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They Said It: Snyder, players speak to media members

K-State Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes Head Coach Bill Snyder

Opening Statement...

“The out-of-season program started pretty rough around the edges, not like I'd like, but we got better throughout the entirety of the out-of-season program. I just wish we had started better. The spring practice, I thought we started well, but depending on which portion of the program you look at, some areas have made improvement, others perhaps haven't. Sitting in my seat, it's a little difficult in the spring because it's good against good, it's us against us. From my standpoint for everything I see something good, there's something bad happening, so I can't win. I always come out of spring practice in a miserable state of mind, but the that's the nature of it right now. But as I said, we're halfway through, still have a long ways to go, a lot of things to improve upon, get better in terms of, some basic things like execution and assignment correctness.

“We've gotten a lot in, both offensively and defensively and collectively with the special teams. We’ve got some guys that are out with injuries that have missed up to this point in time that affects the continuity on all three phases of the game. Aside from that, let me answer whatever you have or try to and we'll go from there.”

On the quarterback position…

“It's very competitive and that's the way we like spring practice to be. You don't have an opponent to compete against or prepare for, so the depth chart is fluid, it's open. There really isn't an established depth at this particular point in time. The quarterback position, the obvious two front runners are certainly presenting themselves that way. Our biggest concern at the position is going to be the depth beyond that. I would say right now with the two-deep, two guys we came out of last year's season with, really have picked up where they left off and are very competitive. There isn't a number one right now, but between the two of them we will have a number one, just want to keep it competitive. I like their attitude, their approach towards it – they are very, very competitive but they help each other by the same token. They're there for each other, so there's that unification and selflessness that's significant. They’ve had their flaws, both in the passing game and the running game, but they are fewer and fewer. They’ve pretty much picked up where they where they left off.”

On the coaching changes and the early effects...

“Nothing has really been different. I really appreciate each one of them as well as the returning coaches. I think the continuity has been has been excellent. There were no ruffles in the continuity – I mean we went from the season, to the out-of-season, on into spring football very smoothly. I like the way they work together, that includes not just the new coaches but the returning coaches as well. There is great continuity, I think they work together well. They all have an impact – there's coordinators and co-coordinators, but there it’s a togetherness-type thing. The continuity and the capacity for each of them to play their role and interact with each other has been impressive to me. They're getting along quite well, and I think the players appreciate each of the new coaches as well.”

On the new coordinators putting a new stamp on the offensive and defensive schemes...

“We always look at some new things and that's, part of not all, but that's part of what spring practice is all about – trying to look at things that you think might have a place with the personnel we have. I think that's what creates any type of change, but I’ve said I'm not in favor of change for change sake, but if it has a positive impact, I'm certainly in favor of it. Not very much in the way of change, but we're looking at it some things on both sides of the ball at this point in time and some of it I think it looks like it may fit and we'll have some carry over and some of it's obviously will not – that's pretty consistent with past springs.”

On the depth and experience at running back, and how Mike McCoy fits…

“Mike McCoy is a very talented player, very physical player, very undisciplined player – two out of three doesn't work. When he gets the third order business in place, he'll be a very fine player.”

On the wide receiver position…

“It’s kind of interesting because there's some youth there, we don't have a plethora of experience returning. You'd like to (count on) a guy like Isaiah Zuber coming back, a returning starter, but he just hasn't made the consistent improvement that he's very, very capable of. He can play at an even higher level, he's kind of gotten himself comfortable in a spot. He needs to continue to grow, because he's very, very capable of it.

“I've liked like Landry Weber, who's a new, young guy that hasn't really played for us. His brother, Stanton, played here, works on our staff – but he is really a very, very consistent young guy. He does all the right things, the last couple of days he struggled a little bit, but 75-80 percent of the practices collectively that he's had have really been eye catching and he's made some headway. Aside from that, it's just inconsistency.

