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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weis promises to explore all options before OSU game

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.

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Following Saturday’s loss to Kansas State, and again during a conference call with reporters on Sunday night, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis vowed to explore anything and everything that could solve his squad’s second-half struggles.

Tuesday morning, during his regular weekly news conference, Weis shared the details of a new plan that was mostly personnel driven.

Although the updated depth chart showed very few changes, Weis said some of the guys who had been listed as back-ups could receive meaningful playing time this weekend when the Jayhawks play host to Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“There’s several guys that I don’t know enough about when they go on the field,” Weis said. “Some of them I don’t know enough about because there’s guys that are older playing ahead of them that, in practice, play better than them by a wide margin.”

Weis pointed to his offensive line as an example.

Instead of letting second-string left tackle Pat Lewandowski continue to play mostly in mop-up duty, Weis said he would consider giving Lewandowski a series or two in the first half Saturday. Same for red-shirt freshmen Damon Martin at left guard and Dylan Admire at center.

“How are we gonna find out what they’re gonna do against competition if we never play ’em?” Weis asked. “That’s the Catch 22 you’re in. You want to know but never at the expense of risking something in that game.”

The theory says that putting the less-experienced reserves in early on gives them a chance to play when the game is still close, which, in turn, gives Weis and his coaching staff a better indication of how those players stack up against Big 12 talent.

“Everyone wants to look at developing your team as giving up on your team,” Weis said. “And they misconstrue the whole thing. You can’t ever sacrifice your current team for the sake of development. At the same time, you have to do both things simultaneously.”

One other potential advantage of giving a guy like Admire a shot at center is, if he pans out, Weis could then look at moving starting center Trevor Marrongelli to right guard (he started all 12 games last season at left guard) to help shore up a section of KU’s offensive line that has struggled throughout the season.

Although he used the offensive linemen as his example, Weis said the theory held true with every position on the team where an experienced and entrenched veteran was starting ahead of an inexperienced backup. That includes quarterback, where red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings also may be in line to play an extra series or two in the coming weeks.

“I’m cognizant that the second half has been our biggest issue,” Weis said. “You don’t think I’m thinking about that, too? I’m thinking, ‘What can I do?’ And, trust me, it’ll be addressed here in the next 24 hours, because I’d rather go down swinging than not take a swing. I’m not taking a called third strike, I promise you.”

Calling all kickers

While most of the personnel tweaks Weis hinted about on Tuesday were geared toward development, one concrete change on the depth chart came at place kicker, where Weis opened things up and planned to give freshman Austin Barone a shot to compete with junior Ron Doherty for the starting job.

Asked why Barone was in the mix, Weis was blunt.

“I’d like to make a field goal,” he said. “That’d be a good start.”

So far this season, Doherty has connected on just five of 10 field goal tries, including a 1-of-5 mark on kicks longer than 30 yards. Last week, in the 56-16 loss to K-State, Doherty missed a 24-yarder in the first half that killed KU’s momentum.

“Those have to be automatic,” Weis said. “Sometimes you can blame everything on the kicker, and Ron certainly would accept his share of the blame, but there’s a lot of things that factor in.”

Although Doherty has been solid as a punter — 40.5 yards per kick on 21 attempts — Weis said he would be on the lookout for place kickers in the next recruiting class. Asked if he had committed to offering a scholarship to a kicker in the current class, Weis’ answer emphasized the Jayhawks’ desperation.

“Maybe two,” he said. “I’m not gonna come on the short end of that stick, I promise you.”

Sharp living up to name

While the Jayhawks have struggled to find a reliable kicker, the Cowboys have not. Anchored by the big leg of senior Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State has been dynamite in all aspects of the kicking game throughout the season.

“Their best player might be their kicker,” Weis said. “This Quinn Sharp, he might be the best player at his position in the country.”

Through four games, Sharp is averaging 44 yards per punt, has bombed 27 touchbacks in 32 attempts, hit seven of nine field goal attempts and drilled all 28 extra point tries.

“He’s exceptional,” Weis said.

Giving to a good cause

A portion of all tickets sold to this weekend’s KU-OSU game will be donated to the Jayhawks for a Cure fund, which supports cancer treatment and prevention at the KU Cancer Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. For every ticket sold to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. kickoff with the Cowboys, $5 will go directly to the Jayhawks for a Cure fund.

Comments

jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 6 months ago

Here are my thoughts on the QB situation.

