Coach Snyder Discusses Start of Season

Kansas State held its weekly press conference on Tuesday, August 31 in the Big Eight Room of the Vanier Football Complex. Here are the comments from Head Bill Snyder as the Wildcats get ready to open the football season this weekend. With the return of only 11 Varsity starters from the defending Big 12 Championship Team, Competition at the Quarterback position as well as on the OL has been a fixture over both Spring and Fall practices.


Coach Snyder Discusses Depth Charts Moves, Starting Quarterback and the Departures of Chris Boggas and Travis Tripplet.

By Sean Kelly

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State held its weekly press conference on Tuesday, August 31 in the Big Eight Room of the Vanier Football Complex. Here are the comments from Head Bill Snyder as the Wildcats get ready to open the football season this weekend. With the return of only 11 Varsity starters from the defending Big 12 Championship Team, Competition at the Quarterback position as well as on the OL has been a fixture over both Spring and Fall practices.

Head coach Bill Snyder

On if there is something about the system that makes it difficult for young quarterbacks... "I'm sure it is more complex than some, but I would doubt that it's more complex than most. I would think that whatever the complexities are of playing the quarterback position at a young age at K-State are pretty similar to most other schools. I often hear about the complexities of our offense. I don't think our offense is any more complex than anyone else. It may be perceived that way, but I don't think that's true. I don't think you see a lot of other freshman quarterbacks across the country. I may be wrong about that, but I don't think that's the case. It's a unique position. It's not easy under the best of circumstances. I would suggest that for a young guy it is difficult to come right in and learn it. Maybe it would be better to compare our team to others that utilize their quarterback the way we do."

On the challenge of filling in for Chris Boggas and Travis Triplett...

"It doesn't change anything in regards to how we practice or what the focus is. It just means that if someone gets hurt or someone leaves, someone steps up and whoever is next in line gets their opportunities. That's the way we address this. You recognize and accept what the issues are and move on. The young guys deserve to be there and I think they are doing relatively well. It hasn't altered the way that we've practiced so far."

On if Boggas and Triplett's departure has slowed down the offensive progress...

"I can't honestly say that (it has slowed the progress down). I don't think you can ignore the fact that it is a little bit of an issue, but I don't think that it has slowed down or sped it up, or motivated us one way or another. We just go on."

On Allan Evridge...

"It's pretty hard to red shirt a number three quarterback. It could be somewhat of a difficult decision to make depending on how much experience you want him to have. It's hard to answer question of opportunity for him to be on the field. We will be prepared to make the decision about whether or not to use the red-shirt. In all likelihood, he will play. I think his grasp of what we are doing is a little ahead of what we thought it would be."

On the depth at wide receiver...

"I think the depth has sorted itself out, at least at this particular point in time. I think there's a balance of ability within that group that could lead you to believe that it could be an ever-changing depth chart in regards to who's at the top of the list. I think they are close enough in terms of performance, but it can be somewhat interchangeable."

On the freshmen offensive linemen in the two deep...

"I don't think there could be any way you couldn't play a number two young guy. They've practiced well. They have been in the mix from the very beginning. They've been good in running the offense, and they are in the right places at the right times. That's not easy for anyone, but especially for freshmen, it's a little bit more complex. I think they will continue to progress and keep working hard."

On whether redshirting offensive linemen is beneficial to the program...

"There is a yes and no answer to that. No, just because you would like to have them for that fifth year. But you have to ask yourself the question if you're going to be better in your first year or your fifth year. The obvious answer is that you will be better in your fifth year. With that being said, you'd like to have an opportunity to have as many years as you could. By the same token we have some seniors across our offensive line. The experience the younger guys will gain would be beneficial for the future as well."

On Western Kentucky...

"They're a good football team. If you look, they're a team coming off a national championship two years ago. There are six or seven guys that I have read about that are pre-season all-americans. We played them here two years ago and it was a high scoring ballgame. If you go back and look at that ballgame, we were 25 minutes into the ballgame before we scored our second touchdown. They have some capabilities. They are a different football team to a certain degree that we will see. Defensively, they do certain things consistently that we will see sporadically throughout the season. They will be a motivated football team, I don' t think there is any doubt about that. I think they are a balanced football team. Offensively, they have the capability to run it and throw it. From what I understand, they are putting in equal time to each
facet of the game."

PLAYER QUOTES

Sophomore Running Back Donnie Anders

On their readiness at the start of the season...

"I think we're pretty ready and I think we'll be a good team. We have a lot of young players, but we've worked really hard compared to a lot of teams, and we're going to have to because we're young and people are learning new positions. But I think we'll be ready this weekend."

On his camp so far...

"I've had a good camp so far. We had about four or five scrimmages as of lately, and I've been doing pretty well. I kind of changed up my running style a little bit, and getting to used to the offense a little more has helped me get better."

On moving up in the depth chart to number two behind Darren Sproles...

"I have surprised myself. I didn't think it would happen that quickly because I had been sitting at number three. But when those scrimmages came, I had something to prove to them, and I got better and better, and the coaches were really impressed so they moved me up to number two. My mindset has changed, I've been thinking about it a lot, when I go home in regards to my focus. I study a lot more, I watch a lot more, and make sure that when I'm out there I don't make any mistakes and am just as good as Darren. It's a little nerve wracking, but I'm ready for it, I've been working pretty hard to get to that point, and if it happens, it happens."

Senior Center Mike Johnson

On the freshman playing on the offensive line...

