"Alright, thanks to everybody who came out to Fan Day on Sunday. It was a good time. It's fun to see our kids interact with our fans. It's great to get a chance to meet many of them. We're back on the practice field today after our second scrimmage and then a recovery day. We've got another shorter block here. We'll go three days and then have another scrimmage which will be our last one before we open up at Boston College. Lots to work on, I mean, on both sides of the ball and the kicking game. We'll start to move this week into some crossover work in the kicking game, which will be good for us. We've got a tremendous amount of ground to cover here before we're game ready but I'm excited about the way things are progressing. I don't have any update on Brock [Hoffman] either, just off the top. I don't know if you asked Vance [Vice] already but I don't have anything."
QUARTERBACK SITUATION IS STILL STATUS QUO? ARE YOU READY TO NAME A STARTER? WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED AFTER YOU'VE SCRIMMAGED TWICE FROM THE QUARTERBACKS?
"Well, I think Ryan and Hendon are the two guys right now taking most of the reps with the ones. We'll continue to evaluate that and see how it goes. I will say this. I've been really imposed by Hendon [Hooker] and the work he put in this summer. He continues to improve. Ryan [Willis'] had a good camp as well. We'll continue to look at it and get to the last scrimmage and see where we're at."
HOW PROUD OF YOU TO SEE THIS TEAM COME TOGETHER AND BUILD THIS FAMILY THAT WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT?
"I really enjoy watching them interact. I'm proud of, of course we've got vested relationship with these guys and are enjoying coaching them. I think they've been through adversity and that can do one of two things. When you go through hard times it either separates you or brings you closer together. I think it's definitely brought those kids closer together. It happened not to us but for us and it's been fun to watch how they've responded throughout the offseason and now into fall camp."
KIND OF ON THAT TOPIC, THERE WAS A SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ARTICLE THAT JUST CAME OUT DETAILING HOW SOME OF THOSE GUYS FOUGHT THROUGH THAT ADVERSITY. I WANTED TO ASK A COUPLE THINGS ABOUT THAT. FIRST OFF, PLAYERS COMPLAINING ABOUT EXCESSIVE WORKOUTS. THE ARTICLE INDICATED THAT YOU'VE TAILORED OFFSEASON WORKOUTS. WHAT DID YOU SEE?
"Well, I haven't read the article. I have no idea what you're talking about. We did the same offseason that we've done for the last however many years. I haven't read the article. I have no idea what you're talking about."
SO NO OFFSEASON WORKOUTS WERE TEMPERED AFTER YOU MET AND TALKED?
"No, we did the same calendar that we've done. We change it every year based on the calendar."
AND THEN THE HEADLINE OF THE ARTICLE IS THAT SOME PLAYERS ON THE TEAM, PROBABLY WERE GONE, WANTED TO LOSE
"This year. Let's go to this year. I haven't read the article. I don't want to talk about it. I'm sure it's great. I'm sure it's well written. I'm sure it's fantastic. But this year. We're moving to this year."
IN THE TWO WEEKS SINCE BUD HAS ANNOUNCED HIS INTENTIONS, HAVE YOU SEEN A CHANGE IN HIS APPROACH? IS HE MORE OF A HARDASS? IS HE SOFTER, KINDLER, GENTLER, BUD? DOES HE JOKE ABOUT IT AT ALL? DO PEOPLE COME UP AND RIB HIM ABOUT BEING AN OLD MAN? OR IS IT JUST FULL SPEED AHEAD BUD?
"I have not seen one iota of difference. I haven't seen one reference, I'm talking about within our .. we're in a pretty sheltered part of our lives right now. You get up early and go work on football. I haven't heard or seen anything. I haven't heard a joke. I haven't seen anything different. I don't know if he feels better about it. I don't know. I don't want to put words in his mouth. I haven't seen anything."
