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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 9/17/13

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

Full audio and the updated depth chart have been posted.

The KU coaching staff’s goal was to hold back and red-shirt one-third of the incoming transfers and play two-thirds of them. The coaches weren’t sure how the numbers would play out. Out of defensive linemen Ty McKinney, Tedarian Johnson, Marquel Combs and Andrew Bolton, the coaches were hoping to play two guys and save two. People were enamored with the names of the guys, while the staff was more enamored with the program. McKinney and Johnson being at KU a semester earlier has them way ahead. The staff thinks Combs and Bolton have huge upsides.

KU was hoping to sit one guy out of the secondary, and because of the NCAA circumstances, now that will be Kevin Short. Before Short was ruled out for the year by the NCAA, the staff thought Brandon Hollomon might sit out this year. Now, he’s playing and playing significant time. Thirteen of the juco guys are a significant part of KU’s plans this year. Receiver Mark Thomas and linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore (injured knee) and receiver Nick Harwell (NCAA eligibility) are the other guys that will play a big part in the future.

Running back Taylor Cox had a death in the family last week and flew back to Seattle on Thursday for a funeral. He got back in just before the game Saturday. He has a nagging hamstring and groin. It’s been recurring for some time. If it doesn’t get better, KU will look to medical red-shirt him. If it gets better to the point that KU can play him, Weis says the team will do it. But right now, he would qualify for a medical red shirt, and that’s the direction the team is heading now.

The coaches weren’t pleased with the offensive line play in the last game. Right tackle Riley Spencer was a projected starter who has been slowed by knee ailments. He’s gotten better and better. Spencer is a strong man. Weis says he will bring more physicality. Zach Fondal is more athletic, but Weis wasn’t happy with the controlling of the line of scrimmage against Rice across the board.

Weis says tight end Jimmay Mundine has been moved to second team on the depth chart based on all aspects of his game. You have to go by what you see. Weis sees the same things as the reporters see, only he sees them a lot worse. Right now, Weis says the team has to give Trent Smiley the opportunity to see if it can get any better there. Smiley is more physical than Mundine. Weis wasn’t pleased with the physicality of his team last week.

The changes on the depth chart at receiver has some to do with drops and some to do with receivers not getting separation. The two guys at the top of the depth chart at receiver (Rodriguez Coleman, Tre’ Parmalee) are the two that get open the best in practice. They catch it pretty well, too. Coleman is probably getting force-fed being the No. 1 receiver before he’s ready, but KU needs to get better. KU can’t win games scoring 14 points.

Parmalee runs great routes and catches the football. He’ll never be a burner, but KU needs a guy that can run routes and get open.

Brandon Bourbon and Tony Pierson will have expanded roles this week. Weis said he hasn’t been sleeping well since Saturday night because of the offense. Rice rolled defense to Pierson the entire night. Even on his touchdown catch, Pierson had two guys on him. It’s hard to force feed him the ball to him in those scenarios, because the opponent isn’t respecting that other players can get open.

Weis was pleased with his defense Saturday. The only thing that made him a little upset was some players were a little late getting to the alleys to stop the run. The Rice running back had too many yards. But if you hold a team to 16 points, you should count on winning.

Weis says JaCorey Shepherd is becoming more comfortable with additional time at cornerback. Weis says the team should have high expectations for Dexter McDonald. He’s a big-time player.

Combs is on board with red-shirting. The team doesn’t do these things without involving the player. On the offensive and defensive lines, the guys that are on campus a semester earlier play better. You have to stagger the juco players so they don’t graduate at the same time. KU is taking a-third of them this year and pushing them another year with a red shirt. Combs will play on scout team this year.

Last year, Weis couldn’t identify dropped passes as a problem, because a lot of the passes weren’t close enough to be caught. Now, the ball is getting to the right spot most of the time. KU needs to be able to throw to score and win games. KU needs to do a better job of executing. That’s everyone, including the coaches.

The Rice game was different than any other loss, because KU’s guys went there expecting to win. They weren’t hoping for something to happen; they were expecting to win.

Linebacker Ben Heeney is playing faster than everyone else. He might not run faster, but he’s playing faster. That’s what Weis is used to seeing in the NFL. That’s how guys play in the NFL. When they come, they’re coming with a vengeance. He’s a pleasure to watch.

Christian Matthews is in the top five of the receivers. He’s involved in some other packages. He’s much more comfortable in the slot than he is outside, but most of the time, Pierson is the guy in the slot. Matthews is still in the mix, though.

KU’s secondary played great against Rice. Linebacker Samson Faifili has been a huge plus. Defensive lineman Ty McKinney has a chance to be a disruptive front-line guy.

Weis is a big fan of KU’s fans. He’s never been in a venue that feels like Allen Fieldhouse, and he’s been to a lot of arenas. Once you start winning more football games, that’s when you can more judge KU's football fans. Already, Weis likes the support, and that's with the team losing. Weis has an “incomplete” on his resume, because he wants to see what the fanbase is like once KU starts winning more. The fans, though, have been nothing but supportive from his perspective.

Weis says Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is in a no-win situation. When a former star at the school like Tommie Frazier hammers you in comments, you’ve got two choices: say nothing or say something. Usually, it’s better saying nothing.

Smiley is a short-to-intermediate pass-catching threat. Mundine is more athletic and can get downfield better. But you still have to go by production.

Comments

texashawk10 6 years, 2 months ago

One way to help Pierson out is to run play action. Jake Heaps faked a naked boot off of a lot of the stretch plays and Rice's defense never paid any attention to that. Run play action with that naked boot while having Pierson running a trail route against the flow and that is a potential home run for the KU offense.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

CW has talked before about setting up future plays with current play calls, so maybe the lack of play-action is for a future game. A W at Rice would have seemed a worthwhile investment, but we'll see.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 1 month ago

you can't build a highrise without a foundation. Maybe Weis is withholding some plays for the future, but it's probably more because this team hasn't been able to execute the basic formations yet in live action.

As far as the "play-action" pass. This should be the most basic passing play for any team that is known for good, physical between the tackles running. Why we don't run it every drive I don't know

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 2 months ago

Kudos to Weis for trying to make offensive changes. At least it seems that he is addressing the issue and not just standing pat. Let's hope this helps.

bigtex 6 years, 1 month ago

Ford and Coleman had a drop ,did Parmalee have drop ? I think he did. I remember Truzilli doing well against Rice last year . Is he in the Weis dog house? Coaches need to think outside their little tiny box sometimes and get over themselves.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Parmalee was fortunately ruled down before the fumble and recovery by Rice.

Mundine also had 2 drops at Rice, and at least 1 the previous week. Definitely the worst offender on the team at this point. Definitely still has potential. It would be nice to see it in a real (non-Spring) game.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 1 month ago

Mundine had a real bad drop during pregame warm-ups when they weren't even lining up against the defense. He was right in front of me and headed my direction and it hit him right in the hands and bounced off. He was noticably frustrated and shaking his hands. It's either in his head or he has some kind of a hand or wrist injury.

Al Martin 6 years, 1 month ago

Having the head coach acknowledge the specific problems, such the strength issue on the o-line, somehow does make me feel better. It probably won't help us win any more games, but at least he knows what the problems are and is willing to admit them.

Alex Berger 6 years, 1 month ago

I know we lost to Rice, but I still think our team is going to be better this year, not just on the field but in the standings. While the score might not say it, we just look like a more polished football team than we have the last two years. At the end of the day though we, and the coaches, are dependent on how the players play when the moment calls. Here's to hoping we pull out a win on Saturday.

HighQ 6 years, 1 month ago

Dropsies are a curse--That come from losing mindsets.--Changing the culture.

Phil Leister 6 years, 1 month ago

So Combs was the number 1 juco recruit last year... Is his current situation more of a Josh Selby-type thing, where the guy just doesn't quite live up to his ranking? Or is it simply a reflection of going from Juco to the Big 12? That is quite the leap, but there are plenty of Juco guys who have an immediate impact in D1.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Sort of Selby-esque in that Josh got a late start (due to suspension).

In Josh's case, he unfortunately got hurt right after starting to blow-up about 3 games in, then he and coach continued to try to force the issue.

In Combs' case, he didn't get a head start (Spring), so he has wisely agreed with Coach and isn't forcing the issue. He'll come back stronger than ever and ready to make an impact.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 1 month ago

Dagger's right, but it's really not like Selby at all, because Combs was not recruited AT ALL out of HS. He'd only played 1 season of football, and he had never been in a strength and conditioning program. He's only played 3 seasons of organized football and he's only had one season of legitimate strength training. The guy is a specimen of a DT and he will be a beast after he gets his picture in the Holsopple Book of Body Transformations.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 6 years, 1 month ago

Saturday was an absolute disheartening and emasculating endeavor. That was a big game, and could seriously make the wheels start to wobble.

But Weis' press conference proves one thing; one ray of optimism we have to cling to in order to remember how things have improved since Gill.

He is making adjustments; depth chart, scheme, everything....to try and right the ship.

Gill would have sat on the same routine...week in and week out.

If nothing else (and there may be nothing else), this is at least one positive.

Jhawk2000 6 years, 1 month ago

Very pleased with HCCW comments. I too was not very enamored with Saturday's performance but truly believe that we will turn it around. We will continue to make strides this year which will equate to another 2-3 wins and the big push will be next year. Keep the faith, and continue to go to the games to support the team. Recruits will be much more inclined to come to Kansas if we continue to fill the stands each and every game.

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