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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keegan

Coach Charlie Weis a Jersey straight talker

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Charlie Weis must have played hooky the day the media consultant visited the football coaches convention and taught how to speak in politically correct platitudes, how to put a greater premium on image than integrity.

Ask Kansas University’s new football coach a question, and he answers it as honestly as he can. If he can’t, he might even tell you why he can’t.

Media consultants hate guys like that. They like more coachable coaches. Independent thinkers put them out of business.

Weis missed the false-humility tutorial as well.

Asked about recruiting needs, he said, “I wanted to address quarterback, but how’d I do? Not too bad.”

When discussion turned to the potential impact of having so much NFL blood on the coaching staff, Weis shot straight. (Defensive coordinator Dave Campo used to be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, among other NFL jobs.)

“Let’s face it, every high school kid or junior college kid wants to play on Sundays,” Weis said. “They don’t go to college and say, ‘Well, I don’t want to play in the NFL. I just want to go play in college.’”

Somewhere, a media consultant who shakes your hand in just the right spot three times and uses your name every other second would love to get his manicured hands in the pocket of Charlie Weis: “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, don’t you know the robotic response there, the one that requires you to cite the statistic about how few college players make it to the NFL?”

Instead, Weis said: “I think that really helps as a resource when these guys look and say, ‘Hey, they know how to get there.’”

Offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, who came to Weis’ staff from his post as head coach at Bishop Miege, is so well liked and respected he figures to do well recruiting the Kansas City metropolitan area. But he’ll bank on more than his contacts to land square-jawed studs such as himself, Weis predicts.

“OK, now you say he was coaching at a high school last year, well, he played for the Chiefs for over a decade,” Weis said. “Now you’re an offensive lineman, you’ve got a guy who played in the NFL for over a decade. That’s a big deal. He can show you how to get there.”

Young athletes dream. Their parents worry they do so at the expense of putting all their hopes on a long shot and don’t grow in a balanced way. Weis has that covered. With multiple dismissals, he showed a low tolerance for bad behavior.

“It wasn’t just academics,” Weis said. “We had over 30 kids on the honor roll, too. Did we have some people with severe academic issues? You bet we did. But there were other problems here as well. Look it, I’m a dad, right? My kid’s going to school here as a freshman. The last thing I want is to read about a kid having five dorm violations in one semester. You want your kid around that kid?”

Like basketball coach Bill Self, Weis believes in second chances but won’t sacrifice the program for the sake of any individual.

“Look it, I made mistakes when I was 18 years old,” Weis said. “I wasn’t completely innocent. I did it, OK? But there are extremes. Those extremes aren’t going to be part of the program.”

Jersey straight talk will be.

Comments

kranny 2 years, 2 months ago

I will admit that the comment on how well he did at recruiting the QBs is a serious "come back to bite you in the A$$" comment. Both Crist and Heaps are unproven consistent winners. Crist has yet to show durability and one good shot in the knee could end it for him. Then what? In the Big 12 you'd better be able to scramble or you're screwed. Heaps fared no better. I'm not saying that they don't have it but before we start making comments about how good they are I'd like to see them top a certain 3 star QB who was only 5' 10" in cowboy boots and also the winning QB in the 08 Orange and owns damn near every record in the book.

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Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 2 months ago

And good article, Keegs. That's 2 qualities in a row. Keep em coming.

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 3 months ago

How many examples would you like me to give of coaches who did much better the second time around. Plus I wouldn't mind going to two BCS bowls which is two more than MU or KSU

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John Dalke 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the same things he said when he took the Notre Dame job. How did that turn out?

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Stephen Johnson 2 years, 3 months ago

Good Article. Definitely worth reading.

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Jean Robart 2 years, 3 months ago

I just don't like Charlie Weis. Can't "warm up" to him

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kureader 2 years, 3 months ago

Most of us are anxious to learn more about Weis and to understand what makes him tick. Interesting article, Tom. Thanks.

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amatxjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

As much as I hate to say it and as many times as Keegan has urinated me off, this was a good article. Refreshing both in approach and content.

CW is refreshing too.

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Kevin Long 2 years, 3 months ago

Looks like they linebackers coach will be Demontie Coss. Looks like a pretty decent resume!

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JayDocMD 2 years, 3 months ago

Been trying to decide why my comment from Keegan's Wednesday post was a "violation of user agreement." Because that thread has died, I'm going to repost my response to having my comment removed.

Was it the steaming pile of crap comment? Or the fact that I likened these articles to car wrecks. Perhaps if I write "no malice intended" at the end of my comment like some do? Sort of like a get of of jail free card.

Whatever the reason, I find it hypocritical for a newspaper to censor free speech. Print newspaper is dead and online media is the only lifeline journalists have. Without the people that frequent these sites and give you repeated "hits" with comments to your articles (even if it hurts your tender feeling) the LJW dies.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 3 months ago

George Brett, the great player that he was at Kansas City, said of Whitey Herzog, his former baseball manager----"He is brutally honest. Some guys don't like that. I liked it because you knew where you stood with Whitey."

Charlie Weiss is brutally honest. Some guys will not like it. The good players will. Thanks for the article, Tom. Rock Chalk!

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troutsee 2 years, 3 months ago

It all starts with attitude, goals, and beliefs followed by consistency, hard work, and walking the walk.

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Knoff 2 years, 3 months ago

Nice job Tom, ignore the haters.

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notigers4me 2 years, 3 months ago

This article showed some insight aboout Charlie Weiss it fails me to understand why this article would be labeled ridiculous.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 3 months ago

Great article. Love this about Weis. The danger of being a straight-talker is that once in a while your gonna offend someone or ruffle the wrong feathers, but I'll take that any day over what we had with Gill. Weis has already given us more information in two press conferences than we got in 2 years out of Gill. Go Charlie!

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 3 months ago

This is an extremely well-written and thought-out article. Tom Keegan is a true asset to the innovative and award-winning Journal World. All other sports writers: be wary.

Kudos! Bravo! Take a bow!

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know if we have anymore D-Linemen possibly coming in next season ? I know we picked up a couple...but the situation on the line has not been resolved. I love the athletes were getting on offense...but Campo alone won't turn the defense around. We need some 4 star talent on the line.

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