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October 2, 2012Just because Kansas didn't have a game last week didn't mean that all was quiet around the football complex. From history lessons to massages to early morning practices, KU coaches and players kept themselves busy. A recap is in order to detail everything that went on.
The day after the Northern Illinois game was mostly a typical Sunday for the team. The team watched film from the game. The starters who played a lot of snaps ran extra sprints to get their bodies loosened up. Charlie Weis said the bye week allowed him to do a more in depth scouting report on K-State's personnel. We'll let him explain:
"See, what I did that you don't really have the time to do usually, is I went and did Kansas State's entire team. Like, I just went and watched the left guard. And then I met with the defense on Sunday. And I said 'Okay, here's the left guard. Is this who you're going against? This is who he is. This isn't just how tall he is. This isn't his name and his hometown. This isn't his status in school. This is who he is. Here is the left tackle. Okay, 6'9", 325 pounds, what can I tell you about him? What things can I tell you to get you better prepared to play against him?' So, it wasn't about scheme that I spent my time on."
The players had the day off. The offensive starters went and got their weekly massages. Word of advice to the players, don't expect reminders from your teammates as to when to show up.
"It's a 20 minute massage and if someone doesn't show then you get a 40 minute massage so you are always hoping that someone doesn't show up," Trevor Marrongelli said.
Tuesday & Wednesday:
These were probably the two toughest practices KU will have for the rest of the season. The starters practiced against each other at full speed. To raise the stakes even more, Weis pulled the red jerseys from the quarterbacks and made them live.
"I think that we have to get better playing physical football," Weis said. "That's part of teaching people how to finish, which has been one of our bigger problems, as is well documented. And I think there's only one way of doing it and that's old-fashioned football, it's beat 'em up."
And maybe the best part of the week for the coaches ...
"And there was also no media, so it was wonderful," Weis said.
The starters had the rest of the week off. The younger players however had to be at the stadium for a 5:45 am scrimmage. Quarterback Jake Heaps had a good practice and offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski also made progress from where he was during fall camp.
The team came in and worked with the strength staff. All the coaches were out on the road recruiting. A lot of them stopped at junior colleges. Weis pointed out that hitting the junior colleges is going to be a big emphasis in their recruiting philosophy going forward.
"As long as they want to come here and get a KU degree and help us win, and they're good citizens, bring them on," Weis said. "The more the merrier. So hop on that bus."
Players had the day off. Most of them spent the day like any other college student, sitting around on the couch watching college football.
"I tried to watch a lot of the games," Tanner Hawkinson said. "The West Virginia Baylor game was pretty impressive. I felt like I was watching a video game."
Weis gave the assistants the day off. He met with the offensive and defensive groups separately. He also took some time to educate the players on some of the finer points of the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry.
To Weis' credit, he dug deep into the history books. He talked to the team about the Peace Pact Trophy from the 1940's when the trophy was miniature bronze goal posts. Weis even explained why the 1910 game wasn't played - which was because the two schools couldn't agree on the outcome from the 1909 game.
It may not be at the level of Don Fambrough getting worked up about Quantrill and Missouri, but hey, you got to start somewhere. Not that Weis thinks his team needs much motivation this week.
"Well, let me tell you, we're 1-3. We're playing against our in-state rival, whose been owning you for the last three years. If we really need to motivate them, other than prod them, then we really have a serious problem. Now, you prod them, but it shouldn't take much prodding. I mean, it should be as plain as day. This should be as obvious as you could possibly see. So, I shouldn't have to be Ronald Reagan winning one for the Gipper."