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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Media darling: Charlie Weis witty, pointed at gathering

Kansas coach Charlie Weis speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

Kansas coach Charlie Weis speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

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Final thoughts from KU's time at Big 12 media days

Additional Big 12 media days coverage

• Check out Tuesday's live blog from Dallas, which includes videos, photos and updates from the Jayhawks' appearance in Dallas.

— After spending the offseason cobbling together a roster he believes can compete in the Big 12, first-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis is looking for more.

With just a week remaining before fall camp opens, Weis said Tuesday at Big 12 media days that he had explored the idea of adding a Penn State player or two that might now be available because of the powerful punishment levied against PSU in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

As outlined in the NCAA’s ruling, any Penn State player interested in transferring is free to do so without having to sit out a season.

Such language almost seems tailor-made for Weis, whose first squad at KU is filled with guys looking for a second chance.

Asked if he had glanced at the Penn State roster, Weis answered with a single word: Yes.

He then elaborated and, in doing so, demonstrated that he was not letting his potential to profit cloud his feelings about the tragedy at Penn State.

“First of all, you have to be respectful to (PSU) coach (Bill) O’Brien and the people who are trying to make good of a bad situation,” Weis said. “But, at the same time, the rules are the rules. When the dust settles, I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else, especially the way it was presented to them. So I think that any program that didn’t do homework prior to this decision coming out was behind on that one.”

As was the case with the eight Big 12 football coaches who spoke before him this week, Weis shared his thoughts about the Penn State mess. Unlike the others, Weis got into it before he was asked.

“My feelings on that is that no one wins,” Weis said in his opening statement. “Everyone loses. There’s no winner in that situation. So I prefer not to take any further than that.”

That was the last time Tuesday that Weis’ words carried any kind of heavy-hearted tone. From that point on, Weis, who wore a dark suit with a blue tie and a Jayhawk pin on his jacket, was the jovial, sarcastic, honest and cunning coach he has shown himself to be since taking over the KU program last December. It’s something his new players have come to expect, and something many believe will expedite the rebuilding process at Kansas.

“Same guy he was when he called me on the phone the first time in high school,” senior quarterback Dayne Crist said. “He’s always got bounce in his step. He’s always got a plan.”

If there were any difference in Weis’ demeanor Tuesday, senior co-captain Toben Opurum said was his coach’s tone.

“He was a lot nicer today than he usually is,” Opurum said.

Could that be chalked up to Weis’ wife, Maura, being in Dallas with him?

“That might be why,” Opurum said.

Following their coach’s lead, the Jayhawks dressed more sharply, talked more proudly and captured more attention at this year’s media days than in previous years. It was a little weird coming from a program that had just endured two of the worst seasons in school history. Then again, it was exactly what is expected from a club led by Weis.

Ever the realist, Weis cautioned about reading too much into anything that was said or gleaned from this week, even while admitting that the outside world now seems to have a much different opinion about KU football today than it did eight months ago.

“Yeah, they do,” Weis said. “But we haven’t played a game yet. I brought some credibility, (defensive coordinator Dave) Campo brought some credibility, Dayne brought some credibility. But it still comes down to playing the game.”

While Tuesday’s funny stories, free smiles and smooth confidence changed the way the Jayhawks were treated at media day, that internal optimism did little to alter the end-all, be-all of where the Jayhawks stand in the world of college football. Weis was fine with that.

“I know where we are in this whole pecking order,” he said. “I know that everyone sees, ‘Here’s the good teams,’ and then they work their way down to Kansas at the bottom. But we’re not gonna be one of those teams where you’re just gonna roll into Lawrence and say, ‘OK, we got an easy W, let’s go whup up on the Jayhawks and go on to the next one.’”

From being on top of the world after Super Bowl victories to being under an intense microscope at Notre Dame, Weis has been in just about every conceivable situation, many of them much bigger than Big 12 media days. But he’s at Kansas now, and, even though his image might have undergone a transformation, Weis is not about to scrap the way he does business.

“You might say the expectations are different,” Weis said. “But everyone wants the same thing.”

The Jayhawks are scheduled to report to camp a week from today, and fall practice will begin Thursday.

Comments

machinegun 1 year, 8 months ago

Beating the crap out of Texas counts as two wins!