"We've got a lot of freshman in there stepping up, and they've been playing really well. We've had a couple of guys come up and contend for a number one position as starter. So they're picking everything up really well. Basically what I would tell them as they are going in is basically to relax, and not over think things. When you're a freshman, you get out there and you're so excited and you have so much adrenaline going, and you have more of a tendency to jump off sides, or make a simple mistake like that. And if they're just a little more relaxed about it out there and they know what they're doing, they're going to be just fine. That's the advice I would give them."

On the freshmen in the two-deep...

"They are rotating in with the starters. We have great talent over there. It's also amazing to see how they have picked everything up and progressed. They have been doing a great job as far as I'm concerned."

On inviting the incoming-freshmen to the offensive line...

"We don't give them any hazing except for the first day they are here. That's really just inviting them in to our team basically. We don't give them too much."

On playing the first game of the season...

"It gets kind of old when you're just hitting your teammates. It's going to be fun. They are a good ball team and they are going to come to play. It's that time of year and we are fired up and ready to go."

Sophomore Quarterback Allen Webb

On being number two on the depth chart behind Dylan Meier...

"I feel like I will still get a chance to play, at least that is what I would like. Although we're in a competition, Dylan is still my teammate and I wish the best for him. As long as he leads the team to victory, that's alright. I'll still be there if he goes down or whatever the case may be. I'll be prepared to take the team to victory also. He is just a real smart, talented guy, he's just been doing everything right and you can't knock him for that. But at the same time I just have to keep improving myself and just get better everyday."

On the wide receivers...

"I think all of our receivers can play. They attack the ball, and Davin (Dennis) is just an awesome player. Tony (Madison) is a big guy, and he has a nice vertical. So they're definitely guys that are going to get the ball."

On the progress he has made in regards to learning the play book...

"I made great strides in the spring, and I really feel comfortable with the play book now. I think the thing I have to improve on is maybe doing everything quicker at the line, based on the fact that you have the 25 second play clock right in front of you and that's going against you. I've been making great strides and I think I know it really well. But I always am learning more and getting better. I feel like this is a complex offense, and you could run a play in like nine different formations, it would be the same play. You could do so many things with the same play so it's pretty complex."

On the factors in his decision making at the line of scrimmage...

"You got to look at the defensive front and the secondary, and you have to keep the play in mind that you already called, and what fits the defense the best. And if it doesn't you have to audible and try to get your team in the best play."

Junior Punter/Wide Receiver Jesse Martinez

On the first game of the season...

"I'm really excited about the first game it's going to be my first time in front of a whole bunch of people, and the band and the fans. I came from a junior college, so I'm anxious and I can't wait. I've been doing this for a while now, so I'm not really scared. I'm just excited and happy to be out there playing and wearing purple. There is a lot of pressure that can build up, but I've been doing this for awhile and you can't really let it get to you. You just have to go out there like it's practice and do your thing and have fun."

On playing both punter and wide receiver...

"I've been working on both sides of the ball. I have been able to concentrate on receiving even with the responsibilities of punting."

On the wide receivers...

"It's real competitive. We have about 14 receivers for just three spots, sometimes four, depending on the formation. The competition will make us a better receiving core. Everyone has to practice hard and play hard because you never know when you could drop in the depth chart. There is spots to be gained every day."

Sophomore Quarterback Dylan Meier

On playing in the first game of the season...

"You just have to take it in stride. We are going to work to our strengths and stay away from our weaknesses. I think we are prepared."

On what his goal is for the game...

"I just want to keep getting better. As a quarterback, the bottom line is to keep getting better, make plays, and go out there and show what you can do."

On what his brother has shown him...

"He (Titans tight end Shad Meier) has showed me that all success comes from hard work. That guy worked as hard as he could, and, sure enough, he made it to the top level. That all came through hard work. That is what he has told me."

On being a leader for the team...

"I'm wanting to lead this team. As far as it being my team though, there are 130 guys out there and there are a lot of them that are going to go out there and help this team win."

Senior Tight End Brian Casey

On repeating as Big 12 North Champions...

"We will just have to take it one game at a time. Once we get to the Missouri game, if it is a big game, then we will have to keep the tradition up and try to do what we have done the last 11 years."

On his development as a tight end...

"Coach (Matt) Miller, my tight ends coach, said that I have the chance to be one of the best tight ends here. That is pretty remarkable considering the fact that I didn't even step on the field my first three years here. I finally got my chance last year when Thomas Hill got hurt at the end of the year, and made the most of it. Hopefully I can do the same things this year."

On his touchdown reception against Oklahoma last year in the Big 12 Championship...

"It was unbelievable. I had 20 or 30 family members there and I caught it right in front of the K-State section. At Fan Appreciation the other night, everyone in the autograph line told me that they remember the touchdown catch against Oklahoma. Growing up and watching Chiefs games there all the time, I will definitely remember that catch."

Sophomore Wide Receiver Yamon Figurs

On working on hand-eye coordination...

"I worked on that over the summer. It was just a lack of concentration on my part. I fixed my hand-eye coordination."

On picking up the playbook quickly...

"I come in every day about 30 minutes early and go over the playbook. Then I go out to practice and work on doing what I learned in the playbook out on the field. Antoine Polite and I work on the playbook together. He already knows it so when we are on the field, he helps me out. He shows me what to do in certain situations."

On playing at KSU Stadium for the first time...

"I don't know what emotion I'm going to feel yet. I haven't played in front of that many people before. I'll just have to see what happens."

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