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Kansas Spring Game at 1PM Today

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Update: Today's the day.  Format update in the post.  Not sure if there is a live feed or not, working on that.  Several new visitors added to the list.  Some recruits, some incoming players for next year.  Either way the mix can't hurt.  Should be a fun day in Lawrence, take advantage if you can.

Today we sit about a day away from the first Kansas spring game of the Turner Gill era.  My original intention was to do a bit of a preview, but it occurred to me that it won't be all that different from the original spring previews from a few weeks ago. 

Kansas spring football has been about getting better.  There haven't been decisions made in terms of starters, there isn't a depth chart and the competition is stiff but for the most part very positive and upbeat. 

Talk to any player right now and the overwhelming theme seems to be, "right now we're just focused on getting better as a team and not worried about who's ahead of who, it's all about improving every day."

Now from a fans perspective those general statements make things a little trickier to assess, but tomorrow anyone who wants will get a chance to draw their own conclusions can head over to Memorial Stadium. 

Today on Rock Chalk Talk however, we'll discuss some tidbits and opinions from the inside, spring visitors and hopefully a little about the spring game format.  This is a working document and I'll be updating throughout the day as I'm able to gather more info.  For now we'll kick this off with a running list of spring game visitors.

Initial plans are to have both KC and Warden at the game, so use this thread to discuss things you are looking for?  Questions you have and thoughts or opinions on what you're hearing after a month of spring football under Turner Gill.

All that said...let's get to the talk surrounding the game and the team as spring ball 2010 wraps up. 

Confirmed Spring Visitors
Keeston Terry Phil Ford Tyler Lockett Ben Heeney Matt Marler Jordan McCallister
Dexter McDonald Lucas Powell Boomer Mays Dan Tapko Travis Bodenstein Cooper Kerns
Jordan Nubine Nico Ornelas Brandon Bourbon Ricki Herod Jeremiah Edwards Bubba Starling
Darrian Miller Cale Sharp
Bernard Thomas
Jamal Brown


Also for some perspective it's interesting to note the broad approach to recruiting by Turner Gill and his staff early on.  Most of the visitors will be local, but offers are much more widespread than in years past.

Area Offers

29 Offers

Florida 11 Offers
Big 10 Country IL/OH 9 Offers
Other Big 12 States NE/CO/IA/OK 8 Offers
KS/MO 6 Offers
SEC Country - Ark/TN 4 Offers
Arizona 3 Offers
Northeast 3 Offers


UPDATE #1 - QB Battle

During the previews the belief was that Kale Pick was the guy to beat.  Headed into the spring game and a long summer it appears to be a tossup between Pick and Webb.  At this point some players have even gone so far as to say they think Webb will win out.

Others aren't sure it's so cut and dry and truthfully feel pretty comfortable either way.  Neither are perfect, both have made mistakes, but at the same time both have looked VERY good at times and made plays with their arms and with their feet. 

Look for the QB battle to commence in August, looks like we've got some options here.  Definitely something to watch on Saturday.

UPDATE #2 - Offensive line adjustments?

One of the topics of conversation here has been how the offensive line will adjust from an almost exclusively passing offense to a more traditional run blocking set and situations.

From what I've been able to gather, this is definitely a work in progress.  Some of us have felt that the transition would be easy because we had such a strong group returning.  Doesn't appear that is the case. 

Going from a standup, two point, run block out of the a three point, power off the snap run block is taking some time to adjust to.  The continuity at the position is helping but it's FAR from a finished product.  Look for this to be a continued area to watch come August as the team prepares for the season.

The only plus here is that some players feel like this could have as much to do with the defensive line's improvement as it does with the offensive line's growing pains.

UPDATE #3 - Defensive line a strength? and two more Visitors added to the list.

As a side note to the offensive line discussion the big theme seems to be that the defensive line might be the reason for the perceived "work to be done".

From all accounts the front four have looked very solid and that's without the services of Jake Laptad.  Both Kevin Young and Quinton Woods are said to be looking very solid at end with Travis Stephens developing as well.

At defensive tackle, Jamal Greene, Darius Parish, Richard Johnson and Pat Dorsey were the four names listed as being very effective and disruptive at the tackle spot.  Could it be that we are in better shape across the front four than we first suspected?

UPDATE #4 - The Offense?

Ok so one of the million dollar questions is what will the offense look like.  In short, the answer depends.  During spring Kansas has employed a VAST variety of formations.  Anything from the traditional spread of recent years to a three tight end set. 

Quarterbacks will be under center much more than we've seen since the Reesing era began.  Tight ends and fullbacks will be more common, but the team isn't afraid to spread it out as they still have the weapons. 

Look for Biere to have a bigger impact. We saw glimpses of what he could do last year.  This coaching change has the opportunity to be a HUGE benefit to him.

All in all balance will be the word of the day.  The Jayhawks will have more of it, more options and looks and in general should have more ability to adjust in game to what's working.  With the offense last year we were somewhat stuck.  The goal is to have more bullets in the chamber going forward.

UPDATE #5 - Game Format

Allright, format update.  Today wil be split teams.  We won't be looking at a first team v second team scenario, it's going to be blended.  I like this much better than the alternative.  Think it gives us a better look.

There will be a 1st and 2nd quarter timed at 12 minute lengths with a 25 minute second half running clock.