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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Charlie Weis now a ‘big fan’ of James Sims

Kansas linebacker Michael Reynolds (55) chases after running back James Sims (29) during the second half of the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field. At left is white team offensive lineman Luke Luhrsen.

Kansas linebacker Michael Reynolds (55) chases after running back James Sims (29) during the second half of the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field. At left is white team offensive lineman Luke Luhrsen.

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The uncertainty surrounding suspended running back James Sims’ future with the Jayhawks became a little clearer Tuesday.

Asked how Sims had responded to being slapped with a three-game suspension following an offseason DUI arrest, Kansas University coach Charlie Weis dished out some pretty serious praise.

“Right now, if I had to pick the most complete running back on our team, I would pick James,” Weis said of the junior tailback. “I think he responded pretty well. James is way better than I thought he was. He just unfortunately can’t play right now.”

Weis was not the only Jayhawk to applaud Sims’ progress. Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell said Sims was a much better back today than he was at the end of the 2011 season, and teammates Brandon Bourbon and Tony Pierson said they had great respect for their teammate who now weighs around 195 pounds after playing nearly 15 pounds heavier during his first two seasons.

“He has improved,” Bourbon said. “Even since we started practice, these past five, six days.”

Added Pierson: “It seems like he’s not even paying attention to not playing the first three games. James lost a few pounds, so now he’s lighter and faster. He really worked on that in the offseason. He’s much faster.”

Still, Weis gushed the most.

“People told me he couldn’t run outside. They were wrong; he can,” Weis said. “People told me he doesn’t have another gear. He does. It might be because he is down 10 pounds. It might be because he’s in great shape. But I’m a big fan of James now. He has a lot of natural running ability, and he’s not afraid to pick up the blitz.”

As for what will happen when Sims returns for Week 4?

“When he’s back, he’s back,” Weis said. “And when he’s earned the right to play, he’ll play. I’d be very surprised when we go to (Northern) Illinois the fourth week if James isn’t on the field.”

Comments

Jason Keller 1 year, 11 months ago

He went to some Juco in Misery I believe

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David Leathers 1 year, 11 months ago

I find it very amusing that the rest of the college football nation thinks that hiring Charlie Weis was a mistake. Every time this guy speaks it makes me wish I still lived in Kansas so I could buy season tickets. I'm so excited for this season. I know, everyone says we should keep our expectations low. Not me. Can't do it, this new coach we have just oozes winning.

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hawk316 1 year, 11 months ago

Among other qualities, Weis seems to possess the ability to learn from his mistakes. That requires humility, wisdom and the ability to be truly honest with oneself, qualities that not every coach (or person) possesses. Result? KU gains a better coach.

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LAJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm not sure the "rest of college football nation" necessarily thinks it was a mistake, but even so, I'm not sure what they are measuring it to. Who did they expect us to hire? It's not like we had a long list of Super Bowl champion coaches dying to get in here. His name alone has attracted better recruits, which puts us in a better position than many other unknown guys would have. And clearly he knows the game of football. Could he fail? Of course, but all signs point to him moving in the right direction. I'm not sure I could be more excited to see what will undoubtedly be a losing season....

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mikehawk 1 year, 11 months ago

The Old Ball Coach brings gravitas to Mount Oread that has been missing for some time. There remain those out there who are so partisan and have drunk in so much of the Kool Aid they still believe KU can attract some high end, very successful D1 coach who wants to pick up from a football school and come to Lawrence. It was either an up and coming coach with no name, or one with a name and some tarnish. The AD opted for the latter and made a hire in Charlie Weis that was about as good as one as we could get. Let's get behind this guy and his staff, and the players, and maybe more 3 and 4 start recruits will jump on the Charlie train. The crazy thing is, if he is successful, which we won't know for at least two years, this guy might just hang around for awhile rather than using us as a career rehab/jump ship at the first opportunity deal.

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 11 months ago

This is great news. It seemed to me Sims was underappreciated his first two years in a dismal offense. Hopefully we will see more runs like the one he had against Oklahoma with his increased speed.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Sims has run for close to 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first 2 years with an otherwise crappy offense. To call him a 1000 yard 10 touchdown back would be merely saying he and the rest of the offense are slightly improved. All the hype around Pierson and Bourbon is great but as of now Sims is the man.

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rlheckman 1 year, 11 months ago

Darrien Miller is at Butler County

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Phoggin_Loud 1 year, 11 months ago

Can't he get a reduced suspension? Like, oh, maybe, TCU??

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vd 1 year, 11 months ago

Had CW realized that JS was his best RB, he probably would have had a 2 game suspension. Someday he will realize that Miller was his best RB.

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Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 1 year, 11 months ago

Miller wasn't our best. Off the field he wasn't super focused, I think he wanted his natural talent to show instead of working for it.

That doesn't jive with Weis, who has seen NFL caliber players constantly working on their games, some 19 year old isn't going to have that attitude here.

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NebraskaJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

If that's true about Miller, you make a very good point. Think how that affects the players / friends around him. If you aren't willing to continue to improve, that sort of attitude can rub off on those around you as well.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 11 months ago

Miller was far and away our most talented back, but yes, he could have been more focused.

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

Sims has been the best "all around" back since his first game at KU, IMHO. He does everything well and doesn't turn the ball over. And it sounds like he is taking it to another level this year. I also noticed Weis mentioned Sims' isn't afraid to pick up the blitz. If you are a running back on this team you better learn how to block and pass protect. The first time Crist gets his clock cleaned because some RB didn't pick up a blitzing defender, that guy is going to sit for a long while. It's one of my biggest concerns about Pierson, in fact, that he won't be able to take on a blitzing LB or CB. Almost as important will be an ability to catch passes. The first RB that drops a dump-off pass or two is also going to sit for awhile.

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KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

Can't wait to see a faster Sims. The guy just keeps proving everybody wrong, and that includes me. I've been dying to see Bourbon get his chance but Sims just seems destined to be our top RB. By the time he's done he'll be sprinkled in near the top of the all-time Jayhawk rushing record book.

Way to go, James! Turning a negative into a positive. Your'e a role model, and a microcosm of what this team needs to be.

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LAJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

"James is way better than I thought he was."

Well, clearly Charlie didn't ask me, 'cause I coulda set him straight... :-)

I've been a big Sims fan since he stepped on the field his freshman year. Even went as far as to predict he'd be KU's all-time leading rusher when he was done. I didn't anticipate that he'd have so much talent around him at RB, so I don't think that'll happen anymore, but he's gonna have a ton of yards (barring injury) by the end of his career.

Glad he's on Charlie's good side. That can only bode well for our offense.

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Micky Baker 1 year, 11 months ago

James Sims has that swagger when he gets on a role. He gets up, he's ready to get the ball again, and he isn't afraid to leave it all on the field. If he's better than that now, he could be on his way to playing Sunday afternoons too.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 11 months ago

Glad to hear this. I did not realize that he had ten pounds to lose. This will pay big dividends for him this year. Sims should break 1,000 yards this year. I see Pierson more as a wheel route, outlet pass threat or perhaps option run with a lot of duties in the slot and on special teams. Just don't see Pierson getting the ball up the gut, primarily because of the blocking ability required. Pierson in the slot will be more respected than Pierson in the backfield...my opinion. Sims in the backfield leaves all options open. Therefore, 20 backfield snaps for Pierson? I don't see that. It puts Crist at too much risk in blitz packages.

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