The second man on the podium Monday was David Beaty, the energetic head coach of That School Down the River. Beaty, a guy for whom even K-State fans have begrudgingly exhibited some appreciation, is still struggling with being picked last in the conference despite a program-altering win last season.
Beaty’s opening statement spotlighted the two biggest reasons why Kansas may be on the rise: the addition of Doug Meacham as his offensive coordinator, and the return of stud lineman and preseason defensive player of the year honoree Dorance Armstrong. In talking about Armstrong, Beaty talked about the sort of young men he’s luring to Lawrence, and if he’s not just talking smoke he’s following a blueprint with which we’re all familiar.
The first question addressed the big win against Texas and its meaning as a source of momentum, which Beaty sort of downplayed. To Beaty, the fact that it was the Jayhawks’ first Big 12 win under his leadership was more important than the victim.
The competition between Carter Stanley and Peyton Bender at quarterback was the next pitch. Beaty said it’s a good competition, and that the players are besties and roommates, so it’s a healthy one.
Beaty was asked about program benchmarks, and he was pretty clear that Kansas fully intends to compete for championships. The next two questions focused on Meacham, whose presence is “comforting” to Beaty, as it should be. Beaty also mentioned Ryan Schadler’s move to receiver as part of his discussion on changes Meacham is making.
Asked about the defense, and specifically about lineman Daniel Wise, Beaty expressed a lot of confidence in coordinator Clint Bowen and noted the improvement of the unit as 2016 went on. Regarding Wise, Beaty declared him somewhat of an unnoticed weapon who can play both inside and outside. Wise will provide good cover for Armstrong this fall.
The session closed with another question about Meacham, specifically wondering how Beaty actually managed to get him to come to Kansas. Beaty explained that he and Meacham have been friends for a long time, and he’d actually been trying to lure him to Lawrence for awhile.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens down the river this fall. For those who want to see Kansas suffer forever, disappointment seems to loom on the horizon. Those who think a good team in Lawrence is good for K-State, on the other hand, have something to look forward to.