Photo By Steven Chapman

Choice Cuts from Texas Tech Spring Camp

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury and selected players, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes (pictured above), answered questions from the media after practice Thursday in Lubbock (Tex.).

Kliff Kingsbury on the Keys to Mahomes Reducing Turnovers: "I think it's just the speed of the game. Saturday he had two plays where the guys were covered and he threw it into the turf, and that's beautiful. That's what we're trying to get to. He has such ability to extend plays, make plays, sometimes that what he wants to do every play, but sometimes the defense wins and you play the next snap. That's what we really emphasize."

Kingsbury on Dylan Cantrell's Spring: "Yeah, he's done well. He's been a deep ball guy. You add Reg [Davis] and what he did last year with the touchdowns, and Derrick [Willies], JaDeion [High] and Tony [Brown], we'll be able to push the ball downfield a little more, so that's exciting. But yeah--that's what he's been doing all spring. If we throw him a deep ball there's a good chance he's gonna come down with it."

Kingsbury on the Competition between Cantrell and Davis: "It's been great. I'd say they're both having great springs. I think Reg has shown maturity, he's grown up a lot, and his practice habits, going full speed every rep. So it's good to see things click for him, he's like Jakeem [Grant] this year."

Kingsbury on Malik Jenkins: "He's probably the most improved player I've seen since I've been here throughout his career. He started out as a defensive end at Ennis and has really worked to become a stand-up type linebacker. Really, over bowl practices I felt like it clicked and he's picked that up through the spring. We've had him play all three positions so he's been a vital part of that defense, really looks good as a linebacker."

Kingsbury on Gary Moore: "It's been phenomenal. He could play receiver and he'd get some playing time; he's that athletic. His deal was always just understanding our system. Again, he didn't play a similar scheme in high school. He mainly played receiver so his development has been great this spring. He's locked in and focused, doing the best he's ever done in school, so just maturity level. It's kind of like Reg, and we've really seen it pick up."

Kingsbury on Special Teams: "It's been great. Coach Rob [Joe Robinson], just ask anybody, he's one of the most highly revered in the profession so that's what he wants to do, that his focus and his baby and it's been great. The players are focused. As far as kick returners, Keke Coutee is a dangerous guy, Cameron Batson is solid at punt returner, and then we'll mess around with some kick returners and we've got a lot of guys that can run, so we'll see what happens."

Kingsbury on Not Having to Worry about His Starting Quarterback for a Change: "I think more than anything just the dynamics of the team. You know there's just one leader and he's the guy. It helps everywhere. And at times I'm just trying to stay out of his way and not screw him up because he knows the system, he knows what I want, he knows what I'm trying to accomplish so he's taken a leadership role, he's stepped his work ethic up and that's definitely helped me as a head coach."

Kingsbury on the Satellite Camp Issue: "I know the result, so you haven't got that memo yet? I'll let you research that, Don [Williams]. Yeah, I know the result so y'all can work that out, alright?"

Keenon Ward on Reps at Safety: "Everybody is getting a lot of reps, which is good. Me and Jah'Shawn [Johnson] will go with the ones, but then they'll throw Payton Hendrix in there, Tevin Madison just rotating and getting everybody a lot of quality reps."

Ward on the Secondary's Play in Midland: "I felt like we kind of beat ourselves. We allowed too many big plays. We know that. We actually had a pretty good practice on Tuesday, which people don't see, but it's spring ball and practice is just like a scrimmage and I feel like we got better this week."

Ward on Giving up Easy Touchdowns in Midland: "It wasn't them beating us; it was completely us beating ourselves. We got graded hard and go yelled at on Sunday morning. But we got better this week and that's all that really matters."

Ward on Tevin Madison's Position: "He's going nickel, safety, he's all over the place. They're just trying to get him a lot of reps at a lot of different positions."

Pat Mahomes on KK Comparing Him to Aaron Rodgers: "It's awesome. Aaron Rodgers is my favorite quarterback. I watch all of his games and try to take a little of what he does and put it into my game, and being compared to him in any was is just an awesome thing."

Mahomes on Modeling His Own Game on Rodgers': "I play a little bit different but at the same time he's a guy that extends plays and makes a lot of throws across his body and on the run and that's a thing I do so I like to watch him and take some stuff from that."

Mahomes on How Not Playing Baseball Affects His Football Performance: "It helps a lot just focusing on football all the time. I'm getting extra time to watch film and just see the looks over and over again and not have baseball where I had my mind in two different things. That's helped a lot."

Mahomes on If He's More Rested This Spring: "Very much so. Still football workouts are a lot as a student-athlete, going to class and having football but at the same time last year I was going back and forth, baseball to football and football to baseball and going to class and that really kind of wore me down during the spring."

Malik Jenkins on Newcomers at Linebacker: "[Jonathan] Picone and Luke Stice, Luke Stice for sure. Just effort wise. He's always on the screen. It doesn't matter if he's from the back side he's always in the picture so that's really good. And Picone is downhill, hits hard. He just has to learn the system just like everybody else. He's going to be good at linebacker and so is Luke but Luke just has to learn faster because it's his last year."

Jenkins on More Blitzing This Year: "Not really. I just feel like with the defensive calls we get we just know what to do, we have a better feel for it, we're not just robots anymore we know what we've gotta do, we know how to mess with people, we know how to disguise and I feel like that's another good thing about us all playing together. It was kind of a learning year, so it's really cool all of us playing together this long and now we know what we've gotta do and we know how player plays."

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