Football

Kliff Kingsbury Talks Quarterbacks and Receivers Heading Into Spring Practice

Spring practice starts on Friday and we’ve got updates on the quarterback position as well as the receivers as Texas Tech heads into the final week before spring practice.

LAJ’s Don Williams writes about what is next for QB Patrick Mahomes, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks about what Mahomes needs to improve.

“Tighten up footwork, fundamentals,” Kingsbury said. “At times, some of his biggest strengths were extending plays, making things happen with his feet. But also he got a little street ball when he didn’t have to, so we have to tighten up.

“There’s a time and place to get out and make plays. There’s a time and place to sit in there and make your reads and work through that. The more reps, he’ll get better at it.”

LAJ’s Don Williams talked to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who spoke ever so briefly on Iowa transfer, Nic Shimonek:

“He was scout team and he went through all of our individual drills, and he’s a really good thrower of the football,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Obviously, he has to learn our operation and progressions, but if you had a throwing contest, he’d be right in the mix. He’s a really good thrower of the football.”

Per the LAJ Kingsbury is trying to figure out why QB Davis Webb regressed:

“The thing that I guess stood out to me was how much he played year one and the level of play he had,” Kingsbury said. “I saw some regression, and that’s what I’ve got to figure out is how do we get him to take that next step, because to play as much as he did (in 2013) and finish as strong as he did and watch how well he played all spring, for it not to transfer over into the fall, that’s what I’ve got to figure out.

“He has the ability, and there’s no question he can do it. So I’ve got to figure out, how do we make that come out on Saturdays?”

Don is also talking receivers as he asked Kingsbury about IR Ian Sadler, who caught the most passes for a true freshman since 2009 and Sadler stepping up allowed WR Bradley Marquez to move to the z-receiver spot:

“I was proud of him,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He stepped in and did some good stuff, allowed us to move Brad (Marquez) out to Z (flanker), where we felt like we weren’t getting a lot of production. He stepped in and competed well.”

We also find out from Don that Reginald Davis and Dylan Cantrell will be at the aforementioned z-receiver position and will be competing on the outside. This article is actually pretty forthcoming because Kingsbury talks about how Davis didn’t step up (Kingsbury takes blame as coaches for not having him ready) and take advantage of his opportunities:

“He didn’t take advantage of opportunities,” Kingsbury said. “If you look at what he did when he had the ball in his hands and we got it to him on screens and other things, he did some really good stuff with it. But as far as route running, techniques, blocking, stuff that he’s got to continuously work on to get better … .

“That comes from playing quarterback his whole life. He’s still developing as a wide receiver.”

Davis will get competition this spring from Cantrell, who’s used his 6-foot-3 frame and sure hands to make a handful of highlight-reel receptions his first two seasons while playing as a backup. Cantrell had more than three catches and 50 yards only once last season, so now the object is for him to be more involved.

“We’ve got to get better at some things,” Kingsbury said. “Right now, he has such a great catch radius, will go up and get it. He’s a guy our quarterbacks trust to go up and get it on a jump ball. But route running, consistency, speed, blocking, same deal (as Davis). He’s just got to keep coming in all those areas.”

Don also has the current depth chart as Sadler and Brad Pearson are at y-receiver, Jakeem Grant and Cameron Batson are at h-receiver and Devin Lauderdale is at x-receiver with Jakari Dillard and Ja’Deion High (a walk-on) behind Lauderdale. Caleb Woodward, Zach Austin and Hunter Rittimann will also play receiver.

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