Beaty previews game against No. 3/5 Oklahoma at weekly presser
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty spoke with the media on Tuesday at his weekly press conference, previewing the Jayhawks’ upcoming game against No. 3/5 Oklahoma
A video of the press conference can be seen on the Kansas Football Facebook Page and a transcript is below.
DAVID BEATY: All right. Let’s just get started with just an update on some of the folks that are not going to be able to finish the season with us because of injury. Physical game last week. Tyler Patrick is not going to be with us for the rest of this season. He’ll undergo a procedure tomorrow to help him get back on his feet and ready to go. But we do anticipate him making a full recovery, which will be great. (Jeremiah) Booker underwent a procedure this morning. He’s going to be out for the remainder of the season as well.
Quan Hampton is going to go ahead and take care of the situation with him, get his procedure taken care of, get that out of the way. That will cause him to not be able to play in the remaining two games. Shak (Shakial) Taylor also will be a guy that will be out for the last two games. But other than that, we anticipate that we’ll have the other ones available this week.
So we’ll see how the rest of the practices go this week, but just to give you a little update on those guys. Just a little bit about last week, that was a good defense that we played going into that game. You know, that was one of those situations going into it that you’ve got to do a really good job offensively of making sure that you take advantage of your positives and your strengths to be able to create some things. And I thought we played with them for the majority of the game.
Statistically, did some decent things. We just needed to capitalize on the opportunities that we created, and we’ll keep working towards getting that done. We’ve got everything to gain this week. Lots of opportunity.
It is a very motivating week for our players. They’re excited about the opportunity. They’re back home. It’s going to be Senior Day. We’re going to celebrate 8 to 9 guys out there on the field Saturday that have given a lot to this university and their families. The so we’re excited about that, for sure.
But it’s a really, really big stage. This is a terrific football team that’s coming in, and we’ve got a great opportunity. We’ve got a really great opportunity, and our guys are excited, encouraged and confident heading into Saturday. So excited about that.
Last week, I was really proud of our guys. Going into that game, just understanding what the focus was, and really bouncing back from a subpar performance the week before. We did not get the job done and finish it up, but I think there were definitely a few things that we can point to to say, look, if we just tighten that margin of error a little bit, look what happens here. So there are some things that we can draw from, for sure.
I thought our fight was outstanding. The pride those guys displayed defensively out there, I thought was outstanding. They played good enough to win. We gave — our defense was on a short field for the majority of those scores. I want to say it was less than 75, 80 yards they had to travel between several of those scores. The which, if we can eliminate that and make them go the long way, you’ve got to feel good about the future as it goes forward from there.
I think Coach Bowen has done a terrific job of stabilizing our defense over the last few weeks, and our guys continue to play well over there on that side of the ball.
Offensively, we did some good things the other day. Not enough, but some good things. We’ve got to make sure we make the corrections this week going into this game, because we’re going to be playing another really, really good football team. The.
Carter (Stanley), I can’t say enough about this kid’s toughness and how it permeates throughout our team. He’s not playing mistake-free, but his play inspires us, and that’s something that you look for in your quarterback. I say it all the time, fortune favors the bold, and that boy is certainly bold. He is a very tough individual, and I wasn’t joking when I said he was bleeding from just about every part of his body the other day. He just literally, he’s just got a toughness about him. I like that kid a lot.
So I know there’s going to be a lot of things that you guys have questions about, but just wanted to kind of touch base on some of the things that we just came from, and the things we’re looking forward to. They’ve got some great players, and I know we’ll get into that with the questions today. All right. Ladies first, today.
Q. What was the first impression of Ben Johnson, and what will you remember most about him?
DAVID BEATY: I remember walking into that school over there, Basehor Linwood, and seeing him and going, okay, that’s what they look like. That’s what they look like. And he did so many things over there for those guys that you knew he was a versatile guy. This guy’s a 6’4″, 260, 265-pound kid that, I mean, if he continues doing what he’s doing, I think he’s got a real chance to be playing on Sundays next year.
So, terrific guy. Love him to death, love his family. They’re great. You know, it’s going to be a big day for him, because he’s been here for about 37 years it feels like, which we wish we had another year for him, but he’s been here for a while. So I know Saturday will be emotional for him.
