RESPECT FOR KLEIN
There is no question that there is a lot of respect for the new Kansas State offensive coordinator Collin Klein. Head coach Chris Klieman raves about him often and hired him after the Texas Bowl.
The players also speak glowingly about him, whether it is the receivers like Phillip Brooks swear Kade Warner or the new starting quarterback, Adrian Martinez. They have a lot of faith in him.
Some of it stems from their appreciation that he also coaches them up as people as well. Martinez pointed that out and has repeatedly identified it as a defining characteristic of why he picked K-State and why he trusts his offensive coach.
But the new Wildcat signal-caller also labeled the new coordinator as really creative and shared that he has something cooking for this season. They’re using a mixture of tempos that Martinez believes will make their offense even deadlier.
Martinez is also confident in the chemistry that he has quickly been able to create with his receivers. He admitted that it has helped to know Kade Warner as well as he does and live so close to Phillip Brooks.
In addition to that, he identified Brooks, Warner and Malik Knowles as the three receivers that he has been able to carve out the most comfort with so far. That’s not too surprising since they are the expected starters.
His eyes lit up the most when speaking about Brooks’ play throughout fall camp. It is clear that the Lee’s Summit product has been impressing many of his teammates and coaches in the preseason.
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WITHIN THE MACHINE
Another good sign is that Klein and Martinez are speaking the same language. We have referred to that before, but it has repeated itself a few more times. It is clear that they are around each other a lot and resonating with each other.
That’s a key component to success. Having that kind of relationship between offensive coordinator and quarterback is critical. It’d be interesting to know if Adrian ever fit that way with his past offensive bosses in Lincoln.
In any event, they both Klein and Martinez have insisted that an important component to steering the offense is to allow it to work naturally. “Let the machine work” and “let the offense work” are two phrases that have both been used multiple times.
If Martinez orchestrates everything within the confines of the offense and his own skill-set, they feel like everything will take care of itself, including ball security.
Neither one of them wants to coach afraid or play afraid to produce a turnover. That kind of paranoia isn’t healthy. Martinez also understands that he doesn’t have to force it or try to do everything either.
For that, he has a great supporting cast, which includes NCAA All-American Deuce Vaughn. The quarterback alluded to the newly-selected captain as someone who does something to drop their jaws each and every practice.
Nobody can make some of the catches Vaughn does or hit the holes the way that he sometimes does, Martinez divulged. It’s a daily occurrence.
“We’ll take our chances with Deuce in space.”
When the defense speaks about Martinez, they glow about their teammate on the other side of the ball. Often times they specifically point out how he is so good at manipulating them with their eyes.
The former Husker has been using his eyes to move defenders around a lot during fall camp. That will only prove to be a great tool to have for the defense when preparing for other teams.
They will face other quarterbacks that love to do that as well and have that trait in their arsenal.
That stood out to me when Martinez discussed the defense. He mentioned how badly they want to win and how hungry they are, but he pointed out their intelligence and communication on that side of the ball too.
If the Wildcat quarterback is truly excellent using his eyes to manipulate defenders and unload the football to open receivers, that forces defenders to communicate much more to counter it.
A lot of the issues last year pertained to communication. Practicing versus Martinez every day can only improve that facet.