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Archive for Friday, September 28, 2007

Jayhawks ready to enjoy day off

September 28, 2007

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Joe Mortensen is no expert on the art of fishing. But after Saturday, he might be ready for his own Sunday morning television show.

Mortensen, a junior linebacker on the Kansas University football team, is going to be getting away from football, if only for a day this weekend. With the Jayhawks idle on Saturday while college football plays on around them, Mortensen is meeting up with some of his home-grown teammates and heading to a nearby lake.

"They're teaching me how to fish," Mortensen said. "I'm a city guy."

The clique tentatively includes lineman Adrian Mayes, running back Jake Sharp, perhaps running back Brandon McAnderson and maybe a few others.

That's just one of the groups. KU players are going to spread out all over the place Saturday, if they do anything at all.

Offensive lineman Ryan Cantrell said he might go play some golf with long snapper Kayl Anderson, who celebrates a birthday this week.

"I'm going to relax," Cantrell said.

That's certainly encouraged, after KU finished a full week of practice Thursday. While it was different in the sense of having no opponent to prepare for, more than one player testified that the work this week was just as tough.

"They're intense, but we tend to be more technical about how we're doing things," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "We're more concerned about how we technically operate than we are about a game plan right now. There's a lot of drill work we pay attention to, there's a lot of things that are not 11-on-11."

With the week complete, the focus turns even more heavily toward Kansas State, KU's opponent Oct. 6. K-State plays Texas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and it's a good bet that several of the players and coaches will tune in.

"I'm sure it'll be on wherever we are," Cantrell said.

That includes Mangino, who dreads that he'll probably try to watch it as a football fan but undoubtedly analyze it through the mind of a coach.

"Guy threw a pass for a touchdown, and I'm watching the pass protection," Mangino quipped. "My wife will say 'There's a guy in the end zone holding the ball.'"

Of course, KU coaches will get the film from the KSU-Texas game on Sunday. Mangino, therefore, doesn't HAVE to watch the game live. And he may not.

"I'll probably spend most of it with my family," Mangino said of the off day. "Probably check in to some games, but if the wife and family want to do something, it's kind of their day. I'll do whatever they like."

Super answer. Especially if the wife reads the newspaper.

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