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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Charlie Weis too ambitious in trying to balance coaching, coordinating

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis looks up at the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter against Rice, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. At left is linebackers coach Clint Bowen.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis looks up at the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter against Rice, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. At left is linebackers coach Clint Bowen.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 23-14 loss to Rice on Sept. 14, 2013.

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Box score

KU-Rice

— Two weeks into the Kansas University football season, I can’t stop thinking head coach Charlie Weis fell one recruit short during a busy offseason of bringing new talent to the program. It’s becoming apparent he should have recruited an offensive coordinator to take those duties off of his own plate.

The thought first occurred to me after the spring football game, which Weis watched from up in the box. He remarked afterward that it’s easy for a veteran coach to spot what the defense is doing from upstairs.

The same thought gained steam in the first half of an unimpressive season-opening victory against South Dakota. The voices in my head calling for change grew louder in the first half of Saturday night’s 23-14 loss to Rice, played in front of 22,974 in Rice Stadium.

Down by a field goal and starting a drive at its 40 with 2:52 left in the half, Kansas had plenty of time to use multiple plays to draw within field-goal range or break one for a touchdown along the way. Instead, what happened amounted to a punt on first down, giving the ball to the team armed with the best field-goal kicker in the nation.

Quarterback Jake Heaps attempted a bomb to Justin McCay, a 50-50 ball that was intercepted and Rice was able to drive into field-goal range to take a 13-7 lead at the half. Throwing long does not appear to be Heaps’ strength and McCay is a possession receiver, not much of a deep threat. It played to nobody’s strength, except that of Rice dual-threat quarterback Taylor McHargue and kicker Chris Boswell.

The bomb smacked of desperation when the circumstances were anything but desperate. It was too ambitious a play called by a coach who was guilty of being too ambitious in taking on so many duties when trying to turn around the program in shambles that he inherited.

At the very least, it was a swing of three points. And it was far from the only bizarre decision on a night when KU’s offensive line was exposed as not ready for prime-time competition.

Another strange call: On fourth and one from its 23, Kansas didn’t just send the punt unit onto the field. Instead, Weis had Heaps attempt to draw the defense offside. It didn’t work because it was way too obvious that was what KU was trying to do. Rice doesn’t have the fastest athletes on the planet, but they do have brains fertile enough to handle the academic demands of a very fine school. Predictably, the five-yard delay-of-game penalty was an unnecessary gift.

Weis is not too proud to steal from other coaches and acknowledge when he does so, but doesn’t want to conform to what the vast majority of coaches believe to be the right way to assemble a coaching staff, which is to have an offensive coordinator working for a head coach, not one man performing both demanding tasks, all the more demanding given the magnitude of the rebuilding challenge.

During the offseason, Weis shared that he was stealing from West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen and planned to use Tony Pierson the way Holgorsen used Tavon Austin, as a hybrid running back/receiver, the idea being the more ways to get the fastest player on the field, the better. Pierson had five touches Saturday, just one run. That’s not how Holgorsen used Austin. Pierson rushed for 120 yards on 19 carries a year ago.

Calling plays in college football is a very different animal from the NFL, where every team has athletes good enough to enable a coach to scheme to stop something. In college, superior athletes can expose defenses, even ones designed to stop them. For example, no NFL player could have as big a speed advantage against an NFL defense as Pierson had against Rice. Pierson caught four passes for 95 yards, including a 77-yard TD catch on which he covered the final 76 yards with his legs.

“We only had 15 plays in the first quarter,” Weis said. “When it comes to a game like that, you want to make sure that you are trying to re-establish the running game because a lot of those plays early in the game, those quick passes, were run calls where they took away the run we’re throwing a pass.”

James Sims gained 109 yards on 19 rushes.

“I felt like we needed to give James the ball more to establish the interior line of scrimmage and we hadn’t done that in the first quarter, and that’s what I was trying to do,” Weis said.

It’s never a bad idea to hand the ball to Sims, but several Pierson outside running plays could have come at the expense of passes. Jake Heaps threw 28 passes and was sacked three times. The four KU running backs — Taylor Cox sat this one out — combined for 23 carries.

Talent-wise, this is a football team that should be running the ball 65 percent of the time, regardless of whether the defense schemes to take away the run, especially since the Heaps target who does the best job of getting open is having atypical trouble holding onto the football. Tight end Jimmay Mundine dropped a key third-down pass late in the first half and a potential score late in the game. Nothing wrong with those play calls. Weis has the personal skills to get inside of Mundine’s head, figure out what has given him the yips and show him the path back to ball security, but does he have the time to do that if he’s busy scripting the offensive plays, trying to make his preference for balance work with an imbalanced roster?

Comments

Pitthawk34 1 year, 2 months ago

How about recruiting a new AD as well.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Just down the aisle from hands is where they sell clues. Maybe you'll see some receivers there.

actorman 1 year, 2 months ago

I've been on this site for 10 years or so, Pitthawk, and your comment easily qualifies as one of the 10 stupidest comments I've read. WTF are you talking about?!?!?!?!? (See below for lilijayhawker's excellent rebuttal to your stupidity.)

jhox 1 year, 2 months ago

Last night's loss started with the offensive line, not with the A.D. The play calling helped. When the line isn't opening holes you need to do things to keep the defense honest. We didn't do that, so the play calling played a big role as well.

