First, you can find the transcript in its entirety here.
I guess one of the first things that stuck out to me was that I was expecting to hear Kingsbury lament about how embarrassing that performance had been, like he had the past 4 games. But no, no mention of if he was embarrassed. The media jumped right in asking about the "disconnect" (I put that in quotes because he's been the one saying the team is doing so well in practice, which is closed, and nobody else has been able to see it to confirm).
Q. What specifically between practice and the game are you seeing that isn't connected?
COACH KINGSBURY: I would say the minimal mistakes that show up in the games aren't made in practice. I guess there is nervous energy, fundamental techniques aren't transferring from the practice field to the game field.
Kingsbury says he thinks the gap in practice and the game performances may be related to their techniques and fundamentals, but then when asked about how to fix it (TO PRACTICE TECHNIQUE AND FUNDAMENTALS), he says he doesn't know. He's asked specifically about the receivers this time about not playing up to their potential and he think it may have something to do with their youth. That, I can buy.
And then he was asked about the team psyche, if you will, about that "here we go again" feeling when things start to go wrong. Anybody else remember back to 2011 when you hear that phrase, because I sure did. And it makes you wonder if this team is dealing with attitude problems. And not "prima donna" attitude problems, but learning how to deal with adversity and fighting back, and winning. And if that's the case, how does one go about fixing that?
Q. Is this a "here we go again deal" when that happens?
COACH KINGSBURY: Felt that way. After that interception, I felt the air come out of the sidelines, which as a coach, you try to keep from happening. You want to be resilient, but it didn't feel that way.
And then he was asked about the offense's consistency issues. But again, he really doesn't offer up any ways he thinks he could fix this. And to me, just signals that we can expect more of the same going forward.
Q. Seems like at times the offense can score pretty effortlessly and other times it's tough. They can't get out out of their own way. What have you seen that's the difference between the two?
COACH KINGSBURY: I haven't figured that out, but that's how it looks to me as well. There is moments of greatness and then it looks like the Bad News Bears some of the times.
We have to be more consistent as a group and we haven't been at all. It's puzzling to me because in practice, I see positive things and we're just not doing it in the games.
Again this goes back to the discussion yesterday about the definition of insanity. If you keep doing the same things in practice, but expecting things to change in the game.
And then some reporter asked if he had thought about opening up the QB competition, basically asking if he's thought about starting Mahomes and we get a very short, "no, I'm not." Don't expect to see Webb get pulled for Mahomes anytime soon. I don't even think he's considering pulling him midgame for performance issues. I think he's hoping Webb will throw himself out of this slump, or whatever it is he's in. Kind of like leaving a basketball player in the game to shoot himself out of a slump, or a baseball player at the plate to get back in his groove.
And we hear that Morales is probably out this weekend against West Virginia with what he think is a knee sprain. MeestahRogers snark: Funny, because last week when the question of Webb's health was brought up at this part in the week, he had no idea...hmm.
Going back to the QB competition, he gave an interesting answer to why he's moving around the receivers. The same reason I think could be applied to switching up the QBs, but he doesn't see it that way. Just for the receivers.
Q. With all the switching that you guys are doing with the receivers, can you talk a little bit about that in terms of what's propagating that? Is that good for the guys, moving them from one spot to another?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, I don't think so. We're creating competition, and if those guys had created plays at those positions, they wouldn't be moving. That's what it comes down to.
We are trying to find the right combination of four or five guys that step up and take over. For the time being, not many of those guys are doing it, so we have to continue to push them. They have to grow up and continue to play more and get better.
For those concerned about him abandoning the run game, he said he stopped because they were down 31-7. That makes sense, but I felt he stopped running the ball much sooner than that point in the game.
Kingsbury also doesn't think Webb's shoulder affected his play. At all. And said it wasn't bothering him. And when he says things like this, and about creating competition with the receivers but not the QB, it seems there's a disconnect with the head coach. You can create competition with the receivers by moving them around and adjusting their playing time, but not the QB. I get that he probably doesn't think Mahomes offers the same chances of winning. I do. But when you've got a hurt QB who's not producing, making the same silly mental mistakes that we've seen him make in weeks past, maybe you do make a change, if only temporarily.
And one last thing before we move on the Webb's portion. There wasn't a microphone for this question, so I can't tell who's being referenced, but he says that someone with a shoulder injury will be out this week. And it's not Webb. MR note: it looks like that person is either Jordan Davis or Jah'shawn Johnson.
The first question and response from Webb didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. He just kept repeating "when we're on, we're on" in regard to offense consistency. Good one. And the he was asked about that first pick.
Q. The first drive, the first pick, did Bradley fall down or did you throw it in front of him?
DAVIS WEBB: Yeah, guy in my face, I rushed it a little bit. I haven't taken a lot of sacks this year, but I think I forced it because of that.
So noticing that, and it was a bad play. A good play by him. He had a one-handed catch, which is pretty good.
Given the chance to throw Marquez under the bus there (dumb wording from the reporter), he mentions that he has put pressure on himself to keep from getting sacked because he hasn't been except for that once in the Oklahoma State game where he was stripped. I think we would all agree that a sack would be preferable to forcing a ball into coverage there and it getting intercepted. But I guess it was good (to me) to hear that he's putting pressure on himself to remain upright. Maybe instead of forcing those throws, or even taking the sack, he throws it out of bounds.
