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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Jayhawks set at QB for future

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Save yourself the trouble of tossing over your shoulder haystack after haystack of negativity surrounding the Kansas University football program in search of that elusive needle pointing upward. You won’t find it on the rest of the schedule, but it will start to show its head during spring football.

Here it is: Kansas has nothing going on the quarterback recruiting front. That’s good news? Yes. The Jayhawks don’t need to find another man under center because next year’s team will have a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior quarterback and the quality is such that reigning first-string QB Jake Heaps could be anywhere from first to third string.

That doesn’t help KU’s chances of snapping a Big 12 losing streak that stands at 22 games, but it at least means there is one competition to which we can all look forward.

KU football coach Charlie Weis has shown he’s not unwilling to make changes in both personnel and game plans. Weis appears to be inching toward what most college coaches believe, which is that having a quarterback who isn’t quick enough to execute designed running plays puts an offensive coordinator at a decided schematic disadvantage.

“We tried to get Michael (Cummings) more involved last week because when the quarterback is a run threat, it forces the defense to do things differently than when the quarterback isn’t a run threat, a la Jake,” Weis said Tuesday. “The problem with that is you also become one-dimensional.”

By that he meant when Heaps is in the game, the defense knows he won’t tuck it and run. And when Cummings (47-percent completion rate, 5.1 yards per attempt) is in the game the issue flips.

“They just load everybody up front and say, ‘Look it, they’re not going to throw it.’ That’s the bind you get in,” Weis said.

It’s the bind Kansas State was in when alternating passer Jake Waters and runner Daniel Sams the first few games of this season. The best solution, of course, is to have someone like the Wildcats’ former Heisman Trophy candidate Collin Klein, a threat to do both.

Enter Montell Cozart and T.J. Millweard. Cozart, a 2013 graduate of Bishop Miege, is red-shirting, at least so far. Millweard must red-shirt because of transfer rules. He will have three years of eligibility remaining, Cozart four.

Teammates will always praise each other, so it pays to place more importance on how they say things than what words they use. During training camp, when players were asked about what Cozart brings, their eyes lit up, and that was when they talked about his throwing ability. He also runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, extremely fast for a QB.

“With the speed you can bring a different tempo to the game and put the defense in a bind,” Cozart said during training camp. “They’re going to be worrying about your feet, and when they do that, you’ve got someone wide open down the field. It’s just a great threat to have against a defense.”

Playing for then Miege head coach and current KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, Cozart threw 31 touchdown passes his junior year. He threw 25 TD passes and led Miege to the 5A state title game as a senior. He also stood out on the basketball court.

“I’m still pass-first, but I feel like if I need to I can count on my feet to be able to move me around and still make a throw on the run or run and get out of bounds,” Cozart said.

T.J. Millweard, like Cozart rated as a three-star high school quarterback by Rivals, was labeled a pro-style quarterback. But a look at Millweard’s high school highlight film shows him using pretty good speed to make long runs. Those who watch KU practices have been impressed with his mobility.

Millweard, who signed with UCLA out of Colleyville, Texas, originally committed to Virginia Tech and then Arizona State, before following the assistant coach who recruited him to ASU to Westwood. Beaten out by talented Brett Hundley, Millweard transferred to Kansas in August.

Better play from the offensive line and wide receivers, in that order, could give Heaps a chance to make a significant improvement. If that doesn’t happen, the quarterback competition could be a tight three-way horse race, with Cozart meriting a very long look.

Comments

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

At the open scrimmage, Cozart looked a lot better than Cummings. I would have liked to see him play instead of Cummings, but apparently they are saving him for a likely red shirt.

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

Who knows what Cummings really looks like? He got one snap in the first 3 games and then was launched into a situation where he didn't know from down to down if he was going to be in the game. The only reason he played at all was because of pressure on Weis so he put him in almost impossible situations.

.........."Millweard, who signed with UCLA out of Coffeyville, Texas, originally committed to Virginia Tech and then Arizona State, before following the assistant coach who recruited him to ASU to Westwood. Beaten out by talented Brett Hundley, Millweard transferred to Kansas in August."...........

Sorry but this doesn't look any more promising than Crist, et al. Maybe Brett Hundley doesn't know that our coach has 4 Super Bowl rings. That surely would've gotten him to transfer too.

Got a little hope that Cozart could pan out. Actually, Joe Dineen from FSHS looks better at the position than anyone we've got suited up right now. I understand he's not even being considered for the QB spot.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

You are kidding right? The backup QB has to be ready to go at any time in case the starting QB get injured or is unable to play. He trains for the game just like the starting QB does. It does not matter why he goes into the game, if the backup QB is not ready to play, Coach Weis needs to find one that will be ready when needed..

