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Monday, October 8, 2012

Keegan

Column: Time for Weis to get creative

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Business as usual won’t cut it for a Kansas University football team armed with squirt guns and facing one Big 12 nuclear offense after another the rest of the schedule.

Nothing conventional about the way Charlie Weis coached the first half of Saturday’s 56-16 loss to Kansas State in Manhattan.

One drive started with a fake punt and continued with a fake field goal, the two most memorable plays of a half that ended with Kansas trailing by just a touchdown. Innovative Weis play-calling kept the K-State defense off balance and quieted a crowd that made plenty of noise in Cat Town during pregame tailgating and in the second half.

See Dayne Crist fake the hand-off right, look right to pass, taking the defense with him, and then turning around to toss it to Tony Pierson, the team’s most exciting player. Touchdown.

If Weis can recruit the right horses and have the right quarterback under center, his feel for play-calling could lead to some exciting football. But the present doesn’t live in the land of “if.” The reality is this football team needs to live in the world of off-the-wall to have any shot of winning another game.

Here’s an idea: Script two completely different offensive game plans, one for each half. Different personnel. Different tempo. Different quarterbacks. A Dr. Jekyll half and a Mr. Hyde half. A pro-style offense one half, a wildcat or some other look the next. Whatever adjustments the opposing defensive coaches make at the half are rendered irrelevant, and confusion sets in.

Weis is a mad scientist of an offensive thinker with twice as many X’s and O’s running around his brain than the average offensive coordinator, enough to implement two, two, two game plans in one, a fresh breath of football for a season getting stale early.

Use Pierson, by far Weis’ favorite toy in his new playground and with good reason — he’s the team’s best athlete — in one way the first half, an entirely different way the next. Script as many plays as possible for both halves, regardless of the halftime score.

Sound crazy? No crazier than Matt Cassel performing so well in his one year working for Weis that he became a Pro Bowl selection. Now that’s crazy.

Let Crist work the first half, Christian Matthews, Michael Cummings or Turner Baty the second.

Charlie’s creativity won games late for Notre Dame with fake field goals, etc., when he had a defense that resembled the one that repeatedly was left in Collin Klein’s rear-view mirror Saturday. Now’s the time to get more creative than ever.

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Bonnie (women's bball coach) said she has talked many times with Bill Self about the concept of: "recruit players that will go make plays for you, so you dont have to run so many plays". Excellent point. Tony Pierson and Sims are 2 such players. Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Marcus Morris, Mario Chalmers, Thomas Robinson were such players for us...

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Jack Jones 1 year, 6 months ago

TK - if, in fact you did write this column, it appears you have been drinking from the same fountain as some of the other 'posters'. It seems the only rational "asst. coaches" I read are those who understand that YOU DO NOT turn a program like KU's football program, given the givens, UNTIL you have given any new HC, probably 5 years of recruiting and coaching. It's insane to think otherwise. We too easily succumb to the "gitter done - NOW" malaise that has infected almost every other area of our lives. Patience, patience, fellow Jayhawk die-hard, live and die, always supportive thru thick and thin, loyal to the nth degree, PROUD JAYHAWKS!!!

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AzHawk97 1 year, 6 months ago

How did Weis do with 4 and 5 star recruits with his offensive "genius" last year at Florida? 2011 Total Offense rankings: Kansas 106 Florida 105. For the record Florida finished below KU in both Passing and Rushing in 2011, and Chuck Long did that last year with out the big time recruits. This season Florida is doing just fine with Brent Pease as OC, although I'm sure they miss the bluster of all those Super Bowl rings.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 6 months ago

One of Charlies problems is what he learned in the NFL, you get a lead then you sit on it playing a prevent zone defense. BULLSCHIT !!! You get a lead and play hard and rough to the end of the game. KU should be 4-1 not 1-4.

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LSHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

+1 RJC. We'll get there, give Coach Weis 2 more full years of recreuiting and then we can judge how far the team has come.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

It was a sad day. And yes, the costly turnovers prevented KU from keeping it to a 2 or 3 score game. But, alas, the phrase, "different coach, same result," still rings true.

However, regardless of the outcome, any true KU fan (who actually watched the game) got a glimpse of what this team is capable of. For one half of football, I saw creativity, composure, and heart. The ability is there...the consistency is far from. What happened at the start of the third quarter is open for reflection. Did we get rattled? Did we get tired? Are we too inexperienced? But this team showed us that they have the ability, they just lack the mentality. It will come.

The bottom line is those of you who sat through the slaughter know the truth. The rest of you saw the box score and said "here we go again." I will not tolerate fair-weather fandom.

Keep the faith. This too shall pass.

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Lucas Town 1 year, 6 months ago

Did Beshears ever touch the ball on Saturday? Is he in trouble or was that a detail from KSU to keep the ball out of his hands? He is so fast and I watched the replay to see because I never heard his name called. Pity, he is a senior and was a non-factor.

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toe 1 year, 6 months ago

Funny how the names on Memorial Stadium has not helped create success. Maybe substance is more important than form. Oh, and Weis cannot be too tough or he will be out. Talking about moving up the rankings is not the same as leadership. KU academics is learning this lesson, too.

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KGphoto 1 year, 6 months ago

The tricks were good. They were called at the right time, and executed well. Bravo.

