facing that we talked about.
Q. You just wanted to see if he was ready or…
DAVID BEATY: We knew he was talented, no doubt. He made a lot of plays in fall camp. As we started getting the bulk of the offense in, it started to slow down a little bit. It was fairly easy up front, then it kind of slowed down. He’s had a year of doing it under his belt. It’s the same terminology for the most part. He’s got a year of doing it.
It’s one of those deals where we had guys that were actually playing pretty good at that position. For them to unseat them, you had to take the spot. He wasn’t able to do it, but he’s looking good now.
Q. How much of what happened the last couple weeks has been self-inflicted?
DAVID BEATY: Like most teams, every game you’re going to have some things unfortunately that you wish you would not have had happen to you, they were self-inflicted. There were a number of things self-inflicted with us. That’s the challenge on the coaches to make sure we identify them and get them fixed.
There’s a number of things that are self-inflicted, but that’s true with any game for anyone. You wish you could have ’em back, but you don’t get ’em back. You can learn from ’em as you go into the next game, right?
One of the things that sticks out to me is, I want to say I think we were down by 11. We had two different series where we got ’em to third down, and we had ’em stopped. We missed tackles at the point of attack. We overran it, we didn’t take proper angles. We paid the price when the guy cut back on us, right? We weren’t in the right tackle angle.
Those are things that we’ll extract today, and we will actually drill those things to go back into it. Even though we drill ’em every day, we’ll change the drill to make it more realistically just like they saw in the game. We fix that. It’s not something that we just say, Hey, you got to do a better job of running inside-out. We muscle memory it.
We had him down several times. We had a couple of penalties that were unfortunate. Daniel is a guy that plays high by nature sometimes, but he is aggressive, he plays fast, relentless. The guy ducked a lot. When you play a ducker, sometimes he can duck outside, your hand can get caught. That’s what I saw on the tape. He certainly didn’t mean to do it on purpose.
Man, those are things that they can’t happen to you. They can’t happen. You’ve got to be able to get off the field against good teams when you can. It probably would have been a much different game had we been able to do that.
Q. You need everything clicking defensively? How important is it for Daniel to get more sacks, CFLs?
DAVID BEATY: It’s obviously very important, particularly when you got two guys of that type of capability. But, hey, I mean, my mom knows that she’s not going to just put one guy on Dorance Armstrong. She’s 88 years old. She’s not going to block him with one guy. She calls, tells me, They’re not going to block him with one guy, you know that, right?
Yeah, mom, we know that.
I’m being silly. But seriously, those guys are good players. They’re going to have a plan for those guys. It should benefit other guys, right? We’ve got to be collectively better on the other side at doing that. But we also have to do a better job of covering, you know, and not allowing the ball to be thrown on time. When you throw the ball on time, it’s hard to get there if you had nobody in front of you.
We’ve got to do a much better job of carrying routes that first to second level. We probably have a little bit too much air in that second to third level area. Not telling you anything you’re not seeing. I’m a coach, watching our film, I’m looking at the air between the second and third level. Let me get in there because there’s a lot of air in there. We know that. We’re going to try to compress that so we can knock the balls down, help our D-line get to the quarterback quicker.
Q. You have mentioned your secondary is young, are there discipline issues with their eyes because of their lack of experience?
DAVID BEATY: Man, there’s so much discipline involved. Discipline in football changes from year to year based on what offenses are big. Option, you got to have very sound eyes. We had to do a good job with this team last week because they were a big option team. Good eye control. They did a good job in play-action pass.
The problem is, in the old days, the tackle would pop up, and you knew it was a pass. Nowadays, it’s RPOs, run-pass options. It looks like the run. You got to fit for the run.
You’ve got to do a really good job of understanding when you’re in the run fit, when you’re not in the run fit, not letting your eyes go to the run fit if you’re not in it. You need to be covering your guy.
We had a mistake on the second touchdown by their tight end. Bryce (Torneden), he slid out, just lost his eyes on the tight end. We probably would have had the play killed. But he saw the option coming to him, he let his eyes leave. He had no responsibility there.
He’ll learn from it, but it doesn’t help us in that game, but it should help us moving forward.
Q. Does not having Isi have an effect like how you can use Daniel (Wise)?
DAVID BEATY: Luckily, fortunately, we actually have some depth in the D tackle area. We have J.J. Holmes who is a guy that really helps us, has played pretty good at times. He’s a guy when we keep him fresh, he’s pretty good. You have Jacky Dezir down there, playing pretty well. Isi is a guy that you love to have there because he’s a big A-gap body. Like that big old rear-end in there. DeeIsaac Davis. Daniel can play in there, can play out wide. We have some serviceable guys in there that can help us. A lot of years really devastate you, really devastate you. This year fortunately we got some capable bodies there.
Q. With Bryce, you say his learning experience wouldn’t help you in this game, but help you moving forward. How difficult is it for you to keep that patience knowing you want to win now? What would you say to KU fans in advising them to stay patient with the younger guys?
DAVID BEATY: Well, Bryce is going to be a really good football player. As you look at his game, you watch the whole body of work, you see that he actually played pretty good at times. He just hasn’t seen everything yet. I mean, that’s a very difficult play. The quarterback was sliding on outside zone. It was an outside zone fake. He did a great job of sliding, held it a long time.