  1. I don't want Baty to lose a year of eligibility just because of some emotional reaction by the fans.
  2. Cummings can't redshirt this year so he can come in in mop up duty and if he wins the job in practice, then sobeit, but I'm not doubting Weis for sticking with Crist. That would send a bad message to other QBs Weis is trying to recruit.

Baty only has two years of eligibility and so does Heaps. Do you really want to waste on one of those years for either of them this year?

Cummings showed nothing on Saturday. Sure, could he? Could he get it to the undersized receivers? I doubt it. Beshear's head isn't in the right place. He looks resentful out there and should be replaced, with a taller guy like Omigie, but Beshears could have roles in certain offensive looks.

I don't want a QB controversy which was common place under Terry Allen and the earlier years of Mangino, but mostly due to injury. Create a QB controversy and see what it does to degenerate the team's unity that they are building under a new coach.

The last two seasons the players weren't pushed work hard, to improve. That's the reality of what Weis inherited.

It was in worse shape when Weis got here than it was when Mangino and Glen Mason got here. No doubt about it. But Mason and Mangino both achieved success over time, particularly Mangino with more talent than Mason had, but one thing Mason did was beat Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Colorado, and not when they were rebuilding. KU beat Colorado in Boulder when Colorado was a legit national title contender. Mason never beat Nebraska, but did come close on a few occasions in good competitive football games. Mason also beat OU the week after Colorado, or it may have been the other way around, both games on the road and Mason won both of them, and nobody thought KU had a chance in either. KU was 21 point underdogs going to Colorado, and won 40-24.

KU trailed OU early 14-0 and then 14-7 at the half. Mason/Weis share a lot of the same qualities as far as coaching goes. Except Weis inherited a program in a condition that was worse when Mason got here.

On the issue with Gill, here is what it would have taken for me to have stayed behind him.

Beat Baylor and Texas Tech last year. We had them both on the ropes.

Also, stand behind your players when they make a good play and the refs make a bad call. It's okay if you get a 15 yard penalty, it unites the team. Weis needs to do that too on a cheap call that goes against us for reasons that seem obvious to me.

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jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 6 months ago

Keep putting the pressure like this on Crist, and who would want to come play for this unloyal, unrealistic fan base?

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squawkhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

If Weis is such a good developer of QBs, then why does 5 star Crist stink?

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stanleys 1 year, 6 months ago

weis shoulda been doing this after the Rice and TCU game instead of sugar coating the losses with "we're turning the corner" bulls--t!! And Crist shoulda had his bags packed and benched long before the 4th quarter of the k-suck game. Just sayin'

All I'm hoping for at this point now is for the MIZ SEC tigers to get drilled by Alabama and every other game after that one!!!!!!

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Steve Brown 1 year, 6 months ago

MIZ SEC

the next best thing than beating the Tigers is watching someone else do it.

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MLJayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I cant wait to hear the comments that will be posted if we win a game. Such fair weather fans, we are.

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Joe Baker 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's admit it. We all knew this was going to be a rough year with the last few years hanging over the program. Weis brought Crist in and is obviously taking advantage of this down year. He is letting Crist get in some reps, because this is Crist's last shot at some hint for the NFL. It can't hurt. What other QB will you get in the game with Crist's D1 experience?

We all know Heaps is the KU QB for tomorrow. He's learning under Weis and Crist. It reminds me of the movie "The Replacements" when they huddled and the big Samoan threw up. They all huddled and moved away at the same time. But in the end, leadership brought them together. Madden said, "It's the only thing they've done right all day." I'll take anything at this point.

This movie is great and if you haven't seen it, it's a must see.

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1072890137/

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Robert Brown 1 year, 6 months ago

Whether we like it or not Weis is not going anywhere. At the time, it was a risky hire and the early results are not good. This team should be better than last year's team and it's not. I can't believe anyone is trying to spin that K-state gave showed some glimmers of hope in the first half. We had a nice stretch where the offense was clicking but that only lasted about a quarter and we needed two fake licks to score. Then we self destructed in the 3rd quarter and by 40. That's not improvement.

Picking Weis was widely panned as one of the worst hires of all the openings so none of this should be surprising.

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Mo Mosallaei 1 year, 6 months ago

I support coach Weis and I think the future is going to be better. Having said that you can't argue with some glaring facts. As bad as Gill was, he beat NIU. And there's no excuse for losing to Rice who is now 1-5. Weis's loyalty to Crist is my biggest gripe with this staff.

