March 31, 2007

Cats hope bigger Freeman is better

The sounds of spring filled the Kansas State indoor practice facility late Thursday night, as Josh Freeman stood behind center Jordan Bedore at the one-yard line, his back to the end zone, and began rattling-off signals to imaginary teammates. "Broadway 34! Broadway 34! Tuesday! Tuesday!" he yelled.

Then came the next sound of spring: Second-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Franklin encouraged the sophomore quarterback, but upped the ante.

"Yell it louder, Josh!" he shouted from about 20 yards away, clapping his hands. "You got to be louder!"

"Greeeeen 18!!! Greeeeen 18!!! Gilligan! Mustang! Disney!" Freeman shouted, his hands under Bedore while he turned his head back and forth to survey an imaginary line.

As their teammates completed a variety of drills during the Wildcats' second spring practice, Freeman and redshirt freshman Carson Coffman took turns repeating signals, as did long-snapper Caleb Smith, a sophomore transfer from Garden City, who took snaps as a third quarterback.

Before each rep, Franklin barked a play. This presumably would be what the quarterback would tell teammates in the huddle, prior to lining up in formation. Each play was different, seemingly laced with no fewer than 18 syllables. It seemed quite complicated to the handful of fans that attended the open practice. One by one, the quarterbacks regurgitated the play to Franklin with slick-tongued speed, then went under center and belted out the Green 18s, Broadways and such.

"(Franklin) is really pushing us with the new plays we've got going and the new checks and audible systems," Freeman said. "There's a little bit of rust we've got to shake off, but as far as where we're at now to where we were last spring, we're so far ahead."

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