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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weis settled in at KU, getting head start on fall preparations

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches over practice from across the field on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches over practice from across the field on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

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With the backdrop of Memorial Stadium over his right shoulder and a box containing an inflatable mattress, comforter and pillow sitting on the floor near his desk 10 feet in front of him, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis on Monday delivered a state of the summer address to a small contingent of media members.

“Whenever I’m done, I turn that fan around on my face and that’s where I end up going (to sleep),” Weis said from the captain’s corner of the room. “There’s a little music playing; I can watch TV if I want to. You’re looking at my bedroom. You’re in it.”

Monday’s surroundings were obvious signs of a season yet to be. The empty stadium. The bedding for those long nights in August and during the season when Weis works too late to leave his office. Heck, even the laughs and jokes were indicative of a new coach still enjoying the weeks in which he is measured by stories, experiences and stature and not yet wins and losses.

“I’m entrenched here,” Weis said. “Do you not think that I want to go in here and win every single time I play? What bigger statement would there be than to come into a team that’s 2-10 and walk out of here a perennial winning football team?”

Don’t let the big-picture talk fool you. Weis is ready for the small battles — more ready than ever in some ways. And while he makes it clear that he’s looking forward to taking most of July off — as he says, “Fellas, everybody needs a break” — it’s obvious that he is ready to make a splash at KU. How big depends on how his team executes on the field and how well he upgrades KU’s roster in the coming years. But Weis is ready.

Proof of that is in the evidence he provided.

By the time most of you read this, the scouting reports for KU’s first four opponents will be finished. Three of the four were done by last weekend, and Weis and his staff spent Monday night and part of today putting the finishing touches on their preparations for Northern Illinois. They will do more work, of course, but this kind of start is unlike anything seen at KU in the past few seasons — maybe ever. Practice plans are drawn up — detailed to the minute — for the first seven practices of fall camp, which opens Aug. 1. And the roster, which, since the end of the 2011 season, has lost more than 40 percent of its players to graduation, dismissal or defection, is almost complete.

“There isn’t a loss I’m worried about,” Weis said. “None.”

More to the point, Weis said he was looking forward to working with the guys who had stuck around — guys who saw their head coach aspire to change KU’s football culture and then rolled up their sleeves and did the heavy lifting for him.

“My intent was to have everything settled by the time we got to training camp,” Weis said. “Because once you now coach these guys through a football season, if someone screws up it’s on your watch. It’s not what happened last year. It’s what happened this year now. I don’t look at it like some of the other coaches that have taken over new programs. The guys that are here now, they’re my guys. And I’m responsible for ’em.”

Lewandowski to O-line

With a half-dozen defensive linemen joining the team this summer and his coaching staff having had the chance to watch the defensive linemen already here this spring, Weis announced one position change and hinted at another Monday.

Pat Lewandowski, a sophomore from Blue Valley West High, has moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle.

“We’re trying to get him up to 285-290 (and) he was 273-275,” Weis said. “Where he was playing, that weight was fine. Where he’s gonna play, bigger is better.”

Weis also said another current defensive lineman also was moving over to the offensive line but chose not to reveal who that was.

Agostinho adding weight

Weis said junior defensive end Keba Agostinho was up to 280 pounds, up five from the weight KU listed him at on the pre-spring depth chart. In general, Weis said strength and conditioning director Scott Holsopple was pleased with the progress the team had made in the weight room so far this summer. Weis and Holsopple generally meet three times a week to talk about performance. In addition, Weis meets with George Matsakis, KU’s director of football operations, every day at 7:30 a.m., and follows that up each day with a meeting with Murphy Grant, KU’s assistant athletic director for sports medicine. So far, Weis said the reports from Grant about KU’s health were all good. He then proceeded to knock on wood.

Newcomers almost here

While most of the incoming class of recruits reported to campus at the beginning of June, a handful of arrivals were delayed because of different graduation schedules at their schools.

Weis said Monday that all but two players in the recruiting Class of 2012 would be here by this weekend. He also said all of the players who signed with KU in February were on pace to be in town and ready to go by the start of fall camp.

Depth chart changes

Although the next official depth chart will not be released until the Jayhawks report to fall camp on Aug. 1, Weis hinted that changes were coming. Four times in a row, the KU coach referred to the fact that “a lot” of new names would show up on his next two-deep depth chart. The only concrete information he gave about the new chart’s relation to the pre-spring version was in the secondary, where he said the starters would remain the same. That means Greg Brown and Tyler Patmon enter camp as the top cornerbacks and Bradley McDougald and Lubbock Smith as the top safeties.

Two on watch list

Senior wide receiver D.J. Beshears and junior punter/kicker Ron Doherty on Monday were named to the 2012 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Special Teams Watch List. Beshears, from Denton, Texas, was listed as one of the top all-purpose players in the country, while Doherty, from Klein, Texas, was listed as one of the top punters in college football.

Comments

Kirk 1 year, 9 months ago

What the heck? A FOOTBALL ARTICLE!!!!

Wow. Makes me want to scratch a lotto ticket.