I would have liked to see Miller more. He's better than Sims at creating holes that aren't there, and last night the holes were not there. Bourbon carried once up the middle for maybe 6 yards and just bullied his way through the line of scrimmage. He was a better option with the O Line being abused like they were. Or, let Pierson play in the backfield occasionally and go wide. He has the speed to do that. On first down, with the defense obviously stacked against the run, how about play action with short passes across the middle instead of trying to stretch the field with long passes, or running it up the gut every time? Clearly their D line was manhandling us so why be so stubborn?

The O line can't pass block, so why call longer pass plays that take Time to set up? The receivers rarely get separation and can't catch passes that hit them right in the hands, so long passes are a poor choice. We rarely throw short across the middle. Short passes are usually easier to catch, and maybe someone old hold on to one of those.

The Coaches can't be blamed for dropped passes. That's on the players. The coaches can't get separation for the receivers, and the coaches cant block for the offensive line. That's also on The players. But coaches can call plays that help avoid playing to our weaknesses. Weis didn't do that.

The Defense looked solid, so I'm not ready to give up on the season just yet. Rice is a solid team. A bowl team with the vast majority of their players back. This was not a "sky is falling" type of loss. Disappointing, yes, because we were in position to win the game and didn't get it done. But there are still several teams on the schedule we can beat, especially if our defense continues to play well.

Brennan Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

What are you taking about PittHawk34? You clearly do not follow any other KU sports besides football and basketball.

What has happened since Zenger has arrived to Lawrence:

  1. KU men's bball continues success by winning 9th straight Big 12 title and making a Sweet 16 run.
  2. Construction of Rock Chalk Park is underway.
  3. Women's Track & Field win the 2013 outdoor NCAA Championship.
  4. Women's Track & Field win the 2013 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championship.
  5. Women's basketball advances to back-to-back "Sweet 16's".
  6. KU volleyball has a dream season and makes it to second round of 2013 NCAA Tournament.
  7. KU baseball advances to the 2013 Big 12 Tournament Championship game (1 win away from getting an automatic bid to NCAA tournament).
  8. KU athletics announce new media deal.
  9. KU softball improves their record drastically.
  10. Dr. Zenger signs Coach Self to a contract extension for another 10 years.

    Like you, I am not happy with our football team these past 4-5 years. Never in my life would I have thought I would see KU go from winning two straight bowl games to becoming one of the biggest "jokes" in college football. That being said, you have no right calling Zenger out as athletic director. He has turned around KU athletics and has challenged the other sports to improve... and improve they have! Trust me, I am sure Zenger is not happy after tonight's loss either. As a college student at KU, and an aspiring athletic director, I could not be happier with the job Dr. Zenger has done! Rock Chalk!

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

Get real. The only thing Zenger has done that wasn't already happening here, other than putting the new track and field facility at a pathetic location, is the hiring of Weis. Remember how he wasn't going to come home until he hired a head coach. I think he got homesick and in a hurry. As for Bill Self's contract, if you offer the highest pay in any profession its easy to get a contract renewed.

The true test of Zenger will be how he handles this football debacle going forward. If he's going to keep Weis he should demand the hiring of an offensive coordinator (with college experience, don't care about Super Bowl rings) and that heavy recruiting of transfers cease. Otherwise, if you think this programs a joke now, wait about 3 years. By then Hee-Haw and SNL reruns will bring tears to your eyes compared to KU football.

Saguaro_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

The only programs that subsist with no JuCo transfers are ones where it's next to impossible to gain admission. Think of Stanford, Rice, Northwestern, Vanderbilt.

In the best of times, a program such as Kansas will always need to offer scholarships to at least 4-5 JuCo transfers.

Jim Jackson 1 year, 2 months ago

Cease the transfers? Your buddy Mark brought in the same amount in his first 2 recruiting classes, genius.

yates33333 1 year, 2 months ago

If money were Bill Self's motivating factor, he'd be in the NBA now. He is the highest paid college coach and earns it. If we lose him, we lose our identity in sports. Coaches such as he don't come along very often.

I liked Mark and thought he got a raw deal. But he ain't coming back, so forget it.

Cmill1221 1 year, 2 months ago

So what you are saying we should thank Lew Perkins? Clueless.

Rivethead 1 year, 2 months ago

You're missing the biggest point: Football is THE most important program in modern college athletics. It pays the bills. Now. What has KSU grad Zenger done for our football program? That's the only thing that matters. All of you 10 points above are ancillary. They don't mean much, especially if conference realignment rears its ugly head again. I'm sure Delany is saying: Ohhhh I want Kansas in my conference because their volleyball team brings in so much money!

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 2 months ago

After Jayhawk Park is done I would hope next is the football stadium. zinger has made progress, but the track needed a new home and now it has one. Lets see what happens next. Depending if the offense remains stagnant, discussion is needed about an OC. We have to ride out this season for now.

kansas22 1 year, 2 months ago

There aren't going to be any renovations to Memorial Stadium until there is some support. Why renovate a stadium like that when you only see it half full on gamedays as it stands now? I realize KU fans might find it difficult to support a team that is averaging 2 wins over the last 3 seasons, but that is the reality. KU fans either need to show up and hope for improvements to the team and stadium or stay home and be content with where it's at. Having a stadium with 20,000 fans in it isn't going to help bring about any sort of positive change or results in the athletic program.

pbouldenv 1 year, 2 months ago

The bad decisions right before halftime has been a consistent theme with Weis...look back to ISU and KSU last year (I think there were more, but those are off the top of my head). If you are getting the ball back after halftime, don't give the other team a chance to get the ball (aka potential points). KU needs to value possessions and field position...we are not good enough to gamble with either one of those. Even with how bad KU's offense was tonight, this still should have been a 10 point win with the chances we had and how well the D played. I was impressed by the D, hope they can keep it up.