“The young guy, (Chabastian Taylor) who was a scout squad player last year and was impressive, has good size, runs well. He started to come along during the spring practice and the other day, after practice I paid him a compliment and he hasn't been the same since. You’ve got to be careful about throwing those compliments around too much to some of the younger guys they don’t handle it real well. He has the capabilities, he just hasn't gotten himself there and part of it is the capacity to be able to mentally stay into the game, snap after snap. There are some other guys that just really haven't progressed to the level of consistency that we need. We don't quite have the depth there that we want right now, at least to play with four wide receivers.”

On the young team of the past couple years maturing into a strong core of players…

“It’s not as mature as I would like for it to be, but you know me – nothing is exactly the way I would like for it to be. That doesn't mean it can't be and shouldn't be and could be. Part of that really comes from having a few guys out, in terms of injuries, that the continuity of things doesn't really come together quite as readily as you would like when that when that takes place. But again, experience is just a word – it can be poor experience and can be good experience. As I’ve said before, it's not about last year, previous years – every year is different. The dynamics are different regardless of how many people you have back, that has very little bearing on it.”

On the defensive backfield…

“Well Duke (Shelley) has done a good job this spring, I would say this is probably the best spring that he has head in my recollection. I think he's making improvements and still has room at the top, so to speak. At the other spot, AJ Parker is back and was kind of a part-time starter when we had injuries last year – he started inside, played on the outside as well. We're looking at him there. Walter Neil is a young guy that has kind of caught my eye during the course of the spring so far, so we're kind of looking at that. It's going to be a major issue for us, is how we how we fill that spot.”

On the confidence in Andre Coleman and Blake Seiler stepping into coordinator roles...

“I think for the most part it's a capacity to have people that they can work with. You take the offensive side of the ball, you've got the experience back with Charlie Dickey, who’s been with us for quite some time now. You've got Collin Klein, who played here and really has a good understanding of the offense, and of course Andre played here as well. It's a collective effort between the three of those in regards to coordinating the offense, and that's what I'm really proud and appreciative of them because they all work together so very, very well – it's really a pleasure to see them interactive as they do.

“On the defensive side, Brian Norwood joins the staff. Blake has a good understanding of what we do defensively, and he's worked it both upfront with linemen and with linebackers as well, so he has a good understanding in that respect. Brian brings excellent experience in the secondary, so the two of them are able to work very closely together and that's very beneficial for us. I don't want to duplicate the word coordination, but just the ability to interact collectively, together in order to come up with the best use of schemes as it relates to our personnel and all that goes along with coordinatorships, it's been smooth up to this point in time.”

On Da’Quan Patton’s progress and fit at linebacker…

“Right now, he's got he's got a ways to go. I like his effort. He is inconsistent in what he’s accomplishing right now, but as far as his effort, it's probably the best of that group, the linebacker corps. I appreciate that part of it, he's trying diligently to learn the system in a short period of time and is making headway in that regard.”

On the linebacker position as a whole…

“(Elijah) Sullivan is probably next in line, Sam Sizelove is certainly going to be a factor there. Ian Rudzik may have a chance there.”

On special teams…

“Not going as well as I would like, and you hit the nail on the head. Right now, we're trying to sort through a number of young guys that we have in regards to finding the specialist part of it. That's been a struggle, not that there's not some capabilities there, it’s just the inconsistency. Punters, place kickers, holders, snappers, et cetera, all that we lost and the guys that we lost were there for an extended period of time, so it's not like they were one-and-out, these were three- and four-year starters that we're replacing so it's going to take a little time to get all that house in order.”

On Brian Norwood’s contributions…

“Brian is an energetic coach and he's a very likable coach, a very excellent person. I think the players seem to be responding to him well, seems to like him a great deal, which that's not necessarily the most important thing but nevertheless it has some significance. I've known about Brian for a long time when he was at Penn State, I think he was there 10, 11, 12 years something like that with Joe Paterno and Joe had always spoken highly of him, so he was always kind of on the on the back burner when the need arose. He has a good knowledge of the game.”

On Brian Norwood’s time at Baylor...

