UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 9, 2019
LES MILES: Good afternoon. Hope you all are enjoying yourselves today. Got any questions?
Q. You said after the game you wanted to kind of review the game and watch it again and kind of assess Stanley's play. What did you see -- and you also said this morning it sounds like you're going to stick with him at quarterback. What did you see that kind of led you to that decision rather than going in another direction?
LES MILES: Well, he was guilty of trying to make plays, okay, and it's the right thing, and it's absolutely the wrong thing. In this instance he made a couple mistakes. I think he's a guy that's accountable. I think he'll step in and with opportunity play well. I'm not going to make a change at this time.
Q. What are the specific areas where you really want to see him improving moving forward?
LES MILES: Really -- you know, he can extend things with his feet and really should have done that a little bit more. He could have gone and got a couple 1st downs, and those are things that he's very comfortable doing. It's just awareness.
Q. Just to follow up on that, does your quarterback or anyone on offense have the freedom at this point in the installation of the new offense to audible out of a look if they don't like what they're seeing?
LES MILES: Oh, yeah.
Q. Would you like to see him do that more on run blitz plays?
LES MILES: I think they're doing enough. I think there's a nice comfortable audible in, audible out system. And I think they're using it effectively. So not right now. Wouldn't change it.
Q. Boston College is pretty physical, got a couple big 240-, 250-pound running backs. What's the challenge?
LES MILES: Well, it's to get numbers to the ball and making sure that we match their intensity and play physical football ourselves. We have some advantages. We'd like to play on the advantage side of things.
Q. The touchdown came when you had both running backs at the same time, both Pooka and Herbert out there together. What can that combination together do when they're both on the field and what kind of flexibility does that give you?
LES MILES: Well, there's a number of things. I don't know that I'm big on giving schematic lessons here in the middle of game week, but let's just say that we wouldn't have put him back in there if we didn't feel like there was something we could do with him.
Q. How have you seen the players respond so far since taking a close loss like that at home?
LES MILES: Well, I saw them last time yesterday, okay, and I haven't had lengthy conversations with a number just yet. But I'm going to see them again today, and I think that they'll -- I think that they're looking forward to getting to a practice and improving and kind of discarding some of the old mistakes.
Q. Kind of a weird week, obviously, with the Friday night game. Do you like the Friday night games, and how does that kind of alter your normal preparation?
LES MILES: You end up combining days and grabbing a little bit more from one day to get it taken care of. Each opponent has a different challenge to us. It's stretched out over a period of time that's a day less. But we like the schedule. We feel like we'll be good and certainly practiced.
Q. I know the whole thing takes time and the process has to work itself out; are you surprised the offense has been a little stagnant early on?
LES MILES: Yeah, I would not -- I would expect that we have some real weapons on offense, and I think that those weapons will show more. I think Pooka's arrival, we're not up at 100 percent full speed for Pooka, we just haven't gotten the things in place and certainly have worked along those lines, I can tell you that.
Q. Is it too early to start looking at significant changes in terms of scheme or personnel or anything like that?
LES MILES: I -- yeah, I'm not contemplating changes at this point, so...
Q. What have you seen out of Dru Prox to this point in the season, and what are your thoughts on him?
LES MILES: He's having a great year. He's very talented, mobile, athletic, understands football, is a bright football man, and he has a number of tackles. In the last game I want to say, and don't hold me to this specifically, but I'd say he had 10 unassisted tackles, which is really special.
Q. You spoke pretty highly about the offensive line throughout camp. It seems like maybe they're not quite where you were hoping they would be at this point. What's kind of holding them back from playing like the dominant brand that you've referenced before?
LES MILES: Yeah, this will be a great challenge to them. This is a really good defense that Boston College has, and this will be a nice challenge for them. I think they've played well. I think everybody is settling in. I don't know if that's -- it makes great sense when you're moving. You arrive at the new house and you settle in, right. I think what we're doing here is we're finding plays that fit our kids that are playmakers. I think we're settling in, if you will, on how to equip our players best. I think there's some time there.