THAT SEEMS LIKE A SURPRISE TO YOU, LIKE SOMEBODY WAS GOING TO COME UP AND RIB HIM FOR RETIRING
"Well, I don't know. I go back to the very first thing Bud said in the press conference. He wants it to be about the football team and I think we're all trying to respect those wishes. There'll be a time as we move through but I think there's a general focus on what we're trying to accomplish right now. I just haven't. I'll be interested to hear what Bud says, to be honest with you, because I haven't brought it up. It hasn't been a topic of discussion."
I'M SURE AS WE GET CLOSE TO THE GAME, WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT AJ DILLON AND ALL THE CHALLENGES HE POSES. BUT JUST IN GENERAL, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE RUN DEFENSE COMPARED TO LAST YEAR'S RUN DEFENSE? WHAT NEEDS TO BE BETTER WITH IT? WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE BETTER WITH IT?
"First of all, defense in general, talking about heading into a season last year where – at every position – you know you're going to play people with little or no experience. It doesn't mean you don't have Ricky Walker. You do. But at really every – defensive line, linebacker, safety, corner – we're going to play people with little or no experience. Well, this year, just heading into the year before we even practice, we know that heading into it, we know it's really only one spot that we know we're going to have to play some young or inexperienced people – at defensive tackle. That makes you feel better already, right off the top. I do think there's a feeling of comfort. We've got to stay healthy and we've got to continue to develop our second and third teams. But a comfort with scheme, we're not doing things for the first time. There's a bunch of guys doing things for the first time 365 days ago on that defense. You can see some overall understanding and it's letting them play faster and with more savvy and with more in-depth knowledge of what's going on as opposed to just trying to be right. I don't know if that makes sense but we feel much better."
I KNOW WE ASKED ABOUT PUNT RETURN EARLIER, I DON'T THINK WE'VE ASKED ABOUT KICK RETURNER AT ALL. WHO'S BEEN WORKING THERE AND WHAT DO YOU SEE AT THAT POSITION?
"Lemme see here. We have worked Caleb [Steward] and Terius [Wheatley]. Deshawn [McClease] has taken reps back there. I think Nadir Thompson has taken some. Jaden Payoute has taken some. Tayvion Robinson has taken some. We've repped several guys through there. We do have some guys that I think we're pretty productive. Terius was productive when he was healthy at kick returner last year at kickoff returner. Caleb had some opportunities for some big plays. I don't know how it's all going to shake out until one separates themselves in a game. I don't know exactly... Keshawn's [King] been back there a little bit. That's the other one. There may be another guy or two that have taken reps. We will have a kicking scrimmage here in a few days and hopefully get a couple specific reps for a couple guys and maybe have that paired down a little more."
IT SOUNDS LIKE COLE BECK HAD SOMETHING WITH THIS SHOULDER?
"Collarbone. I don't know how long exactly but certainly for the immediate future."
YOU TALKED LAST YEAR ABOUT THE REDSHIRT RULE AND HOW YOU HAD A WHOLE SEASON LONG PROCESS OF EVALUATING THAT AS YOU GO BY WEEK BY WEEK. YOU'VE GOT A YEAR UNDER YOUR BELT WITH THAT NEW RULE. IS THAT STAYING THE SAME, OR HAVE YOU TWEAKED SOME THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO LOOKING AT FRESHMAN WHO MAY OR MAY NOT REDSHIRT?
"I do think it's a good rule. It does ... you do have to put some thought into what you're doing. You can't put it on autopilot. As the season goes along, you have to continue to have those conversations, especially with special teams. It helped us last year, quite honestly, with as thin as we were, to be able to play guys like Armani Chatman, to still get to redshirt, that was huge for us and for Armani. Same thing happened with Nadir. Even though he got hurt, he was playing. So it's a good rule. We'll continue to evaluate how we're using it. it seems to me in general terms, like, assuming you don't have a disaster where you lose several guys at one position, but just the general maintenance of your team, it's mostly surrounded around the quarterback position and then all those guys that cover kicks and play on special teams, the defensive backs, the linebackers, some of your wide receivers, which I think is going to be good in the long run, for those guys."