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

I have no idea what you're talking about. Being a backup QB is one thing but the game plan on Saturday was obviously much different. That was a planned exchange at QB. I've whined about putting Cummings in and rolling him out for two years. However, Heaps was doing a fine job early and I did not understand why you would interrupt the flow of the offense at that point. Weis has no clue and he'll be fired at the end of this season. Problem is, Zenger should go first.

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

Dineen doesn't look like a good QB, but a Running back or a spot on the defensive backfield, he does.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

At least Weis has finally recognized that a team like KU needs a dual threat quarterback. It took sometime to come to that conclusion even though anyone who follows college football should have figured this out.

Jack Jones 1 year, 2 months ago

I am sure HC Weis would love to had your "anyone who follows college football" expertise way before now ~ what took you so long to share it?

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 2 months ago

Now all Weis needs to acknowledge is we need an OC separate from the HC.

Lance Cheney 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't bring this up. You will be lambasted for trying to be a police detective.

Randy Glenn 1 year, 2 months ago

I also think an offensive coordinator is a MUST!!!! Just be the HC Charlie!!!!!!!

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

No offense to Tom Keegan or Matt Tait, because they have to write articles about SOMETHING (which is hard to do given the condition of Kansas football). But for my part, I no longer put any faith in articles which speak of players' abilities. Too often I have been set up to hope only to see that hope disappointed. From now on I await evidence on the field. I love my Hawks and support them, but there is nothing wrong with avoiding false hope either.

TexiCaliHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Plus, they can't even be depended on to get basic information right -- T.J. Millweard came from Colleyville, TX (not 'Coffeyville' which is a town in Kansas).

Mike Plank 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks, I was getting ready to make the same comment. Nothing like making sure all your facts are correct.

Mike Barnhart 1 year, 2 months ago

One thing we do know, Heaps is no runner! In fact, it seems Heaps first priority is to avoid contact at all cost. I've never seen a QB more anxious to get rid of the ball REGARDLESS of the result.

It's not that he's slow footed (he is), it's his lack of poise that determines his failure. I think the guy is probably fine in practice but when the bullets are flying it's panic time which explains why Charlie tried full contact practices during the bye week!

I'll go on record right now, this IS Heaps last season atop the KU depth chart.

Doug Roberts 1 year, 2 months ago

Replace the word "Heaps" with "Crist" and I think your comments are right on the money. I actually think Heaps has shown great poise and pocket awareness (on the rare occasions when there IS a pocket).

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

Hey ralster, how were your seats on the 50 yardline? Bet you were lonely by the end of the third quarter.

Jason Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

p>kusports.com already hyping 2014... that's when you know it's gotten bad. I'll skip the majority of these articles until I see the product on the field for myself.

I'll admit I was drinking the kool-aid all summer.. what a reality check, more like a kick in the stomach. Last year's team, with Jake Heaps, would beat this year's team by 21 points.

Hurts to even think this but it might be time for the KU administration to get together and see what is best for the university moving forward. This football team is a toxic asset to the university at this time. We either need to go all in right now on the stadium and apply the type of pressure to coach Weis that is applied to every other football coach in a power conference or we need to think about letting football go.

Sean Zenger needs to tell Charlie Weis right now that unless he wins 2 conference games, he's fired. Point blank. End of story. What's that going to do? Well, that pressure is going to trickle down to the assistant coaches and to the players. We've been way too easy on our last couple football coaches. Gill should have had people all over him 4 games into his tenure. But no, we still had basketball so we didn't really care. If you want to get serious, get serious. That is all.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

At the time, I thought Weis was a bad hire. Nothing has changed my mind. I did drink a little kool-aid before last year based on what Weis said and how KUSports reported the preseason. Weis was and is the anti-Turner Gill. However, he is not that more effective as a coach which is evident on the field.

With that said, Weis has to be given at least four years to see if he can turn the program around. I am not optimistic he can do it but it is only fair to give him every opportunity to have success.

I would have much rather tried to blow everything up and start from scratch, bringing in freshman and building a system. As fans, we could watch the team progress over a 3-4 year period and get to know the players. My fear is that Weis tried for some easy fixes by bringing in transfers and JUCO players instead of really trying to build something.

NebraskaJayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Pretty much my assessment as well. Well said.

justanotherfan 1 year, 2 months ago

I think it would be bad if KU fired Weis after this season because that would mean they would be on their fourth coach in six years, which, from a program standpoint, is terrible.

