Big 12 Coaches Teleconference: Week Five

Head Coach Turner Gill met with the media briefly Monday morning, and Phog.net was on hand to hear the Kansas coach discuss everything from the progress of Jordan Webb and the versatility of D.J. Beshears, to the challenges of road trips and the talents of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin.

On the progress of quarterback Jordan Webb:

I'm very pleased. The number one thing that stands out to me is he's taking care of the football. When you do that, whether your a first year quarterback starting or a fourth year quarterback starting, that is very pleasing. I think that always gives you a chance to be successful offensively. I think he has shown good poise. He's throwing the ball fairly well and he just keeps getting better on his decisions. So I think, again, he's doing some good things and has good leadership skills, too.

I think his best asset will probably be throwing the football, but he will take off running and has not great speed, has good movability being able to do things out of the pocket and he will take off running.

On Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin:

He's very athletic, and he can definitely make some plays both with his arm and legs. When you have a guy who can do both of those things, then it puts a pretty good stress on your defense.

On the versatility of D.J. Beshears:

Well, I think each week we try to expand a little bit more with him, being able to play receiver and playing running back for us. I think he's a very talented young man. he's only a sophomore, but he's definitely shown that he can do some things when he has the ball in his hands.

We're just trying to find all different ways to put him in different spots to get him a few touches where he can have a chance to make some big plays for us.

On the play of his safeties thus far:

Well, I think we definitely want to play the guys we feel are capable of making plays for us. I think we've got a solid group of guys, with those three or four or five guys. We're trying to get it down to playing maybe four guys. It all depends on the kind of defense that we're in.

I think Lubbock Smith is coming along pretty steady, really good. I think Olaitan Oguntodu is doing some good things, too. I think the other younger guys, as far as Keeston Terry and Prinze Kande, they're slowly coming along but I do like the progress that they're making. And I think each and every game all those guys are playing better.

Now once we get into the Big 12, we've got a lot more spread offenses coming up, so it's going to be better for those guys to be more productive for us.

On the progress of Toben Opurum at linebacker:

Each game I can see him continuing to progress. He's kind of learning on the fast track here, playing in the games. I know he's not going to be the dynamic player at this point in time, but I can see here in another year that he'll have some great skills and be an outstanding player for us. So he is continuing to improve and that's what we expect to happen over the next few weeks.

On what his young team learned on its first road trip, two weeks ago to Southern Mississippi:

I think they get an understanding of really how the environment is. You can talk about it and give them as much information as you can, but until you actually go through that process and go through a full trip – just even the travel part and the different dynamics of what you do and when you do it. You kind of go through that one time and now the the next time around you maybe become a little bit more relaxed about it.

So I think it will help our guys, now going on their second road trip. There's obviously about 20 guys we had that first time going on a road trip. That's part of the process, part of the growth and I think we'll be better off by having played a road game before.

On the team's progress in the first four weeks of the season:

I think I like the progress that's been made in the four games that we've played. It may not have been that we've won every game, but that doesn't mean you haven't had any progress. I think we have, and we actually know a little bit more about our football team, too.

I think that's the good thing about it. The guys continue to play hard, the execution is getting better and I think that's all you can ask for is continuing to get better and continuing to play at a fast pace, but also play with better execution. Again, each time we play I tell them you've gotta be better than what you were the previous game. That's the thing that we're trying to get accomplished.


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