WE'VE HEARD QUITE A BIT ABOUT TAYVION AND WE'VE TALKED SOME ABOUT ELIJAH [BOWICK] AND SOME OF THOSE RECEIVERS. TALKED ABOUT DOUG NESTOR TODAY, I KNOW THERE ARE SOME GUYS ON THE DEFENSIVE SIDE, J.R. WALKER HAS GOTTEN SOME LOOKS. I KNOW THAT YOU'RE ONLY TWO WEEKS INTO CAMP. IS THERE ANYBODY OUT OF THE TRUE FRESHMAN THAT YOU'VE LOOKED AT, OR BRAD [CORNELSON] HAS LOOKED AT, OR BUD [FOSTER] HAS LOOKED AT AND SAID "THAT DUDE HAS TO GET ON THE FIELD IN SOME CAPACITY THIS YEAR"?
"I mean, it's a little more ... you know I'm always a little hesitant because I don't want to leave someone out. You know what I mean? I think Bud is going to talk about Alan Tisdale a little bit today. Alan is not a true freshman, and I'm going to answer your question, but I've been really impressed with him. He's come on strong and is doing a really, really, good job for us. And I'm excited about what he can be. But certainly, those three freshman defensive tackles have shown flashes of what we'd hoped and need, quite honestly, to be. I'm not sure how that's going to shake out with all three of them, you know? But they've all shown to be capable and they cause you to get excited about that. In the same way that Doug and Hudson are kind of advanced for their age, so to speak. It's not very often that you talk about that on the offensive and defensive linemen. But those five guys are pretty far along. I don't know how it'll all work out, but in some shape or form in those five guys, I would anticipate seeing some of them. Tayvion, certainly. Nick Gallo is another one that seems to just pick things up incredibly easily. He's really smart. He has been slowed a little bit during camp, but he's making his way back and I anticipate that development to continue. Keshawn, I'm sure we've talked about a little bit. J.R., you mentioned. He's a guy that continues to do good things. And I think has a chance to really help this football team in some way."
YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T SEEN IT, BUT THERE WAS A SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ARTICLE THAT CAME OUT TODAY WHERE SOME OF YOUR TEAMMATES SAID THAT THERE WERE PLAYERS ON THE TEAM LAST YEAR THAT WANTED TO LOSE THE REGULAR SEASON GAME, THEY WERE TIRED OF THE REGULAR SEASON. WE KNOW HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO WIN GAMES. WERE YOU AWARE OF THAT? DID YOU HEAR ANY OF THAT? DID IT BOTHER YOU?
"Man, I don't know. That's in the past. That was 2018. It's 2019 now. We're moving forward."
HOW PROUD OR IMPRESSED ARE YOU WITH THIS GROUP, ASSUMING SOME OF THIS STUFF IS TRUE AND SOME OF THE STUFF YOU WENT THROUGH, THE WAY THIS GROUP HAS MOVED PAST THAT?
"I'm very proud of how this group has moved forward. I think we've got the right guys in the locker room. And I think we're ready to move forward and have a good 2019 season."
COACH FUENTE SAID THAT YOU AND HENDON [HOOKER] ARE TAKING MOST OF THE REPS WITH THE ONES. WHAT DO YOU FEEL LEFT, WITH YOUR BODY OF WORK THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN THE COACHES, THROUGH LAST YEAR AND NOW FALL CAMP, WHAT DO YOU HAVE LEFT TO DO HERE IN THE NEXT WEEK AND A HALF TO HAVE THEM SAY YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE STARTER?
"I don't think we need to worry about that. I think we need to worry about getting better every day so we can help this team win ball games this upcoming fall. The season is 16 days away and we need to prepare every day. We have less fall practices this year than ever and we need to make the most of each one."
