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Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quarterback carousel: Juco transfer Mecham gets nod with Webb, Pick injured

Kansas University quarterback Quinn Mecham (8) works on taking snaps, alongside Jordan Webb (2), Jacob Morse (16) and Conner Teahan, far right, on April 19 at a spring practice at Memorial Stadium. Turner Gill has options but has not named a starting quarterback for the game against Colorado.

Kansas University quarterback Quinn Mecham (8) works on taking snaps, alongside Jordan Webb (2), Jacob Morse (16) and Conner Teahan, far right, on April 19 at a spring practice at Memorial Stadium. Turner Gill has options but has not named a starting quarterback for the game against Colorado.

October 27, 2010

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Though he’s taught plenty of X’s and O’s, go routes, fades, bubble screens and zone blocking schemes, there’s one piece of advice that Kansas University offensive coordinator Chuck Long thinks stands above everything else.

“I always tell guys, ‘You ought to get to know Quinn. He’s gonna be a millionaire someday,’” said Long of KU’s third-string quarterback, Quinn Mecham. “He’s like a double major in finance, he’s a straight-A student, he’s a sharp young man.”

He’s also penciled in as the Jayhawks’ starting quarterback for this weekend’s game at Iowa State.

KU coach Turner Gill said Tuesday that starter Jordan Webb is doubtful and backup Kale Pick is out for Saturday’s game.

The injuries — a shoulder issue for Webb and a concussion for Pick — have put Mecham in a position that can be interpreted in a couple of ways. The doomsday crowd might look at Mecham’s chance to start as the latest in a line of bad luck for the KU football program.

But those inside the KU locker room choose to look at it differently. They might not have been able to do so before Sunday’s practice, but Mecham impressed so much on Sunday that the Jayhawks seem to have serious faith in the junior-college transfer’s abilities.

“Just going by Sunday’s practice, he felt very comfortable back there,” Long said. “He brought a little juice to practice, to be quite honest. He has a great opportunity before him, and he practiced like it on Sunday.”

KU coach Turner Gill did not say who Mecham’s immediate backup would be. The most recent depth chart lists Webb as the No. 2 guy, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready. If he’s not, the Jayhawks could go with red-shirt freshman Christian Matthews, a former quarterback who has spent most of the season working as a wide receiver.

Matthews said Long told him to expect more work at quarterback this week. The mere thought brought a smile to Matthews’ face.

“I’ve still got that passion at quarterback,” he said. “So if I get the chance, I’m not gonna hold back.”

One thing that may prevent the KU coaching staff from using Matthews as much as they might like is a right shoulder injury he suffered a couple of weeks ago. Matthews, who did not play last week but did two weeks ago against Kansas State, said the shoulder would not be a problem.

“I don’t think I’d be able to feel it if I played,” he said. “So it’s the last thing I’m worried about right now.”

Regardless of which player is taking snaps, Gill said the change at quarterback won’t force KU to alter its offense.

“There’s going to be some simplification,” he said. “But we’re still going to run what we run. (Mecham) has played two years of college football. I like the way he gets the ball out. He has a good arm and I think he’s going to be able to do some things in a good way for us. He’s got a big smile on his face and he’s ready to go. He said, ‘Coach, I’m ready. I’m ready for this opportunity.’”

Despite his own excitement, Matthews said he believed in Mecham. Asked what he expected to see from the 6-foot-2, 207-pound junior this week, Matthews was quick to respond.

“Smart play for the most part,” he said. “He’s the smartest guy on the team. He’s always in the study room or the academic center, doing what he needs to do.”

Long said Mecham’s intelligence transfers to the field and is the one thing that makes the KU coaching staff feel good about preparing for battle with a third-stringer.

“As I said from the very beginning, this is something that’s still being worked out,” Long said. “He’s a very intelligent young man. He studies the game. He just hasn’t had the repetitions. But he’s been a very good backup.”

Comments

commuter 4 years, 2 months ago

Just think if Meacham leads KU to victory, would Gill start to look fr a QB who is majoring in business????

kueddie 4 years, 2 months ago

Turner Gill did not put the names on the jersey's for he wanted this to be a team effort. Well, the stadium announer mentions after each play "so and so made the catch or made the tackle". I would suggest talking to the announer an inform him that names are not to be mentioned period. After all why should the public now who is doing what. I have disagreed with Coach Gill from day one on this matter. Furthermore, as to the way the players are playing, take the numbers off and that way we can just root for KU Football and not individual players good or bad.

loyalforever 4 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't agree more. BTW, that photo cracks me up. Looks like a circus!! The last guy in line looks like he's about to get cracked in the head, even though I know that's not the ball he's trying to catch. Still funny.

gravitykills 4 years, 2 months ago

I caught that too. Funny stuff! Eddie, as for the names on the jerseys, it doesn't matter to players, at least it shouldn't. I played college ball and I never heard one player bitch about not having names on jerseys. No one cared and why should it matter. I could say the same if the coach decided to put the names on the jerseys. It doesn't matter. Seriously, who cares? If the response has anything to do with recruiting…. It’s BS. If that is what’s gonna land a player, you didn't need him. Your focus is skewed, eddie, maybe your missing the game.

phoggyjay 4 years, 2 months ago

Here's hoping Quinn turns this slump around!

JustNoticed 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh come on! Let's get rid of KU football. And just think how courageous and daring it would be to stop right now. I mean, just cancel the season now and put KU football to rest forever.

ranger73 4 years, 2 months ago

If KU got rid of football, we would not be allowed in the Big 12-2 anymore. So how courageous and daring do you want to be as a basketball independent? Or maybe in the Mo Valley? At least WSU and ESU could get a home on home series with KU BB then. And then who will be scheduling KU in BBall as a noncon opponent? Oh that's right, this is an academic school. We don't need any sports. Right.

Danimal 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm excited to see what Quinn has got in his toolbox. This is a guy who put up some serious passing yardage in JuCo. The offensive line is pretty banged up, so he may not get enough time to do anything, but I think if they can give him a couple seconds he's got a chance of making some plays. I honestly thought that Mecham would be the second stringer at the beginning of the season. I hope he gets the chance to stretch the field a little. The last time KU brought a 3rd string, straight A student that most people had never heard of it worked out pretty well. Of course this team isn't at the same place the 2006 team was.

Kevin Randell 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree Danimal. Let's see what this kid can do. He has had some time to learn the system, and see if some of that JUCO magic carries over. Also, on another note, I have kept my mouth shut, but I have had enough of this KU football/basketball divide. If you are a TRUE KU fan you will support ALL sports. But because so many are not on this board. I will be the first to say it. I HOPE the basketball team tanks this year. All the bad karma that has been built up by the one sport wonder fans on here, it will not surprise me.

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