And then there's mention of this mystical player-only meeting.
Q. Any idea why the adversity affects you guys so much? Seems like one bad thing and it's hard to regain the momentum you had.
DAVIS WEBB: We're going to hold a player-only meeting and discuss that. We kind of went dead, and this week when we were down just by 17 points, this program has come back by a lot more than that in recent years, throughout our history, and "here we go again" kind of feeling.
We're going to have a player-only meeting and we're going to discuss that.
Was there really reason to avoid answering this question? Jackson answers it later on in his portion. It's nothing earth-shattering. I guess I just don't understand him being cryptic here.
Q. What did you want to say in that meeting?
DAVIS WEBB: That's a player-only meeting.
Anyways, Davis is asked about the offense disconnect.
Q. How do you explain the disconnect from practice to the field, Davis?
DAVIS WEBB: I think our practices have been really, really good. We've gotten after it. We got the scripts, our game plan has been fine. It's just going out there and executing it.
We play a lot of young guys, the first time playing. That's not an excuse anymore. It's the fifth, sixth game of the year. That starts with me, the offensive line, the running backs, the receivers.
We know how good we can be. We can see it when we score on big drives and we hit little plays. We got to get better at the little things, routine plays, routine drives, routine plays and see what happens at the end.
It appears that it isn't just me that thinks working on the techniques and fundamentals would help.
If I hadn't seen it before, I certainly see it now. And I see that Kingsbury and Webb have an interesting relationship. It may have something to do with the QB exodus in the off season, but neither is critical of the other. And I get that it would be weird and/or pretentious for Webb to be critical of his coach, but you don't hear much criticism heaped on Webb. And it probably has something to do with not tearing down your players in public, but I found this interesting anyways.
Q. Have you and your teammates tired of hearing the coach saying, "It's on me" when you guys are the ones out there on the field?
DAVIS WEBB: Yeah, if anything it's on me. I tell the team every day, it's not Coach Kingsbury. He's the best offensive coordinator and best head coach in the nation. It's on our players.
He calls great plays and we just need to execute them better, and it starts with the quarterback and goes all the way down.
No one puts in the amount of work he does and we all know that. We all know how hard we works. We just got to execute better on Saturdays.
And maybe I'm coming into these press conferences expecting answers and I shouldn't be. I get irritated hearing the same canned responses, watching the team flounder.
He's asked about the mood in the locker room and what he said was interesting to me.
Q. What's the mood in the locker room these days? Frustration?
BRANDEN JACKSON: There is definitely a lot of frustration and frustration with each other, because we know a lot of times, we're killing ourselves. We played some good teams and teams that I give all the credit. I would never take away from a team in this game, coaches and things like that.
But we kill ourselves with penalties and not playing sound ball. We kind of try to take a note out of Coach Snyder's playbook, and we look up to Kansas State and appreciate the game of football and how they do it well and consistent and don't make mistakes. That's the level we're trying to get to.
Again, back to the perception that Kansas State doesn't commit penalties, when we're pretty sure they got the benefit of the doubt several times last weekend (not sour grapes, Tech would still have lost if those went their way). Perception is reality.
And he is asked about the player-only meeting and speaks up about it.
Q. (No microphone.)
BRANDEN JACKSON: The players, we would include the entire team and all I want to hear is that -- I don't want to hear anybody getting down and pointing fingers at each other and blaming each other, doubting ourselves. I want to hear a group that collectively knows we have the talent, that believes in ourselves like our coaches believe in us.
We're willing to play the rest of these seven games with the 100% and the best that we can to see what happens.
Q. Does this mean that you will be speaking in that meeting?
BRANDEN JACKSON: I will definitely make my voice heard.
Later on, he's asked about the team's reaction and reception to Coach Mike Smith.
Q. Branden, do you think the defense is doing better with the changes to Coach Smith and the things he's done and you guys are feeling more confident than you were a few weeks ago?
BRANDEN JACKSON: Honestly confidence has never been an issue with us. I think with the defense, it was trusting each other and getting people to know this isn't the team they played for last year, speaking of JUCO guys who are used to being a man and learn how to play for another person and learning personnel and things like that.
Coach Smith taking over wasn't too much up or down because he's been in our offense.
Coach Wally will always be missed. We loved that guy. But the defense is coming together and we're trying to get it together and be like a Raven's-type defense, a team that can hold the opponent to under 14, 17 points. Then we don't have to worry about offense having to light up the scoreboards.
And one more question about the progress of the defense.
Q. Last week, Coach Smith talked about getting better at defense. Do you feel like your base defense has made headway there? Feeling more comfortable in your base sets?
BRANDEN JACKSON: Definitely, I feel like our base defense, they're speaking numbers right now. I feel like we're getting more negative plays on first downs and then we're able to get more exotic and doing the fun things, like blitzing, confusing the offensive line, and getting after the quarterback.
I attribute that to Rika and the nose tackles working endlessly, and the defensive ends working their butts off to get better, knowing that the first down has to be a negative play if you want to be successful, if you want to get 'em behind the chains.