“I think that brings up a good point and I think it was significant. I like the balance and his past history, his track record. When he was at Penn State, they played the game in a box up there and then it got opened up at Baylor. I think he saw both sides of the fence and then what he saw being in Tulsa where maybe the talent level wasn't quite as prolific is it might have been at the other schools. So he’s seen an awful lot of college football.”

On the defensive tackles...

“Well Joe Davies and Drew Wiley probably right now would round out the top three. One of the guys that, probably the individual in our program right now that I think that has been most consistent in regards to consistent improvement throughout the course of the offseason program and now in spring football has probably been Trey Dishon. Trey has been very, very impressive to me on, and I don't know if we've got sidetracked by having Will Geary there or not last year, but I have seen what I consider to be a remarkable improvement by Trey and the fact that it would be pretty hard to uproot him from the starting position. He still remains very, very competitive day-in and day-out. He comes to practice to work and he's still going when whistle blows, so I appreciate him.”

On Alex Barnes and the running backs...

“Alex is doing fine. Eric Hickson has done a very nice job with running backs. They have been very, very competitive this spring. I think, on the offensive side of the ball, that's the group that I feel strongest about right now and obviously having returning guys that everybody talks about, it's beneficial. But I've seen him step up their level of intensity. I think they run harder with the ball right now and they're more active blockers. I like the way they compete right now.”

On the fullbacks and tight ends…

“Well, again, that's what it's like at virtually every aspect of the depth chart – very, very fluid, maybe even more so they're at the tight end. (Nick) Lenners has done a nice job. (Blaise) Gammon has done a pretty nice job as well. They were kind of interchangeable. Mason (Barta) has been out for a little bit and so we've have not gotten a chance to see everything we want to see. (Luke) Sowa came in as a transfer student, and we're kind of looking at him right now. So we're just really uncertain at those at those particular spots.”

On Dalvin Warmack decision to stay...

“I think the process goes through their mind, ‘Where can it be better for me’, and that went through his mind. I'm sure goes through a lot of other players here in our program as well as it does and a lot of other programs. That's why you see so many transfers across the country, but I think for Dalvin it was just a long and the short of it was in time and he's a bright young guy and has a good family, and I think they were in some very deep discussion about it over a period of time. Sometimes it takes time and he just came to the realization that where would things be better for me, A – in terms of opportunities to play and B – in terms of other things that go along with the nature of the game, and what goes on in the program and how it benefits young people, and that was a conclusion that they came to.”

On the input Collin Klein and Andre Coleman will have on the quarterback competition…

“Well, I listen to them like I listen to any coach that we have in our program. I value their judgment as well, so I mean the three answer to your question, is yes I will listen certainly to them.”

On the areas of improvement for Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton…

“I think more than anything else, and this sounds like an easy out answer and covers a lot of ground, but it's just that consistency. I mean, both of them have proven that they can throw the ball well. They can be accurate, that they can go through their progressions, et cetera, although progression is the hardest thing for a quarterback really to learn. So they always need great improvement on that, but they're good about those things, they're good about making decisions in the running game, et cetera. It's just the consistency of being able to do it snap after snap after snap after snap. They probably always, and this would be true with any quarterback that we've ever had, is being able to have that high degree of capability to redirect our offense, get ourselves in the right place, and number one, let's get out of the wrong place. Kind of secondly is to be able to get ourselves into the into the right choices.”

On the depth at defensive end…

“Well, I question some of the evaluation that you did that they haven't proven that to me yet. I think right now the guy that is most consistent with our defense ends probably is Kyle Ball. I like the fact that he's a young guy and that he consistently plays hard. He's a bright young guy, makes good decisions. I think probably the other guys, it's just a matter of the consistency part of it.”

On Wyatt Hubert...

“Wyatt it is, yes, I have really been impressed with him. He suffers from the same thing as the others, but just being the youngest of the group, it's a little more mind boggling for him. He has the least amount of experience. Bronson Massie is probably next on the list, not a great deal of experience but he does have some and lacks consistency, and then Reggie Walker, who has been a starter, has all the capabilities in the world, just is not consistent with it right now.”

