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September 14, 2011Jayhawk Slant talked with Kansas defensive coordinator Vic Shealy on Wednesday about preparing for Georgia Tech and on developing some of the team's younger players.
Shealy on the injury update to Tunde Bakare Tunde did not do much today. He would like to do more but that's just the nature of the neck. There is nothing structurally wrong but there are enough things that need to settle down before another hit. They are getting him back. He is pretty ornery on the field and not talking to anybody which is a good thing in terms of the guy you have there. He will play Saturday but how much he plays we aren't sure yet.
Shealy on the backup at strongside linebacker It's Prinz Kande. We can do some other things to move some guys around and we have some ability to do that with the linebackers. We are adapting as if we may not have Tunde but we are keeping the door open so he can play. We will be wise not to play him every snap.
Shealy on preparing for Georgia Tech I thought yesterday we started just the basic components of their offense and put in our base coverage and structure and I thought it went good but not great, but it never goes great against the wishbone but today was a good day. We got our full plan in now. The thing is now is there is too much natural memorization going on. When you have so much to learn it is memorizing as opposed to knowing. We have to get through tomorrow where it is not a forced reaction. We are not there yet but we are better today than yesterday.
This offense is more than how much the coach knows the offense but how much the players can take on and that's the whole component. That's why we spent a day in August on it. On Sunday we usually go through corrective mistakes and we do some things where we worked heavily on scheme things we feel like would need to fix and repair but this week we forfeited all that and went straight to Tech on Sunday. We are trying to chip away at it but tomorrow needs to be a big day. You are coaching to kickoff against this offense.
Shealy on if it helped spending a day during fall camp preparing for Georgia Tech I would say so. The things you show back in August are the must stops. On Sunday, you put more speed and intensity to something they learned before. It was good and we were comfortable. What happens is you put in that base formation but they got a dozen different unbalanced sets and you have receivers that are eligible and in that set they can also become ineligible. It is a shell game in terms of eligibilities. There are little subtle keys and differences to those unbalances. What you don't want is a defensive back backpedaling a guy who is ineligible so you try to eliminate that. Nor do you want a guy who is committed to the running game and turns around and a guy runs right past him. That has already happened on film this year where guys aren't understanding ineligibles.
Part of the challenge is you look at last year, we have all the tape from last year, then you look at this year, and there are still things from six years at Air Force that we haven't seen yet. Even today I put something on the board and the coaches looked at me wondering where that came from and I was thinking of a '04 touchdown we gave up where they moved guys on and off. We went out there today and put in some of the abstract and unbalanced stuff in as a test to see how our guys would respond to it and we had to repeat some things so it didn't sound complicated but those are the things we have to work through. These are fun weeks. They are tough but fun because kids are bright eyed and bushy tailed and they are listening because they want to be good.
Shealy on the development of Ben Heeney We are so excited about Ben. He is playing great on special teams but if you look at where he is at right now, he is way ahead of the curve in terms of physical maturity and competitiveness. We are so excited about where he is at. What is so difficult for a freshman, he goes against his own offense and it takes him longer than an upperclassmen to get comfortable but after three weeks he starts to make plays at the same place. You talk about an unbelievable blitz guy, listen he will challenge Tunde for playing time next year. He is going to be a great player here, mark it down.
The problem now is we have a different gameplan each week and a different offense so it's how much can I dump that and compute back. The problem is everytime you dump something, the learning more difficult the next time because he can't forget some of the rules he had to learn with the previous gameplan. That's the hardest thing for a freshman. He is doing fine, but we are working through that part defensively but special teams he has more carryover because there isn't as much change week to week.
Shealy on the importance of developing guys during the bye week next week No question. You look at Ben Heeney, Collin Garrett, Victor Simmons and Michael Reynolds who we think are right there on the fence who could be beyond a special teams guy who can help us defensively. Those guys will get significant reps next week because there are a lot of guys who they are playing behind who are beat up. You look at Toben who is beat up so Michael Reynolds will get some reps next week because of that. Tunde is beat up so Heeney will get reps. That is the part that is exciting because our open date falls at a good time.
Shealy on Victor Simmons We are giving him quality reps during practice. We are not necessarily looking at making him a starter right now, what we are trying to do is finding out his capacity of learning. By getting him reps we are getting him on tape and when a player is on tape he will learn quicker. By sitting back and watching a rep you have a certain amount of learning but when you physically do it and being shot on tape and correct your mistakes, that accelerates learning. We are doing that but we aren't taking away reps to make Keeston Terry and Bradley McDougald better.
Shealy on Collin Garrett playing this year He is at that position where he is behind Steven Johnson and Huldon Tharp and both of those guys are good players. You want to have Collin ready, and you never want a situation where an injury occurs, but if something were to happen to Steve and Huldon that gets them out for a few weeks then Collin is the guy who will play. You are trying to get him better and get him on tape so he can learn but not at the expense of guys who are playing right now. We are a little fortunate that we have depth at linebacker than we did last year so sometimes those two's and three's are frustrated because they aren't playing as much but that is a good problem to have because it creates competition at practice.