How about Mangino for OC...just joking.

Sarah Carr 1 year, 2 months ago

Good call, Mr. Keegan - I think you nailed it.

farmdog1 1 year, 2 months ago

unfortunately a couple of dropped passes by #41 but Heaps seems a little too slow. His runs didn't amount to any significant yardage.

eastcoasthawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Several times he would tuck and run with the first down marker within 5 yards and he still couldn't make it. I don't see a serious competitive streak in this kid. I couldn't see everything but he seems to make slow and poor decisions.

Kyle Seiwert 1 year, 2 months ago

"I don't see a serious competitive streak in this kid."

Yeah, that's generally what happens when kids who haven't had to work for it all of a sudden are made to work for it, hench his transferring from BYU the minute the going got rough and he was benched. It'll be the same for this UCLA transfer, and even though Crist came to Kansas by a rule technicality, the same thing would apply with him. Weis is not making these 5 star guys "earn it", because he's seen that putting them in the position to "earn it" usually ends poorly.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Sigh..........

I tried to be positive all week. I chastised a few posters who weren't positive. (Sorry Reuben) I really believed we were better than that. We aren't.

On the bright (?) side, the defense played very well for most of the game, until they were exhausted.

The next time a supposed 5 star QB sets foot on the University of Kansas field, it will be too soon. This guy is no better than Crist. It's a good thing my memory's not that great, or I might say that he's not as good as Crist was. I suppose he might look a little better if there were anyone on the team that could catch a ball though.

Come on October 29 !!

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Or run (improvise) a route for more than 3 seconds.

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

Waking up late is better than not waking up! There's a reason these supposed 5 star players were coming to KU and it wasn't because the great and powerful Charlie Weis was here. It was because there was no future for them where they were. Having said that, Heaps is indeed better than Crist but this offense just won't work in the College game. What is with a slow QB running 5 or 6 yards back to hand off to the running back? Pitch the ball and let them get around the corner or through the line. Everyone's blaming the receivers for not being able to catch. My theory is the offense is just too confusing and they're so busy trying to remember these intricate routes that they forget what they're there for.

Thought Weis was agonizing over the playbook last night but then I recognized that it was an Applebee's menu!

eastcoasthawk 1 year, 2 months ago

"What is with a slow QB running 5 or 6 yards back to hand off to the running back?"
Could not agree more. I was seething when Simms was blown up 7 yards behind the line as he was getting the ball.

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

Jake Heaps is significantly better than Crist. Seeing a game in person as opposed to TV, you can really watch the receivers run their routes and bluntly, none of the receivers knows how to get off of a jam or beat press coverage. On the occasions that opposing DB's aren't in the faces of the KU receivers, there isn't the speed to beat even LB's. Coleman has the speed to get behind secondaries, but he doesn't know how to run good routes. McCay doesn't have any aggresiveness when he should be someone very adept at running slants, crossing routes, and curls, but he can't get off the line either. Tony Pierson is being horribly misused, he needs to be used on bubble screens, end arounds, and put in motion on just about every play because he creates match up issues and putting a man in motion can give Heaps a read on whether the defense is in man or zone. Right now, Tre Parmalee is probably the best receiver on the team, but he's so small that he's not effective on the outside and KU doesn't run much 4 wide sets with 4 WR's.

Adam McEwen 1 year, 2 months ago

the fact that he's even being asked to run points to the larger problem...

romejhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Kansas football stresses me out. we'll look back in a few years and realize weis was no better than gill. Horrible hire since day one and it shows on the field and by his 2-12 record.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 2 months ago

But Weis' players are doing much better in the classroom and in the weight room. Just saying...

Hawk4Life34 1 year, 2 months ago

Heaps is not the problem...yes he made some bad decisions...but when a ball hits the receivers in the chest it is not the QB's fault if they drop it. And Heap's isn't better than Crist? are you kidding me? Crist couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat...he wasn't mobile and couldn't escape pressure. Heaps ain't a huge upgrade but he can get the ball where it needs to go. But I do agree that Weis needs a OC.

It just amazes me how fast you "Jayhawk fans" turn on the coaches and the players. I've tried keeping my mouth shut but some of you are a disgrace. Give the man a few years to get some players in and figure out Big 12 football. He isn't taking the team back to our "glory days" but Weis is a step in the right direction.

Weis will not be seen as a great coach when he leaves Kansas but he will be seen as the coach that got the ball rolling again. Some of you are too used to winning because of basketball, have some patience and some faith.

and another reason to keep Weis for his entire contract? what coach in their right mind would want to go to a place that will only give them 2 years to turn a program around?

actorman 1 year, 2 months ago

"Some of you are too used to winning because of basketball ..."

No, Hawk4Life, actually it's the exact opposite. There are many of us longtime Jayhawk fans who are too used to losing in football and are sick of it, and just want to see SOMEONE be able to actually turn things around on a consistent basis. I'm not advocating to fire Weis, because that wouldn't solve anything, but it's extremely frustrating to see someone with all of his experience making so many strange and inexplicable decisions.

