It's good to get back into the swing of things and good to have another week's worth of pullquotes. This week's press conference included HC Kliff Kingsbury, WR Bradley Marquez and DT Kerry Hyder (PDF). Kingsbury said that QB Michael Brewer hasn't been cleared, but he will start participating in some drills. QB Baker Mayfield continues to be the starter and Kingsbury said that Mayfield was a bit dinged up, but is healthy. Some of the hits that Mayfield has taken over the past few weeks have really been tough hits. He is going to have to learn to slide.
I've got links later in the post as well as videos, including coordinator videos, Sonny Cumbie and Matt Wallersted, and you really need to make sure and listen if you have time. They're both really good listens.
In any event, one of the interesting things is that Kansas head coach Charlie Weis and Kingsbury were on the same New England team and so they do have some history.
Q. What do you remember about Charlie Weis and how much of an impact, if any, did he have on your career?
COACH KINGSBURY: The first thing that jumps out is his work ethic. He'd spend the night up at the office and was up there at all hours. Obviously, a great quarterback mentor having worked with Tom Brady, always had great game plans. I thought he was one of the best game planners I've ever been around on a week-to-week basis. Learned a lot of X's and O's, and it was a really positive experience up there.
I'm not sure what to think of Weis, but I do think that he's as dedicated as a coach can be. I think he pours over film and I think he probably has a good football mind, but something is missing and I'm not sure what it is.
Next, Kingsbury is then asked about what his biggest concern is for Kansas.
Q. What is your biggest concern?
COACH KINGSBURY: You know, everything, really. I mean, with this team, especially offensively with young guys playing, you've got to be ready for everything. I think they're a lot more multiple on defense this year than they were last year. They've been holding people to a lot less points. So they're a much improved team than they were a year ago.
Of course it is everything. I do think that bye weeks are tough, on a coach and the players. Kingsbury talks about the fact that Kansas is multiple on defense, which means that they are giving teams multiple looks.
Here is the Michael Brewer question.
Q. How's Michael doing?
COACH KINGSBURY: He's good. He's good. He's not officially cleared yet, but we're going to start working him back into some drills and see how it goes.
Funny distinction here is that fans have been talking about going 7-0, namely me and some of the the beat writers, but really none of the players have done this other than ask questions about going 7-0 when asked by the media. This isn't something that they are actively talking about and if we learned anything this week in the topsy-turvy Big 12, it is that you don't take teams for granted.
Q. There have been, I guess, for a couple weeks now your fans have been talking about the potential for your team to start 7-0 before you go to Oklahoma because you play teams that aren't perceived to be contenders. How much urgency is there to take advantage of this portion of the schedule?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, we attack each and every week. We're not good enough to look ahead like that. I think you saw with Oklahoma State what can happen with this conference each and every week. So we're just trying to get better each week. Offensively we haven't played very well the last couple weeks, and we know that. That is kind of my main issue as the offensive coordinator, and defense has to keep improving and doing what they're doing.
Good to see the seniors step up and help motivate.
Q. How do you feel like you guys took advantage of the off week? Do you like the results you got from this last week in practice?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I thought it was good. It's always a little tough getting them to up to practice in a bye week. But I thought the seniors stepped it up, had good leadership out there and got things accomplished.
There are a couple of questions about Mayfield, especially one about what types of throws that Mayfield likes and that Kingsbury and Mayfield probably aren't sure what he does like. In any event, here's Kingsbury talking about how Mayfield is fully healthy now.
Q. Will you talk about the decision to go with Baker Mayfield, please?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, we're 4-0 with him as a starter, and that's really where we're at. So we'll let him cut it loose and see. I think he's healthy for the first time in about three weeks, completely healthy, and has looked really sharp in practice. So we're excited to see him play.
Maybe the question I liked the best, which is that someone asked Kingsbury about players getting a cash stipend and he's made it clear that he's not in favor or paying players, that he wants to keep things as amateur as possible, which I agree with. In any event, Kingsbury is fine giving players more things that can help them that the school provides like meals or housing.
Q. What do you think, do you take players more on scholarship or something in addition to scholarship?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think obviously I'm pro player on this. But I like to help them out as much as we can without making it a professional type level, if that makes sense. If you added more meals or paid for other things that are more living expenses, but as far as giving them straight cash, I think you could end up being in the same problems as we are right now.
