K-State Weekly Football Press Conference August 27, 2013

By: K-State Sports Information (posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: K-State Sports Information (posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
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K-State Weekly Football Press Conference
August 27, 2013

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On when he thought Jake Waters would be the starting quarterback…
“Probably just prior to making the announcement. I think that the competition was productive and I think it was extremely competitive during that period of time. Consistency was a big part of it and many other things. Just as far as being able to say, in my own mind, I know this is the way we want to enter the first ballgame, probably three days ago maybe.”

On the importance of letting the quarterbacks know who will be starting…
“I don’t know if that is an overplayed issue or not. I think it depends on the individual. Put yourself in the same position and you do not know – does it keep you more intense and competitive? I think that every young person is different. We are all different and they are as well. I think for some it is a positive and for others it may not be.”

On the defense…
“It’s a work in progress, and that is probably true for our entire team. It is just a matter of trying to get better. I see the steady improvement that I think we are making. I think they are getting a feel for each other and I think there is greater continuity than there was on the outset. I think they have a better understanding of the global concepts, so to speak, in regards to what we are doing and how each one of them fits in. In some of those areas, I always stressed that it was always competitive in some of those positions, and I think that has remained the case. However, we have identified starters at all positions. I think the competition has still been pretty fluid during our two-a-day period. Upfront, our front four has had some consistency to it, and I think the cornerback position competition has been good for all of them. I think it has helped raise the performance level.”

On if the interior defensive line has depth…
“I think that we do. It (depth chart) is pretty accurate, what’s in the notes. I think it has thinned itself but we have five guys in position to be on the field on Friday night. It has somewhat thinned itself out, but what does that mean? It means we have five guys, depending on how good they are and that remains to be seen. I think they have made progress and I feel good about it, but that is against each other. They have to play and they have not done a lot of that yet.”

On Curry Sexton moving up the depth chart from last year…
“In all reality, he was right there a year ago. It has been a collective body of work, so to speak, over the last year. He has been very consistent for us and was a quality player for us last year. He did some nice things over the course of the season – not that it was not competitive because I think a couple of other guys stepped up and made it somewhat competitive. He put himself in position to be the third guy. He runs routes extremely well, catches the ball well and is an aggressive player. He is a good blocker as well as a receiver.”

On the team’s leadership right now…
“We have some growth to make. I think we have some guys making an attempt to step forward. I have always said that Collin (Klein) and Arthur (Brown) were young guys that it was not their nature to step out and provide demanding-type leadership, but because they cared so much about their teammates and team, they were willing to graduate into that arena. We have young guys that are somewhat the same in that respect and they are trying to step up to that level of leadership. They are still growing and we have a ways to go.”

Junior Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett
On the team focusing on North Dakota State…
“We have really just been preparing the same way we would prepare for any other team – watching film and listening to the things our coaches have been saying because they have a lot of great players. They have guys that are All-Americans, so you have to take teams seriously because you have no idea what can happen in any game. For the most part, I think we are excited to get it going. We have a new press box out there, so our fans are excited to come see that on Friday, and for now we just have to do our part in preparation.”

On Jake Waters’ growth…
“Just seeing Jake grow since he got here in the spring to now, you can see that he has been really having that desire and hunger to want to be better – to make everybody around him better. You see him in the film room day-in and day-out really trying to have an understanding of what the offense consists of and being the best quarterback that he can be. That is something you really want in a quarterback.”

On when he knew Jake might win the starting position…
“I really wasn’t concerned about it. At the end of the day, it was really tight. We didn’t know who was going to be the quarterback, who Coach Snyder was going to pick, or even what day he was going to choose to name the starting quarterback, but all we really had to do was develop a relationship with each of the quarterbacks and try to build that chemistry throughout fall season, which is what we have been doing while in camp. Suddenly, Coach Snyder decided to make that decision.”