AS YOU REVIEW FILM FROM LAST YEAR AND LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID IN SOME SITUATIONS LAST YEAR, WERE THERE TIMES WHEN YOU REFLECTED ON THINGS AND THOUGHT "MAN, IF THIS WAS 2017, BACK IN KANSAS, I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RESPOND THE WAY I DID." OR "IT WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT DIFFERENTLY"? WERE THERE SOME SPECIFIC TIMES THAT YOU WERE PROUD OF YOURSELF FOR THE WAY THINGS TURNED OUT? DRIVES, GAMES, OR ANYTHING?
"Yeah. Looking back on it, I've kind of matured and grown up as a quarterback. The way I looked at things my freshman and sophomore year, I don't look at football the same way. I don't come up to the line of scrimmage and look at the secondary the same way. Just kind of matured and grown up and that's kind of the process of college football. We watch film every day, we practice year round, and you're going to get better. You're going to grow up. You're going to approach things differently. I think the way I approached things last year, kind of showed and benefited me more than it did at the University of Kansas."
IT'S BEEN DOCUMENTED THAT YOU HAVE SOME PRETTY GOOD WIDE RECEIVERS THAT YOU CAN THROW TO. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY MOMENTS THESE LAST COUPLE WEEKS WHERE THEY'VE MADE SOME SORT OF PLAY OR THEY'VE DONE SOMETHING THAT YOU'VE JUST KIND OF SITTING BACK THERE AFTER THROWING THE BALL AND SAID "YEAH, I COULD WORK WITH THIS."
"Yeah, Phil Patterson is the master of wild catches. He'll go and just have a one handed catch or something. I'm proud of the whole group. They're really coming together, we've got a really deep group, a lot of the guys are going to step on the field and contribute for us. And that's good. It's good to have depth at any position, especially the wide receiver position."
YOU MIGHT HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE, YOU WORK OUT WITH PATRICK MAHOMES THIS SUMMER? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
"It was a cool experience. Pat's a very normal guy, he's down to earth. It's cool to see how he goes about things and how he approaches every day. He's like any one of us, just wants to get better and be the best player he can be."
DID YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM WATCHING HIM?
"Yeah, I mean, not so much throwing or how he drops back, but more so his demeanour and how he interacts with other people. And how he holds himself. He's very composed person and I mean, he's got the biggest, meanest spotlight in football right now. He's handling it really well, being really mature about it. I think he's going to have another really good season."
SO YOU HAVEN'T PICKED UP HIS NO LOOK PASSSES?
"No, I don't think Coach Fuente would really appreciate that."
WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN FROM THE RUN GAME? IT'S A SIMILAR COMPETITION THAT IS WIDE OPEN. WHAT DO YOU SEE FROM THEM?
"The running back group as a whole has really improved this fall. They're attacking every day, they're getting better in pass protection, our O-Line has improved every day. That's part of the run game. The boys up front, as they go, we go. But, our run game has definitely improved."
TRE TURNER THAT OPENED A LOT OF EYES LAST YEAR WITH HIS ABILITIES. WHEN I TALKED TO HIM, HE SAYS HE WATCHES HIS VIDEO OF LAST YEAR AND FEELS LIKE HE MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES. WHAT IS HIS CEILING, HOW MUCH POTENTIAL DOES HE HAVE?
"His ceiling is limitless. Tre is a very special player, and he can do things most people can't. That's why we call him Big Play Tre. I get the feeling every time the ball is in his hands, he's got the ability to score. He can shake someone and bust 70 yards. That kid just seem to keep working and bring his lunch pail every day basically. And just keep getting better. I think he can do great things."
AS A QUARTERBACK, YOU'RE IN THE OFFENSE, RUNNING A PLAY, DOING YOUR PROGRESSIONS. BUT I KNOW YOU'VE ALSO SAID THAT YOU LIKE TO TAKE CHANCES. DOES IT HELP TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A GUY LIKE TRE WHO CAN MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD?
