Monday, February 13, 2012
Offseason to-do list: Kansas
By David Ubben
We're taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three! Who knows?
Next up: The Kansas Jayhawks.
1. Figure out what Dayne Crist is capable of doing. Kansas has their man at quarterback. Jordan Webb, last year's starter, transferred. Crist knows new coach Charlie Weis' offense. He has all the physical skills you could ask for in a passer. But can he turn that into production? Kansas has a deep, very underrated corps of running backs, headed by James Sims. How heavily can this team lean on Crist? They probably need to have some idea by the end of spring. Getting receiver Justin McCay, an Oklahoma transfer, officially eligible for 2012 would help a lot.
2. Forget the past two years. Learn what's expected. Other than what not to do, Kansas probably didn't learn a lot from getting beat down week to week the past two seasons. Focusing on that won't do much. Learning how to succeed under Weis has to be the Jayhawks' focus. It always takes a little while for players to learn what's expected, whether that's off the field or simply learning the systems on both sides of the ball on the field. Making things simple will help. Kansas still needs help in terms of teamwide talent, but maximizing what they have now depends on the players on campus buying in to Weis' philosophy.
3. Shore up the middle of the defense. Big 12 teams like to throw, but look at Tech last year. The book on torching the defense was out early: Run on the Red Raiders and they couldn't stop you. Teams, even heavy passing teams, ran a lot more on them. Kansas loses both defensive tackles, Patrick Dorsey and Richard Johnson. The Big 12's leading tackler, physical linebacker Steven Johnson is also gone. KU's defense has a whole lot of problems to fix. The middle of the defense is probably at the top of the list.
More offseason to-do lists.