My first impression was, yep, that’s what they look like. And I think he has a real chance to keep playing.
Q. Where were you working when you first saw him?
DAVID BEATY: I was here at Kansas.
Q. So he was pretty young there?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I had just left. I started recruiting and then I just left from here and had taken off to A&M. So I had been recruiting him that entire year. That was my area right in that area up towards Highland back in the day.
Q. How do you think the secondary held up? Obviously, there was no Mike Lee, no Shak Taylor, but seemed like the other guys were able to handle it?
DAVID BEATY: I think we’re getting better back there. I really do. I’ve seen him improving, I’ve seen him get more confidence. Not having Shak Taylor out there was going to be a tell-tale sign for us to see how our team was going to respond. I think Kyle Mayberry played his rear end off. He really stuck out in a positive way the other day, which was very good to see. Julian Chandler came in there and caused a fumble. That is his first significant time in the ballgame, and played with some energy and some emotion, which was good to see. Because he’s a good, long, six-foot plus corner that you need to come on. So it was good to see him do that.
Shaq Richmond stepped in and took a number of snaps at the safety spot, and he did some good things. He didn’t play mistake-free, but he did some good things. We’ve got to keep bringing him along. But it will obviously be nice to be able to get Mike Lee back, and that will provide us some depth for sure back there.
But I thought Tyrone (Miller) did some good things the other day. He continues to play, probably, above his weight. It’s probably the best way to say it. Because he’s not a typical, built safety. He’s built more like a corner. He doesn’t hold a lot of weight, but, man, he’s been very durable for a guy that’s had to make as many tackles as he’s had.
Q. With Booker not being able to go the rest of the way, how encouraged are you by the glimpses you’ve seen from Evan Fairs? That he’s going to be able to embrace that next-man-up mentality?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, very encouraged. That’s been a competition all year, which has been really good to see. Saturday was kind of a breakout game we hope for Evan Fairs. He’s a guy that reminds me of a guy we had at A&M named Darrelle Walker who was just a dude who makes plays. Nobody really thought about him, but you look at the end of the season and he catches 51 balls. When the ball gets close to him, he typically makes the play.
Each passing day he’s getting stronger, which is great. I think him and CeeDee Lamb both went to school together. Man, can you imagine that receiving corps? My goodness. They had some cats.
But Evan is a very talented guy. He’s got a chance to be one of the more talented ones that we’ve been around. He had to get over those freshmen humps. Just takes a while for a few of them. But his dad’s an NFL guy. Played in the league for a number of years, Atlanta. Terrific family. His sister’s a big-time pro volleyball player, plays overseas. You go to their house and they’re going to play in a three on three hoop it up contest or something. They’re going to be competing. It’s a very competitive family.
It was good to see him come out the other day and make the plays that he did. He’s got really nice hands, smooth hands. The more he understands route running, I think he can get even better.
Q. Oklahoma has a lot in play including the College Football Playoff, trying to get to that point, does that make it even more difficult to potentially slow down their offense which is obviously pretty potent?
DAVID BEATY: I know this, that in college football you’re going to have a hard time going on to the field with a team that’s not motivated. It happens week in and week out. So from our standpoint, it won’t be any different in that regard. They obviously have a lot at stake, and I get that.
But the way we look at it, we have a lot at stake. We don’t worry about what other teams have, we worry about what we have to do to win the game. At the end of the day, it’s going to be about us. It’s going to be about how we execute, and how much we improve from last week to this week. If we can take care of the controllables, you know, then that gives you a chance to win in just about any game you’re in.
So we’re going to be at home, Senior Day, excited about that opportunity. You guys have heard me talk about their quarterback. I think he’s one of the best players — I mean, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around a bunch of them. But this kid is very, very talented. He’s one of them guys that he makes you turn the TV on. Whether you like him or not, you’re going to turn the TV on and see what he’s going to do this week. He’s just a talented guy. This guy’s arm strength, his feet, he runs like an all Big 12 running back. He’s got terrific change of direction, he’s got great vision, he’s strong.
I can’t count how many times people hit him right there out of bounds and they fall to the ground and he stays up. I mean, he is a very strong guy. Just a ridiculously quick release. Him and Coach Riley working together, boy, that’s a hard, hard combo. Those guys are really, really talented.