"Definitely. That kid can run. Just throw it up there, and he'll go catch it. It's pretty cool to have guys like that."
I DON'T KNOW IF WERE TOLD OR YOU NOTICE THESE KINDS OF THINGS, BUT THERE WAS A STORY THAT CAME OUT YESTERDAY THAT RANKED QUARTERBACKS IN FBS. AND YOU WERE RANKED 73RD.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? IT WASN'T BASED ON PRO POTENTIAL OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, JUST CURRENT ABILITIES AND TOOLS LIKE THAT. I DIDN'T KNOW IF YOU HAD A RESPONSE TO THAT AT ALL.
"Eh. Whatever. I don't care. It's not going to affect how I play on the field or the outcomes of the season. It's a ranking, and I don't even know who made it."
AS YOU GO THROUGH YOUR SECOND CAMP NOW, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE THAT YOU'VE SEEN FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR? YOU'VE KIND OF LOOKED AT WHAT HAS IMPROVED THE MOST FOR YOU SPECIFICALLY, BUT ALSO WITHIN THE QUARTERBACK ROOM AS YOU KIND OF ALL STARTED TO GEL TOGETHER?
"I would say the speed of the game is slowing down a lot more. And the conversation in the quarterback room, in general, is more complex and it seems like everybody in that room is getting a lot more than we did last year. It also seems like everybody is more mature than we were last year. Knowing that the position that we're in, anybody can step up and be that guy, so I just feel like everybody in the room is more mature."
COMING FROM YOUR BACKGROUND, WHERE YOU DIDN'T THROW THE BALL A LOT IN HIGH SCHOOL COMPARED TO QUARTERBACKS THESE DAYS, HOW HAS THIS TRANSITION BEEN COMING TO AN OFFENSE THAT IS A LOT MORE ADVANCED OBVIOUSLY THAN THE ONE YOU WERE USED TO AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL?
"Well, we have a great coaches and they kind of make that transition a lot more easy for me. Granted, the fall camp last year was my first real practice. So, it was kind of tough last fall camp, but coming into the spring and this fall camp, everything has been coming together. And it's almost like that was never really an issue. But last fall camp, I could've benefited from being in a more complex offense in high school."
HOW HAS THE ACCOUNTABILITY BEEN WITHIN THE LOCKER ROOM AND OUT ON THE FIELD?
"I mean, to a certain extent, you kind of have to hold yourself accountable. You can't really look too much towards others. Everybody is their own person, you know, and we're all grown in a sense. You kind of just have to handle your own business, but at the same time, if you see somebody slacking, you have to let him know. But at the same time, everybody has to be accountable for themselves for the most part."
YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF BRACELETS THERE, QUINCY. ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC MEANINGS?
"At a track meet, I met this random guy who gave me this one. It says 'Hope'. Hope is hope. This bracelet says 'Believe you can and you will'. I bought this off, I can't remember the website, but I felt like that was one thing that in the spring I really needed. I was really down on myself because of the injury and things seemed to not be going my way. Kind of bought that bracelet for that reason. 'Never give up' is a kids with cancer organization that I was a part of at The Opening in high school. I kind of always stuck with that. And then 'Gift of Hope' is a kidney organization that my dad is involved in and that's just an organ donor organization."
COACH FUENTE MENTIONED EARLIER TODAY THAT HE THINK YOU'VE BEEN MAKING A LOT OF STRIDES THIS FALL CAMP. HAS THERE BEEN ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU'VE BEEN FOCUSING ON THAT HAS DRAWN HIS ATTENTION? OR HAS IT JUST BEEN OVERALL IMPROVEMENT?
"I think it's overall improvement. Just being consistent and working on the little things of my game to elevate me to the next level."