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Danny Hernandez 1 year, 6 months ago

And mizery fans are already saying wait till basketball for their team......haha

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

I understand TCU turned it over a few times within our 10. Some forced...some not-so-much. But regardless of the reasoning, we were well capable of winning that game. Arguably, a shoe-string tackle and a fumble at the goalline were all that kept us from tying it up.

Sorry to say, guys, but we'd all be singing a different tune if we were 4-1 right now. And as ridiculous as it it sounds, 4-1 was a potential.

But this is where we're at. I have to believe things will get better; otherwise, we're playing into the "wait till basketball" stereotype with which most K-State and Mizzou fans paint us.

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MLJayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Well said, MartyrMangino. You should take your post and post it on the all the message boards... and perhaps then we can really send a message.

I am so tired of folks being unrealistic, that it gives me a headache. I am even more tired that we have stooped to new lows, specifically the neagative statements on our own football players.

We truly have good players. Maybe we havent played them right, or maybe they havent been coached properly, but they have talent indeed. Did you forget that we've had 3 coaches with 3 different styles in 4 years! Can you imagine learning new plays and new formations over and over again? They have not had the luxury of building a relationship with the same coach. We just need stability and development. I am sure that they feel worse than you guys do.

Let me say this. I analyze and critique the games, too. And I would love to see some personnel changes myself (and I hope to see changes this Saturday). But please dont tell me that yall are so blind....that you dont see any improvement or progress what so ever... please BE PATIENT. We are headed in the right direction. Geez...

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

Just keep the scoreboard lit up as the first half..have the band come out of the tunnel and sing the national anthem again...see??.......problem solved!!

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Steve Corder 1 year, 6 months ago

I like the man, and "not taking a third strike" comment is perfect.

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jayhawkinATL 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, how about giving Crist ANOTHER day off!!!

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Danny Hernandez 1 year, 6 months ago

I posted on phog.net about Mike Leach and how the fans have turned against him, how his WSU team barely beat Eastern Washington & UNLV. Leach's WSU team stinks and his honeymoon is already over. Of course, a few replys to my post defended him by saying that it's going to take 3-4 years before he's run off because the team he inherited really stinks from a talent stand-point. Add it the fact that Washington, USC, Oregon etc., take all the top talent so it could take longer.

And a reply to that said how funny it is to be rational when it's another schools' program.

Same for Kansas. The talent just isn't here and it will take 2-3 years before we see a difference. And the difference could occur overnight.

I'm patient and stand behind our Coach and his staff. I reside in Miami so I can't attend the games but IF I lived in KC, I'd see every home game and stay till the end showing my support for guys giving their all

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Joe Ross 1 year, 6 months ago

Totally agree. there was a difference between manginos early losing seasons and turner gills. Not so much in the record, but in the product n the field. Jaybate in all his wisdom couldn't see that difference, and thought gills ouster was too soon. Some people never learn. But I see it in Charlies team, except I think he is a bit too loyal to crist.

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MartyrMangino 1 year, 6 months ago

(cont).

We have hit a rough patch this season. Rougher than a lot of people anticipated, but we need to get behind coach Weis AND our players. They are working hard every day to improve and nobody on this message board wants to win more than they do. I can understand the questioning of this or that strategy, but at the end of the day, we need to be there at the games, and cheer, and support our young men through this rough patch. For goodness sakes, Bill Self hasn't even achieved the success that Charlie Weis has. Let the man work. He wants to win, his players want to win, and he knows what it takes to get it done. We are no longer losing games by record point totals, people are attending the games, our team's academic standing is MUCH better, and so far, we have had a realistic chance in the 4th quarter of each game we lost to win those games.

Please folks, let's not be like Missouri fans and turn on our own. Let's help coach Weis build this program better than it has ever been! We have waited this long anyway and we are very, very lucky that we have him here. He has brought in a great staff and these guys are winners. Winners win.

4

MartyrMangino 1 year, 6 months ago

A plea for sanity amongst KU fans,

Not long ago, many on this message board were urging the Turner Gill detractors to be patient. We lose to Baylor by 48 points? Be patient. We lose at home to Kansas State by 52 points? Be patient. OSU mercifully not scoring 100 points on us? Be patient. A game against Texas in which we had a total of 3 first downs and a total of 48 net yards gained? Be patient.

