Kansas receiver Stephon Robinson has noticed a huge change since new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon took over two weeks ago:
The team’s offense is operating with more urgency.
“We’re practicing that 24/7, like it’s a two-minute drill every single play,” Robinson said. “He’s bringing that enthusiasm and fast pace to every play.”
Perhaps this will be the most telltale sign that the Jayhawks’ offense has changed when the team takes on No. 15 Texas on Saturday. Dearmon, in practices, has repeatedly preached running everywhere, which has been an adjustment from KU’s previous huddle-happy ways.
“I definitely love the new edge that we have on offensive end,” KU receiver Andrew Parchment said. “With sprinting onto the field, I know a lot of teams don’t do that, so it’s probably going to catch the other team off-guard, and just shows that we’re ready to play football.”
Parchment has been calling for this sort of adjustment for a while now.
The junior, who is sixth in the Big 12 with 422 receiving yards, has talked about his preference for KU running the hurry-up after numerous games this year.
“I just feel like if you’ve got a lot of skill players like we have, I feel like once you go up-tempo, that puts the defense at a disadvantage,” Parchment said. “Because if you’re misplaced one second, then one of our skill players can take it the distance.”
The midseason switch also was an adjustment for KU’s defense. Quarterback Carter Stanley was encouraged by early returns from the team’s fast-paced offense in a scrimmage last week, saying, “I think our tempo kind of surprised (the defenders) a little bit.”
KU safety and team captain Bryce Torneden said he immediately sensed a different enthusiasm from offensive players and coaches in the last week.
“It’s the little things that are going to add up,” Torneden said, “and I think the energy is really there and it’s really apparent.”
Robinson, who played for fast-moving offenses in both high school and junior college, said one of the advantages he’d seen was the potential to create defensive confusion.
This approach can have some minor downsides too. Offensive linemen don’t always love to run so much in practice, and Robinson joked that his legs had been a bit sore from the tougher workouts over the past week.
The hope, though, is for KU’s offense to become accustomed to going fast, which could leave the defense a step behind in future games.
“I think everyone realizes that there’s just going to be more production,” Stanley said, “and with the potential of us to run tempo, it just creates more plays and more opportunities for us to make plays.”