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 8 months ago

If you haven't seen this interview with Dayne Crist you should. Lots of great insight provided by Crist about the state of the KU football program, the change he's seen in the culture, how hard everyone is working, and his opinion that this team is way better than that 2-10 record from last year. I love the way this kid carries himself, his confidence, and his winning attitude. Cannot wait for the season to start.

http://kansas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1388960

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cool_beans 1 year, 8 months ago

Calling it now KU beats Texas 27-24

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CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 8 months ago

KU will go 5-7 this year, beating SDSU, Rice, NIU, Iowa State and Texas.

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jgkojak 1 year, 8 months ago

Wins: South Dakota Rice Northern Illinois Iowa State

In the game with a chance: KSU Texas Tech TCU(!)

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KemDooKU 1 year, 8 months ago

  • I have never been this excited about KU football to begin. He may not win the Big 12 title this year but he has already won a place in my heart- ......I need a tissue!
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Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 8 months ago

Never under estimate someone who is motivated. HCCW is motivated to redeem his time at Notre Dame. I loved when he questioned why KSU was successful and KU wasn't. K-State has no tradition. Coach Snyder came in and created a winning atmosphere. Coach Weis can do the same. Will do the same.

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cool_beans 1 year, 8 months ago

I will be happy if the teams wins four games.

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jgkojak 1 year, 8 months ago

A lot of reports have many of the top Penn St players (RB Silas Redd) staying.

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machinegun 1 year, 8 months ago

Coach Weis nailed it!

"Recruiting is the lifeline of every program. Right? All right. So it's a Saturday afternoon in January. And you're going out on the fieldhouse with about 20 recruits you're bringing in. The place is rocking and rolling. The decibel level is well over 100. You've got one of the best basketball teams in the country with arguably the best coach on an annual basis playing, and the fans are going bananas. And what you're saying to these players coming in, saying: That's what we want -- that's what we want Memorial Stadium to become like. You've got to come here and give them a reason to be that way. I mean, they're already seeing evidence of what the people are willing to do. But you have to help become part of it."

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Robert Brown 1 year, 8 months ago

Not sure why making a good impression at Media Days is that critical. Give me dour Bill Snyder or colorless Bob Stoops who consistently win over someone who is more entertaining to the media.

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Kevin Crook 1 year, 8 months ago

A really talented QB and a coach who both have a chip on their shoulder, feeling like they have something to prove can be very dangerous for a team that nobody likes. Everyone who plays us will have the pressure on their sideline. We are expected to lose. If we can embrace this and play with reckless abandon we could shock some teams and steal a few Ws.

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CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 8 months ago

“He was a lot nicer today than he usually is,” Opurum said.

Uh-oh! Looks like Zenger hired another nasty coach! Fire him before he pokes someone in the chest and bring in another "players' coach"! (sarcasm font)

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 8 months ago

Everything I've read about media days is complimentary of the way Coach Weis and the players handled themselves. There is definitely a lot of anticipation surrounding the football program, and that can only help with recruiting. And if you ever needed an example of what separates KU from MU, just look at the difference in how our coaches handled the PSU topic - Weis was first-class while Pinkel made a fool of himself.

This morning was the last workout (aka Boot Camp session) of the summer for the football team. In very short order Weis and Holsopple have changed the entire culture of KU football. Every aspect of the program has been transformed, from academics to conditioning to the way our program is perceived. These guys now have a confidence and camaraderie and sense of purpose that simply didn't exist a year ago. All of it will pay huge dividends this fall, resulting in a team that has no resemblance to what we saw the past two years. Get ready Jayhawk Nation! Things are about to get real exciting at Memorial Stadium.

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HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 8 months ago

In Charlie there is an unrelenting desire to manifest a winning strategy in every situation. This trait on the Kansas sideline is worth a few wins per year. Rock Chalk!

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troutsee 1 year, 8 months ago

We will be a lot better this year. No blow out losses and a few more wins that the pundits think. Think about it. With just a break here and there wer could have won a couple of more games last year. We are going to surprise some teams this year. All teams better be ready to play Kansas. This team and coaching staff have a chip on their shoulders and something to prove, and that is a dangerous situation for the favorites.

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jhox 1 year, 8 months ago

Does anyone know how many remaining available scholarships he would have for late transfers? I have to assume (given that he's looking) that we must have one or more available.

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 8 months ago

First Sorry, I couldn't help myself. It was just right there.

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