However, Gill was only given two years to turn the program around (and failed at that mission). I believe Gill was under the impression that he would have time, as he focused his recruiting efforts on high school talent rather than lots of jucos. Still, the fact that he got only two years even though he was recruiting with the future in mind is telling.

Weis is not doing that. I think this is because Weis doesn't plan on sticking around beyond next season if things don't start turning around. He would likely resign his post if KU doesn't win 5-7 games next year.

That was my criticism of the hire initially. If KU doesn't turn around, Weis has no reason to stay and grind it out. If KU does turn around, Weis takes the next big time job (NFL, college, whatever). Either way, Weis likely wasn't going to stay beyond 5 years. That's no way to build a program.

BayPark 1 year, 2 months ago

I have to admit, Kellerman, you and a few others were getting on my nerves--especially prior to the Rice game. Your comments above, however, are spot on. I appreciate you not disappearing and telling it like it is; a true fan.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 2 months ago

Kellerman - Like Baypark said...glad you didn't disappear...and you admitted hooking up the KUsports kool-aid IV. jayhawkntx1973, gorilla, and kingfisher should all man up like you. Tait should man up too...with his 5-7 prediction :)

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

Who is Sean Zenger and why would Coach Weis listen to him?

Titus Canby 1 year, 2 months ago

What about Jordan Darling, the freshman QB from SM East?

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm assuming he wasn't mentioned because this article is focusing on dual threats, not pocket passers.

Mick Allen 1 year, 2 months ago

The fact that he was not mentioned in the article says it all. Saw him lose to Free State in high school with 3 picks. If he hadn't started his high school ball in Texas he never would have received the 3 star rating. His lack of mobility is one of the problems.

Rivethead 1 year, 2 months ago

Hopefully Jordan Darling is the next Nick Reid

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

We have three quarterbacks red-shirting right now, Cozart, Darling, and Millweard. Then of course we have Dineen coming in. We have guys waiting and progressing right now. I was high on heaps like everyone was, but you can use him in that pistol set with Sims/Miller/bourban/pierson behind and next to him. Just because you are in that pistol set does not mean he has to run. Look at Alabama they run a pistol now and then and McCarron is not a Qb that will take off and run. We have depth and unless a 5 star stud dual threat quarterback is interested in KU we will not be recruiting one for a year at least maybe two. I have watched highlights and I think Millweard has a small upperhand because he is in his second year of college, but I do not know what is going to happen next year. Heaps has a cannon and his accuracy is not terrible, 3 interceptions have been tipped balls. Spread them out and run some option read/passes and draws we need to get our workhorses involved.

Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

We don't need the QB to be a runner; we need the OL to provide the QB some time to throw the ball. Heaps is good when you give him a chance to find a receiver (then it is up to the receiver to actually catch the dang thang).

VaJay 1 year, 2 months ago

Hear! Hear! What he said /\

If we get an O-Line that can actually run block and pass block, that changes everything & makes everyone else look better.

Jim Williamson 1 year, 2 months ago

The coach who really needs to worry about what he's doing after this season is Grunhard. The O-line has been absolutely awful on his watch.

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm personally much more concerned about what Rob Ianello does? The WR's have been under his tutelage for 1+ seasons now and they still don't know how to be a jam or press at the LOS, don't know how to run routes, don't know how to block on the perimeter, don't know how to improvise when a play breaks down, and most disturbingly still can't catch with their hands.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

HC Weis and Heaps are not the problem. Move KU's OL and WRs to Texas A&M and see how well Johnny Football does.

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

They would have lost to Rice and by 100 to Alabama.

Lucas Town 1 year, 2 months ago

We are set at quarterback, so the article says, and we have a stable running backs. The only two positions we seem to have any depth. I would argue with anyone that we have not had good quarterback play since Reesing's junior year. I would not read into this article until a quarterback can prove something on the field on gameday, not the practice field. We need a much better defense. If we can slow teams to 20-30 points instead of 50+ points in conference play we would be in a much better spot. But the offense needs to execute much better. Schedule breakdown: TCU has played LSU and OU, so since this one is on the road this one will be tough. Then OU and Baylor come to town, those games will be tough. Next we go to Texas and Oklahoma State, another set of road games, this will be very tough. Best shot for our next win will be when we host West Virginia on November 16th. They don't seem to play well on the road, but it will be November and with a record of 2-7 and the basketball team will be 2-0 football will be an after thought. Final record 2-10 because who are we going to beat? Sorry to be a Debbie downer, this is just how I see it. I will still watch the games and will be elated with another win. RCJH!

