‘Hello, Twitter’: KU football assistants coaching via tweets amid social distancing

Online clinics connect Dearmon with Hall of Fame QB

Kansas offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon turns over his shoulder as he looks down the sideline during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

It began with Kansas football offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Dearmon, barefoot in his basement, standing next to a white board and saying, “Hello, Twitter.”

The video featuring Dearmon, posted to the team’s Twitter account this past week, served as an introduction to the KU coaching staff’s latest way of navigating social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After bringing KU to recruits virtually a few days earlier, members of Les Miles’ staff began reaching out to high school coaches and recruits that are interested in the program by sharing some insight on football drills and techniques that might prove helpful. The videos became a type of “online clinic,” as KU offensive line coach Luke Meadows described them, in the days that followed, allowing assistant coaches to engage with interested parties. And before long a Hall of Fame QB was even chiming in.

Dearmon kicked things off with quarterback drills, addressing the importance of mechanics, QBs working on their base in the pocket, hip movements for RPOs and hot routes and the timing of actions. The man in charge of KU’s offense then explained how he sets up his “trash can” drill to simulate pass-rushing lanes and put a QB under stress in the pocket.

“This QB has to feel the lanes that are closing around him and find the open hole to drive the pocket up,” Dearmon explained, also providing practice footage of the drill from last season, “and make a throw to the target.”

It was after Dearmon posted his second video that retired one-time Super Bowl champion QB Kurt Warner joined the conversation.

In his followup video tutorial, Dearmon highlighted how he helps QBs work on their movement in the pocket with what’s called the Garcia drill. Dearmon noted he asks his QBs to lead with their back foot.

“Curious why the back foot lead,” Warner replied on Twitter.

“Any knowledge that the legend can share,” Dearmon responded, “I will take it.”

The back and forth led to Warner sharing his thoughts on how QBs can best stay “loaded” and ready to throw while moving and why Warner thinks QBs should lead with their front foot.

The next time Dearmon returned to his basement for another installment, he did so donned in an “iron sharpens iron” T-shirt.

“I loved the way our quarterback guys across the country are chiming in,” Dearmon said, “and we’re all helping each other become better QB coaches.”