On his reaction to Coach Snyder naming Waters the starting quarterback…
“Whoever the quarterback would have been, we would have been fine with it because we were able to see the characteristics that each of them possessed out there on the field. We were able to gain a little chemistry out there. Whoever it may have been, we would have been okay.”

Redshirt Freshman Fullback Glenn Gronkowski
On his reaction to being named the starter…
“It means a lot to me. I have been here a long time. Being under Braden Wilson was huge, how much he taught me, so I think that helped a lot being able to learn from him. When I learned I was a starting, it was exciting. I have been waiting for this for a long time and been working hard for it, so it meant a lot.”

On North Dakota State’s physicality…
“They definitely are tough. We have been told that by everybody. Everyone that played them last year, we heard them say they are the toughest team they played all year. Obviously, winning back-to-back championships, that is huge. We can’t go in there and take them lightly.”

On if there are differences between Jake Waters and Daniel Sams at quarterback…
“I don’t think so. I mean, they are both out there working as hard as they can. They both know the offense pretty well. I am surprised actually how fast Jake picked it up, but him and Daniel are both great quarterbacks and they both work hard at it.”

On the versatility of the fullback position…
“Yeah, they definitely use it a lot whether it’s blocking or running routes. I think it takes a lot of versatility. You have to be able to run, you have to be quick, you have to be quick to read the line and know where to go because you usually don’t have a set guy. It depends on the scheme and everything, so it is different every single play.”

Junior Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On having Jake Waters in Manhattan during the spring…
“I think it helped Jake tremendously to get to know the system, be able to know the play calls and just know what was expected of him early on instead of coming in over the summer or even right at the beginning of camp like some guys. Obviously, he would be way behind the eight-ball if he had come in at the start of camp, so I think it helped Jake tremendously.”

On his comfort level with Jake Waters…
“Jake is an extremely hard worker. He analyzes everything – he knows where he has to be and what he has to do. He steps up to do the best job that he can, and if he does make a mistake, then he is trying to learn from it as soon as it happens.”

On when he found out Jake Waters was the starting quarterback…
“When everyone else found when Jake was the starter. I think it was yesterday I heard somebody say it. My mom called me and said, ‘Hey, they just announced Jake as the starter.’ I was like, ‘Cool. That’s news to me.’”

Sophomore Defensive Lineman Travis Britz
On the pressure for a young defense…
“I think that every defense would have some kind of pressure opening the season and making a statement. We want to show that we really can compete in college football and this conference. Yeah, we have a new stadium and a good opponent coming in, but I feel that it is just like every other year. We will reload and keep working hard to prove to people that we are a great defense.”

On starting at one of the defensive line positions…
“As I see it, it is just more responsibility. I am expected to be a leader now and put in more effort than I did last year. There are more eyes on me, so I have to focus and know what I am doing and provide leadership for this team.”

On practicing against the starting offensive line every day…
“It was so much help this spring and fall camp just knowing that these guys are real good. When you defeat a block from them, you know that you are getting a quality block, and we went back and forth some days – one day the offensive line won and one day the defensive line won. That’s how it should go on a team.”

On building a foundation on defense…
“Even though we are young, we are still working hard this week and improve every day. Our foundation will be first to stop the run, and then pass rush is our ultimate goal this season.”

Redshirt Freshman Linebacker Will Davis
On Blake Slaughter’s growth…
“I think that Blake has grown a lot, as a person and a player too. You can definitely see his maturity growth throughout the offseason. He was voted as a team captain, so he is taking on the leadership role and has done a good job with it.”

On the linebacker unit…
“Every year is different, but I think that we are going to be pretty good. We have a lot of guys that work hard. I think we are pretty talented, and I think it will be an overall good year for us. I think we will surprise a lot of people at the linebacker group.”

On Dakorey Johnson…
“Dakorey is definitely an athlete. He is picking up on the system real well. Every day he is getting better, every day he is improving with his mechanics and his knowledge of the game.”

On the personality of the linebacker group…
“I think we are still developing it. We are trying to be tough, physically and mentally, on the field. We want to be known as the tough guys on the team.”


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