K-State Holds Spring Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder

On the players’ energy level…
“I would say it is positive. I have had absolutely no complaints with the effort level of our players. I think that is a very positive thing. The execution has been up and down. I think our spring practices have been inconsistent, performance-wise, at best. But as far as the effort and attitude are concerned, I think that has been extremely good.”

On defensive issues last season…
“I think we had a lot of issues. I think the biggest one was losing Dante (Barnett), who is the leader of our defense and plays a prominent role in other areas as well. That created some issues for us. As I said before, he is back and he is playing well. He has great anticipation, a great insight about the game itself and is a good leader on the field. Depth is probably going to be a bit of an issue. It is something that we are working on right now to try to develop a more significant two-deep. In some cases, we are in pretty good shape there. We probably have five or six guys in the linebacker group right now that fit in quite well. They are very competitive with each other. We will probably need another defensive end to step up, another defensive lineman to step up and another defensive back to step up to give us the kind of depth that we need. The simple thing is the hardest to do, but the easiest to say. We have to defend better against the pass. We have got to be a better first down team on defense. Our third down conversion rate, defensively, is not where I would like it. ”

On Tom Hayes’ motivation…
“Tom is a very fine coach – as all the defensive coaches are – and he works diligently. He would not work any differently. Collectively, a 6-6 regular season or a 6-7 complete season did not sit well with anybody. Across the board, we have to get better. Statistically, we were quite a ways down the list defensively in the significant statistical analysis. By the same token, we were likewise on offense as well. It is a shared responsibility, I think. From Tom’s standpoint, he is an experienced coach and coaches have feelings like players do and nobody likes to lose. Everybody likes to win for the most part and I do not think he is any different from the rest of us.”

On injured players staying involved during the season…
“They do everything that everybody else does. Jesse (Ertz) was a little more removed from it because of what the rehab entailed. Any time we have an injury, whether it’s at quarterback or any other position, they go to the same meetings. When they can be on the field, we put them with their group and they walk through anything and everything that is being done. They take every rep that is on the field with their position. If they can walk through it, they walk through it. If they can run through it, they run through it. They stay mentally active in every snap that is taken. Like I said, that is all positions, not just quarterback.”

Linebacker Will Davis
On the motivation after bowl game loss…
“We are extremely motivated, not just the guys that played in that game but everyone that was on the sideline that witnessed it; the young guys who are now having to step up. Everyone is extremely motivated. We have been motivated all offseason. It was kind of our defensive mantra throughout the winter conditioning just to be the best, not better than last year, but the best and doing everything 100 percent. That is kind of the idea we have taken into spring ball.”

On having players healthy…
“Having guys back is not only a boost from a player’s perspective but from a leadership perspective, especially having Dante (Barnett) back. No one can replace his leadership.”

Running Back Justin Silmon
On Winston Dimel stepping up…
“Everybody has to step up. We lost guys across the board at many other positions too. So someone has to step up each time someone goes away.”

On the running back competition…
“Everyone is still competing and we are all trying our hardest. We are trying to compete and make each other better.”

Linebacker Charmeachealle Moore
On spring practice…
“It is going good. It feels good to be back in pads and being with my teammates, building chemistry with the defense and seeing what the offense has.”

On improving during spring practices…
“I am trying to get better than when I ended (last season). Like Coach Snyder says, you are 1-0 everyday, 1-0 every play. That is what we are trying to keep in mind and get better.”