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Q&A: David Beaty

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Hard to fathom a first-time offensive coordinator hailed as the savior of a football program, but when the assistant is as beloved as David Beaty and the program is desperately in need of resuscitation, the appointment is greeted with clanging church bells and plumes of smoke.

What was past for Beaty - he spent two seasons with the Owls as a respected receivers coach before leaving for Kansas to fill that same role - is slowly slipping into irrelevancy. David Bailiff handed Beaty control of his sputtering offense with the hope that Beaty could make proper use of the Owls' disjointed collection of skill talent. Beaty seems to possess the perfect combination of personality and purpose, an ideal blend of affability and ambition. His players like his enthusiasm and Bailiff appreciates his creativity. Beaty aims to put the pieces in place.

Q: You've worked as a head coach in high school and a position coach in college, but this is your first coordinator job. How does the melding of your experience prepare you for this role?

A: I've been blessed enough to work around some great guys that I've learned a lot from: Tom Herman, Major Applewhite, David Bailiff, Blake Miller - guys that I've worked with here before that have shaped me. And then going up to Kansas and being around Coach (Mark) Mangino and Coach (Ed) Warinner and all the guys that I worked with up there. I've tried to do in my college career exactly what I did in my high school career which was take from guys that know what they're doing and try to build your philosophy from there. That's how it's been shaped.

Q: Did your past experience here and your familiarity with some of the players on the roster aid your transition as you readied for spring practice and evaluated the offensive depth chart?

A: I had a little bit of an advantage because I did know a number of kids on the team. I did have a little bit of an idea of their skill set prior to coming here, which is good because it allowed us to make some personnel decisions with regards to positions pretty easy and quickly. Now in terms of implementing our program, a lot of the things that we are doing are very similar, but there are some things that are very different so that's going to take time. The kids are wrapping their minds around it. They're very smart kids and they're picking things up quick. The quicker we can get everything in, the quicker we can start fine tuning this and then using all the tools that the offense has available.

Q: David Bailiff has harped on the need for the offense to establish a quicker tempo. Why does the staff believe that a hastened pace will be advantageous for the Owls in 2010?

A: Coach Bailiff's philosophy has always been that we have a quick tempo in our practice. One of the things that we always talk about is if we move around fast enough in practice, our conditioning should take care of itself. And that's one of the things that we're stressing to our kids is that they have urgency every day. When we play with urgency and we're able to control the tempo of the game, we're at our best. We understand that, and that's something that we're trying to get across to our kids and make them understand that the speed at which we play allows us to control the game. That's one of the things that we focus on and try to drive home to our kids.

Q: What's been your process in sorting through the glut at quarterback, tailback and receiver?

A: It's a good problem to have. We've got some talented kids ... (and) the biggest thing for us is just evaluating their skill sets and what they can do, and at the same time try to get these guys taught our offense and getting them familiar with all facets of it so we can operate effectively. For us right now it's an installation process, and we're almost done with that. From that point we can go back to working on execution and fine tuning what we do offensively.

In terms of dealing with the kids that we have, it's easy. We tell those kids that the best players are going to play, and there's a healthy competition every single day. You're only as good as your next play, your next day, and we want them to feel that urgency. That's when we're at our best is when there is good competition.

Q: When you gained a clear view of the versatility of certain players at particular positions, how did it alter your view of ways to structure your offense?

A: Each year you go through you have different skill sets at different positions, and you obviously want to build your offense around ways you can get your playmakers the ball. Here, with us having great running backs - and we have talented receivers and we have talented quarterbacks - we feel that if we can get this offense installed and get those kids on base with what we're doing offensively, now we can start focusing on matchups and getting those guys in position to make plays.

Q: Is there an efficient plan for evaluating the three-way quarterback competition, and what is the best method for choosing between Nick Fanuzzi, Taylor Cook or Taylor McHargue?

A: For us at quarterback it's very simple, and I've told those guys this from Day 1: the guy that can manage this offense and can move this team and can make good decisions is going to be the guy that wins the job. That's the thing that we're focusing on right now is trying to find out who can do that the best. We've got three very talented guys and, at this point, we're still in a competition and we will be every day. Is there an efficient way? You'd like to have a starter and be able to move him with the 1s all the way through. Nick is the incumbent and he's taking reps with the 1s primarily, but those other two guys are getting reps with the 1s as well ... so we can get a fair comparison. In terms of being efficient, it's as efficient as it can be.

The big thing for us is that we identify who that guy is that can manage this offense.

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6 Comments

Was the word "wildcat" uttered? Anything about increased formation diversity?

Thanks for the Q&A.

Talon: No direct mention of 'Wildcat' but I have seen with my own eyes increased formation diversity, stuff that would make a knowledgeable fan like yourself excited. Given their depth at tailback, the coaches have no choice but to increase the diversity of the offensive package. As an aside, is anyone remotely interested in spring football this year? There has been next to no discussion on the goings on at HRS. - MK

I'm excited... but we're not getting any info sent our way? For now I'm just assuming there's not much to report, but you'll find plenty of us eager to hear who is impressing and what's developing at certain positions of interest.

Nice piece with Beaty. Great hire.

I have been trying to comment for days but can't get it to go through.

What is Justin Allen's status? Is he still 3rd team? Is that a reflection of his skill or what? Is he going on scholarship?

Any guess as to who will be #1 at quarterback?

One issue there is... in the early games they need to rotate to keep them from being injured. Against someone like Texas that is a real issue.

Owl63: Allen appears to be in the mix to back up the starters, Hill and Briggs. I wouldn't take is placement on the depth chart as anything other than a reflection of the experience provided by the two starters. I'm curious to see how he plays on Saturday during the spring game. I can't produce a guess at this point on who will win the starting job at QB. A case can be made for all three candidates. - MK

Mk -- Great article about Mike O and great news about his rehab! Really hope to see him pitch tonight against the Longhorns

If somebody wants to forfeit the UT game, then just do that, but please no QB rotation. Pick the best one and go with him.

I'm excited about football, including the new offensive coordinator. I'll be there Saturday afternoon, hoping McGuffie is given the ball some.

It sounds like Turner Petersen has been a very pleasant surprise this spring. Who else can be added to that category - whether from your observations or your talks with the staff?

Bev: DB Paul Porras, DT Hosam Shahin and DT Jared Williams appear to have turned the corner in addition to Petersen, who has been the breakout star of spring practice. I'm looking forward to these last few practices to see which depth chart climbers can seal the deal going into summer conditioning. - MK

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