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K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


GO WILDCATS
Head Coach Bill Snyder

GO WILDCATS
Head Coach Bill Snyder
GO WILDCATS

Aug. 28, 2012

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On having more veterans in camp than in previous years...
"That is one of those things that I have attempted to caution so many people about, in particular our players and coaches. We take things like that for granted and that comes back to create problems for you over a period of time. To some degree, I have seen that. Some of the problems that have resulted are youngsters taking their performance level for granted - taking for granted that they know certain things, but in reality they may not. It is really a concern for me. I said this during the spring and every opportunity that you have given me. Even though we have a certain number of returning starters, the dynamics are different, and I have said at the end of the season that every year is a little bit different, and that is certainly true with this group. The dynamics of the team is truly different than last year, and I am not saying it is in a bad way. Some of it is not the way that I would like for it to be, but it is different. That has always been my experience year in and year out."

On Justin Tuggle and Jarell Childs...
"It is very close in competition, which is a very favorable thing for us. The dynamics of our program change because of whatever the degree of competition exists at any position. The one you mentioned is very competitive and consequently you see on a daily basis that both of those young guys continue to get better and have performed reasonably well on the practice field. Both of them bring perhaps the same thing to the table. There are some differences, but Jarell just has more experience in the system at the position, which is obvious, than Justin does. Justin has not seen a ballgame environment yet, but he has picked things up reasonably well. Both of them are reasonably physical players for the position that they play. Both of them bring good size and the ability to run to the ball. The competition helps to identify the dynamics of your program and has waned to a certain degree, and there has been a separation between your number one, and number two, and threes. Consequently, that puts a great challenge one that number one. How they deal with that challenge and how they except it is really critical in how much improvement they make, or do not make. That is some of the issues that we are dealing with."

On the depth of the defensive tackle spot...
"It indeed is a slow process, and it is every bit a process, not with just incoming youngsters, but also with youngsters that are returning. Fortunately, I have seen some improvement there, and feel good about the improvement that has been made. I do not feel as good on how rapid it has been. I kind of want things to happen in a heartbeat. It does not always work that way. I understand that, but I get impatient as well. I think that it is just a work in progress. It may take another period of time, probably beyond our first ballgame, in order to really settle on what the two deep is truly going to look like. The level of competition is such that hopefully we can play four or five youngsters in that first ballgame, not because of anything other than their talent level and execution level presently, which all seems to be about the same."

On the new kickoff rules...
"I am in favor of the safety of the game, and that was the intent. So I can appreciate the intent. I do not really like, from the strategic standpoint, the rule itself, and they have done some other things and continue to do some other things that help in regards to safety. It does not completely resolve what the issues were. Depending on the strength of the leg of your kicker, now that allows every kicker in the country to kick the ball out of the end zone. In the past, that would not have been good for us. Who knows about this year, but I do not think everyone can do that. If you play in Manhattan, Kan., the wind is going to blow, and you are kicking half of those kicks into the wind. We will see how it impacts us. We have several thoughts regarding how, strategically, we want to deal with it. They would vary from opponent to opponent. When I say strategic concepts, that is with both units. Both your kickoff units and kickoff return unit."

On the growth of Collin Klein...
"The growth has been across the board. It is not just focused in one area. I think he has grown in every aspect of the game. He has grown in regards to his game management. He has grown in regards to his understanding of our offense and defense. I think he has grown in terms of his leadership. He has grown in terms of his confidence level. He has grown in terms of his overall understanding and presence on the field, as well as some physical things, running game and passing game. I have seen some positive movement in all of those areas."

On if the coaching staff would be comfortable letting Collin Klein call his own plays...
"We would, I would, Coach (Del) Miller would, and Collin does, which is the most important thing. It does not matter how I feel if he feels comfortable with it. We have had him in those positions before leading up to this season, in the spring and summer. He has handled it very well. I think the sky is the limit for anybody. It just depends on what you want to do with what you got, and he does a great deal with what he has. I do not think that there should be any limitations on him or anybody else."

On the progress of Daniel Sams and Sam Johnson...
"Their progress has been somewhat steady. Maybe some ups and downs, but we always have that. I think that the peaks are continually growing. They have gained a better perception of what our offense is all about, and what we are attempting to do. Who is on the field is going to depend more upon what the situation is. Daniel is more comfortable with certain things than what Sam is more comfortable with. It kind of depends what our needs are at any given point in time in each ballgame. So each situation will be different, and the decision will not be made presently. It may at some point in time, but will not be made based on who is the number two quarterback. It will be based on what we need to have done at the time one of them enters the ballgame, and which one best fits that purpose."

