- Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that this first practice back from spring break is always a bit of a dreaded practice as folks are a bit out of shape and rusty, but the guys were into it and everyone was enthusiastic.
- Kingsbury was asked about what group he was most excited to see this spring and said that he’s anxious to see the defensive line group. I thnk we’re all waiting to see how that defensive line group performs overall and how they match-up with the offensive line.
- Kingsbury was asked about Cameron Batson, who he said has slid onto the “H” receiver spot. Kingsbury noted Batson’s intelligence and that he’s a smart person and player. Apparently Batson is competing at the “H” receiver spot with De’Quan Bowman and Keke Coutee, who played outside last year, but has moved inside. That’s a pretty full position group and that’s a lot of talent right there.
- Kingsbury was asked about how Jett Duffey is doing at quarterback and said that Duffey is very confident and noted that he’s making quick decisions. When Duffey sees it, he throws it. I’d guess that on a very basic level, that’s probably accurate, he’s probably just getting into the nuance of how to read a defense, so he’s probably hanging quite a bit on that first option.
- QB Nik Shimonek banged up his hand, prior to spring break. This of course means that Duffey is your #2 quarterback right now. I’d still expect Shimonek to be the #2 guy next year unless something catastrophic happens. I’d really love to see Duffey redshirted this next year.
- WR Derrick Willies was out there, but he didn’t go in the team session. Kingsbury said he had a “little thing with his hand” and that’s the extent of your injury report.
- CB Nigel Bethel is sitting out this spring and focusing on academics. This is not good for Bethel, who probably needs the reps as much as anyone else. The secondary needs to improve as much as anyone. Kind of a funny moment as Don Williams asked if Bethel was out before the spring and Kingsbury said something to the effect of, “Don, weren’t you out there. You’re slipping. Guess you have to go rewind the tape.” In these press conferences where they are pretty much humorless, this was a nice bit.
- Kingsbury also said that he likes how Mahomes is throwing the ball and that Mahomes has been “really good”. Said that Coach Whitt has pushed Mahomes in the weight room and and that Mahomes is just better mentally, plus he’s got better footwork and his release is better. 2016 might be fun.
- Kingsbury also said that Jonathan Giles has progressed as a receiver, noting that last year was his first year as a receiver and it will be a great battle between Giles and Ian Sadler to see who the lead guy will be. The good thing here is that Kingsbury hasn’t handed the job to Sadler, which I think is good with this young team.
- Kingsbury was asked about who was starting at nose guard (I think, it was tough to hear) and said that Broderick Washington and Ondre Pipkin are getting reps there. In regards to Washington, Kingsbury said that he’s a good kid, still learning nuances since he played offensive line in high school, but that he brings it every day.
- Kingsbury was asked again about Pipkins and Kolin Hill, and said that both of them have big physical NFL bodies. He said that just having those guys and their size helps. Kingsbury seemed to indicate that they are still a bit rusty, but wants to seem them get back in the routine of playing they get in the routine of playing on the team and not the practice team.
- Someone (I think Chuck Heinz) asked Kingsbury about Charlie Strong’s recent comments:
“What’s going to happen when we flip this thing? Where are we going to be then?,” he told the crowd of about a hundred faculty members. “You think about what we’re doing right now, what’s going to happen when we really get it turned?
“They might as well move out of the way, because we are going to steamroll everyone,” he added. “That’s going to happen.”
Kingsbury quipped, “Is it April Fool’s Day? He just cut it loose? I would not make those statements, but to each his own.” Everyone got a big kick out of that. I didn’t have time to absolutely double-check Kingsbury’s quotes, but that’s pretty accurate.