But he’s got guys around him. That Marquise Brown that flew under the radar recruiting-wise, he’s not very big, but he can fly. They’ve got another guy that people don’t talk about a whole lot is Mark Andrews, that dude is a monster. That tight end, he quietly catches 60, 70 balls a year, and he is a load. That’s a big dude. That’s an NFL prototype guy.
So they’ve got a bunch of pieces in place. Rodney Anderson, the running back, outstanding player from Katy, Texas. Their offensive line, I think they have maybe one of the best offensive line coaches in all of college football, Bill Bedenbaugh, what he does with these guys, how he recruits, he’s really good. Orlando Brown, freak. He is pretty much going to put a shadow over the stadium when he walks in. He’s that big of a human. And the rest of them, Bobby Evans, Eric Ren, Ben Powers, you know, he’s a Kansas product. Went to one of our JUCO’s here, but from Wichita. They’ve got some real players, man. They do a good job of amassing that talent.
Q. Were you interested in Powers?
DAVID BEATY: We were. When we got here, it was just a matter of could you get him, and obviously they could and we couldn’t. So we were interested in just about every offensive linemen because we only had four total. Let me recount that. Yeah, four total. That’s how many offensive linemen I had when we walked in the door, four. So we had to sign two to go through spring football.
The good news is both those guys started almost every game of their career. One was D’Andre Banks, and the other one Jayson Rhodes. For us to sign those two kids that late, and for those kids to play that much football for us, I’m really proud of our staff for the way they evaluated. Because it is hard to find somebody that can play that much for you.
Q. Coach, two years ago K.U. and Central Florida were the only winless teams in major college football, and you know where both programs stand now. Having been a former Conference USA coach, what is the difference between building in that conference and building in the Big 12?
DAVID BEATY: First of all, I’ll say this, Coach Frost is a terrific football coach. No secret to why they’re successful. He does a great job. He comes from a great staff, but you could see him being successful, period. You know what? It’s all football. I’ll tell you this, this is the finest football conference on the planet. This is a very, very difficult place. There is no doubt about that. But it’s no excuse.
We’re a Power Five team. So we should be able to attract Power Five players. I think it’s all relative, you know? He’s done a terrific job. He went in there and quickly changed the culture and did a great job of recruiting his state. I think he’s done a terrific job. I really do. I do think you might be comparing apples and oranges. It’s just those are very different leagues.
Q. When you say it’s all relative, what do you mean?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I mean, just look at the teams in the league and how you, in terms of the types of rosters that you have at those places, in terms of those places compared to the rosters that you have in the Big 12. The thing that we’ll never know is if you slide those teams over in the Big 12, how do they fare? You just don’t know. It’s a lot of talk, right? You don’t know. If you slide our teams over in Conference USA, how do they fare? I think that’s kind of where you guys do a good job of talking about all that stuff on the radio.
But for us, we know it comes down to playing. I know this, he does a terrific job, and if you’re trying to compare me and him, I mean, I’m not sure where you’re going. But he is really a good football coach, there is no doubt about it. We obviously have not had that level of success. So, I mean, I’m not sure if I can answer that question even more directly for you to help you a little bit.
But there is a lot of talent in that league. Top to bottom, what I remember, and that league has probably changed a lot, so in all fairness, I’m sure it’s changed a lot. I don’t coach in that league anymore, but the depth overall, there is a big difference in that, the overall depth. There is a very, very big difference in that, or at least there was when I was in the conference. But there are individually some terrific players.
Q. Lincoln Riley is in his first year as head coach at OU, you have his brother on your staff as quarterbacks coach. Do you see any similarities between Garrett and his brother?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, they look like twins. That might be the biggest similarity. Honestly, spent a number of years getting to know Lincoln and another guy that I’ve been trying to — I tried to get into the air raid with him a long time ago what I was at Rice. They had just gotten let go at Texas Tech. I had went to Rice as the offensive coordinator, and we took the school plane out there to Texas Tech and tried to get him and his wife to come to Houston and come coach with us and teach us how to run the air raid. I was going to be the coordinator. And I said, look, you can be the coordinator, I just want to learn it from you. We want to learn it from you. We wanted to learn what they were doing and how they were doing it.