BringBackMark 1 year, 2 months ago

I would've been extremely happy to give the man 5 years if it hadn't been for all of this transfer junk. Was bringing Crist in building for the future? What about recruiting 20 juco players? Don't whine about giving a coach time to build a program when all you see from the coach is an attempt at quick fixes.

We've got a very adequate college QB sitting on the bench in Cummings. He's mobile, has a strong arm, and it appears the players rally around him. He's a player that a good college offense could be built around. We're completely wasting his eligibility.

90sHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I like Cummings, but if you believe he's the solution to our problems you are delusional. Offensive problems are inconsistent blocking from our line, and a receiving corp that drops too many balls and can't get open even after the initial play has broken down. They plant roots where they are until Heaps takes a coverage sack. Please tell me how Cummings solves the above problems.

machinegun 1 year, 2 months ago

I need to vent because I am so upset that I cannot go to sleep. We lost a must win game.

No way can anyone say that they are happy. Happy about what? Zenger has to share some of the responsibility. He is making a boatload of money and football is supposed to generate the kind of revenue to support other athletic programs. We also need the ticket revenue and alumni support to renovate the stadium well before the 100th Anniversary which is not very far away.

However, this huge loss is on Charlie! Where is Dayne? Charlie needs somebody to blame. Weis and his Notre Dame guys are not pulling their weight. The O-Line is slow and ineffective. Heaps is not going to fulfill Charlie's preseason hype. The WR corps is going backward.

You see, Charlie acts like a typical blowhard. He makes claims that you want to believe but you know deep down he is blowing smoke. He also can't continue to make harsh comments like "last years team was a pile of crap" without eventually passing on that negativity to his current team. I wonder if that hasn't happened already.

Big 12 defenses are going to stack the line just like they did last year. To win in the Big 12, we need a strong passing game. We don't have one. Deep threat? Not yet. Do we really need such a complex offense that only Charlie and Charlie Jr. can fully comprehend it?

I sure hope we fill Memorial Stadium this coming Saturday for the game against mighty LA Tech. Maybe Charlie will start buying tickets for the students. I am afraid Senior Night will be too late. The K-Staters will gladly fill 3/4 of our stadium.

eastcoasthawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Come on. What made this a "must win" game? Everyone who was believing all the hype from the preseason just got a dose of reality. This team is not bowl bound but they are also not a pile of crap. There are plenty of things to improve, especially on offense plus I agree/believe we need an OC to call plays. Looking forward to see who we can pick up a conference win from in this down year in the Big 12-2. Keep working at it boys!

machinegun 1 year, 2 months ago

You must be kidding. Don't you know that we have to win all of our non-conference games. How long have you been following KU football?

I will give you a quick rundown. The Big 12 is not cupcake city. Last year, KU was the only team that did not play in a bowl. That is why every non-conference game is a must win. 7 of the 10 teams averaged 35 points a game. 5 of the 10 averaged 300+ yards per game passing the ball. KU was dead last in points, passing and wins. KU was, I believe, around 20 yards per game short of leading the Big 12 in rushing. Every time somebody says let's run the ball some more I just shake my head.

eastcoasthawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Following it long enough to understand we don't have the kind of program you expect. We don't go to bowl games every year even though there are a ton of them. Would I like to get to that level? Absolutely. But this is not the year to start that level of expectation.

Jack Jones 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, we lost a game we could/should have won ~ and one that carried a lot of meaning beyond just this game. But ~ "too upset to go to sleep" !! ~ it ain't that big a deal! The second game, of the second season of Coach Weis tenure as our head coach ~ and the judgements some people make, and the things some people say are ~ well, the word 'comical' comes to mind, except that they're not funny. Look, I understand the mentality of a typical sports fan ~ been there, done that. Unfortunately, the 'negative rant' is well established as a permanent condition arising from the male DNA ~ most apparent in sports and political utterances. Having passed thru that 'phase', while retaining my same high level of enthusiasm for all things Kansas University (including, and especially athletics - all athletics) ~ my perspective has evolved to where I can see patience as being far more rational than the former knee-jerk responses I formerly exhibited. When the genetically based negative tendency is coupled with the more recent, "I want it, and I want it now!" ~ and the "What have you done for me lately?" mentality ~ Well, there you are. Regardless of the name of our Head Football Coach, anyone who believes that a D-I football program ~ coming from where our program has been for so many years ~ can be turned around in 5 years , or less, is truly delusional ~ and not much of a 'fan' ~ in my opinion.

machinegun 1 year, 2 months ago

You think you are some kind of intellectual, perhaps evolving beyond showing emotion when your team loses. I suspect that you are not really a KU football fan.

I suggest that you go to the library instead of lecturing those of us who care to express our deep frustrations with Charlie Weis and do a little research on the history of KU football. Weis is being paid millions of dollars to produce a winning program. So far, Weis has two wins against non-FBS teams. Pitiful by any stretch.

5 years to turn a program around? What planet are you from? Mangino, yes our beloved winning Coach Mark Mangino, took our team to a bowl game in his second year. In Mangino's last year, he produced 5 wins and then got fired. The Preacher got 5 wins in two years and then he got fired. Weis is now on track to win 2 plus maybe one (we hope and pray) in the Big 12. That will give him fewer wins than the Preacher.