On how sharp the players are in practice...
"We have attempted to put some emphasis on what we do in practice, and how we address the players and the interactions we have about being able to get off to better starts. When we say better starts, we are talking about first quarter and third quarter. What I brought to their attention is that over 20-plus years that our record when ahead at halftime is 149-5. Now I worry about the five, but it does send a message. Starting well for us has never been about the ballgame itself. It does put more of an emphasis on the initial phases of the ballgame. The same is true at the half of being a good third-quarter-starting football team. Our statistics based on point totals alone say that we are not as good in the first and third quarter as the second and fourth. Just taking the points itself does not always equate to what real answers are. There are times at the end of the first quarter that you have the ball on the five yard line, and then you score on the first play. Those type of things happen that distort the numbers to a certain degree, but nevertheless, they do indicate that we could be a better first and third quarter football team than what we are, and that there are great advantages based on past history at being ahead at half."

Senior Quarterback Collin Klein
On getting back onto the field...
"I am very ready. It's been hours of preparations and going up against yourself. A lot goes into it, but it will be good to have a test, so to speak, that we get to put a lot of our hard work to use."

On the difference between him this year and last year...
"I definitely have more experience having gone through a full season. This is still the first game of the year. We have to make sure that we are working hard and all of our I's are dotted and T's are crossed. Coach (Snyder) says it all of the time that confidence comes from being prepared, and we still have four more days to prepare and keep working on it."

On having a young offensive line...
"They are doing great. We are all going to make mistakes I am sure. They are not going to be any different on Saturday. We are together. We are going to get better, and there will be no exception to that."

Senior Wide Receiver Chris Harper
On avoiding a slow start like last year against Eastern Kentucky...
"One of the things that we have been talking about this season is starting fast. We have not even really focused on Eastern Kentucky. It is not really our focus because Missouri State is a totally different team. That is what we have been focusing on, just focusing on Missouri State and not Eastern Kentucky. We know that they are going to be a better team than what people give them credit for."

On finding a rhythm early...
"Last year was hard because we had a lot of new guys. Our offensive line was really new, Collin (Klein) was new, John (Hubert), (Tyler) Lockett and basically everyone on offense besides me and Tramaine (Thompson) were new, so it was really tough. This year we have a lot of guys back, and we've continued with the momentum we had before the end of the season and had throughout the summer. I think that is going to help out a lot."

Senior Running Back Angelo Pease
On first-game excitement...
"I am very excited. Every practice I go to is a day closer to that moment and Saturday. I want to come out here and play in front of the fans now that I am healthy and 100 percent. I look forward to Saturday."

On being injured last season...
"It was hard sometimes seeing my team where they needed me and I could not give 100 percent."

Senior Linebacker Arthur Brown
On the position battle between Jarrell Childs and Justin Tuggle...
"They both bring a competitive spirit to the defense. They are competing for a starting spot right now, but we cannot lose with either one of them out there. They both bring different elements to our defense."

On what Jarrell Childs and Justin Tuggle bring to the table...
"Jarrell (Childs) is explosive and quick. He has a knack for getting to the ball. That goes for (Justin) Tuggle as well. He is explosive as well. Coming from the offensive side of the ball, he definitely has a great understanding of what is going on."

On Justin Tuggle's experience as a quarterback...
"You really could not tell unless it was told to you. He definitely has all the elements and all the key ingredients to be a successful linebacker. Like I said, he fits into our defensive scheme perfectly."

On what he is looking forward to most about Saturday...
"I'm looking forward to everything. Just the preparation before the first game - I am really looking forward to it. Just going out there and feeling the energy of the crowd and the atmosphere that the fans bring that day."

On preparing for Missouri State's offense...
"When you have an offense that takes control of the clock, that is something that you definitely have to prepare for. There is no telling what to expect the first game of the season, so we have to be ready for everything."

Sophomore Defensive Back Randall Evans
On what he has improved on the most heading into this season...
"The biggest difference has been my focus level. I came in my freshman year and needed to figure out what I wanted to accomplish here. Watching my other teammates, David Garrett and Tysyn Hartman, and seeing how they were leaders made me want to be a leader for the team this year."

On his similarities to former Wildcat David Garrett...
"I would say I do play like him. Being around him all of last year and watching him play, I know I can do it. But the biggest difference between me and David is that I am bigger than he was."

On the depth of the K-State secondary...
"We are pretty deep. We lost a couple of players but we still have Nigel (Malone) and Allen Chapman coming back. I stayed focused last year on the position that David Garrett played, so we have a chance to be pretty good."

On his biggest strengths...
"I would say that I bring a lot to the table because I can play safety or cornerback. Last spring, I learned to play both safety positions and nickelback so I have been moving around the field. As a defensive back, I know every position. It does not matter what coverage we are in, I know where the safeties and cornerbacks are at. So I think I bring a lot to the table."

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