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Breaking Down Turner

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 Head Coach Turner Gill

 Opening Statement:

"This is the week of Colorado.  I am excited about this opportunity we have here.  I want to first start off on the positives we had last week.  I think we definitely improved as a football team.  I thought our coaching staff did a very good job of preparing our football team to play an improved football game. As for execution, I thought our players executed the game-plan better than we have in the past, particularly on defense. I thought we put better pressure on the quarterback which is something we have been talking about for weeks.  They also played physical. I thought our offense definitely played well as a unit with (quarterback) Quinn Mecham in his first start." 

"On to the opponent, Colorado. I think that Coach (Dan) Hawkins has a very athletic football team.  They are multiple on the offensive side, they do a lot of multiple groupings and formations, so we have to prepare for a lot of different things.  On defense, they kind of base on a 4-3 formation, but they also do a lot of man coverage.  They do a lot of press coverage. we have to prepare for press coverage to make sure our receivers can get off the line of scrimmage."

Finally, when Turner Gill talks positives I can actually take him a little bit seriously.  Say what you will about Iowa State or anything else surrounding this game, I do believe there were positives.  We were able to control the line of scrimmage for the majority of the first half, we applied pressure with the defensive front and we managed a lead at half with our 3rd string QB.

Now this week is ABSOLUTELY an opportunity but Colorado won't be easy.  Defensively they have a lot of athletes and they have two pretty solid corners.  The biggest challenge will be getting the offense going enough to support the defensive efforts.  If we can't move the football, I can't expect the D to remain motivated.  That's not the way things should be, but it's the way it is.

"We must have success early, we must play physical, and we must stay healthy.  I think those are the three things we need to continue, and the last thing is to improve as a football team.  The big question mark is Jordan Webb.  I think we just have to wait and see here as we go through the week how it will be with his shoulder and we will just take it kind of day-by-day and make a decision at some point."

"I also want to make a little bit of an update announcement on D.J. Marshall.  As most of you know he had a lymph disease and he is now cancer free.  He has been lifting weights and is also now doing minimal football activities.  It is really a great to see a smile on his face; it is really good to see a young man who has had a lot of tough times get better.  I am happy for him, but I am also happy for our football team as he continues to make progress."

Hmmm...I'll accept the early success as a must, but staying healthy?  That ship has sailed unfortunately.  I do think I like Coach Gill playing it close to the vest on Webb.  For my money, I'd bet he starts this Saturday. 

Secondly.  Great news for DJ Marshall, glad to hear all is well and he's even getting back into the swing of things.


On how the offensive scheme is molding:

"It is not totally where we would like it to be.  I think because of the inexperience of our quarterbacks, we are trying to see what we can do with them to be successful as far as making plays.  We are still trying to get that ironed out.  There is some other things we would like to do having a full back so I think next year we will be able to do that.  We have most of the offense in, but it's still not all of the things we want to do fully."

Reading between the lines, I'm further convinced that we're actually no where near where they'd like to be offensively.  This thing is simplified and conservative to the point where our coaches and players feel comfortable. 

Get these youngs guys some reps so we can open this things up in the offseason and I'm going to continue my declaration that Turner Gill's success or failure will ultimately be decided by his ability to RECRUIT a quarterback.  I know some want to say develop in hopes that Jordan Webb is that guy, and that would be nice but I'm just not sure.


On freshman wide receiver Erick McGriff:

"He is coming along in a steady way.  He is definitely a young guy who has some good skills, good size, good hands, and I think he is good in what we are trying to get accomplished.  When he has been called upon he has been able to be productive for us.  It is possible for him to get another start, it depends on what formation we are in."

Just another example of a guy who needs to be getting more reps down the stretch.  You want trial by fire?  Go into a stretch with OSU, Nebraska and Mizzou.  Those teams have athletes and that's what these guys need to compete against.


Senior defensive lineman Jake Laptad

On chances against Colorado:

"Really we are just trying to concentrate on ourselves getting better and we can not really look at our opponent and underestimate them.  I mean, first week, we obviously underestimated North Dakota State.  So we can't look at our opponent and their record and what they bring. We have to look at ourselves and get better week to week."

I'm sorry, nothing against Jake, but I certainly hope this team isn't underestimating ANYONE.  I don't care if we are playing KuGrad's powder puff team, we shouldn't be underestimating anyone.



Senior cornerback Chris Harris

On third quarter slides:

"When one thing happens, another mess up happens and little mistakes just keep happening.  We have to be able to overcome those.  They (Iowa State) did a good job of finding out and executing what we were doing on defense.  We tried to make the quarterback run and they figured out a good way to answer what we were doing."

I believe Chris Harris is a guy who knows how to win. I also believe he knows his team doesn't have the mental or physical stamina to do what he's asking.  I'm glad he's saying it and I respect him as a Jayhawk for his time at's a shame things have wound down the way they have for him.


Freshman wide receiver Erick McGriff

On attacking the ball in the air:

"I definitely like to go get the ball and catch the ball first and try to make a play after that. That's pretty much all I'm trying to do right now, catch the ball and then make plays for the team."

BOOM!  That's what Dezmon Briscoe was so good at.  That's what Kansas needs to help out a quarterback that isn't the next big arm stud.  A good receiving corps that has good size, comes back and attacks the football in the air and most importantly blocks down field.  Kansas has plenty of players that can fit this mold and I'm anxious to see them develop.


Halfback Angus Quigley

On playing a struggling Colorado team:

"It's a positive for us; it gives us a little bit of motivation. It's an opportunity to not be last in the Big 12 and it's exciting."

Hmmm...another head scratcher.  These guys are being asked questions as if they should be able to win?  Does no one realize that we are a near 10 point underdog?  I feel like we should have a little more of a chip on our shoulders headed into this one.


On trying to win a conference game:

"I remember my first year, we were 6-6 and we had some success. Things have kind of gone downhill and it's hard. I know everybody wants to blame Coach Gill and everybody has an opinion on things. We're really thin. You look at our depth chart, we're really thin. Guys are banged up, but we're not going to make excuses and we're going to show up to practice and work and do what we can."

Just thought this echoed what I think has been referenced by many this week.  Some of it certainly rests with coaching, but there is a very depleted, thin and inexperienced group trying to put it together on Saturday.