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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

ukanjhox 2 years, 5 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.

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 5 months ago

Hard to go home when you have meetings also at 7:30. He is dedicated. His wife and daughter are in FL. Must be tough, but having his son around must help. I am excited for him and the future with him at the helm. He will make this program competitive again and do it with some good, clean, hard work.

Bville Hawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I've heard that before from other reliable sources (that TG was home every evening). Makes me wonder what Tom Osborne's work schedule was like at NU since he was TG's mentor and advocate. I've heard that Snyder at KSU works 18 hour days but have never heard anything about Osborne's work habits when he was head coach.

huskerpower 2 years, 5 months ago

When you win three national championships in four years, theres a good chance you didn't do it by being home to make dinner for the wife and kids every night...

coolhand357 2 years, 5 months ago

Well.. I guess someone has to represent the B1G on here.

jhox 2 years, 5 months ago

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

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

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

Danny Hernandez 2 years, 5 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.

april28 2 years, 5 months ago

The first step toward achieving something great is to have a crystal clear vision of the goal. Weis clearly has a vision. It seems to me like he is looking for redemption. He wants to create something great and is putting everything into it. It's exciting and inspirational.

David Lara 2 years, 5 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...

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

That would be when we whipped Texas' butt all day long and then got robbed on a hinky call to help us snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 5 months ago

I remember the call right at the sideline. I stood up and cheered at first because 1. it was a complete pass, and 2. I thought it was defensive pass interference. I was absolutely stunned they called offensive pass interference. Then to watch Young march right down the field for a touchdown when we had defended him pretty well for most of the day just sucked. That call changed a game (and a season for both teams) as much as any one call I have ever seen. Texas gets a national championship and we fade into obscurity.

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, 2 years later we won the Orange Bowl. the "fade" happened after that.
Competing with Texas that day was a great sign of things to come though.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 5 months ago

I should have clarified I just meant for the season. I agree we had a few good to great years after that. However, upon further review, my comment was still somewhat incorrect as we went on to beat Missouri at Missouri to end the season and finish 4-8.

jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I refer to that as the $1MM loss. If KU had won that game, UT would not have gone to a BCS bowl game. In addition, KU would not have been bowl elgible either way. If KU wins, the Big XII would have had one less team in the BCS with a $15MM payout. Since bowl money is shared after expenses etc. that would have sent about $1MM to each Big XII team.

As a note, UT won the championship the following year. The year in question was win OU played for the National Championship. USC won, but later forfeited. So that year there isn't a National Champion.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 5 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.

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 5 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.

Bville Hawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I think what it means is that the guys coming in are substantially better than the guys he is moving to the OL. I look at it as a good sign because we already know that our OL is supposed to be pretty solid this year.

vd 2 years, 5 months ago

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

Larry Smith 2 years, 5 months ago

I disagree. I think that bville is right. I think they only mentioned moving two guys, Lewandowski and player to be named later. The guys coming in are probably better, which would move these two guys off of the 2 deep on defense. Three of the players on the projected 2 deep on the O-line are RSfreshmen, so this would give us more depth on O, and not sacrafice the D.

And as far as the O-Line that Gill signed. He only had two classes. I think a couple didn't qualify, and the others redshirted(as most o-linemen do) leaving five or six. Three of whom are on the 2 deep. That is not so bad really.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 5 months ago

Jay is right on.

TG didn't inherit any OL from MM, and only signed the one, big VA dude that went home a week or so ago. Of 6 the next year, Ford went North, and is now hoping for BYU. At least 1 of the remaining 5 went home in the last 6 months. 3 of the remaining 4 are on the 2 deep as RSF.

Reasonable depth for an OL is 15-16 guys, and we don't have nearly that many, so we'll need more guys when we lose 3 Sr's. MM had success moving guys from OLto DL and vice-versa also.

jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

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

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 5 months ago

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

Bville Hawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Off limits, no. Poor taste and insensitive, yes.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 5 months ago

Im drinking a PBR right now, so I forgive you.

Sam Brockert 2 years, 5 months ago

Ok, you can blame me for this. I swear I did not mean to do it, but I accidently click the "Suggest Removal" button under your post. I thought your comment was funny. What is really funny is I design websites for a living, and I still accidently click things I don't mean to. Felt bad afterwards, when I realized there was no "unflag" button. Seriously kusports.com if you are going to make it THAT easy to click on that freaking link you should give us the option of unflagging it. OR put up a stupid confirmation popup to make sure we actually MEANT to do it.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 5 months ago

Haha, no worries. I was just surprised how fast it got removed considering its lack of profanity etc.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 5 months ago

I think it's done more for his own protection. He's reminding everyone that success will likely come slower than Jayhawk fans want or expect. We should want 12 wins this year; hope for 5 to 7; be happy with 4; and keep positive if it's fewer.

Darin Bradley 2 years, 5 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!

KUBC 2 years, 5 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!!!

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Our Cheerleaders had superior talent the past two years.

Actually- we had some good talent - we just didn't know what to do with it.

jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

You can edit you original posts now...just as an FYI.