I am not going to waste any more of my time unless you sit up straight and pay attention. Understand?

jhox 1 year, 2 months ago

Mangino quit recruiting after the Orange Bowl year and that team lost six or seven in a row to end the season, even with the most prolific QB in the last 30 plus years. He abused players, and it became public. He had to go.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

Machinegun, you should heed your own advise and pay attention.

You cannot even begin to compare the starts that Gil and Weis got. Gill inherited a team a couple of year removed from an Orange Bowl appearance and proceeded to run into the ground. Weis inherited a program in shambles and it is going to take fully 5 years to turn it around. JUCO players help you start the turnaround (see Snyder) but in the long run, it is your HS recruits that will change the program and hence, it will not happen overnight.

justanotherfan 1 year, 2 months ago

JayHawkFanToo,

Yes, Gill was hired a couple of years after the team went to the Orange Bowl, but the team he hired wasn't that Orange Bowl team.

After the Orange Bowl Mangino went 8-5, then 5-7. The decline was already in progress. That 5-7 team lost the all time leading passer in KU history (Reesing), the top 2 receivers in KU history (Briscoe and Meier), the team's leading rusher (Sharp) and two of the top defensive players (Stuckey and Thornton). Note, that offense lost the most prolific passing attack in SCHOOL HISTORY.

Saying Gill inherited a strong team is patently false. He did a poor job, but let's not pretend he got the team with Talib, Stuckey, Briscoe, Meier, Reesing and Sharp on it. That just destroys the credibility of your other statements.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 2 months ago

This team is better and that's what is frustrating. The defense has improved and the offense has potential, but because its inconsistent we want to scream. It's possibly a long season if the play calling doesnt improve. Guess we will have to wait and see.

ForeverLoyal2KU 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree 100% with Keegan. I respect a lot of the things Coach Weis has done leading the program since he got here; however, as an outsider watching the game, he deserves the biggest blame for this loss. The offense has been terrible from day one with little to no signs of improvement. Let's just call it like it is: his play calls have been awful. With this team and our stable of running backs, we should NEVER pass more times than we run. Why does he come out slinging the ball around from the start? Even when we call pass plays a majority of the time, they seem to not be well drawn up to put guys in the best position to succeed. Get your running backs the ball!! Then, you can supplement that with a small passing game. The run game (your strength) can strengthen your passing game (the weakness) if you handle it properly. Last year, we competed in games in conference play (almost beat Tx Tech, Texas, OSU) with Michael Cummings as quarterback because it forced Charlie to run the ball. Now with Heaps, you should be able to supplement a small passing game to that and you'd expect at least SOME improvement in the offense.

Big time props to Coach Campo and the Defense though. I'd argue that our undermanned defense last year helped keep us in a lot of games due to turnovers even if we couldn't slow people down much (4 TOs against TCU and Charlie's "decisive schematic advantage" offense does nothing to help us win). Tonight the D showed it has improved a lot since Coach Campo, Bowen, etc. joined the staff.

On a final side note, this is why I respect coaches like (dare I say it) Snyder and even Mangino. They aren't about flash or drawing attention to themselves. With Snyder, it's about going to work everyday, doing everything in his power to make his team better and to create a culture of intense focus and work ethic that make the players strive for improvement. It's about demanding more out of the players than they think they can give. A lot is made of KSU's juco recruits, and for good reason. However, go back and look at their high school recruits. Look at their ranking, what other schools were recruiting them, and then see the players they become. The same thing is true under Mangino with guys like Aquib Talib, Todd Reesing, and about half the players off that Orange Bowl team. I know the importance of marketing your program, but not at the expense of winning and having a program of substance.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] OMG...1-11 just reappeared as an albeit not so slim possibility.

2] Heaps no better than Crist is not a rational statement. Jake has less experience, more room to grow and two seasons ahead of him. Please calm down.

3] Compared to the last three seasons, the defense has made a definitive upgrade.

4] 100% in agreement with Tom...an offensive cooerdinator is a must in this day and age.

5] GLASS HALF FULL - Well, at least we were in the game till the very end.

6] I have got to amend my previous protest..the white helmet/white uni looked pretty sharp out there last night.

7] Gosh, this morning, a 6 - 6 season feels like it's still years away.

8] This must be how the lower tier teams of the Big 12 feels about basketball!!!

Jim Roth 1 year, 2 months ago

The defense played well in those road uniforms....like white on Rice.

captku 1 year, 2 months ago

Hilarious! I wish we could've been all over them like ... good one tundra. And i thot they looked good also. without checking, did we at least keep the penalties down?

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

KU had 2 or 3 offsides and all were from the same guy which is not good. I want to say it was Keba, but I'm going to say it was him for sure.

RibMan 1 year, 2 months ago

Charlie Weis isn't a top-tier offensive coordinator in the Big 12. Deal with it.

The play-calling has been unimaginative since he arrived.

The defense showed signs of improvement last year at the end of the season. That has continued.

Totally agree that Weis needs to fire himself as coordinator. He has earned it.

kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe Jake is frustrated because his receivers are not getting open but that 2nd int should have been thrown away. The corner was in a better position to catch it than our receiver and it was first down. I'm optimistic about Jake but that was a terrible decision.