He wound up getting the offensive coordinator job at East Carolina and the rest is history from there. But I have a ton of respect for him. Like I said, last night, the way I found out about his brother was he gave me about ten other names when I was looking for a specific guy in the last couple years. And finally, at the very end I said, look, is there anybody else, anybody else that is close to what you do? He’s like, well, there is this one guy. He’s like, well, it’s my brother. You know, he’s such a humble guy. He’s so reluctant, he didn’t want to seem like he was trying to help him in a way.
But he set us up and we got to meet. The more I got to talk to him, it was almost like I was talking to Lincoln. His brother’s going to be a fine, fine football coach. He’ll be just like his brother in terms of that. It will be fun to watch those guys.
They’re going to coach against each other some day across the sideline as head coaches. Lincoln is really, really good, and Garrett told me he taught him everything he knows. I don’t know if that’s true.
Q. Position coaches aspire to be coordinators. Coordinators want to be head coaches. How protective are head coaches in keeping their staffs together for continuity and consistency in the program?
DAVID BEATY: Right, I think there are a couple different schools of thought. I’ve been involved in both of those as an assistant, right? Mine is just different. I tell our guys when we hire you, listen, if you’ll come here and you’ll give us everything you’ve got, and you won’t have your own agenda, if you’ll leave those at home and if you’ll be a great staff guy, if you’ll be selfless, then I’ll help you do anything you want to do. Anything you want to do. My job is to help you get to where you want to go, whether it’s the next chair or to be able to be the head coach at some point. I want guys that aspire to be head coaches.
Not guys that just want to be, but guys that show it by earning it in the way that they prepare and work. Everybody wants to be something, but not everybody is willing to work for it. It’s not easy to get there. A lot of it comes down to opportunity. My thought is, listen, somebody had to help me. David Bailiff helped me, Kevin Sumlin helped me, Coach Mangino helped me. Somebody has to help you. Nobody gets anywhere by themselves.
For me to be a guy that would hold somebody down, I just couldn’t sleep with myself at night in that regard. But some people have different ways of looking at it. I just believe if you’re continuing to cultivate within your program, you should be able to plug and play and continue and look through your GAs, and all of your QCs and things like that, you should be able to develop a guy that you can slide in. If he’s really worth a salt, he’s going to be paying attention, and you ought not have to look outside your doors, if you don’t have to.
Q. The Chancellor’s statement yesterday, what’s that mean to you and your staff and players?
DAVID BEATY: It means a ton. The thing that sticks out to me the most is it’s right in line with what we’ve been talking about in our conversations in the previous weeks. I told you his vision is phenomenal. I love his leadership ability. The thing that I really appreciated about yesterday was it was unexpected. I certainly didn’t expect that. But what it does is it really helps the future of KU football. It helps us in recruiting.
Those things are things that help stabilize you when it comes to the message that you are talking about when you’re talking to kids when you’re out there on the road.
He’s been like that from the very time I met him. He understands where we’re at. He understands how we’re building it. It’s like he said, I love a phrase. He’s like, we’re the ones doing the work. You’re the ones doing the work. Understanding that is a perspective that not everybody gets to enjoy. So he gets that. But I think that was big for us.
Q. Was there any point earlier this year or even back to last year where before you signed your extension where you were maybe less certain about your future long-term here?
DAVID BEATY: I have never since I’ve been here felt unstable, uncertain, not one time. I have not. I just keep going back to when I got here. We talked about the plan and how you build that program. I talked at length about if you want this thing done overnight, I’m not your guy, because we’re trying to make it last forever. We’re trying to build something, right? So that time line is what it is. It just is what it is. We’d like it to be faster than it is and our fans certainly deserve it.
But the truth of the matter is that it’s going to take some time. I mean, we walked into a very great opportunity, but a situation that you had to address some things to be able to get to where you need to go. We’re right in the middle of that process. We just are. We’re right in the middle of the process. At no time through any of those days has Dr. Zinger been anything but unbelievably supportive.
Same thing with our new chancellor, same thing with our former chancellor, the vision, the vision that they have. I just really appreciate it.