Larry Smith 2 years, 5 months ago

I really do want Weis to succeed, I really do. Because I want the Hawks to succeed. However, I am very cautious in my expectations. I have also followed ND football, and there was a lot about lack of preparation, lack of effort etc when Weis was on the job. ND is not supposed to lose to an 8 loss Syracuse team, ND is not supposed to lose to Navy(twice), ND is not supposed to go 3-9 after having 3 recruiting classes ranked in the top 10(one was ranked 3 I think). He said the same things at ND when he was hired "6-5 is not good enough", but at the end of the day, they were no better off then when he was hired. This is why I temper my expectations. I really like what I hear coming from the players and the staff, but in the back of my head I keep wondering how Weis is going to compete in the Big 12 with this talent, and a very tough schedule, considering he could not do it with more talent and an easier schedule. All I can do is hope i guess.

Bville Hawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Didn't someone say once that hope was the opiate of the masses???

oldalum 2 years, 5 months ago

No, I think it was Lenin, and it was religion.

Doug Cramer 2 years, 5 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.

rockchalk_dpu 2 years, 5 months ago

So I don't overlook anything you posted, I'll respond in the same numbers. 1) I agree with your first point, that we seem to be thin at D-Line and the chief problem with our defense the last 2 seasons was getting pressure on the quarterback to help save the secondary.

2) Remains to be seen how the defense works this year under Campo. There are so many changes with conditioning, positions, new faces, but what we've read seems to be a strong step in the right direction, which should get better players in the following years.

3) I like the fact that he didn't play favorites with star talent and cut a player that didn't fit the team-concept he is building. You can't keep someone like that around if you are trying to completely revamp the culture of a failing program.

4) I agree that the players he is bringing in are older and will only be serviceable for a couple seasons, but as I've said in other articles along with other posters, when you are 2-10, you need to bring in talent that can compete right away, get some wins and this sort of thing snowballs on itself with better recruits and more wins (hopefully). I trust that Weis evaluated the talent present, realized he had a chance to bring in a much better player (Crist) and jumped on it. I'd liken it to the situation in Denver where they picked up Peyton for a few seasons and also drafted Osweiller from ASU to be there to take over.

5) As I said above, we are not in a position to be getting top recruits... right now. Like a lot of posters, I've bought into the product that Coach Weis is selling because I've seen the evidence of his hard work with the improvement in grades, and the increases in strength/conditioning that have been mentioned in several articles. As someone said in another article, a lot of recruits are waiting to see how this all shakes out this fall before they jump on the bandwagon and commit. What it will take is about a .500 record to show that the team is moving in the right direction under Coach Weis before those types of players will start to place KU in the conversation for schools.

Like you, I'm a KU football fan and want to see them do well long-term. I hope that the steps Coach Weis and his staff are taking, along with the renewed commitment of our players will pay off in wins this fall, but it looks like a rough schedule. I certainly don't want to bet against Coach Weis though cause he sounds like he wants this just as bad as the fans.

Either way, I'm excited for the fall and will be at the home games cheering loud.

RCJGKU

Dirk Medema 2 years, 5 months ago

  1. We have a complete, new, experienced DL coming this summer.
  2. We did get a freshmen DT with this class.
  3. Darrian was in the doghouse even with he old staff. You gotta have guys that are committed, regardless of the talent level.
  4. Most players seeing the field are upperclassmen. On the brightside, it menas that you're not wasting a schollie on underclassmen developing into players.
  5. You should recheck your recruiting service. I see plenty of 4's. Nobody is committing, but that takes time when you inherit a program that is 2-10, 5-19,and talked about as one of the worst in history. I don't think the latter is true, but it is definitely what the recruits have heard. As for the distance from a bowl team, even just adding Dayne to last year's team is likely enough to get us wins against ISU, BU, TT. That's just one position,so fairly close, though aTm, GT, UT, OSU, aren't even in sight.

number1jayhawker 2 years, 5 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.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 5 months ago

Not sure who you are talking about "top JUCO DT"? This is what Rivals says about 2012:

6 Daniel McCullers DT Milledgeville, GAGeorgia Military College 4 stars 6'6" 380 Tennessee

10 Visesio Salt DT Walnut, CAMt. San Antonio C.C. 4 stars 6'3" 340 Utah

11 Damien Jacobs DT Scooba, MSEast Mississippi C.C. 4 stars 6'4" 290 Florida

28 Deylan Buntyn DT Roswell, NMNew Mexico Military Institute 3 stars 6'4" 335 N.C. State

35 Calvin Barnett DT Corsicana, TXNavarro J.C. 3 stars 6'3" 283 Oklahoma St.

36 Mike Pennel DT Scottsdale, AZScottsdale C.C. 3 stars 6'5" 340 Arizona St.

42 Cortez Woods DT Sacramento, CAAmerican River C.C. 3 stars 6'3" 260 Nevada

47 Wesley Hollingshed DT Athens, TXTrinity Valley C.C. 3 stars 6'2" 300 Kansas St.

49 Zian Jones DT Culver City, CAWest Los Angeles C.C. 3 stars 6'5" 325 Syracuse

Mind you, I'm excited about the progress, but we only got the teammate of #1 JUCO DT.

Terry N Tom Denner 2 years, 5 months ago

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

Kirk 2 years, 5 months ago

What the heck? A FOOTBALL ARTICLE!!!!

Wow. Makes me want to scratch a lotto ticket.

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