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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 12/20/12

Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

• Weis met with some of the older returning players on the Sunday after the season. He talked to several of them about the direction of the program. He let them know, between them and strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple, that it was their responsibility to set the tone for the team. Weis has been pleased with how things have gone after the season ended. A lot of the guys have been working out with Holsopple on their own.

Weis says the guys on KU's defensive line — those here and those signed — have some inherent pass rush ability. Weis believes it will be important for KU to get more heat on the quarterback than it did in 2012. Weis has made a list of things that KU's defense did that would give him problems as an offensive coordinator. Defensive coordinator Dave Campo does the same thing for Weis with the offense. KU is doing a big self-scout study. That's what a lot of the GAs — the guys that stay in-house during the recruiting time — are doing for KU: working on self-scout projects to help KU.

• When KU's coaching staff first got here, Weis said it was just taking bodies in recruiting. You do the best you can do at getting the guys you can. When you have a full cycle in recruiting, that's no longer the case. You have to fill the glaring holes, but you also have to fill those spots with guys you think will be an upgrade. There's going to be a great influx of good talent that will mix in with the guys that are already here. Some of the new signings will have to play catch-up, but Weis says KU has an opportunity to take what it did well this year and grow from that.

• Weis said if you don't have good offensive and defensive linemen, it doesn't matter what else you have. You could have the greatest skill guys in the world, but if you can't do well on the lines, it won't matter much. KU has added a couple of unique guys with unique skill sets on the lines.

• Weis said all he had to do to get defensive lineman Chris Martin was offer him a scholarship. That's all it took. His mom wouldn't let him go anywhere else. Weis and Martin didn't even talk about recruiting on his visit. Martin committed to Weis on signing day of his junior year. Then, when Weis got fired, he bailed out. Weis told Martin last year, if he toed the line, he'd offer him. That's what he did.

Weis helped quarterback Dayne Crist with the agent process. He's playing in a showcase bowl game in Tucson, Ariz., in January. They actually talk more about family than football. If his guys want to give the NFL a go, he talks to them about representation and workouts. But right now, he mostly talks to guys about family.

Weis wanted defensive lineman Ty McKinney to continue to take classes this semester to stay in a student state of mind. If you sit out academics a semester, it's much tougher to get back into the routine of doing it.

Weis says there's only way you measure success, and that's winning games. You can measure progress, but in the end, success is when you win games. KU won one game last year, and that's not what it's shooting for.

In all the good defenses he's gone against, Weis said there's always been a couple of good personalities — guys that the media can't wait to get to. Defensive lineman Marquel Combs is one of those players. Weis likes guys that have makeup, as long as they can back it up. Just like tight end Mike Ragone had a great personality last year, Combs is a "slam dunk" personality-wise, according to Weis. The coach calls him the "pied piper," as everyone wants to Facebook and message and Tweet him. Weis said he challenged a lot of the guys that signed to be a part of what turns KU from a 1-11 team to a successful program. Weis got in his face during a recruiting trip, asking him if he was afraid to come to KU. That was right up Combs' alley. Once he got on board, others believed they should jump too. Weis said these juco signees are like long-lost best friends through social media, and they're not even teammates yet.

• Weis says there's good and bad with technology. Everything you do can be out there five seconds after you post it on Twitter. If it's controversial enough, what you say will be on ESPN in 15 minutes. Everything is different now. You have to be very careful with technology today, because you're going to be held accountable.

The juco signees can talk whatever they want on social media — including having a "Dream Team" or potentially making a BCS bowl game ‚ until they get to campus. The rules are going to change for the guys once they get here. Weis said he won't put the clamps on Combs yet, at least not until Signing Day. Weis joked to Matt Tait if he hoped to have a new Twitter darling in Combs ... that might not be the case in the future.

KU cornerback Dexter McDonald originally didn't have any desire to come back to KU after he left. He met with KU running backs coach Reggie Mitchell and KU's other coaches. He and his family agreed this new situation was different and one he wanted to be a part of this new program.

• Weis said there are a lot of things he can say positively about quarterback Jake Heaps. He was scout team player of the week each week. He performed at a high level. Weis has known Heaps for a long time. Heaps called Weis when he took the coach took the KU job to see if he'd be interested in having him. Heaps has been grinding and working hard since he got here. He might win a vote of the team's favorite player, and he hasn't even played yet. Weis is not going to anoint him as the second coming, but what he's done so far is a good start.

You can't fake leadership. Either you have it or you don't. When you try to make guys into leaders, it doesn't work well. Weis hopes some of the leaders aren't even here yet.

Weis said it's tough for a kid out of high school to be a significant contributor at defensive tackle or defensive end without being a great pass-rusher. A lot of high school kids you bring in are purely projections. You can get a better idea of what defensive linemen might be at the juco level because there has been a couple years of college evidence of what they might become.

KU has a number of candidates at safety. The coaching staff also has a few people it feels good about that will be joining the team.

