David Beaty is always happy to talk about his team, as he embarks in his first season as the Kansas coach. But, when it comes to expectations, he’s not one to lose sight of every detailed, as he attempts to rescue the program from a deep abyss, mired in futility.
Most prognosticators predict that the Jayhawks will struggle many games or any to be exact. However, that doesn’t phase Beaty, as he understands that this will be a process and that it won’t be a quick fix. The process will be in the many intricate details and the attention that is being paid.
“I've said that time and time again. Our deal is this: The way we're going to get to this is the focus is just getting a little bit better every day, and when we do that, it's going to be exciting to see kind of what the end result looks like,” Beaty said. “We've talked about earning things and we've talked about the talk being over now. It's about going out there and doing it.
“What we expect is we expect to give our fans, our stakeholders, our students, our administration, our coaches, our families, we expect to give them something they can be proud of, and the way that looks to me is being a very disciplined football team, a team that values possession, and a team that is ridiculously relentless on special teams, particularly those four core,” Beaty continued. “If we do those things, we feel like we can improve a lot faster than maybe we could without doing those things.”
Beaty said that he wants his team to be more competitive and “be in every game in the fourth quarter.”
“We want to be there in the fourth to give ourselves a chance to win,” he said. “And that's kind of what this summer was about was being there physically and being ready to make it through four quarters and pushing through some things that could be tough.”
Beaty talked about watching a replay of last year’s Cotton Bowl game between Baylor and Michigan State game to prove his point about being mentally and physically tough.
“I want to say (the Bears) were winning 41-21,” Beaty said. “A lot of teams quit right then. I think Michigan State came back and won that game (42-41). That was an unbelievable game. We've got to learn how to get into situations like that because all teams do. Even teams that win the national title get in some situations similar to that. We've got to learn how to be able to push through those things, to know that it's worth it to push through that momentary feeling of we just can't make it. 'Yeah, we can, and yes, we can,’ and that's how we've got to do it.”
That message has been a constant throughout the offseason and has been evident in workouts and under strength coach Je’Ney Jackson. The idea is that games later in the fall will be won in the spring and summer.
“So the focus has been very, very direct on how we get better. We talk about training and effort and attitude are a minimum expectation,” Beaty said. “You hear it said all the time. That's the price of admission. Those things are going to happen. We need to focus on how we get better and how do we become more competitive and be in every game in the fourth quarter because when we get to that point, you give yourself a chance to win. We want to be there in the fourth to give ourselves a chance to win. And that's kind of what this summer was about was being there physically and being ready to make it through four quarters and pushing through some things that could be tough.”