Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
August 6, 2012On Monday defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and the defensive linemen talked with the media.
While a good portion of Sunday was spent installing the Jayhawk formation, most players agreed that the play of the day came when the team was practicing their red zone offense. The play came when quarterback Dayne Crist completed a three step drop and fired a pass on a slant route between defenders Tyler Patmon and Bradley McDougald to Kale Pick for a touchdown.
Williams healthy again
It's been a long recovery but defensive tackle John Williams is finally back on the field. After tearing his ACL early last season, Williams wasn't cleared by the medical staff until after spring practice. Williams was able to maintain his upper body strength during rehab and spent the summer regaining strength in his legs and hips.
Currently the biggest challenge is regaining his fundamentals such as hand placement and footwork.
"I feel like I have lost a lot of technique," Williams said. "Being out a year there is consequences so I am really trying to get back into the swing of things and go hard."
Williams has gained 10 pounds during his rehab which defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt thinks will help him with his endurance on the field.
"John has always practiced hard for me, that part I have never had a problem with.," Wyatt said."I think now though, he can be more productive over a longer period of time, because of the conditioning."
Playing with more depth
Last season the defensive line often struggled with fatigue from the lack of depth behind them and playing too many snaps. This season through an influx of new talent the coaches are hoping the first stringers will be able get more rest.
"In this league, with teams being so up tempo, you have to have as many guys as you can so you can keep everybody fresh and they can be productive," Wyatt said. "We are looking for a two-deep at every position."
One of those new players is defensive end Keon Stowers. Right now he is used a three technique and coaches are planning on using him in pass rush situations. Stowers said his goal for the summer was to stay under 300 pounds to keep his agility.
"He brings a work ethic and he comes to play in practice everyday," Wyatt said. "When I am up there talking with the group and putting in defenses I can just feel him burning a hole in the back of my head. He is just soaking everything up.
Another player who is in the mix at defensive tackle and is quietly having a strong camp is Kevin Young. He gained 10 pounds since last season and enjoys being back in a four down system compared to the 3-4 base defense from last year.
"Three down system is more of a lateral movement where four down is more vertical and attacking," Young said. "I like it better because you are more aggressive and can make plays."
Tavaii and McKinney
Kansas is still without defensive linemen Ty McKinney and Jordan Tavaii, but they are expected to arrive within the next week. Earlier, Charlie Weis said Tavaii's position on the defensive line will depend on where they need the most help. Wyatt said the team will make a decision when they see how much Tavaii weighs when he arrives on campus.
"I haven't seen him since his recruiting visit," Wyatt said. "He could weigh anywhere from 270 to 300 pounds. A lot of that will be determined by Jordan."
Buddy Wyatt Q&A:
Wyatt on Josh Williams:
"Josh is a very smart football player. A lot of that comes with the experience that he has, being a fifth-year guy. I think he brings the experience and some confidence to our meeting room. When we go out there on the field, you can hear him talking and making comments like, 'watch this, look out for this.' Those things have really helped our unit become better. I think Josh has helped Toben [Opurum], a little bit, to become a better leader. Toben is a good leader, but I think Josh has helped him as well."
Wyatt on Toben Opurum being more vocal:
"Toben has been more vocal this year. I think the team voting him as a captain has made him step up and say, 'my teammates are counting on me, so I need to do what I need to do, to help them be as good as we can be.'"