Up next are the players, Marquez and Hyder. Please note the length of answers that Marquez provides in comparison to Hyder. I love how they keep dragging out Hyder as I am guessing this is not his favorite thing to do.
Q. Bradley, could you talk about what you guys accomplished offensively in this bye week this week?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ: Just each and every day we practice just getting better. We didn't change anything, but try to keep the same schedule and do the same things we were in the weeks before. But definitely getting some rest was big for us. But just continue to work on everything as an offensive. We haven't clicked like we want to thus far throughout the season, so we're definitely looking forward to getting all of that together pretty soon.
Both Kingsbury and Marquez talked about how the offense just isn't good enough, and it's true, they haven't been good enough. I think they can be better. I also liked the next question about what he and the other receivers can do to help the quarterbacks.
Q. What can you do to help the quarterback? Is it about limiting those mistakes that you talk about, or do you feel like you guys are doing enough to help whether it's Mayfield or Webb in there to do what they need to do to be successful?
So if we minimize those things, I feel like it will help those guys and help our team as a whole and our offense to keep rolling and not shoot ourselves in the foot on these drives where we get all the way down to the red zone and not finish the way we want to. So I think that's just the biggest thing. They're not freshmen anymore. They've played four games, so they'll be ready. They're maturing throughout the season. So we're definitely excited about what's coming.
And Marquez also talks about what the seniors did to motivate the team in a bye week.
Q. Coach Kingsbury said the seniors stepped up this past week and showed some leadership. Can you enlighten us on what happened and what occurred? Did somebody say something that sparked that?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ: I just think as a whole it's maybe been different than in years past with bye weeks where guys kind of just let up and kind of take the week off basically the entire week. We still had to focus and practice and had things to do in our bye week. That's where the seniors stepped up and they controlled it, just kept practice as normal as possible and kept the energy up, even knowing that we did not have a game Saturday that we had to keep that energy and bring that focus and the intensity to practice to get that extra week in. I think that's where seniors stepped up was just getting us going and not taking the week off like maybe had been done in years past.
@sigh@ taking an entire week off in previous years @/sigh@. Hyder is up next and make no mistake that Hyder and the rest of the defense are going to be reminded all week about what happened last year.
Q. Can you talk about that Kansas run game that obviously they ran the ball pretty well against you guys last year?
KERRY HYDER: Yeah, I think it was 390 they ran for last year, and the coaches don't let us forget it. We've been thinking about it the past week, and it will not be a replay of last year. It's really X's and O's, because we were there to make the plays last year. We just might have fit a gap wrong or, you know, I felt like we didn't play as bad as it was on paper last year. We gave up some big runs, and you know, I think it was with three overtime game or something like that. There were a lot of extra yards on the end of that, but we're definitely going to have a better game plan going into this year.
Hyder also talks about how you can't take teams in the Big 12 for granted.
Q. What does it say about life on the road in the Big 12? It was a game Oklahoma State thought they should win, but it's tough to go on the road. It kind of sends a message this week you guys going to Kansas?
KERRY HYDER: Playing in the Big 12, I always felt any team can beat anybody on any day. I don't feel like we've got guaranteed wins nowhere. You've got to come out and play your best every week, and that's what we're going to do.
LINKS | Morning links:
- The LAJ has an article about yesteday's presser that focuses on trying to go 7-0 and also a notebook that mentions that RG Beau Carpenter is healthy and ready to go, but OLB Austin Stewart and SS J.J. Gaines are questionable.
- Texas Tech hosting Iowa St. next week is also set to kickoff at 11:00 am and will be on Fox Sports 1.
- The LAJ also talks with former Red Raider LB Michael Johnson, who likes what he sees for the defense.
- From the Kansas City Star, Weis talks a bit about Kingsbury.
ACTION | Press conference video and the last video are highlights from the first four games.
More from Viva The Matadors:
- Big 12 Roundup | WVU Upsets Oklahoma St.; OU Wins at Notre Dame; ISU Gets Win
- Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks | Game and TV Info; Opening Odds; Morning Links
- Sunday Funday Open Thread
- College Football Week 5 Game Day Thread and Schedule
- Texas Tech Morning Links | Soccer Beats ISU; Smith Inducted to UK HOF; Football Links