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Slate: Klieman opens practice to media

Position battles may be emerging. Or they may not. We’re all guessing.

Chris Klieman greets K-State football players with fiery speech
Chris Klieman welcomed the media to Manhattan for the team’s fourth practice of the 2019 season.
Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images

Coach Klieman opened a portion of yesterday’s practice to the media, leading to a smorgasbord of coverage. Both Ryan Black (the Mercury) and Kellis Robinett (the Eagle) scribbled frantic notes and recapped the experience for us. Among the more concerning developments: Reggie Walker and Bronson Massie did not participate in on-field activities. Klieman expects Walker to miss about a week.

The television networks got in on the fun, as well. KSNT described the day as “historic,” which is probably hyperbole, though the concept of “open” practice was certainly taboo under Coach Snyder’s watch. KAKE focused its attention on Skylar Thompson’s burgeoning confidence. WIBW zeroed in on the junior signal-caller’s growth, as well.

Because you can’t open the doors to media types without stoking some intrigue, Kellis Robinett suggests that walk-on sophomore Nick Ast, from Cimarron, may be pushing redshirt freshman John Holcombe for the backup quarterback spot. Several reporters also guessed at possible running back rotations. Let the arguments commence!

To close the day, Coach Klieman held a press conference, the entirety of which is available for viewing on the athletic department website. KSAL provides audio only, if that’s your thing.

In alumni news, wide receiver Byron Pringle is fighting for a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs’ opening day roster after injuring his hamstring in the preseason finale last year (a game in which he amassed 122 receiving yards) and spending the year on the team’s injured reserve squad. His unique combination of size, speed and strength—along with a knack for special teams play—gives him a chance to make the team. Our old friend Greg Woods brings us the story of Pringle’s positive outlook as he pursues his dream.

After it was reported yesterday that Jordy Nelson would sign a one-day contract with the Packers to ceremonially retire with the franchise where he made his reputation as and NFL receiver, it appears the ceremony did not include a meaningless contract, after all. ProFootballTalk reports that the decision not to sign the pro forma deal leaves Jordy free to join any NFL team he chooses as a free agent. Had he signed the ceremonial paperwork, he would have had to secure a release from the Packers to play elsewhere. Also, as a free agent, he can latch on with any team all the way up to the Super Bowl. Feel free to speculate about what that might (but probably won’t) mean to your favorite NFL franchise.

In non-football sports news, the athletic department provided its weekly wrap of K-State baseball players’ summer play, featuring the return of Nick Martini to big leagues with the Oakland A’s. Also, track and field graduate Morgan Coffman has been awarded a $10,000 postgraduate scholarship to continue her academic career at Northern Arizona. This is her second scholarship of that amount. Coffman says she looks forward to completing her graduate studies in December 2021 and considers herself blessed to be a K-State alum.