Having good running backs helps KU recruit offensive linemen. Those guys look and see, "Hey, those guys can run the ball." The offensive line signees were interested that James Sims, Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox were coming back. Weis also jokingly asked them if they could pass block as well, saying KU will have to improve its passing game.

• Weis says you start with a high number of juco kids in Year One, then you work your way down. You want to blend it, but KU has holes now. Weis says he's too old to wait. He wants to win now. He hates hearing how many games KU was close in last year. KU lost those games. He wants guys that can play, and he wants to blend juco guys with high school guys that want to play at KU. With those guys, this whole thing has a chance to work out.

• If returning guys can't see they need to be driven because of added competition with the juco guys coming in, then they're never going to see it. Those guys should be motivated.

Weis says he tells current players, when they're talking to potential recruits, to simply tell the truth about Weis and the program. If they tell the truth, whatever they perceive that to be, Weis can live with that. That philosophy has worked out for KU, especially with quarterback Turner Baty, who helped bring in guys from his old juco, City College of San Francisco.

After 1-11, no coaching staff member is getting thrown under the bus by Weis. He anticipates having the same coaching staff in 2013. The coach did tell his staff that if he hears any of them looking for another job, he's looking for another coach.

Weis likes defensive back Cassius Sendish's size and ability. He's a very polished student and polished young man.

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Comments

supercasey2000 1 year, 9 months ago

What was the question that made Charlie so mad?

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Jesse Newell 1 year, 9 months ago

After talking about Jake Heaps and the good things he's done this year, he was immediately asked if that meant he was the starter.

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David Leathers 1 year, 9 months ago

Jesse, why would you ask such a question?

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh...that's it.

I assumed somebody asked, "But didn't you say all these same things about Dayne Crist?"

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Kevin Crook 1 year, 9 months ago

Geez the basketball team plays the biggest game of the year in two days and all I can think about is next year's football team! I hope all of the in-coming and current kids on the team are as excited as I am. Keep fighting the good fight Coach Weis!

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VaJay 1 year, 9 months ago

If anyone says this guy cannot recruit - they are crazy. Given the last 3 years we have had on the field - to get the kind of players we have gotten so far this off-season is unbelievable (and we may even improve our current ranking with a little more luck).

Keep in mind though that even with a national ranking of 30 or so - this recruiting class is only one year's worth of kids. The true impact will be seen in a couple more years when HCCW can bring in several classes at this level or higher.

I think we are in good hands & I'm looking forward to us improving every year.

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Boouk 1 year, 9 months ago

Besides Isaiah Johnson, does anyone know who the other safeties who'll be joining the team are?

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Lawkan 1 year, 9 months ago

Kevin Short said they wanted him to play safety.

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PSM 1 year, 9 months ago

haha Dayne Crist has an agent? say all you want about height and size of quarterbacks blah blah blah, but if a dude that threw for 11,000 passing yards at KU can't even make a team in the CFL, then Dayne Crist doesn't have a shot in the arena football league. what I'm trying to say is Crist is awful.

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jhox 1 year, 9 months ago

You probably shouldn't be quite so blunt when talking about guys who committed to this University. I know you said what we were all thinking, but you probably could have said it with a little more tact.

Besides, nothing about NFL talent evaluators will ever shock me after seeing the three QB's on the Chiefs' roster this year. He might look good in a combine somewhere and collect a nice check for never playing a game, like Ricky Stanzi.

My personal belief is that Dane should take a grad assistant coaching position with KU. He always looked like he knew what he was doing, right up to the point of releasing the ball, that's when the wheels always fell off. He's a good leader. He just can't hit the broad side of a barn when he throws the ball. Sounds like a natural born coach to me.

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JHawk74 1 year, 9 months ago

If we had a great offensive line he probably would have looked much better. He is a pocket passer type quarterback not a scrambling quarterback. Dayne was forced to scramble nearly every passing play because our offensive line was terrible protecting the quarterback.

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TulsaJayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

JHawk74 I cannot disagree more. I got to 4 Mississippi most plays Crist was throwing the ball. Our O Line did a good job, he just couldn't pull the trigger on the right receiver at the right time, with the right trajectory.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 9 months ago

The big kid from KSU who threw all the passes to KU for several years in a row made a team. There is always hope.

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PSM 1 year, 9 months ago

yeah Mike Ragone had a great personality and the media thought he was really funny...than they realized there was no reason to talk to him because he couldn't catch the football and was a non-factor. let's hope they have a reason to talk to Combs in 2013

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texashawk10 1 year, 9 months ago

Ask Sims, Pierson, and Cox how much of a factor Ragone was. He came to KU with the reputation of a being a very good blocking TE and and performed in that job very well. He was never a big pass catching threat and people like you are the only ones who were trying to hype him in that role.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 9 months ago

Agreed -- if you can't see what Ragone did to help the running game, you were not watching the game closely enough. I can't wait to renew my season tickets.

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