On the defensive backfield…

“Well I think each of them have shown some promise that allows us to understand that they're good young guys to have in the program. None of them have really stepped forward to the degree that we would like to see at this point in time, but then again, something that you have to realize, they’re only preparation for spring practice in the history of their lives for us has been in the out-of-season program because of the NCAA and all their infinite wisdom doesn’t give you a chance to spend much time with they. So they're just there in the learning process, but the capabilities are there.”

On Kendall Adams’ injury…

“Kendall is doing fine, it's just keeping weight under control, but he is he is doing well today. He stayed very focused on what he's doing and been a big asset and helped younger guys as well.”

On tight ends coach Zach Hanson…

“Well I don't know that I could answer that question. I don't know the difference from one, I'd like to think that certainly they've gained some knowledge, got to make sure it's the right knowledge to fit into our program, but I've been very pleased and impressed. Zach hasn't been gone long at all, so he is a bright young guy, so I mean he knows exactly what we do and how we do it. Eric (Hickson) has been gone longer but had an opportunity to work at Akron with Coach Bowden. I just love his enthusiasm with our players, with our running backs, and he has the capacity to be extremely demanding and still in such a way that a player understands that he is trying to benefit them, and that that has that's helped a great deal.”

Senior Offensive Lineman Dalton Risner

On being a ‘player-coach’ while recovering from injury, along with Kendall Adams...

“It is something that’s tough, but at the same time we’re able to take advantage of that – to be out there coaching and helping the younger guys and be able to become better leaders on and off the field.”

On his decision to not participate in the Cactus Bowl due to injury…

“I’m very happy with my decision. It’s a bummer that I didn't get to play in the bowl game. That’s one start that I didn’t get to add to my resume, but health is really a big concern for me, and I want to be healthy for my senior year. That’s what I’m going to be, and I’m really happy about that.”

Sophomore Quarterback Skylar Thompson

On the offensive coordinator position change…

“There’s nothing significantly different, but you can just tell that Coach (Andre) Coleman has a little different mindset toward the offense and what he wants to do. He’s mainly just adjusting our offense around what type of players we have.”

On Coach Coleman...

“I’m excited have Coach Coleman there, just because it’s a different perspective and he’s a high-energy guy. He brings a lot of energy to our practice and to our offense, and he expects a lot of big things from us. He expects us to be perfect and understanding that we’re not going to be perfect, but that’s what we need to strive to be... You can tell he really cares about our team and I’m excited to go play for a guy like that.”

Junior Running Back Alex Barnes

On the atmosphere of practice with a new offensive coordinator…

“Practices are definitely a lot more intense and there’s a lot more emphasis on speed, play calls, and repetition. It’s going to be a new look this year and it’s going to be pretty exciting.”

On the offensive strength…

“We are going to be one of the most efficient offenses that we’ve had here, as far as I’ve been here. Skylar (Thompson) and (Alex) Delton are both dynamic quarterbacks, we have a running game, and we have a loaded backfield. We have receivers who are just getting open – Dalton Schoen, Isaiah Zuber, and Isaiah Harris are all having great springs right now. We have pretty much all of the weapons coming back.”

Junior Quarterback Alex Delton

On his confidence after winning Cactus Bowl MVP honors…

“Anytime you can go out and have success, especially cap the year off with a win, and have success as an offensive unit, it brings a lot of confidence to you, your play and then just you as player and you as a person. I feel like building off of that has been surely positive for me. Physically this off season, I feel like I’ve made the best strives I’ve ever made in the weight room and (running) times.”

On the newly structured offensive coaching staff…

“We benefit from them and I feel like they are guys that can lead this team from a coaching standpoint. All of them are very personable guys, too. We can talk to them off the field, not only on the field, and that’s something that sticks with us. We know they are there, and they’ve all been in our shoes before. That’s something we relate to instantly.”