Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 11/27/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
• Weis says West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin is faster than most receivers. Not only is he quick, he's also blazing fast, too. He's an unusual combination. He made Oklahoma's defense look silly, and if he can do that, that's a scary proposition. He doesn't play like he's 170 pounds. Weis says it's tough to find an analogy for a player like him.
• WVU quarterback Geno Smith can sling it against anyone. The running game, though, has become a bigger part of the offense for the Mountaineers. Smith doesn't have to win the game by himself. He's really good at WVU does offensively. He can make all the throws.
• Weis says he's playing under the old North Carolina basketball "four corners" offense. The best way for his team to compete is to hold onto the football and play ball possession. The longer KU can have possession, the better chance it has. Weis says you have to do what you do offensively, and hopefully, you do it a lot better this week.
• KU quarterback Dayne Crist will play. Weis said everyone will have to see how it plays out. Weis says between Mike Cummings and Crist, KU got pretty good production out of the quarterback position against Iowa State.
• Weis says if Brandon Bourbon could be a good defender, he'd be on defense. Weis says if that were to happen, it would be a change he would make in the offseason. Bourbon is a natural runner playing at a position with a lot of good players. Based on the evidence Weis sees, Bourbon is playing the position he's supposed to be playing.
• Weis says the development you get from 15 practices is the greatest benefit you get from a bowl game. When you're not playing in a bowl game, that's one thing you miss. The tradeoff, though, is that KU coaches can spend every waking second on recruiting after the season, which is something this team needs to focus on.
• The psychological lift of a win would be big for KU. The players would have a weight lifted off their shoulders.
• Weis said the best year he had recruiting in the past was after his worst season, because the guys he brought in all saw an immediate opportunity to play.
• Weis has already thought through what he will potentially tell his team after a win or a loss Saturday. He said he's filled up a lot of notepads with thoughts.
• Weis says he can't recruit fast enough. He said if he could recruit Saturday night after the game, he would. A lot of head coaches don't like recruiting. Weis says he doesn't like being away from home, but he believes recruiting is a lifeline. He believes he's going to have to be a grinder in that area. Weis is very pleased with where KU stands in its recruiting for next year.
• Recruiting at KU isn't tougher than Weis' previous coaching stop; it's just different. Weis didn't recruit junior-college players at Notre Dame. Those guys aspire to play on Sunday, so they want to get out to a place where they can play right away. Weis said there's a lot to like about the school, the facility and campus at KU. Lawrence is a great town. The only thing missing is that KU isn't winning football games. KU's coaches have to try to remove that stigma that is associated with being a losing program.
• Weis said KU has 27 scholarships to give in recruiting, and there's a good chance KU will fill all of those 27 spots.
• Weis says he tells all incoming freshmen not to come to campus with the intent to red-shirt. He tells them to come in with the intention of competing to earn a spot. Then later, if it works out best for the program and player, that's when you start to talk about a potential red-shirt.
• Weis says almost every kid that comes to KU on a recruiting trip loves the place. There are way more positives at KU than negatives. The biggest negative is the losing, but you can flip that into a positive if kids want to come in and play immediately.
• Weis remembers everyone telling running back Terrell Davis he was no good. People told him he couldn't do a lot of things, and he ended up with a successful career at Denver. Weis talked to him before the draft and told him he'd get drafted and would get a chance. Weis said Davis proved him wrong and turned himself into a great player. Weis doesn't like to make comparisons, but he said he saw something special in running back James Sims when he first got to campus. Weis doesn't believe Sims' career will end at KU next season, as he thinks he has a future in the NFL.
• Weis was disappointed with the way his team performed against Iowa State. If KU doesn't show up Saturday, it could lose 100-0 to West Virginia. Weis wants to see his team show up Saturday and slug it out.
• Weis said he could give 20 things he's happy about, but the glaring thing that stands out is that KU is 1-10. All those things on and off the field are important ingredients to getting things right. Until KU starts winning games, though, even the biggest fans are going to be a bit skeptical. Weis didn't take the job to go 1-10. He took the job because he intends to take KU and make it into a respectable winning football program again.