Too bad Weis blew his wad and still got blown out. Those tricks won't work again.

No, when KU was moving the ball it was all about tempo and execution, not tricky plays. Weis was calling passes that Crist could make (screens, hooks) and Crist was making them. Weis was calling plays to playmakers (Pierson, Pick, Sims) and they were making them.

The biggest problem last Saturday, however, was playing against coach Snyder and his incredibly talented and savvy QB, Collin Klein. We gutted out a first half on will power and energy, only to have our system hacked by Snyder at half-time. That's not slighting first year DC Dave Campo either, because he can do it to any team in America, on any given night. No amount of creative play calling was going to help. Snyder is just too good. Sorry. Until he's gone, we're gonna struggle against K-State.

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Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 6 months ago

changing it up for 2nd half wouldn't be bad....but just flat out playing better would be a good start. how about we start with no TOs? that would be nice.

winning football games starts with playing better football. yes, you need to build over time with recruiting and getting better players in there and that will take place....but the current group can start by just improving fundamentally....breaking down on tackling (McDougald) not ducking your head when tackling the QB (Bukare) not throwing the ball to the underneath defender (Crist), carrying the ball high and tight (Parmalee)....these are all things that can be improved on now.

otherwise, other guys should play...period. and that includes the QB.

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Joe Joseph 1 year, 6 months ago

KU is better than its record and better than the final score of the KSU game indicates. Take away a couple of costly turnovers and KU only loses that game by 2 or 3 scores. At least KU was in it at half time. That never happened against K-State under Turner.

I like the direction this team is going.

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PoincianaHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Poor Special Teams play (lame kickoffs, horrible punting, missed field goals, inconsistent kick coverage and poor tackling, for example) results in great field position for the opponent and terrible field position for KU. Go back and check the Drive Log - see where KU started drives vs. the opponent. That's the "hidden yardage" that does not show up in the box score, but weighs heavily in the outcome of the game. K-State had 5 or 6 drives that started in KU's half of the field. Our punts averaged 31 yards. One missed field goa from short range. no kickoffs reached the endzone. We need a kicker in the worst way.

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chezlog 1 year, 6 months ago

"Two, two, two game plans in one!" That was funny. I could hear the Certs commercial in my head.

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jazzerman 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom - good column. I think this season presents an opportunity that any coaching staff would love - huge underdogs that can have fun while building for the future. Your ideas on mindfvcking the opponent are great! I would love to see some of this.

As for the future, we need to start bending the rules / requirements and focus on some of these JUCO's that always end up in the SEC. Bring in 3 - 5 studs from Barton or Butler and compliment them with steady frosh classes. That's the only way that we will see W's in Weis' 5 year tenure. And, I think that's precisely what he's going to do.

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LSHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

We have to give coach Weis and his staff sometime to rebuild this program and that wont come right away, even next year. Plus do you see lots of 4 and 5 star talent on the KSU football team?? The stars by thier name dont mean squat execpt to a bunch of fatty reporters. We just need play makers, on defense,and on special teams. Its going to take a few years to build up the talent this team lacks all around but as coach Weis showed the first half of the KSU game, given some talent, the guy can coach.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Totally disagree with TK.

Unless "getting creative" means blocking, tackling and doing what we do best - RUN. Or getting the ball in the hands of people that CAN run, via screen passes.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to figure out some way to kick the ball into the end zone on kickoffs and between the uprights on field goal attempts. I've seen those cheerleaders high kick - I'll bet they could knock the crap out of a football.......

We won't be able to get away with many more fake punts and/or field goal attempts, since every remaining team that we face knows we have no kicking game and pretty much HAVE to go for it on 4th down, no matter what formation we're lined up in.

Get creative and get back to basics.

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stm62 1 year, 6 months ago

We were granted a reprieve.  The recent conference re-alignment saga showed that we MUST get the football program on track in order to make KU more marketable next time around.  From the things I have seen and heard, I'm confident that Weis and Zenger have the character and competence to build a successful gridiron program.  There are too many winners on the Weis staff not to get it done.
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Bill Lee 1 year, 6 months ago

I wonder what football recruits are told to expect at KU. They all seem to attend basketball games. Does Bill Self take his recruits to football games? It's as if we're telling recruits that football is an after thought in Jayhawk Country. Recruiting is the key to success at any school and in any sport. Let's get the horses we need.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom - It won't matter. The talent level of this team is comperable to a train wreck...starting with the defensive line.

Weis will need to clean house again to get some studs in the program. Here's the issue though...we currently rank dead last in 2013 recruiting.

To all the posters out there...yeah I know what you're gonna say. JUCO guys don't count in the rankings. Well there is a reason why JUCO guys don't count. Do you see how JUCO guys have affected our program this year ? The D-line was fixed right ?

Bottom line - we need a steady diet of 4 and 5 star freshman talent over the next 3 or 4 years. Unfortunately I just don't see it happening...no matter who is coach here.

I love KU football...but you can see whats evolving...and hopes are grim for developing a competitive program anytime soon. We once had hope and excitement for a few seasons in a row toward the end of the Mangino era...until Perkins bent the program over.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 6 months ago

We have had two different game plans. Remember when we ran it down the throat of Rice and NIU in the first half to get a lead? Only to choke it away by airing it out in the second half.

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