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machinegun 1 year, 9 months ago

Coach Weis knows what he is doing!

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 9 months ago

I pray that KU ends up with a better record than MU this year in Football !!

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number1jayhawker 1 year, 9 months ago

Please look at the list of 6 defensive linemen we have coming in. They are all studs or will be in a year or two.

Don't get caught up in how many stars they have now. They will be upgraded after their senior years.

Also we are in good with the top Juco DT in the country. 6'3" 310 lbs

Heaps will have 2 years to play after sitting out this year and studing the new system.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 9 months ago

Concerned about a few things...that's keeping me from drinking the kool-aid too early.

1) we lack talent and depth on the d-line.

2) we failed to recruit new (freshman) talent on the d-line that will give us hope in the future.

3) he cut some of the 4 star talent that we had...like Darian Miller.

4) the 5 star studs that he brought in like Crist, McCay, and Heaps will already be upperclassmen by the time they all see the field.

5) from the list of players were going after for next years class...non of them are 4 or five star players. Have my doubts that we will pull in the highly ranked recruiting classes that he was able to bring in at ND. Actually...I don't think our classes will even be close.

I love KU football and want nothing but the best for this program...but think we're a long ways away from being a bowl team.

Hope KU nations realizes this...and tempers their expectations for the next 3 seasons.

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KUBC 1 year, 9 months ago

The last two years of KU football have been incredibly painful. Had TG returned, there is no way that I would have renewed my season tickets. I have had season tickets for 28 years. With Charlie Weiss hired, I did renew my season tickets. Like jkilgore, I want to win every game. 5 - 7 wins would be fantastic. What I do know is that I no longer will be embarrassed by inept preparation, lack of effort and poorly conditioned players. When we do lose, most likely it will be because other teams having superior talent. I am stoked about this football season. There is reason to hope again. Rock Chalk!!!

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d_bradley27 1 year, 9 months ago

Love football updates. Thanks Matt! I must admit, I did pause after the "C'mon fellas, everyone needs a break" line. Coming into a broken situation I'm not sure taking a "break" can be afforded. Soild coach, solid track record but that line caught my attention. Thanks again!

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CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 9 months ago

I find it notable how Weis keeps hammering away at the fact that we were 2-10 last season. Seems every time I read a football article about him, he keeps reminding everyone about the team's bad record last season. I guess that's his way of getting everyone to buy into his system, reminding them how little success they had doing things the Gill way.

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Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 9 months ago

It must take an impressive inflatable mattress to keep Weis supported for an entire evening...

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 9 months ago

Anybody have any stats on how much turnover there was when HCCW took over ND?

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vd 1 year, 9 months ago

Solid this year, but it must mean all those Hyped O lineman that TG signed, must not have been that good.

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ttoulouse 1 year, 9 months ago

Anyone else concerned that he's raiding the DL for more OL?

I guess the guys coming in are a) able to play right away and b) pretty damn good. time will tell, because all we've said for almost a year now is "we need depth at DL." Weis knows more than I dream of knowing but it just raises an eyebrow.

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James Kirk 1 year, 9 months ago

I've been waiting for a perennially winning football team for forty years. I hope we can finally get one.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 9 months ago

Some will accuse me of drinking the kool-aid, but I can't wait for football season to begin. I genuinely think we will surprise some people. Even though we only won two games last year, we were in others for at least 3 quarters: Baylor, TTech. We also played KSU great right up until 30 seconds left in the first half when we blew coverage and let them score from 196 yards out. I think with the discipline, real weight training and conditioning, and having a coaching staff that actually prepares players for games, we should be able to take that step that we need to actually compete AND win some games. The schedule is brutal, but I think we will surprise some people. I'm not going to predict a bowl season or a winning season, but I won't rule it out either.

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David Lara 1 year, 9 months ago

Anyone catch the Mangino sound bite on the montage that opens today's ESPN sportscenter analysis of the 4-team playoff proposal?

"Ya know what this is all about, dontcha? The BCS."

A nice shiny nickel to the first genius to guess where that quote was crafted...

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Danny Hernandez 1 year, 9 months ago

"What bigger statement would there be than to come into a team that’s 2-10 and walk out of here a perennial winning football team?”

Another Great Comment! laugh all you want but I could see Weis winning a few games he shouldn't plus winning the ones he should giving us 6 possible wins in his first year. Don't under estimate our Coach and the team's desire to win.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

You'd think with as much money as he makes, Coach could afford a prosthetic for that right foot of his. Lol.

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jhox 1 year, 9 months ago

"The guys who are here now, they're my guys.". What a great comment.

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Terran Woolley 1 year, 9 months ago

You mean he's not home by 5pm every night for family time like Derp?

Yes, he was. I know someone who worked with his daughter who confirmed this.

So good to have a REAL coach again!

RCJHKU!

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ukanjhox 1 year, 9 months ago

Living in the office? Weis is the man. Polar opposite of the last guy.

Anybody know where Weis lives? I'm not asking for specifics, just wondering if he bought a house here or what.

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