Crist has new mindset for TCU game
- Sep. 11, 2012
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Dayne Crist was hard on himself after Saturday’s disappointing loss. As a fifth-year senior, Crist felt some pressure and expected more out of himself in his first two games as a Jayhawk. He said no player on the team was more upset than he was.
Coach Charlie Weis noticed Crist needed some motivation. Although the two often hold private conversations, after the Jayhawks game against Rice, Weis and Crist’s discussion strayed from its normal route when they spoke on Monday night, and Weis gave him the optimism he needed to move forward and prepare for the Texas Christian game.
Crist did not want to go into the specifics with what was said, but he made it clear that he changed his mindset, and the loss to Rice is now behind him. Now he set his focus on getting his team ready for TCU as the Jayhawks prepare to kick off their first conference game of the season this Saturday.
“He and I had a great conversation at length about that,” Crist said. “I think that we both came out of that conversation very positive and just having a better understanding of what is going on around me on offense.”
Crist completed 52 percent of his passes in his first two games this season. He aims to improve his completion percentage by relaxing more in the pocket.
“With how tight I looked playing, that’s not me at all,” he said. “I’m missing throws that I don’t miss. That was a combination of a lot of things. I’ve identified the issues that I think I needed to identify.”
Weis reminded Crist that the burden is not all on him, nor is it his job to carry the team. When Crist struggles again in the future, Weis let him know that his teammates are his best source of help.
“We’ve got a couple of good runners who can run the ball efficiently,” Weis said. “So if you’re a quarterback, then you don’t have to bear all the weight on your shoulders. Now it means that we don’t have to throw it on every down to win. We just need to be much more efficient when we do throw the ball. I think that’s what I’m expecting to see from him this week.”
Crist said his coaches’ words of encouragement helped him realize the talent that surrounds him. Crist knows that even as one of the leaders of the team, he should not feel the need to put the team on his back.
When times get tough in the passing game, Crist can lean on running backs Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox for support.
“I’ve gone out and said it publicly before, but with the way our running backs have been able to run the ball, it’s really about going out, running the offense and having fun,” Crist said. “Any great, winning offense is going to have a solid running game. That’s awesome that we have that. Now we have to build on the passing game, I think that’s something that takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback.”
With the Jayhawks facing a big conference game, Crist will go into the game more focused and in a better state of mind. And should things go wrong, Crist knows he has players around him who he can rely on to move the offense.
“Whenever he needs me, Taylor or any other running back, we’ll be there for him,” Pierson said. “He told me to just go out there and have fun and loosen up.