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October 3, 2012

Q&A with DeMontie Cross

Jayhawk Slant had a chance to catch up with linebackers coach DeMontie Cross after practice on Wednesday.

Cross on the return of Anthony McDonald …

He is still knocking off cobwebs. I mentioned to him that he has a couple of games under his belt but we needed him to play a little bit better. He is playing a little bit out of position but he is giving us everything he's got. We are trying to play the best guys and with Tharp going down the previous week he had to step in and play the WILL linebacker spot. His natural fit is the middle linebacker position.

Cross on Huldon Tharp healing up during the bye week …

He's had a chance to heal up and he is going out there and looking like himself a little more each day. With the time off you just have to get your timing back underneath you. You just have to trust that your rehab is going to push you through any aches and pains that you have. He's done a good job of rehabbing and getting himself ready.

Cross on which linebacker has improved the most …

The guy who has played the most has been Ben Heeney. He's gotten a little bit better each game. He's showing up and his tackles are going up and his grade has been going up. He has probably been the guy who has consistently gotten better. That's a guy who has played some really good football and he can do better.

Cross on which linebacker has been receiving the highest grade on defense …

Prinz Kande was, but then when he went down and Tharp went down, consistently it's been Ben.

Cross on Jake Love playing more games …

We're in the situation that we are going to play our guys. If you are in the two deep then we are going to play you. He's a guy we are trying to find a position and a role for. We like his physical play but he's got to get used to the speed of the game as well. Some things jumped out on him the last game that hopefully he will be better at this week.

Cross on the linebackers going up against a more physical style of team in Kansas State …

It's not the spread game and it should cater more to what we are. We like to pride ourselves on being a physical team. It should be a true test for us and Kansas State has been a physical team since I have know them.

Cross on how K-State's offensive philosophy has remained consistent through the years …

Coach Snyder is one heck of a coach. He has the utmost respect not just from us but anybody who has played. He has a great offensive mind and his kids believe in his system. He is going to find a way to attack you. We just have to understand that and trust in what we practice and what we do.

Cross on the progress of filling the injured Prinz Kande's spot on the field …

It was a tough loss because he backed up two positions. That's been a void that we have tried to replace because some of the guys that we have moved in are one position guys. That's been tough to replace but guys keep moving and plugging along and they have been doing everything that has been asked of them. I am excited about the guys this weekend and what they have done so far.


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