Q. The past couple weeks some of your kids come from the state of Oklahoma and play OU this week and you talked about last week many of those Texas kids from UT, I imagine for these Oklahoma guys, it’s got to be pretty similar, same thing.
DAVID BEATY: I think it is. We’ve got a number of different kids. We’ve got a kicker that’s been phenomenal for us. Throughout the season, he’s a kid from a small town. Kyle Mayberry, an Oklahoma kid. Cole Moos that went to NEO, there are several of our guys that I know are going to be excited about playing at home in front of friends and family. They’ll be motivated. Very simply put. It’s going to be similar to last week with the guys that are from Texas that we’re playing with at Darrell K. Royal last week.
Q. Did you feel like you had a shot at (Amani) Bledsoe?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, I really felt like we had a great shot. I mean, at the end of the day I’d like to believe it came down to really us, Oklahoma, and maybe another one or so. But he was here a bunch. He was here — I bet that kid was here 50, 60 times over the years that I was here. Got to know his mom really well, his family, his brothers, his high school coach, dear friend of ours.
Man, just proud of him. He continues to do well over there. I told him the day he selected Oklahoma, I said, don’t look back. You do what you think is best for you, and I’m going to root for you every week but one. Unless your game is going to affect us, then we won’t root for you then (laughing).
Q. You referenced a lot of kind of just the long-term plan, the process. Do you feel like you’re on schedule, behind schedule at this juncture?
DAVID BEATY: We’re in the process and have been. I think I mentioned it several times. We are right in the middle of it. I think one of the major things for us was culture, and making sure that we get the right guys on our team, right? That they’re representing our university and the public right again, that we’re back there. That they’re representing our university right in the classroom. That they’re representing our university right on the field with a never-quit mentality. Those are all things that really needed to be fixed, right?
So those are a lot of things that had to be addressed. I’m proud of our guys for that. The culture, I think, is in a terrific place, which is why they play so hard, regardless of what the distractions may be. They play so hard because they believe. You know, we’re a work in progress. We’re going to continue to do what we’re doing. We’re going to continue to do what we’re doing with regard to our plan and how we’re building this thing. We soon will be enjoying the same things that some of these teams that are enjoying it right now with 46 juniors and seniors.
We’re going to have eight guys walk out there Saturday, eight seniors. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a team that’s had eight seniors walk out there.
Now listen, that’s not an excuse. That’s just the fact that that’s what we’ve got, right? You’d like to have that class somewhere to look around 25 to 27, 28, something like that. So when we get there, that will be a goal that we’ve reached. We want to be able to get there. So if we can get to the point where we’ve got 46 to 50 juniors and seniors when we get there, and that has to do with retaining players in your program. If you go back and look at the players we’ve brought here since I’ve been here, and you look at the retention, it’s pretty remarkable.
If you look at the junior college guys that we brought here, 22 of them, 22 of them. Of those 22, we’ve lost one, and we got the initial back on him. The rest of them, they’ve all played, and they’ve either graduated or they’re on track, which means we’re not bringing just an average guy in here. We’re doing what we said. We’re bringing in qualifiers, success-oriented guys that are helping us, right? They are helping us. Are they playing? Are they being productive for us, and are they graduating? So we’re not bringing people here that are not focused on success, right? So you know there are some things there that we’re proud of, but we’re just not there. We’re right in the middle of it.
Q. You only have one senior captain in Denzell Evans. What about him? Why was he chosen by his teammates to be a captain of this team this year?
DAVID BEATY: Well, he was, unfortunately, he was injured early in the year in fall camp, so he hasn’t even been able to play a whole — not even a down this year. It’s a shame for a kid. Transferred here from Arkansas and from the day he walked in the door, he brings a maturity. He’s kind of like an old man in there.
When Denzell speaks, people listen. For a guy that’s been injured the whole year, I’ve never had a player that’s been more connected to our team. I’ve never had a player that — I mean, he helps coach those players out there. He was like that when he was in that running back room, but he still has a very vocal voice with our team. He’s at everything. You would not think he’s not playing. You just wouldn’t think that.
His leadership, I think the big thing is he just tells you the truth. He’s like the papa that says, let me tell you how it really is. You can whine and moan, but this is how it really is. He’s a great one, man. I’m really excited that he’s stayed with us. He’s been great.
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