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August 5, 2011Webb gets early vote
Shortly after practice Turner Gill said if the Jayhawks had a game coming up Jordan Webb would be the starting quarterback.
Last year both Webb and Quinn Mecham got a lot of playing time while having the chance to compete against each other. Although they both want the starting job they understand what it means to support each other.
"We are really good friends," Mecham said. "On the field we understand it is competition but we aren't enemies or anything like that. At the end of the day we are on the same team and support each other."
Webb, who was sporting a new hair style, started off strong on the first day of practice.
"I was definitely glad to see Jordan Webb, especially on the first day, to be where he was in spring football," Gill said. "He has looked extremely sharp and confident. He is also throwing the footballs where they need to be. I saw that his decision-making skills were extremely sharp, so I was very glad to see that."
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chuck Long has five quarterbacks in his group to start the season. That is two more than he ended with in spring camp. He said that is a good number so you can get through group drills. Having a year to install the system has also been a plus and Long liked what he saw in day one.
"I thought we set a good tone today," Long said. "We ran a lot of plays. Our pace was good and much faster than the first day last year. That's going to help us. It's going to be a tough camp."
BEWARE: Young receivers are turning heads
There are a lot of receivers on the depth chart, and several of them are returning players. It is another position where there is going to be a lot of competition. The returning players will need to step up their game because the newcomers were already showing off their skills on day one.
Both Marquis Jackson and JaCorey Shepherd came out strong.
"They looked today," Long said of the true freshmen. "Both are very smooth. JaCorey runs a smooth route and you can tell he's been well coached. Marquise will give you that explosion. Very eager guys that want to learn. If you're an older receiver on the team you'd better be ready because those guys are there. We've recruited very well and we have some talent. It makes it more competitive."
Shepherd turned in one of the big plays of the days and it caught Brandon Bourbon's attention.
"JaCoery put a move on a guy and I was like 'wow'," Bourbon said. "I was thinking that was a great move. He has looked good."
The defense will change looks
It's already been thrown out there that the defense will have some new wrinkles and formations. At the Big 12 media day Steven Johnson said they could show more of a 3-4 look.
Whatever scheme the defense will play Toben Opurum says it will be an attacking style and likes what new defensive coordinator Vic Shealy is doing. The players on defense know they have to have a better year creating turnovers.
"Coach Shealy has shown he wants to create pressure from doing many different things," Opurum said. "We are going to give multiple looks and we have a ton of blitz packages. We have people coming this way and people that way. We have pressure coming from ways we haven't done. I really like what he is bringing. I think it will give us a chance to get more sacks and turnovers. That's something we have to improve on from last year if we want to get better."
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