Montell Cozart Excited About New Kansas Offense
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Healthy, and ready to roll, Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart is all smiles as he has made his way back to the field after missing the final eight games of his junior season with a shoulder injury.
“It’s been fun being back out there,” said Cozart, a Kansas City, Missouri, native. “I missed eight games and it was tough. It is good to be back out on the field. I feel really good now. My shoulder is starting to get its strength back and I am feeling good physically.”
Cozart, who has started 11 games at quarterback for the Jayhawks, is excited about not only being back on the field, but also to be working closely with his head coach, David Beaty, on the newly implemented Air Raid offense.
“It has been really fun working with Coach Beaty,” said Cozart, who completed 66-of-105 passes for 752 yards and two touchdowns prior to his injury in 2015. “We meet with him all of the time and are starting to get a feel for him as a position coach, not just as our head coach. We have had a great time learning from him. He is a great coach, not just as a head coach, but he knows football. Me, being a quarterback, personally I feel great about it. I am learning on the fly all of the time. I am learning a lot as we go and its really fun.”
According to Beaty, the Air Raid is a quarterback-friendly offense. When he met with reporters Sunday evening he described it in these terms:
“Empowerment of the quarterback and him being able to take advantage of what he sees is a key factor in this offense,” said Beaty. “That’s the biggest difference you will see is we will utilize those guys’ minds more than what we have in the past. That is not to take away anything from any other system, but I am excited about how it fits our personnel and what I think we can do running it.”
Cozart agrees with his coach’s assessment of the new KU offense.
“We will spread out teams a little more and are going to utilize tempo to our advantage,” said Cozart. “The quarterback has a lot of freedom in this offense. Coach Beaty always harps on us having the answers to the test and being able to put our offense in a great position to be successful. It is definitely a fun offense. It puts a little more on the quarterback. It puts a little more on our shoulders. We all feel like we are accountable and reliable. After studying with Coach Beaty, we feel like we are starting to get a grasp of it and understand the defensive structure.”
Despite having just completed two practices working in the new offense, Cozart feels comfortable with its nuances as he has been studying the offense since the just after the 2015 campaign came to an end.
“We actually started working on it back in December,” said Cozart, who has thrown 101-straight passes without an interception. “After the season was over, we took a short break and then we started getting ready to gear up for this offense. We have been working on it for three months now and are starting to get the hang of it.”
Beaty, Cozart and the rest of the Jayhawks will hit the practice fields for the third spring practice Thursday afternoon, before going on hiatus for spring break.