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Kansas Jayhawk Football Presser

This is a day late in all reality but traveling and catching up haven't been cooperating with me this week.  I figured better late than never and as starved as we all are for football, anything helps.

Kansas Football Quotes  Monday, April 25, 2011

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill...

On Monday's practice:

"I think today was a very good day.  We had great emotion and good enthusiasm.  The guys were talking a lot to each other and that is a big difference from what I saw last year is our players doing that.  Whether it is offensive players to offensive players or defensive players to defensive players, encouraging and talking to each other tells me that they understand what we are trying to get done.  We are moving forward as a football program.  We still have a long ways to go, but I like the way we are moving."

On last Wednesday's scrimmage:

"We had a pretty major scrimmage last week and I thought our guys did a lot of good things. Our offense did pretty well, but unfortunately the defense did not do as great of a job as they gave up eight touchdowns in about 14 series.  There was great enthusiasm and execution from an offensive standpoint and obviously the defense needs to learn how to respond, which they did a good job of today."

On running back Brandon Bourbon's injury:

"He will be out probably anywhere from six to eight weeks, but will definitely be ready to go here in the fall.  It is an unfortunate situation with his lower leg injury, but again he will fine and ready to go in the summer and no doubt he will be ready to go in the fall."

On the health of wide receiver Daymond Patterson:

"He is still limping a little bit, but we are not going to push it as far as getting more reps or those types of things.  We know what he can do based on last year's performance.  We will make the determination on whether he will play in the spring game probably on Friday, but as of right now I would say it is not likely."

On giving his team feedback on their performance during the spring:

"We have actually been giving the players a lot more feedback as far as how they have been doing each and every practice.  We grade them about everything, even their passion every day.  We talk about their alignments, assignments, technique and then how to finish, so every single day they are getting some grades."

On the format of the spring game:

"We will make a decision probably by Wednesday, but first we just have to see where we are going to be injury wise to really split it up to a true blue and white game.  I doubt it that we will do that because we are kind of limited, particularly in the defensive lines and tackles so we are really short there and don't want to risk it.  But by Wednesday we will decide whether it will be offense versus defense, which is probably the way in which it will go and then it is a matter of whether it will be one's against one's and two's against two's or one's against the two's and two's against the one's."

On his receiving corps:

"There are a lot of guys getting a lot of reps and opportunities to see if they can produce.  That is what we are all about.  We have talked about guys being able to make plays no matter what position you are."

On his team's excitement heading into the spring game:

"Our guys will be ready to play in front of our fans and give them a pre-season opportunity to see where we are at."

On the progress of his team's secondary:

"I think they have made some good progress and probably right now they are ahead of the situation as far as our defensive side of the ball goes.  I think our linebackers are coming into play and there are some guys on the D-Line too that are doing a good job but our secondary for the most part is playing pretty well."

On Huldon Tharp's return:

"It is good to see him getting a lot more reps.  We are monitoring that though, making sure he can last throughout the whole spring.  He is having a little bit of soreness so that is why we are watching him a little bit more, trying to make sure that we don't have him have a setback, but he is playing well and I think he is a good football player from what I have seen.  I hope that we can have him in our season and I think he will definitely help our football team in a great way."

On the pass rush of his front four on defense:

"Toben (Opurum) has definitely made a lot of strides, which is kind of what I expected.  I knew last year he was not probably going to a lot of things until later in the year, which I think he did, but now I think he is a lot more smooth in what he needs to do in terms of technique and coming out with a little bit more speed."

On any players who have surprised him this spring:

"(DE) Pat Lewandowski is someone that has been a surprise and has stepped up and made some good things happen as far as a pass rusher more from the inside than the outside.  (DT) Keba Agostinho has been very steady and has made some progress, so I would say those two guys from a pass rushing standpoint stood out from the D-Line."

On the one area that still concerns him heading into the spring game:

"We need to execute.  We want to execute obviously in a game situation for our guys being able to make plays and respond.  I want us to be able to do that, play fast and create turnovers on defense."


Player Quotes

Sophomore Safety Keeston Terry

On getting back into the flow of practice:

"Last year I hurt my PCL in my knee. I have been out for a while. Coming back it has been pretty good so far. I've made a lot of progress from last year and I've learned a lot more things than last year."

On watching the team struggle last season when he was unable to play due to injury:

"It was really tough not being able to go out there and perform--especially having the opportunity to maybe start because there were injuries at our position. It was definitely tough to watch them struggle all year."

 On when he first started practicing again after his injury:

"I did a couple of workouts before we went on winter break, but it was probably not until after winter break that I really started doing real conditioning."

On Kansas head coach Turner Gill saying that the secondary has made the most improvement so far this season:

"I definitely see that right now. We have a lot of young guys so we have a lot of room to grow, but we're definitely making great strides and doing great things out there."



Senior Tight End Tim Biere

On fellow senior tight end AJ Steward:

"He's moved around a lot and now he's finally found a home at the U-position. He's had a really good spring so far. He has a real chance to be a contributor this year."

 On freshman tight end Jimmay Mundine:

"Jimmay brings some athleticism and a little bit of excitement to the position. He'll catch the ball and you'll wonder what he's doing out there and then sometimes he'll make great plays and shake everyone and score touchdowns."

On what he hopes to achieve this season:

"I just hope to provide some leadership and have a strong year and get this team back to a bowl. I've been here for a while so going into my last season I should know what's going to go on out there and be really comfortable. I want to have a strong senior season."



Sophomore Wide Receiver Chris Omigie

On proving to the coaching staff that the receiving corps can make big plays:

"We talk about that a lot. Our thing this year is that we are trying to show the coaches that we have that ability to make big plays whenever they give us the chance. All we have to do is prove it to them in the upcoming spring game and keep doing our thing in practice. Hopefully they will get the message."

On where the responsibility for completing a big play falls:

"When it comes to a receiving stand point it always falls on the receiver. You can't blame a quarterback. If the ball is within your wing span you have to catch it. If you drop it you drop down, do 20 finger tip pushups, get up and run the same route again. You have to keep going at it until you perfect that play. Coach (David) Beaty is really good about pressing that on us and making sure that we stay on top of that and that we don't let one drop lead to four or five drops. We make that one drop makes us want to go back out there and call the same play and make the play."

On junior wide receiver Kale Pick:

"He's been real good. It has surprised me how good he has been. I already knew he would be decent because he's naturally athletic. He's really surprised me how good he came out. He's going to be a real key factor for the team."



Sophomore Linebacker Huldon Tharp

On returning to the field for the spring game:

"I can't wait for it. I just want to make plays and help the team out as much as I can and do whatever I can to help us improve on a 3-9 season."

On watching the team struggle last season:

"It was definitely tough watching that. It gives you a drive. You don't want to sit through a 3-9 season. I'm planning on making it to a bowl game the last three years I have. I know the rest of the team has the same kind of goal. Ultimately we want to win a Big 12 Championship."

On the team's injuries last season:

"There are plenty of guys that have been through injuries. Everyone is back on the right foot. I definitely think that everyone is going to be contributing this year--especially with the key players that we lost. Keeston (Terry) has been playing extremely sharp so I think we're set."