Football Holds Spring Press Conference

Head coach Bill Snyder

April 26, 2011

K-State Spring Football Press Conference
April 26, 2011

Head Coach Bill Snyder
Opening statement…
“We have scrimmaged a little bit on a variety of different days, and in reference to this past Saturday we had a major scrimmage where the whole day was scrimmage work. It was situational work so we worked on short and long yardage, moving the football, and goal line situations. Everything that you could do, we tried to scrimmage it. In the course of that scrimmage, we took some forward steps in regards to our passing game. Collectively, our quarterbacks threw for over 600 yards. They took a positive step for most of the scrimmage. Each of them had their moments in the scrimmage that kept them from having an outstanding scrimmage. They have proven to be human. I thought on the other side of the coin the things that stand out to you, our defense held our offense to 3.4 yards per rush throughout the course of the scrimmage against a conventional running game and I thought that was a step forward in regards to defense because we have the tag of not being able to defend against the run. I thought they did a decent job in that respect. From an individual standpoint, I was impressed by our second group of wide receivers. I also thought Sheldon Smith really stepped up and proved that he can get himself on the field. Torell Miller did the exact same thing as well as Curry Sexton. All three of those guys worked with our two’s and really did a nice job in the scrimmage. I thought on the other side of the ball that our linebackers continued to take steps forward. They really played faster throughout the course of the scrimmage and I am pleased with the progress that they have made.”

On the defensive improvement seen throughout the spring…
“I think our whole defensive line played better and made some improvement in playing a little bit faster and a little bit lower. I think they became a little more disciplined in the things that they were doing but not without fault. As I have said, I believe our linebacker core has really played well which right now is probably about five deep. So it is not just our first three; right now we have about five that are playing pretty well. I also thought our secondary was a little bit better in terms of run support as well.”

On running back Bryce Brown…
“I do not know what we will see on Saturday, but as I have said before, it is quite obvious that he is a very fine player. He runs well and has really good speed and is developing into a multifaceted player. He is improving on his blocking capabilities. He can be involved in the passing game; he is proving his skills there. However, he is in a really competitive battle. I really like the progress that we are making at that position. He is the fastest of the group and more physical than the other two at least in stature to John Hubert and Robert Rose. Robert (Rose) has really come into his own, but we saw that last year when he worked on the scout team. All three of them are really competitive right now.”

On the comparisons of Bryce Brown to former running back Daniel Thomas…
“When Daniel (Thomas) came during the summer, he did not have anyone to coach him during the workouts other than our players, so it was kind of a crash course for him. Bryce (Brown) comes in having spent a season with us in a redshirt capacity and has learned a lot. He is ahead of Daniel when Daniel started his first season, but even at that a vast majority or Bryce’s time was spent on the scout squad last year so that does limit the learning process; but he is a sharp young guy and picks it up very well.”

On the adjustments made by Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown…
“He is adjusting as well as anybody could expect. Bryce (Brown), as well as Arthur (Brown), are tremendous young people. They are great family people with wonderful families and they are well bonded. They have been raised well and are very courteous, very polite. They are quiet young guys who go about with their business and do their classroom work. They do it all and do it the right way. They have endeared themselves to the players and the program. We have what I would consider to be a very tight group of players in the collective 103 players that we have in spring practice. I think we have grown extremely well and close together and I think they are a part of that group. There is a lot of hoopla about them and they have handled that extremely well.”

On the development of the linebackers…
“We have Tre Walker who has a year of experience behind him right now so you would be tremendously disappointed if he was not getting better and better. He played a good portion of the season last year without having a clue of what he was doing. Emmanuel (Lamur) is a very fine athlete who gives you range, size, and speed to match and makes good decisions. So I believe collectively we are better at that position.”

On Daniel Thomas being selected in this weekend’s NFL Draft…
“I am excited about anybody who has the opportunity to do that and certainly with Daniel (Thomas) because he is a very deserving young man. He is just a wonderful youngster. Humility is a great asset for him. He is as durable as anyone that plays the game and I do not know where all of the recent talk of him being injury-prone came from. He is going to be absolutely fine. He was very durable for us. You did not ever see him standing next to me. He was on the field for two years solid. He played well and was as durable as they come. I am happy for him.”

Defensive End Jordan Voelker
On his personal performance this spring…
“It has been a little bit of a transition because I went to Butler County Community College for two years, then I transferred up here and they moved me to the defensive side of the ball. It has taken me a while to get used to playing defensive end but I think that I am finally catching on and hopefully I am doing everything they ask of me. That is what I am trying to do.”

On the progression of the defensive line…
“The defensive line is playing pretty solid right now so hopefully we can keep that up. The coaching staff and we players have been putting a big emphasis on stopping the run. We still need to work on our pass-rush because that was another problem of ours last year, but I think we are getting better at that.”

On K-State’s stable of running backs…
“We have a solid corps of running backs; they are all competing for the job. It is really a task to try to tackle them sometimes. They are pretty agile and some of them are smaller guys, so they are fun to try to wrangle up.’“

Linebacker Arthur Brown
On playing in front of a large crowd…
“All I know is that it is going to be exciting. The fans bring a little bit more enjoyment to the game as well as more energy and excitement. I really appreciate our fans a lot from what I have seen over the past year, so I am really looking forward to this year.”

On being perceived as the best linebacker on the team…
“I never really look at myself as ‘the guy.’ I am part of a team and we are a unit so I always put the focus on the team.”

On the size of last year’s linebackers…
“Last year, we had a pretty young linebacker corps. As a freshman, Tre Walker was pretty light but he has bulked up and put on some pounds. I think we are ready to go this year.”

On the expectations of his performance on Saturday…
“I know that there will be a lot of high expectations for me as well as the team but I look forward to going out there and demonstrating what God has given me; the ability to be a good linebacker and to represent Him.”

On his brother, Bryce’s running style…
“Bryce is pretty much a complete back. He is fast and he is powerful, so he can go outside or he can go inside. I have played with a lot of great running backs and I consider him to be a great one.”

Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On his progression this spring…
“I think I have been doing a fairly good job. I do not think I have had very many missed assignments so I think by the time that the season rolls around, I will be good to go.”

On offensive line coach Charlie Dickey…
"Coach Dickey is a wonderful man. I cannot praise him enough. He is a wonderful coach and a wonderful person. If you need someone to talk to, obviously he is there. He is still your coach but if you need someone to talk to, he is always there. He is just a wonderful guy.”

On his decision to come to K-State…
“We take pride in the fact that it is a family environment and it really is. When you come here on a visit, you can really feel the family and the brotherhood that we all have both as coaches and players. So it was a very easy decision to come here.”