Q. Are the rotations working out well up front. Are you happy with how that's working?
LES MILES: Yeah, we're expecting that they're going to get better, okay, and the guys that are getting rotation time are talented guys and now need some reps to get us better. Obviously the plan is that sooner rather than later we'll be ready to play dominant football.
Q. On Carter's second interception you had two receivers kind of in the same area, looked like there was some miscommunication there. What can be done for you guys to clean that part of it up?
LES MILES: Yeah, there was a -- if you recall, he had time to move his feet. He made himself a -- he extended the play some, and there were two in the same, but he apparently didn't see the fact that there were two defenders in the same area. So that to me is -- what he should have done at that point would have been a 15-yard gain, and he knows that, and no one has to repeat it, okay. He's a veteran. He's a guy that understands what this is about, and he will step in and play better.
Q. Just as far as the miscommunications go, how do you work on those?
LES MILES: Yeah, I don't think that that one was specifically a miscommunication. I think at times we do have that, and what you do is you make sure that every day that they're in headsets, and I'm talking about the assistant coaches, you signal the plays and you signal the field and you get it from one coach who's got the script and the other coaches act as if they were on the sideline on Saturday.
Q. We haven't seen some of your younger linebackers yet, Gavin Potter and Steven Parker on defense yet. What do you need to see from them?
LES MILES: I think both of them are going to play a ton of football. I think there's a point in time where you get comfortable or maybe that veteran wants a blow, but I think they could see playing time certainly Friday. And that was a "could," so when you come back in and you go, hey, you told me. No, I told you "could."
Q. Through two games of from your defense, what overall have you liked?
LES MILES: Dru Prox. Again? Okay, I like the person, the athlete, the number of -- statistically he is killing it. I think he's -- it's early in the season, but he certainly would be up for postseason awards.
Q. The entire defense, what have you liked through two games, haven't given up a lot of points --
LES MILES: You're talking about the entire?
Q. Your overall, yeah.
LES MILES: I like my team. I think they're imperfect at this point, and I talk about coaches and players. We're all in this together. We'll make the necessary advancement in our technique, in our abilities to play, and I think you'll see a better football team as we continue.
Q. After reviewing the tape and looking back at those 4th down situations, what do you take away from those, how you can improve on those and have more success in those situations?
LES MILES: Yeah. We spent some time there. I think there was a really fine call made by the defensive guys, and I think the -- yeah, I think the opportunity to improve on that spot, that particular spot, is something that we'll work on.
Q. Each of the first two weeks you've had kickers miss kicks. I'm just curious, does that affect your philosophy in terms of going for it on 4th down? Does it make you more aggressive? And where do you feel about the kicking race?
LES MILES: Well, I really think that our kicking is going to be better. Yeah, I think that there's an opportunity for us to continue to compete at the kicking spot, and Liam Jones, in my opinion, is really improving, and I think our young freshman kicker will, also. He's a talented leg and very capable guy, and I think we have to understand to a certain extent that this is the first couple games, and there will be some "what is this about" showing up. And I think they'll be fine.
Q. And will that affect your aggressiveness on 4th downs?
LES MILES: I think I've always been pretty aggressive on 4th down. So I hope not. I hope that's not one that I have to take. And I know that that's a scoring play. In other words, my kicker, he'll have an opportunity to score.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about Daylon and Andrew Parchment. They both had pretty big weeks in the opener and then were limit this had week. Did they see different type of looks? What led to them not being as productive the second game?
LES MILES: Yeah, it's a -- they were targeted well. Plays needed to be made. We've not had time of possession on our side yet, and when you go up in there and you don't score and you turn the ball back to a team that's eating the clock, it's difficult. Suddenly those calls become, do you need that run, do you need that pass, do you need -- what do you need, as opposed to we opened the game with a deep ball or so and then get a big run, and suddenly it's a nice drive, and so the next drive we certainly hit some -- tried to hit some passes and then there became a couple of plays that we'd like to have back.
Now it changes, changes your perspective, and you have to do things differently.
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