Kansas State football took part in the 2018 edition of Big 12 Football Media Days at the The Star in Frisco, the team headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, on Tuesday. K-State was represented by head coach Bill Snyder and student-athletes Alex Delton, Colby Moore, Dalton Risner and Skylar Thompson.
The following is a transcript from head coach Bill Snyder’s press conference.
THE MODERATOR: We’re now joined at the podium by Coach Bill Snyder. Coach, welcome.
Q. Coach, I’m curious if you’ve had more time to think about the new kickoff rule and how you might be successful with it pinning teams deep in how you did it last year?
BILL SNYDER: I’ve given a great deal of thought to it and I can’t tell you that we have the best possible answer. We’ve got a number of different thoughts both with our kickoff unit and with our return unit. We will probably have to experience it during the preseason practices that we have. A lot of it, certainly as a kickoff unit, will have a lot to do with our kickoff individual, which we lost our kickoff man from last year. So it’s going to depend a little bit, not a little bit, an awful lot on what they are capable of doing consistently. Just how much difference it’s going to make with our return unit, I’m not all together certain. I don’t see it as discerning as the kickoff aspect, as it would be for our kickoff unit.
Q. What tactical changes have your new coordinator hires brought to the program?
BILL SNYDER: Not really. We have a system in place, been in place for a long time. There’s a lot to it. We’ve got a notebook, playbook that’s about that thick. So there’s not much in there that exists in the game of football. It’s all in there, let me put it that way. We move around. The important thing is going to be what can our players do.
So we can’t do all of it, but we can pull from our collection of offense, those things that our players are most capable of doing. We’ve experienced a good deal of it during the course of the spring and the fall, preseason, 25 workouts. We’ll define for sure what our players are most capable of. There’s a tweak here and there, but not anything that, you’ll recognize the offense when you see it, let me put it that way.
Q. I wanted to ask you about stadium construction. There is a big boom across the country. Seems like it’s never letting up as schools spend millions and millions more, including your place. Can you as a senior observer talk about whether this trend is good, bad, or are you indifferent about it?
BILL SNYDER: I’ve said so many times, and whether it’s stadium construction facilities, etcetera, etcetera, I think everybody has, ourselves included, have nice facilities. I have a concern about it. I truly do. I’ve been outspoken about it maybe more so certainly than I should. But I think sometimes we lose our sense of priority in regards to what really is important. That’s not to say that football and facilities isn’t important because it certainly is. You look at it from a standpoint of if I’m a professor at a university I’m going to ask the question, what’s really important here? Is it education or is it football? A professor that has an office the size of a closet and as coaches we’ve got offices as big as this indoor facility. You ask the question, why? Also I think sometimes it puts, for lack of a better term, a bad rap on young people in the program, because they’re seen as kind of a spoiled brat sometimes and they certainly aren’t. They’re good, young people. But it can be seen that way.
The other part of it is, I think television is important, and so many of you here from television and radio outlets, etcetera. But television kind of owns the game of college football in all reality. It’s just like right now. We couldn’t start this until everything is in order, on a time schedule. That doesn’t affect me or doesn’t bother me, but, you know, all of the things that we do that manifest themselves in the game of college football are so much of it is directed by dollars and cents. To me, that’s unfortunate.
I’ve said so many times as coaches we make an awful lot of money and if I’m a professor at a university I’m saying I’ve got a salary that’s 1/20th, or 1/30th, or 1/40th, or 1/50th, whatever it is, of those coaches. So where is the value of education in this system? It creates some problems, but I’m sure everybody doesn’t feel that way. But maybe it’s just because I’m 100 years old that I feel that way. I don’t know.
Q. Wide receiver corp took a little bit of a hit this year. Byron Pringle turned pro. Dominique Heath left the program. What are the skills that you currently have to replace those guys and who are the guys that fit that mold or are you looking for guys to step in there?
BILL SNYDER: I don’t think we ever stop looking, whether it’s any position or any other position in the program, because you have young guys in your program that are trying to develop. They’ve got an opportunity to improve their existence and their capabilities and if they do sometimes they can work themselves into an opportunity to compete for playing time. I think right now we probably have, thoughts would vary, but coming out of spring practice maybe
four or five guys that we think fit the bill, and we’re hoping for a few more.
I think the guys you saw in the spring game were the guys that we’re going to have to count on, because we’re like anybody else, you know, we can play with one, two, three, four, five, wide receivers, whatever the case is. So the more you have, the more the merrier, so to speak. Those are guys also that if you’re an offensive lineman, you’re bigger, you can’t run as well but you work in a space about the size of this table. If you’re a wide receiver you work in a space about the size of the building that we’re in right now. Point is there is a lot of running that takes place and being well conditioned and being able to, where an offensive lineman might play 75 plays in a ball game, a wide receiver is probably not going to do that, at least you’re not probably going to get the best effort out of him if he’s sprinting 20 or 30 or 40 yards every time you snap the ball. So you need as many as you can get, and we’re not where we hope to be and as we get through these 25 days of preseason practice.
Q. I was wondering about your thought process about bringing both your quarterbacks, Alex and Skylar to Media Days. Seems like everyone is running from quarterback talk this week, but you brought both those guys. What is it about those guys that you wanted to share with us?
BILL SNYDER: I think first and foremost always going to think about them first. At the quarterback position you understand as everybody in here does that that quarterback is under a little bit more scrutiny than most positions in the game of football. Consequently, there is a lot of imposed pressure on young people that play that position, more so probably than other positions. I thought this was a great opportunity to imply some preseason pressure so you’ve got to practice the things you’re going to experience so there is a little bit of pressure in them being here.
Secondly, they deserve to be here. They’re both very competitive young guys who are competing, one is a captain, one is a co-captain. They have both stepped up and provided excellent leadership during the course of the summer workout programs, which is extremely important. The demanding-type leadership that is necessary because coaches can’t be involved in their practices, so they have to be part of the leadership that takes place. Both of them have done that. Both of them are just very, very capable young guys and as I said very competitive and as I said, they’re still in extreme competition for the starting position. I don’t know what else to tell you. I hope that answers the question.
Q. How do you feel about the new transfer rule? What kind of progressions or changes did you want to continue to see in that? What is your preference as far as that area of the game is concerned?
BILL SNYDER: Well, you know, I can’t tell you that I have the answer. We just do whatever it is that we’re directed to do. I’m going to say something that most coaches wouldn’t feel comfortable saying and I can’t tell you I feel comfortable doing it, but you asked me the question. I think we add to that, there is a perception. If you’re in that age group that is competing or going to college and competing at that level, you’re identified across our nation as an individual that fits in an age group of instant self-gratification, which means at least in my terminology, I want it. I want it now. If I can’t have it now, forget it. I’m moving on to something else. To me, not a good way to live a life. I think we kind of open the doors for that.
If I were a player that wanted to get on the field and play and couldn’t do it, you know, certainly I would think maybe I should be at a different place. But by the same token, I think we take away maybe or we are teaching lessons that are contrary to what most of us have been raised with and that is if you want something then you work extremely hard. You have a good plan about how to achieve it and you work extremely hard at doing it and you don’t give up, you don’t give in, you don’t walk away from it. You continue to compete to make what you desire to happen, happen. I think some of the rules kind of bypass that.