There were a lot of Turner Gill apologists, and BELIEVING was an nice, little positive catch phrase for our program after the turmoil of the football / basketball fight, coaching investigations, and a collapse of our "History Awaits" dreams. The problem is, there was a lot of hard work that went into getting the program to the point at which people COULD believe. Coach Mangino and his teams practiced next to the soccer practice fields, used the antiquated Anschutz Strength & Conditioning facility, and then took a BUS across campus to play their hearts out even though there wasn't a sold out crowd, even though they would never be national champions or even Big 12 champions. Well, all of their time and effort paid off and we went to a few bowl games, we had some sold out home games, tore down a load of goalposts, and we made the cover of Sports Illustrated (In football!). Finally, we break through and not only go to, but win a BCS bowl, and for the only time in our history, a bowl game in the following season. My point is, it was easy to believe then. The heavy lifting had been done. Only later would we find out that Coach Gill's team's academic standing was in ashambles, just as week after week our on-field results were. We were in bad, bad shape.

After two seasons of the most gut wrenching losses and records upon records set against our team, we still had enough football pride in the tank to buy-out Coach Gill. Names were tossed around and many were convinced that we couldn't persuade a quality coach to come to our university. Mostly assistant coaches were suspected to be our options, and if you had asked anybody, ANYBODY, if they thought Charlie Weis would be our next head coach, no one could have contained their laughter at such a glib fantasy.

We now have a head coach who won a Super Bowl with the legendary coach Bill Parcells and he won 3 Super Bowls with Bill Belichick. He believes in results, hard work, academic success, and he has a non-profit organization to benefit children and adults with developmental disorders. He is tough, but fair, and he is by far the most credentialed coach we have every had at KU.

3

Jim Erickson 1 year, 6 months ago

It's unfortunate that we will be going into next year losing a good group of seniors. Pick, Beshears, Patterson, Zlatnik, Marrongelli, Hawkinson, Ragone, Josh WIlliams, McDonald, Opurum, McDougald, and Brown are all decent players and are focal points of what we are doing this year. For as bad as this team is, it is not that bad of a class. Zlatinik and several others may have a shot at the NFL.

I'm excited for year 2 of Charlie and am looking forward to recruiting and player development but this is a decent class that is leaving Kansas.

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Jeff Suther 1 year, 6 months ago

Before he looks to much for a kicker he should start with finding a QB that can throw, WR that can catch llineman that can block defensive lineman that can create pressure and can some freaking DBs that can cover a freaking WR

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april28 1 year, 6 months ago

I can live through the pain of another rough season but the biggest challenge to Charlie is simple: how do I improve the talent level of my team next year?

He's been very smart so far and has cleared a bunch of room for scholarships. He's got to find a way to find some difference makers. Success over the next two years hinges on his ability to get more talent.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 6 months ago

You will no longer have to skim over my rants about KU special teams. WE HAVE A KICKER PEOPLE. He is on campus and coach Weis has watched him kick touchback after touchback. He will be eligible next year, thank god.

Next year, if this team can make small improvements on offense and defense with a massive improvement on special teams, I think they have a real shot to be better.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

“How are we gonna find out what they’re gonna do against competition if we never play ’em?” Weis asked. “That’s the Catch 22 you’re in. You want to know but never at the expense of risking something in that game.”

Note to Charlie - at this point in the season, go ahead and play anybody you want - any time you want, if there's a chance they will help improve this team.

There is not a bowl game riding on this.

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Ben Kliewer 1 year, 6 months ago

"I'd like to make a field goal" Like you said. Blunt and to the point. I like this Weis guy. He's not tiptoeing around the issue or just saying "bad execution, we'll work hard and try our darnedest next time" like somebody else we know.

1

minipman 1 year, 6 months ago

hey weis, may be you should have an open try out for kickers.. i bet you could post something in the University Kansan about it.. i guarantee there are students here who can kick better..heck mayb Crist can kick better than he throws. if you are worried bout giving him playing time but you wont bench him.. there's a solution for you.. ..

p.s. Doherty proved he runs better than he kicks

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Perfectly blunt, direct comments from Weis himself about the challenges of this roster he inherited. Gotta build thru recruiting, and I'm sure he is looking forward to his FIRST full recruiting season. Im very excited to see what the frosh kicker can do. Its up to Weis to judge if Doherty has shown us all he is capable of (not my job). Weis was right to the point about the kicking game, and overall about how wafer-thin this team really is.

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