Monday, June 2, 2014

Kansas football shifts focus

Coaches turn attention to ’14 opponents

Kansas head football coach Charlie Weis talks with media members during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 at Mrkonic Auditorium. Weis spent some time discussing changes to the coaching structure, areas for improvement and his staff's recruiting efforts. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kansas head football coach Charlie Weis talks with media members during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 at Mrkonic Auditorium. Weis spent some time discussing changes to the coaching structure, areas for improvement and his staff's recruiting efforts. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo


After spending most of May recruiting the Class of 2015 and beyond, Kansas University’s football coaches are set to transition into the first true act of the 2014 season.

Charlie Weis and his assistant coaches have waded through dozens of highlight films from potential future Jayhawks and decided which to offer scholarships to and on which to pass.

A big portion of the next four weeks will be spent doing initial breakdowns of the teams on the 2014 schedule, starting with nonconference foes Southeast Missouri State, Duke and Central Michigan and moving into the other nine Big 12 teams shortly thereafter.

“That’s really,” Weis said, “what the month of June is: preparing for all your opponents and running camps.”

The preparation Weis and his staff run through in June represents just a fraction of what they’ll do to prepare for each opponent during the upcoming season. At that point, they’ll come up with a game plan on offense and defense and scout every quarter of the action from each team’s previous games leading up to the meeting with Kansas. Now they’ll do more of an overview

“Our (graduate assistants) have spent the whole last month breaking down everything for the entire season, and then the coaches will spend the month of June doing the research on all these,” Weis said. “In some cases, you make scouting reports. Other cases you just go over it and do personnel reports.”

All 12 opponents will be evaluated in hopes of giving the Jayhawks a little more familiarity with each when game day rolls around.

“We always evaluate at least the personnel of all our Big 12 opponents,” Weis said.

Getting a jump in the preparations will be easier to do for some programs than others. While programs like Kansas State have been doing the same things for a while under head coach Bill Snyder, others, like Texas, will bring a different look to the conference under first-year head coach Charlie Strong, who was hired away from Louisville during the offseason. Weis has a plan for that as well.

“You spend some time on the Texas personnel,” Weis said. “But you also spend some time on the Louisville scheme. But by the time we play Texas (Sept. 27 at Memorial Stadium), they’ll have played four games, so you don’t have to guess what they’re gonna end up doing because they’ll have played their cards by then.”

In the past, the long hours assistant coaches spent working in June were followed by a month off. But thanks to an NCAA rule change adopted late last year, July no longer will be just for rest and relaxation.

The new rule allows coaches to plug in up to eight hours of mandatory summer activity, including conditioning, weight training and a maximum of two hours of film study for an eight-week period during the summer. Except in special cases, only student-athletes enrolled in summer school can be required to participate in football-related activities.

In the past, such summer sessions were supposed to be voluntary and organized by the players themselves or the program’s strength coach. Now, Weis, his assistants and college coaches everywhere can have a little more say in what their players are doing during the summer.

“Every week, we’ll have offensive and defensive coaches in to meet with the players,” Weis said. “I haven’t decided yet whether we’re gonna meet two hours in one day or four days of a half hour, but this is the first time we can actually spend some time in the classroom with them during the summer.”

College basketball coaches were given similar summer access beginning in 2012, and the NCAA granted women’s basketball coaches the same right last summer.

Upon announcing the rule change, the NCAA pointed to the long-term academic success of the student-athletes as a major reason behind giving coaches more contact with their players during the summer months.


Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes I wonder if all this opponent preparation can be overkill. I mean, you take a coach like John Wooden, and he spent zero time preparing for opponents. He spent all of his time preparing HIS TEAM to be the best they can be. Focusing on making the most of their potential...reaching their ceiling on a day to day basis. CONTROLLING WHAT THEY CAN CONTROL. If you get a chance, read his book.

I know football is different than basketball, but developing players has not been a strength of Weis's.

Wonder if Reagan will help this team, but in all reality, 2 wins is very likely this season. We're not beating Duke at Duke. We should beat SE MO and Central Michigan, but winning a Big 12 game is unlikely.

I'm still calling for 3-9 with a Big 12 win in there somewhere, but 2-10 is quite possible.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Well - I agree with you in regards to Snyder. But Weis ain't no Snyder.

Micky Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Snyder isn't a God. Trying to compare basketball(John Wooden) to football isn't a valid comparison.

To predict 2 wins as "likely", wow, you shouldn't be watching KU games if that's how you feel.

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 7 months ago

I think he's just making the point that Mangino was paranoid because he was an assistant for so many years so he KNEW the advantage it could be. And we should be paying attention to Snyder because its what he did that specifically turned a losing program into a winning one. It wasn't a bunch of talent on the field, at least not a first.

Jim Jackson 7 years, 7 months ago

We'll win more than 3 games, you really are clueless

Steve Corder 7 years, 7 months ago

All teams & individuals are pressing to get better. I understand the Wooden reference and agree. However, any edge uncovered could make a difference in some games. At this program point, leave no stone unturned.

I choose to be a little more optimistic as regards to the season.

kellerman411 7 years, 7 months ago

This season lives and dies with the Cozart kid.

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 7 months ago

The ability of guys like Doug to compare Weis' first two years here with Snyder's 20+ over there just amazes me. He is such a rational person.

Terry N Tom Denner 7 years, 7 months ago

It just slays me to read some post from the same person ( Doug ) time and time again that clearly indicates he just get on here to run his mouth and bash the Jay Hawk Football and coaching staff. Doug, you post like some MUZZ TROLL talking BS !!! If you want to be a KU fan then start acting like one.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

Weis is doing in June and July what every college football coach is doing in June and July. If he weren't then people would be calling for his head and saying that his arrogance is leading us to a 2 win season because he thinks that he's so much smarter than everyone else, etc.

I'm glad that he's planning and attempting to take care of business this summer to prepare for the season.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

I think that he should break the 2 hours of film study up into 4 sessions of 30 minutes or even 6 sessions of 20 minutes. Many of these young students don't have the discipline and attention span yet to pay that close attention for longer than half an hour. And the multiple sessions will allow time for things to sink in and for them to think about it in between sessions.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

And yet these young students are doing well in the classroom in 50 minute + classes.

The reality of anything is that there is time lost in start & stop. 2 x 1hr multiple efficient sessions.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

Dirk, I was an A/B student in chemical engineering and I struggled greatly to pay attention for longer than a half hour. It's a reality, and it has nothing to do with student performance. I would have gotten much better retention if lectures would have been 20 minutes or less.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of how bad we've done the past 5 years, I'm looking forward to football season. I like to think that one day we'll get back to a big time bowl game. And it's just fun to watch our team compete, as long as we're not getting beat by 50. As far as watching other teams films, I agree with it 100%. It has to be balanced though, so there's an even amount of watching the opponents and cleaning up what we do on the field. I'm really excited to see what Cozart can do as I was a supporter before the season even began last year. He has potential to do some big things on the field. I'm also excited for our defense. I think Campo has done a really good job and we have some guys in place this year to make a big impact. I think if our offense can stay consistent and keep opposing offenses off the field, we may have a chance to have a surprisingly good season. And by that I mean 5-7 wins.

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