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What caught my eye (and ears) at Wednesday's practice: Oct. 3
You asked for it, and you got it.
In yesterday’s comments, someone mentioned that they were tired of hearing that the Coach Weis song of the day was either Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi every single time.
It was again today, as the Jayhawks once again practiced in Memorial Stadium, but it was preceded by a good six or seven minutes of the Kansas State fight song playing on a loop.
At one point, Weis stopped the music to explain to his players why they were hearing the song over and over and over. He said something to this effect: “I just wanted to get used to hearing it because those guys over there (the Wildcats) are expecting to hear it a lot on Saturday.”
The song, as most are, is played after KSU touchdowns and Weis clearly wanted to make the point that he did not want to hear it much this weekend and therefore would need his defense to limit KSU’s touchdowns.
It’s just one of many, many motivational tactics that Weis figures to use during his time here, but I got the feeling that it really struck a nerve with the KU players, who were yelling repeatedly during its playing.
We’ll see if it makes any difference.
Here’s the rest of what caught my eye at Wednesday’s practice:
• Speaking of making a difference, it’s quite clear that a huge chunk of what the Jayhawks’ are focusing on this week in practice is inspired by K-State quarterback Collin Klein, the menacing runner who is tough to bring down and even tougher to rattle. Several of KU’s linebacker drills on Wednesday focused on stopping the run, with LB coach DeMontie Cross imploring his guys to use their hands to avoid the cut block and then hit and rip. Pretty standard stuff, of course. After all, it is football. But there appeared to be an extra emphasis on those types of fundamentals because that’s what the Jayhawks will encounter this weekend. Another LB drill took place on the sideline and after several of the first- and second-string guys missed tackles and failed to use the sideline as another defender, Cross sent them into a session of up-downs. After that, things looked much better.
• One other thing I noticed in watching Cross work with his crew was the constant screaming of “Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” coming from his mouth. K-State rarely beats itself, but it’s clear that the Jayhawks are emphasizing that aspect this week.
• A couple of depth chart tweaks I noticed that I meant to mention yesterday. After all that talk about moving him inside and putting weight on him, Keba Agostinho is listed as a second-string defensive end this week. That, too, could be because of Klein, with Weis believing that he’ll need a little more size on the edge to help handle Klein and tailback John Hubert. Keon Stowers also made his way back onto the depth chart as a No. 2 defensive tackle. Could be that size thing again.
• Took a closer look at Lubbock Smith today and he looks pretty good. I wouldn’t call him 100 percent, but he definitely looks sharp while going full speed. It’s after the action stops where he looks a little gimpy. That’s to be expected, of course, and reminds me a little of how things looked for wide receiver Kale Pick a couple of weeks ago. As long as he looks good at full speed, that’s the most important thing. And I’d say he looked 90-95 percent while going all out.
• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Last to Die” by The Boss.