That eye control will come. He’ll see it more and more and more. It will come. But as far as the patience when it comes to us with him, he wants to. He loves football, loves the game. Man, I’ll take 10 Bryces and we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. Because he cares, right? He’s actually really talented. He’s learning a lot of things in coverage. I’m seeing him improve week-to-week. He certainly wasn’t the main issue the other day. Obviously there were some mistakes he made.
From our fan standpoint, I would just say that we’ve got unbelievable fans. They’ve been patient. We certainly appreciate it. There’s no doubt about that. But the plan is a great plan. We believe in it. We know it will work. There’s no doubt in our mind.
We’ve got some young guys. We’re not going to use that as an excuse. You know what, we’ve got some young dudes. Probably 53% or more of our roster that we traveled with the other day were sophomores or juniors. Only three of them, three of those guys were redshirt juniors in Joe, guys like that. You’re talking about there’s a lot of youth there.
I would say that the future looks bright. The good thing is we’re 1-2. That’s where we’re at. There’s a bunch of teams out there that are 1-2. I would just say, Hey, listen, don’t make it more than it is. We got a great opportunity this Saturday against West Virginia. Show up, be there, bring five friends, let’s get after ’em.
Q. What is your scout? What do you see on tape from West Virginia?
DAVID BEATY: Speed, speed, speed. I mean, for years that university has been renowned for going down to Florida and getting a bunch of fast guys. They’ve continued to do that. They have really fast guys on the perimeter. Their receivers can really run. Their running back is really good, the Crawford kid. Like him a lot. Will Grier, really talented player. No doubt why he was one of the best players in the country coming out of high school. I think he’s been Player of the Week a couple times already in the Big 12. He can spin it. Got different arm angles he can do it with.
They replaced a few guys on the offensive line. They’re coached by a really good football coach. That guy is as good of an offensive line coach as I’ve been around. They’re always going to run the ball well.
On the defensive side, Gibby is as good a coach as there is I think in the league when it comes to defending spread offense stuff. He’ll always be a challenge to coach against, plus he’s got a lot of fast guys over there. A little bit of youth, new starters. They lost a bunch from last year. You really wouldn’t notice it on tape so far.
We obviously have a great challenge ahead of us. But there’s some matchups that we like, which are good. We’ll have a great game plan put together, which we’re putting the finishing touches on it now, we’ll be ready to go out and practice in a few minutes.
Q. What has Zach Hannon brought to the offensive line?
DAVID BEATY: He’s brought a level of maturity to our locker room. He’s also brought a different perspective. I mean, those guys that come from different universities, when they come in, it’s funny. We haven’t had a single guy come in here and say negative things about their past experience, which I love that. That means we got the right ones if we brought ’em in here, right? They all are very positive about their experience. He’s no different than that.
He loved Coach Riley. He loved his time at Nebraska. He graduated. He’s got a child, is married. He’s a real serious guy, real serious about his craft. But having him in that locker room and really being able to speak truth into guys about how good they really have it here, what a phenomenal place this place is.
I hear Zach all the time talking about our guys. Listen, our assistant AD, Sean Lester, our athletic director, man, those guys being around, that ain’t normal. For those guys to do all the things they do for us. Zach has been great for us to help our guys understand how good they have it. It’s a good place here. Really good place.
Q. Now that you’ve seen Tovi and Hannon in a game, do you like them moving forward?
DAVID BEATY: I love Tovi. That dude is strong. He’ll rip the chairs from the wall. He’s only going to get better. He moves people, which is good. Very strong guy. Man, you pop into that offensive line room, he has his book in there that he’s been writing in since day one. It is full of notes. He’s serious. He writes everything down. He loves the game, which is really, really good.
It’s going to be great competition for him with Jayson, ’cause now they’re going to push each other. Really like that guy.
Zach Hannon, probably not as talented as some of the guys we have over there. He’s savvy. He’s been around a while. To me he’s a great example. He got beat a couple times the other day. For the most part he keeps himself out of trouble. He’s not as fast as some of those other dudes, but he’s pretty smart on how he moves his body around. Been around the game for a while.
Q. Do you like Carter (Stanley) in these short-yard situations? Saw that at Ohio. That versatility.
DAVID BEATY: We utilized him in that situation, but we liked him in all the situations. We actually like him everywhere. We have an even bigger package for him this week.
Hey, man, listen. It is what it is. When we got behind by 18, it throws a few packages off your list for a while. Unfortunately that affected him. We would have loved to have seen him a little bit more the other day. What we have in him, plan for him, is going to be very helpful for us. I thought what he did do when he went in there was very positive. He did a nice of job really straining to get that first down. No hesitation to him, seeing him going in there and doing that. The thing I love about Carter, this dude has been unbelievable on the sideline. He was a starter here last year. He beat Texas. Came in with a lot of accolades and hopes about coming in and being the starter. For him to handle himself the way he has, I cannot be more impressed with him. He’s not satisfied. He wants to play. He also wants to win.
Very, very impressed with Carter Stanley. He’s going to get on the field a lot more for us, no doubt about it.
Thanks a lot, y’all. Have a good day.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports