Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 4/9/13


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 will be watching Saturday's spring game from the coach's box. He has split up the coaching staff, and he won't be calling any plays. He joked that if you look for him on the sideline, you won't see his smiling face.

• Weis says if you look at the spring game rosters, the blue team should be passing a lot, while the white team will be running a lot. Blue team quarterback Jake Heaps is more of a dropback passer, while White team quarterback Mike Cummings is more of a play-action passer. Weis expects there to be drastic improvements on both sides of the ball from last season.

The strengths that Cummings had last year he still has. He makes far fewer mental mistakes now. Weis says he has a better understanding of terminology and has a better command of the huddle now.

Weis thinks his running backs are even better this year, and they were already good last year. If you can run the ball efficiently, passing shouldn't be as tough as KU made it look last year. Weis also thinks his team has put its playmakers in position to make plays.

• Weis joked there's been a lot more fights in spring practices, and that's a good thing. There's a gray area, Weis says: Where's the line between having discipline and losing the players? Weis has talked to his players about playing with a chip on their shoulders. Defensive lineman Chris Martin is the trash-talker of all trash-talkers. That's been missing here somewhat, Weis says. You need some of those guys. Any good defense has some trash-talkers on it. Same thing offensively. The offensive guys are more worried about learning plays right now, but once they get that down, Weis sees a couple of potential candidates for trash talk there. Offensive guys do trash talk as well. Weis says he's proud of New England quarterback Tom Brady and how he's learned how to trash talk. At first, he was a mild-mannered California boy. Weis joked that Brady blames Weis for his development into a "gutter mouth." Weis says you know you've got something good when you've got a trash-talking quarterback.

Weis says linebacker Ben Heeney, as of late, has been on a clear rise and is playing above everyone else at his position right now. Early in camp, he wasn't playing as well, but that's changed.

Weis reminds everyone that seven juco guys are still coming in on defense, and he's expecting most of them will be on the first and second team.

KU receiver Justin McCay reminds Weis of Keyshawn Johnson when Weis first got to the New York Jets. His routes are a little short. He's not the fastest, but he's strong and catches everything. Johnson was the first pick in the entire draft his year coming out of school. The two also are wearing the same number. Christian Matthews has been one of the most pleasant surprises. He's been better than the other receivers. The receiver on the rise is Tre' Parmalee. The coaches challenged him to become more physical, and he's been significantly improved over the last week.

In the secondary, Cassius Sendish makes the least amount of mistakes. JaCorey Shepherd is making strides, and Dexter McDonald can cover anybody. KU also has juco guys coming in at that position. The secondary might be as drastically improved as any position this seaosn.

Tony Pierson will be "very, very, very involved" in the passing game during the spring game. KU has big plans for Pierson. KU didn't do all the research on West Virginia's Tavon Austin for nothing. This is a copycat league. Pierson is still the most dynamic running back KU has. The only problem is, he might be KU's most dynamic receiver as well. He's a pain in the butt for defenses, because they won't know whether to call him a running back or a wide receiver. Pierson is faster than Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dexter McCluster (whom Weis coached in KC) by a significant margin. McCluster is tougher, though. Pierson is in the 4.3 40-meter range, while McCluster is in the 4.5 range. That's a significant difference. Weis joked that he'd certainly take McCluster if someone wanted to offer him to KU for this year's team.

Pierson is a very fast, skilled kid, and he has great football intelligence. Once you tell him something, he's got it.

Weis says the best two players on KU's lines have been Keon Stowers and Chris Martin. Stowers has been "ruining practice" by getting in the backfield, and KU hasn't been able to block Martin with just one player.

Stats in the spring game mean nothing to Weis. But how the players carry themselves means a lot to Weis. He'll look for players on the sideline who might not be in the game to see how they're carrying themselves. One of the things Weis liked during Saturday's scrimmage was the enthusiasm on the defensive sideline. That doesn't mean the defense was winning the scrimmage, but Weis could feel the enthusiasm. Those things are important to Weis.

Trevor Pardula has lifted Weis' spirits in the kicking game. Weis smiled and said he wouldn't go any further than that.

In the spring game, quarterbacks will only be protected from hits in the pocket. If they roll out or run the option, they can get hit by defensive players.

Buck position player Michael Reynolds had 2 1/2 sacks in Saturday's scrimmage. His problem — and he knows this — is consistency.


Bobby Burch 5 years, 1 month ago

Can't wait for the spring game and for the start of this season. I'm sensing a much improved team in the whole "execution" department.

texashawk10 5 years, 1 month ago

Christian Matthews has been one of the top WR's in spring, why does that sound so familiar? This didn't exactly make me believe KU's passing game will be significantly improved next season. One or two guys making plays does not equal a competent passing attack. Ideally this team would have McCay as someone who runs the drag and crossing patterns over the middle, Turzilli as the deep threat, Parmalee as a slot receiver, and Pierson as someone coming out of the backfield. The potential is there for KU to have a decent passing attack to take pressure off the running game, but not hearing about Turzilli improving is disappointing because I think he's the key to KU's passing game next year because he is the deep threat KU has been missing for quite a few years now.

Adam Tyler 5 years, 1 month ago

I wasnt too thrilled when reading that Matthews has stood out from the rest.

Is Rod Coleman already on campus or is he coming in the summer?

texashawk10 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe Coleman or any of the other WR's signed are on campus yet.

Boouk 5 years, 1 month ago

Not that I'm even close to being sold on any of our WR's, but it's encouraging to hear about Matthews improvement because we didn't hear anything about him last spring. It's also encouraging to hear that McCay "catches everything." We need a big, reliable target to complement Pierson and Parmalee's speed and quickness.

texashawk10 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually that's what Matthews has done every spring since he moved to WR and it never translates to anything in the fall.

Jim Jackson 5 years, 1 month ago

The news on Matthews scares me too. Great praise for McCay though!

Rock Chalk!!! We are going bowling!!

BS_Hawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Matthews has shown his athleticism on the field but hasn't been given that opportunity at receiver. Glad Weis is giving him the chance.

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 1 month ago

I always thought that Heaps and McCoy on the practice squad last year would be great for their chemistry...Here is hoping it is starting to pay off.

Jonathan Briles 5 years, 1 month ago

I think a lot of this sounds encouraging, but the position I was most concerned about was offensive line and if Stowers is in the backfield every play and Martin can't be blocked with just one guy that does not make me feel good about our O-Line. Hopefully it speaks more to those two being great players and not that our line is weak. If we do manage to put a solid O-Line out there then I'm pretty excited about our chances this year.

rtwngr 5 years, 1 month ago

Thinking back, I now wonder how many incompletions were a WR problem or QB problem. I do remember several balls hitting hands before bouncing on the turf.

Jayhawker111 5 years, 1 month ago

Weis reminds everyone that seven juco guys are still coming in on defense, and he's expecting most of them will be on the first and second team.

We heard the same song last year --that the calvery was coming to save the day...

I do not put any hope in a bunch of JC transfers being able to immediaitely produce in Big 12 football. More smoke and mirrors.

Also, there is no place in sports for trash talking and it should not be glorified.
Trash talking is unsportsmanlike conduct. The referees should throw a flag at any player trying to trash talk to the opponent. Call me old school, but trash talking is a reflection on the sorry state of our society!

TulsaJayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

111, several posters have reminded us that juco players made K-State a dominant program. As far a trash talking being unsportsmanlike, well, you're just naive.

rgale29 5 years, 1 month ago

Whoa there 111, trash talk, talking smack, verbal intimidation is OLD favorite '58 Baltimore Colts were full of old school trash talkers. As CW says there's a fuzzy line between good natured trash talk and just being an ass...give it a rest on the "reflection of the sorry state of society" whine. Trash talk in the '50s wasn't a reflection of the sorry state of a segregated society and Ali's trash talk wasn't a reflection of the sorry state of the the anti-war free love 60's, and MJ's trash talk wasn't a reflection of the sorry state of the greed based 80's...trash talk is a reflection on the talker be it good or bad is a gray line and usually its good if you can back it up and bad if you have to eat your words. If it helps us win a few I say talk that smack and let it reflect that the sorry state of 1-11 is a thing of the past.

Bruce Adair 5 years, 1 month ago

Agree with 111. Trash talking is a poor example for the kids who emulate their heroes in every way possible. You want your kids to tell you to shove that spinach up your ass the next time you sit down with company at the dinner table? You can always tell your company that little Percy wants to be a football player some day and he's practicing his rude trash talk but it's still gonna be a shocker to most adults (who weren't athletes). Or if you (yourself) are an ex-athlete you can just stiff arm the kid and say "STFU you little wimp or I'll bury you in your own sh-t!!!" I think I can live without trash talk, even if my kids turn out to be accountants or government workers!!

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