Seven-on-seven work provides glimpses of KU's offense and defense
Every time the Kansas football team practices this spring, the Jayhawks address their strengths and weaknesses under the watchful eyes of head coach David Beaty and his numerous assistants.
For approximately 15 minutes of most sessions, the media is allowed to observe, too. And typically there is not much to see. Some warm-ups. Extra-point and field goal work. Players fielding punts. Position drills. The sort of mundane aspects of practicing that have to be done but hardly qualify as entertaining or informative.
Thankfully on Thursday, during the eighth of 15 spring practices, Beaty threw in a couple series of seven-on-seven action, an alteration welcomed by those in attendance who don’t get to witness the vast majority of KU’s repetitions.
The variation — though it didn’t include linemen from either side of the ball — provided somewhat of a peek at the Jayhawks’ offense and defense and highlighted a few of the subjects Beaty, offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen already have discussed in conversations about where KU stands at this point.
Here’s a quick recap of the seven-on-seven, which featured a series apiece for quarterbacks Carter Stanley and Peyton Bender.
On first down, Stanley, a redshirt sophomore, looked to hit junior receiver Steven Sims Jr. deep in the back left corner of the end zone. Stanley put the ball in a pretty good spot. But sophomore corner Kyle Mayberry rose up to knock the would-be score to the turf.
Spotting former running back Ryan Schadler, now a slot receiver, coming open over the middle of the field, Stanley threw Schadler’s way but junior linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. hustled in to deflect the pass.
Two plays after Mayberry made a strong stop in the end zone, Sims beat him down the sideline on third down to haul in a wide-open TD — much to the chagrin of Bowen, who let the cornerback know that kind of mistake was unacceptable.
Bender, a junior who began his college career at Washington State, opened by displaying his precision. The 6-foot-1 transfer flung a pass through a small window, between defenders, to find 6-foot-4 sophomore receiver Chase Harrell.
After picking up a first down on the pass to Harrell, Bender made a quick read and completed a short throw to redshirt freshman receiver Kwamie Lassiter II.
Bender’s only incompletion of the brief period came on second down, when sophomore corner DeAnte Ford dove in at the last moment to break up a pass intended for sophomore receiver Daylon Charlot.
After the offense hurried back to the line of scrimmage, Bender dumped off a pass to junior running back Taylor Martin on the right side.
To complete his series with a touchdown, too, Bender hit Charlot, the 6-foot Alabama transfer, near the right sideline.