Al Martin 1 year, 2 months ago

Campo was definitely on the sideline all night. TV might have made it hard to find him, but I could see him easily from the stands. Very energetic, guy, too.

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

Weis needs to hire a full time OC to call plays. I think we can all see the overall offensive game plans have been pretty good this season and last, but the play calling has left a lot to be desired. The timing of trick plays is spotty at best, the lack of play action doesn't help the passing game at all. That's all stuff an offensive coordinator can significantly help with. Basically, let Charlie figure out the weaknesses of opposing offenses because is very good at that, but let somebody else actually call the plays to attack those weaknesses because that is not Charlie's strength.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 2 months ago

This loss has more to do with bad execution on the part of Heaps and the receiving corps than with bad play-calling.

Patience, people! Turner Gill ran this program so deep into the ground that it's going to take Weis some time to dig us out. Kinda like Glen Mason needed several years to dig Kansas out of the hole that Bob Valesente left them in.

Rivethead 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's not forget, coach Weis and team had one extra week to prepare for this season/game. Looks like it was wasted from a game plan perspective.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 2 months ago

Not as bad as Turner Gill having 1-1/2 weeks to prepare for K-State following a 55-7 loss at Baylor - and then losing that one 59-7.

troutsee 1 year, 2 months ago

Actorman said it best above. Long time KUFB fans have suffered enough. We are frustrated, angry, disappointed, disenchanted, and resigned to losing year after year and after year. We have perhaps one good team every 20 years. Hells bells if Akron can come within a heartbeat of upsetting Michigan at the big house, where are we? Where is our satisfaction? Is it only in beating a totally outmanned South Dakota State. Is that it? Is that all there is? We supposedly have all these coaching gurus and we put together a game plan that looks like it was drawn up by me. I'm sick of it. Put a good product on the field or give it up. This simply won't do.

Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Our receivers are terrible. They struggle to get open, and on the rare times that they are, they put out their hands...and drop the ball. Nearly every time. This is going to be a huge problem until KU recruits better players.

Steve Jacob 1 year, 2 months ago

Think it's not coaching but talent. Everyone kept saying Heaps was a 5 star QB, but that was 2009. The wideouts don't help. I am of the opinion if KU loses to a bad Louisiana Tech team at home, Weis might not be back in 2013.

Going over my past comments...7/18 "4-8 for KU. Anything more then that is great, less then that you have to wonder if Weis will stay." 8/24 "I have heard a few experts say 4-8 too. Think that will keep the masses happy enough. Only one or two wins, and you have the potential of blowing up and rebuilding again, with a new coach (fired or quit). KU CAN NOT LOSE TO BOTH RICE AND LOUISIANA TECH. I can not stress that enough."

VaJay 1 year, 2 months ago

Keegs - how can you say we need to run the ball 65% of the time if our O-line can't open a single hole??

If you take away Sims' 2 big runs from the game stats, he averaged 2.5 yards per carry. To start the second half, I'm sure Weis was trying to make a statement by trying to run the ball down their throats - and what happened? Well, we gained 4 yards in our first 4 running plays, the first two plays on a 3 & out, and 2 runs on the second series which was a 3 & out too.

Grunhard's got his work cut out for him this week - he's got to figure out a blocking scheme that will work better, or we're in trouble...

On a side note - Weis made a great call on offense in the second half on the one yard sneak for a touchdown - he made sure we ran a super fast play so there wouldn't be a replay of the previous down, which would've shown Tre Parmalee fumbling the ball away at the end of a 17 yard pass play.

Jim Jackson 1 year, 2 months ago

Play calling and of course, the drops, are why we lost. Rice was consistently tackling us for loss on 1st and 2nd down and Charlie did not call a single play action the entire 2nd half (I missed 1st half, did he call one then?).

I am not an offensive guru but I am pretty sure that pee wee football coaches have the aptitude to play action when needed.

Furthermore, I hope we see more Charles Brooks because Mundine is atrocious.

champdave 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with Keegan here. The track record both here and at Notre Dame clearly suggests that Weis is a terrible head coach, but it's hard to pinpoint where the problem is. His recruiting probably isn't quite as good as it looks on paper, but I don't think talent is the limiting factor. He seems to connect well with the players, and I haven't really seen problems with effort except a few times last year when the game was already well out of reach. He never had a good staff at Notre Dame - never had a good defensive coordinator, and the positions coaches seemed to be better at recruiting than coaching. The staff here seems to be much better, though I can't help but notice that the two position coaches he brought from ND happen to coach the two positions that have struggled the most (QB and WR).

So yes, I think Weis being spread too thin is a big part of the problem. One of Mangino's strengths was that he seemed to know every aspect of the game. Whatever unit was struggling the most, Mangino would work with in practice to provide extra help. Snyder does that too. Weis on the other hand has so many responsibilities with the offense that he can't take such an active role in developing players. At the very least, I think it's time for Charlie Jr to take on a bigger role.

troutsee 1 year, 2 months ago

Once again totally disappointed with KUFB. When will we ever get over the hump? Probably not in my lifetime. I have not liked what I have seen in the first two games. Better get 'em ready for Saturday, Charlie. A loss on Sat will end the season. Can we just once have a KU team over achieve? Consistently? Nope. No way, Jose. After all, this is KUFB. This is what we have grown accustomed to. It doesn't matter who the coach is. It doesn't matter who the players are. This is KUFB and this is why the stands empty at half time. When the long time devotees like myself throw in the towel, it's time for the administration to worry. I know, I know. We have only played two games. But, our performance in those two games has been very telling. I am always optimistic prior to the season and then reality hits.

