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Cliff's Notes: Turner Gill press conference, 10/26/10
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas football coach Turner Gill's comments at his weekly press conference today.
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Receiver/running back D.J. Beshears has been removed from this week's depth chart. Also, as of now, Quinn Mecham is listed as the starter at quarterback, while Jordan Webb is the backup.
Full audio has been posted. • Gill started the press conference by delivering a message to the fans. He wants to let fans know the team is going through ups and downs, which is part of the transition. Gill says the staff is doing a good job of teaching the players the system the way they want it done. As the coaches continue to build the football program, fans are going to see speed, athleticism and players playing with passion. The coaches are confident this will be a winning program year after year.
• Gill says the players gave great effort and energy and better execution. KU has to take better care of the football, though.
• Gill's keys to the game: 1. Secure the football; 2. Force turnovers on defense and create field position; 3. Must have success early.
• Receiver/running back D.J. Beshears and running back Deshaun Sands have one-game suspensions for violation of team rules.
• Patrick Dorsey is questionable. Quarterback Kale Pick is out, while quarterback Jordan Webb is questionable.
• Freshman safety Keeston Terry will apply for a redshirt because of medical hardship.
• Gill said Quinn Mecham had a smile on his face this week and says he's ready to go.
• Gill would not reveal who Mecham's backup would be* if Webb can't play.
* — KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long later said that Christian Matthews would get some reps at quarterback this week.
• Toben Opurum is a defensive end. He'll stay there definitely for the rest of the season.
• Olaitan Oguntodu is going to play some at linebacker. How much, Gill doesn't know.
• Gill on Beshears: "It's always disappointing when you tell a young man he's not going to be playing a football game. They all want to play, and we understand that. You've just got to adjust and move on from there.
"I don't look at it being an issue (from here on). We've just got to keep the student-athletes accountable, and that's what we're here to do as coaches and as men to make sure we prepare these young men for society and obviously preparing for a football game. He'll learn from it, and he'll move on."
• Punt return has been disappointing for Gill personally. KU hasn't blocked a punt, and it hasn't had good returns. KU has been more aggressive going after punts, but it hasn't gotten there yet. Special teams is an area where KU can get an edge. The Jayhawks can get big plays from there.
• KU defensive lineman Darius Parish is doing pretty well. KU knew it would need a larger rotation at defensive line against Texas A&M. Parish will probably continue to get more reps as the season goes on.