Lance Cheney 1 year, 2 months ago

Cozart runs a 4.5 40??? I didn't know this! Why aren't we getting him in the game now to get some experience for next year? It would also keep the defenses honest, if he really can throw as well as they say. Jake Heaps is a great pocket-passer, but when you don't have a pocket from whence to pass, well...

kujhawkfan 1 year, 2 months ago

Free Telly now!! We have 8 games left this season and there is no reason to keep the dual threat off the field. We need all the help we can get on offense. Whether it's 5 plays a game or he wins the full time job. Give the kid a chance now...

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

Weis is pretty much decided to lean on Heaps this year and it looks like the only other QB he is going to go with is Cummings. Ive been to a 3 games this year and Cozart just does not have the build yet. Weis is not going to give up the kids redshirt year. Cozart needs to be holsoppled. We have seen what holsopple has done with our players, next year will be the first you see of Cozart unless its Spring game or scrimmages. We also have 2 other redshirts in Darling and Millweard. It will get interesting, but only if Weis decides to get rid of this wanna be NFL turned College offense

HighQ 1 year, 2 months ago

James Sims was a stud.

Not now? O Line's the key for

RB and QB.

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

I am not in for firing Weis just yet, but read and article on rock chalk talk and I would really like to see the head coach of Northern Illinois come here as an OC for a year or be in the next coach in line. Look at what he has done with NUI. BCS game last year and started to another 5-0 start.

Chris Gilbertson 1 year, 2 months ago

Wasn't that guy on Mangino's staff? And in the running for the head coaching job either before Gill or Weis got it or maybe both? I could be wrong though.

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

Dave Doeren was the coach, but he is currently the headcoach at NC State. He was one of the coaches along with the Ex Southern Miss coach. Both were considered TG hiring and during the Charlie Weis hiring. The current head NIU coach is Rod Carey. Doeren is from Shawnee Mission, and was on the KU staff from 02-05 then Wisconsin then head coach at NIU for two year now at NC State. In his head coaching career is 28-6 record. He is a Kansas boy and has been on the staff and so far is proven at a medium competition level (MAC). I think he is the kind of coach that KU should go after.

esque 1 year, 2 months ago

Nebraskan,

I'll also add, he really wanted the job but don't know if he even got an interview. I believe he would've been a great hire as he truly wanted to be here. Considering all his ties to the university and the area as well his previous experience on Mangino's staff, this program would be in much better shape. I also think he likely would've won the four games Weis let get away last season, not to mention the probable better prospects the team would be facing now.

kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

Doeren was high on my list as well. I liked the fact that he was from the area and thought that might bode well for the long term. For better or worse we are stuck with Charlie. If we fire another coach no one will be able to get us out of the hole this program is in.

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

Esque and Kay_you I agree he was very high on my list. Depending on how well Weis does and how well Doeren does at NC State may depend on somethings, but IDK if we could convince him or entice him enough to come back to KU. Zenger should have given him a better look because he is a talented KANSAS GUY

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

Those of you who are talking about a new head coach, unless you have the cash to buy off Weis, it isn't happening. The big donors aren't going to do it again. Weis just has to come back down to earth and hire an OC and let that OC install a system that works at this level. Weis can do the same thing if he keeps trying to be both Head Coach and OC, but something's gotta give or this isn't going to work.

Weis knows what he has. I don't know if he has the ability to accept some humility and admit that most of these problems is that his offensive system isn't working. If he does that and fixes it, then they can get this ship turned around. Until then, we're in trouble.

Brandon Mahon 1 year, 2 months ago

I am okay with keeping Weis. I have a feeling he would have a tough time sucking up his pride and hiring and OC. Weis can of course help with the game plan and offensive creation but let the OC handle at least 50% of the duties. The worse part is idk if we could even get a proven OC willing to sit under Weis for the next 2/3 years.

Chayse Patrick 1 year, 2 months ago

Man o man when are people gonna realize and face the facts that WEIS DIDNOT MAKE HIS OWN NAME IN THE PROS!!!!!! A QB BY THE NAME OF TOM BRADY (AMONG OTHERS) NEED ALL THE CREDIT. Weis was just in the right place. Hell he was involved with Pats when they were Badass and Florida Gators too. Look back at his stint at Notre Dame, He had a top 10 recruiting class and didn't even make a bowl that year. The POS can't coach on his own and we/re stuck with him!!!!! DISGRACEFUL. He sucks.

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