Al Martin 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh, cut him a little slack. When you've got as much history behind you as I do, you do lapse into maudlin thinking occasionally. For instance, I specifically remember thinking in 2007 that I had to enjoy every moment of that season, because it might well be the season of a lifetime.

Distraught woman though I might also be, I have some sympathy for troutsee...

kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

I think the depth to which this program has sunk in the last 3 years has been underestimated and the expectations of some KU fans have been unrealistic. After two games it has become apparent that talent wise, we are just not there yet. We are not going to a bowl game this year but we can still win some games. I refuse throw the AD, Coach and players under the bus. This program has a long way to go and we won’t get there by starting over with a new coach.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

I keep saying to you guys..2014 will be our breakout season.

2012 was the season to hit rock bottom to show how much damage was done in 2009, 10, 11.

2013 will be the season that KU team and coaching staff learns what it takes to win, although not necessarily winning much themselves.

2014 with another influx of talent Juco and otherwise plus a foundation of experience, KU will break ourt and possibly be bowl eligible.

C'mon...it took three seasons to tear down the house isn't it fair to expect at least the same time frame to rebuld it again???

kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm with you Oakville but in order for 2014 to be our breakout season we need to win a few games this year. We've had too many close ones. Time to start turning some of those winneable games into W's.

pbouldenv 1 year, 2 months ago

Good post Oakville. We need some patience. It is tough though when the coaching keeps putting this team in holes due to gambling. Instead of valuing possessions and field position, the coaches take chances...the offense is not potent enough to dig itself out of holes. This was a theme last year too.

Overall, though the team is light years ahead of Gill's teams. The team is more organized and plays harder. They really should have at least 2 or 3 more wins if not more.

Ryan Shelton 1 year, 2 months ago

Having roamed the hs sidelines for years, I swore I would never publically call out a coach, but Keegan hits the nail on the head with this article. I was livid with that pass late in the 2nd quarter. Such a bad decision. The only way we get away with bad play calls like that one is if we are well ahead in the fourth quarter. Inexcusable in my opinion.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't understand what Charlie Weis has accomplished that gives anyone hope that he will be able to transform the Hawks to a consistent 7-8 win team that wins half their conference games.

Lets put this in perspective. We are talking about Rice a team that before last year never beat a Big 12 school and now have beaten us twice.

Charlie can obviously talk a good game but can he coach a good game. His track record is spotty at best, but some here think he is the second coming of Knute Rockne. What has he done to gt such accolades? I don't get it.

yates33333 1 year, 2 months ago

I think Weis ought to continue as offensive coordinator and hire a head coach.

On a serious note, Rice has a good team. They played Texas A&M close in the first half and for the entire game better than a 21 point victory would normally indicate. A&M nearly beat #1 Alabama. To put it simply once more, Rice has a good team and will probably win their division of Conference USA. The challengers who will push them are Tulsa, UNT, and maybe Tulane. Personally I hope the University of North Texas beats them.

Weis has a pretty good team, and in my opinion ought not to be criticized for this loss. His problem is that KU is in a powerful league. #6 Texas A&M's respectable showing in the SEC, the power league in university football, indicates as much. Rock Chalk, KU, and Rock Chalk, Charlie Weis.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

Lets not kid ourselves, Rice isn't that good and would probably be 8th or 9th best team in the Big 12

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

Which is still better than KU. KU is at best the 9th best team in the Big 12 this year. ISU is the only team that there might be a case to make for being worse than KU because they haven't beaten anybody yet, but we've thought that the last two years so I'm not going say with any conviction that KU is better than ISU at this point.

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

RE: "Two weeks into the Kansas University football season, I can’t stop thinking head coach Charlie Weis fell one recruit short during a busy offseason of bringing new talent to the program."

Look at all the injuries, NCAA disqualifications, defections, dismissals due to legal reasons, etc. and so on with all of this years' recruits! None of that is Weis' fault. It took a while for Mangino to get going. Sometimes, it takes a few years to turn around a program. So what's the difference between Gill and Weis, then? Well, for one, we weren't competitive on the field under Gill. Embarassment week in, week out. Two, Gill didn't know anything about football. At all. You could tell because on the field he couldn't manage a game. Three. He was clueless about what the problem areas were. Even when the press knew, Gill had to be told where the issues were.

Much of the problem lies is expectations by the fans. Look. We are Kansas. We get spoiled on basketball success. We have "learned" that even in a year where we are short on personnel and/or talent, it is justifiable to expect to win. But that is in basketball. We have the same expectations in football, though. I have always thought it'd take 3-5 years to build stability into the program.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's not revise history. Weis's teams were blown out just as many times as Gill's teams. In Gill's last season, he won two games, but "could have/ should have " won 2-3 conference games where the team was in the game in the 4 th quarter. Weis apologists point to how we were close to winning five games last year. I don't see the difference.

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

You didn't even the entire first paragraph. You see, I don't have a problem if you have an opinion, but your opinion is a dishonest one. Here is the quote in context.

"I can’t stop thinking head coach Charlie Weis fell one recruit short during a busy offseason of bringing new talent to the program. It’s becoming apparent he should have recruited an offensive coordinator to take those duties off of his own plate."