I SAW AN INTERESTING QUOTE FROM MIKE LEACH ABOUT HOW HE LOOKS AT HIS QB ROOM HE TRIES TO THINK OF ONE THING THAT ONE QUARTERBACK HAS SKILL WISE, THAT HE WISHES ANOTHER QUARTERBACK COULD HAVE. IS THERE ONE SKILL THAT YOU WANT TO HAVE FROM RYAN OR QUINCY?
"I wish that I could have their arm strength. They both have rockets for arms. That's one thing I do wish I had."
WHEN YOU GO INTO THE OFFSEASON, WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET ON WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH? IS THERE A FOCUS OF WHAT YOU WANT MOST OUT OF THAT TIME, OR SOMETHING LAST YEAR THAT YOU FELT WAS KIND OF A SHORTCOMING?
"Every year, I approach the offseason with the same mindset of just getting better overall and fine tuning in my technique. As well as, you know, the offense you can never not learn about the offense or about a defense. So every offseason, I go home with the same mindset of getting better overall."
WAS THERE A SPECIFIC AREA THAT YOU FELT LIKE YOU MADE LARGE STRIDES IN?
"Not really, just fine tuning like I said earlier."
IS THERE ANY QUARTERBACKS THAT YOU ADMIRE? OR LIKE TO WATCH, EITHER PAST OR PRESENT?
"My favorite quarterback is Randall Cunningham. He was just very explosive, which I think is something that I bring to the game. I watch film on him all the time, just trying to get a little moves from him."
YOU STILL WATCH FILM ON HIM?
RANDALL CUNINGHMA RETIRED IN 2001. THAT SEEMS LIKE AN ODD CHOICE FOR A GUY LIKE TO WATCH SOMEBODY FROM A GUY WAY BACK THEN. HOW DID YOU GET TURNED ON TO HIS GAME? WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU HEARD FROM YOUR DAD? WHAT'S THE GENESIS OF THAT?
"Well, when you're a quarterback and you want to play at the next level, you have to do your research. So knowing the history of the game is a big part of that. And just watching all the older quarterbacks in years before me, you just pick up on things and say 'oh wow, I like this guy.' So that's pretty much how that happened."
IS THERE A GUY ON THIS OFFENSE THAT HAS OPENED YOUR EYES SO FAR?
"Tayvion Robinson. Freshman. He's definitely a baller. I'll say that.
YOUR DAD WAS AN NFL QUARTERBACK, SO HOW DID THAT HELP YOUR DEVELOPMENT? DID HE REALLY INTRODUCE YOU TO GUYS LIKE CUNNINGHAM?
"That's definitely a big factor. My family is very athletic-oriented, I'll say. My mom knows information about quarterbacks, she knows defenses. Many times in my high school games, or middle school, she'd yell out from the stands 'Take a 3 step drop!' So everything is always right there in my face. Even if my dad wasn't there. My dad definitely is a big influence on why I play quarterback and how I play the game."
I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR MOM HERE. SO, COULD SHE STEP TO THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AND BREAK DOWN COVERAGES AND THINGS LIKE THAT?
She knows the basics. One, two, three. She's definitely one of my biggest motivators and she critiques me.
WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS TRE TURNER, AND AS QUARTERBACK, WHAT'S IT LIKE TO HAVE A TARGET LIKE THAT OUT THERE?
"He's a 100% effort giver. Hard worker. And naturally, he's just blessed with the speed and natural strong hands. So having someone on the field like that is special."
HE SAID THAT WHEN HE LOOKED BACK AT THE VIDEO, HE SAW LOTS OF PLAYS THAT HE LEFT. LOTS OF PLAYS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN LONGER OR COULD HAVE BEEN TOUCHDOWNS. DO YOU THINK HE'S BEING HARD ON HIMSELF OR IS THERE ANOTHER LEVEL FOR HIM TO GET TO?
"You know, we're all trying to get to a next level or game. He is definitely hard on himself. He was my roommate this past season, so he's always trying to find ways and nuances to take his game to the next level."