If this was a reading and comprehension assignment, you get a straight up F.

DKmode50 1 year, 2 months ago

Sorry how is that none of Weis fault? he gambled big time on jucos and thats the price you pay and why no one in their right mind signs 20 jucos in one class.....its playing with fire. Weis didnt want to start from scratch he wanted quick fixes. Yes there is some fault with him either not doing adequate hw or taking kids with very shakey baggage. ie Chris Martin.

And Keegan i know you are a giant Weis apologist and refuse to find anything negative to say....but theres another description for "too ambitious" ....how about "arrogance"? or "hubris"? Weis thinks he can do both because hes Charlie Weis and if you dont understand that its because you arent as smart as him.

tophawk87 1 year, 2 months ago

Good thing Zenger fired Gill so Weis could come and go 1-11 and then lose to Rice. Gill was only given 2 seasons...how long will Zenger stick with Weis? Firing Gill too quickly and hiring Weis is on our inexperienced AD...

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

Had Zenger hired Gill he would still be here. Weis and Zenger are now joined at the hip. Zenger will be viewed as a success only if Weis is successful.

To DKs point, I would be a lot more patient if we recruited a lot of young players and were told this is a 3-4 year project. But Weis did not do that. By bringing in 5 star QBs and other transfers, he is signaling that he expected to win quickly.

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

What in Charlie Weis's background gives any indication he will turn this around? Failed at ND, at least after the first two years and failed as OC at Florida. The pros is a different game than college. Even on the offensive side, most BIg 12 coaches are light years ahead of Weis

Patrick Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

Would be interesting if Weis goes upstairs to call plays given he made his whole defensive staff move to the sideline? Our defense looks great with their coordinators on the field. Plenty of successful OCs call plays from the sideline. I do agree that both HC and OC jobs may be to much for Weis, but don't agree with the premise that and OC has to be upstairs to see what the defense is doing.

mikehawk 1 year, 2 months ago

The Blue Kool Aid being gulped down in preseason just turned sour. Welcome to the massive rebuilding job called Kansas Football. We really need this next one with La Tech. It might be the last W this year. Maybe we get one more somewhere. Three wins would truly be something to celebrate. That is how far down the program is right now. Rather than be honest about the situation and own up to the fact we are a big pile of crap (still), it is easier to blame the coach, AD, players, cheerleaders, Big Jay, Baby Jay, etc, etc.

DKmode50 1 year, 2 months ago

that only expands my argument Houtex.he brought in retreads and juco transfers cause hes said repeatedly hes not interested in developing players (what coach says that) . it just seems like this is one big self serving experiment. So hes taking huge gambles....if it works even moderately well he likely bails forfirst nfl job offer with guaranteed money still coming from KU ...if he fails he can just shrug his shoulders and say "hey i tried but you just cant win there" and STILL walk away with guaranteed money because our moron ad gave him the most absurd contract deal imagineable.

Al Martin 1 year, 2 months ago

Your last point isn't true:

The relevant text:

"Should Weis elect to terminate his contract prior to Dec. 31, 2014, he would owe the university $2.5 million. If he chooses to terminate the deal between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016 (the end of his contract), he would owe KU $1.5 million."

Robert Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

Unfortunately Weis's reputation has deteriorated to the point that I doubt that clause will be exercised. Our AD did negotiate a clause that says if we terminate him he still gets the balance of the contract. We are stuck with each other. We need to see how this experiment plays out.

tdscpa 1 year, 2 months ago

Time to have walk-on tryouts for offensive coordinator!

Paver 1 year, 2 months ago

I hear that there's this kid in McCollum Hall who has mad skills.......

halogenlamps 1 year, 2 months ago

I vote Tom Keegan for OC. When he fails spectacularly, then he can shut his big fat mouth.

Bradley Sitz 1 year, 2 months ago

Charlie Weis was a disaster of a hire. And, the AD must be accountable for this disaster. First, Charlie has a total of six years as a head coach. At ND he was paid $ 2.6 mil/year. They were even stupid enough to give him a 10 year extension after going 9-3 with Ty Willingham's recruits. He then went 10-3 when these players were seniors in 2006. His last two years with his recruits he went 10-16. ND lost their last six games in 2008. He was fired with six years left on his contract. He has two more years of $2.6 coming from ND. We hired him for $2.3 MIL/YEAR. So far, he has gone 2-12. That works out to 2.3 mil per win. Actually, he is currently taking home $4.9 million -win or lose. He belongs in the NFL where all of the offensive players are gifted athletes and can make his system function. He is a pathetic recruiter. The really sad thing is that a fantastic talent, Dave Doeren, really wanted the KU job. Now, he will turn NC State into a powerhouse. And, in two or three years of 2-10 or 3-9 seasons Charlie will be sent packing back to the NFL with his enriched bank account, and KU will resume our perpetual "rebuilding saga".

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 2 months ago

KEEGAN! I'VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR SOOOOO LONG! Thanks for bringing this up. I like Weis, and think he's a great coach, but he's gotta take a step back and realize he can't just "handle" everything. The best leaders know how to delegate. They are the best leaders because they bring out the best in the men they lead. If he can't trust his leading abilities enough to find someone to call the plays, then that worries me. Once he swallows his pride, I think he'll get the hint and bring on an offensive coordinator. Preferably one from the Oregon area! Haha!

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