Friday, November 1, 2013

WR Coleman learning on Weis’ watch

Kansas receiver Rod Coleman cruises into the endzone past Baylor safety Orion Stewart during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.

Kansas receiver Rod Coleman cruises into the endzone past Baylor safety Orion Stewart during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.


It’s called “sticking a route,” and Kansas University receiver Rodriguez Coleman has learned a whole lot more about it in the last few weeks.

That’s because KU football coach Charlie Weis — after making the mid-October adjustment to give assistants Ron Powlus and Jeff Blasko added responsibility with the offense — has been spending more of his time at practice and in film sessions working with the receivers.

“Coming here, I really didn’t have any type of route running. I relied on my athleticism and speed,” said Coleman, a junior transfer from Garden City CC. “Coach Weis showed us how to stick our routes and come out of our breaks with speed (to) make plays.”

So what exactly is “sticking a route”?

“When we’re running one way, sell it the opposite way. Stick opposite the way you’re going,” Coleman said. “Say I’m going to a post (route) in the middle of the field. I’m going to stick like I’m going to a flag (route) and turn it up and make a play on the ball.”

The added skill seemed to pay off against Baylor on Saturday.

Coleman came away with two catches for 75 yards, which included a 30-yard touchdown reception. Coming into the game, he’d had just three catches and 39 yards in his other five games.

“On the two catches I had, actually I made a good stick, and the ball was in the air,” Coleman said. “I tracked the ball down and made a play.”

Weis also has noticed recent improvement from the receivers.

“You actually saw more route definition. They weren’t just running routes. They were competing for balls,” Weis said. “And that isn’t a shot at the receivers or (receivers) coach (Rob) Ianello; it’s the extra pressure (of) the head coach being around you all the time. Now all of a sudden, you’ve got an extra set of eyes, and it happens to be the boss.”

Weis certainly has the credentials to teach the position. He served as an NFL receivers coach for the New England Patriots in 1996 and the New York Jets in 1997 and 1998. During Weis’ time with the Jets, wideout Keyshawn Johnson was selected to a pair of Pro Bowls.

Weis believes he saw progress from that unit two weeks ago, though that didn’t seem to translate to the game in KU’s 34-19 loss to Oklahoma.

“I think that they actually looked improved last week (against Baylor),” Weis said. “I’m not saying that we looked great, because we didn’t look great anywhere. But, they actually improved, and I expect them to be better this week.”

Coleman is expecting the same from himself as he continues to get extra instruction from Weis.

“I’m just going to go out there every day at practice and keep learning,” Coleman said, “and keep putting stuff in my repertoire to go out there to put our team in the best position to win.”

Weis says there’s still room for growth from all the receivers in the final five games.

“If that’s the step we made last week and can continue and make a step like that each week,” Weis said, “then we’re heading in the right direction.”


Doug Cramer 8 years, 9 months ago

No one can accuse Coach for not working hard. Have got to think that eventually it will pay off...patience...saw wood...diligence...more hard work...recruit some studs in the trenches...get a defensive coordinator if Campo isn't our guy...

Michael Maris 8 years, 9 months ago

I absolutely have no problem with Dave Campo. The KU Defense is much improved from last few seasons. The defense numbers and rankings would be even more improved, if the offensive unit was able to sustain offensive drives and not so many 3 & Out scenario (that we fans have been seeing this season). I hope that Coach Campo does stay on with Weis and Company beyond the 2013 season.

Doug Cramer 8 years, 9 months ago

I have no problem with Campo either. Have got to think that the improvements in the secondary this year is because of Campo.

My problem is with Bowen. Why is he now considered the defensive coordinator ? It's weird that the announcers two weeks in a row...have titled Bowen as the coordinator as opposed to Campo.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 9 months ago

Clint Bowen's responsibilities right now with the defense pretty much describe a DC. During the offseason, Campo handed a lot of the defensive play calling and game planning duties to Bowen because Bowen is much more experienced with the spread than Campo is. Campo may still officially be the DC, but Bowen does a lot of the stuff that you expect a DC to do.

Al Martin 8 years, 9 months ago

Could Charlie spend a little time with the offensive line? Receiver was definitely an area that needed attention, but holy cow, it pales in comparison to the line issues...

Doug Roberts 8 years, 9 months ago

I think the key is for coach Weis to dump his pro-style offense that relies upon pro-style talent and hire an offensive coordinator that knows and understands college offenses.

Each week (and year) coach has shown a willingness to change his ways to adapt to the circumstances. I predict he will overhaul his offensive philosophy after the season to a more college-style offense. At least I hope he will, anyway...

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 9 months ago

Good point. I see a lot of spread formations out of KU, partly because the offense was running those "looks" to prep the defense for BigXII foes, so now Weis is actually trying to run it in games.

As a slight counterpoint, whenever Nick Sizemore is in as a fullback, in the pro-style offense, man he really flattens people. Many of Sims big runs are behind Sizemore from the power formations...pretty much pro-style plays there, I saw...

Brandon Mahon 8 years, 9 months ago

If Weis doesnt get rid of Ianello i think there will be issues. Throw Ianello to just recruiting or get rid of him. We need a real offensive coordinator, if Weis doesn't I could see Zanger setting some circumstances that Weis must meet, Zanger needs to show who is the boss, and tell Weis that if things don't get turned around there will be issues.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 9 months ago

What exactly does Ianello do? Isn't his job as the WR coach to teach WR's how to run routes and stuff along those lines, yet the biggest improvement the WR's have made this year has been with Weis helping them out. What I wouldn't give to have Beaty back on staff, better recruiter and better position coach.

Bob Morse III 8 years, 9 months ago

I one issue that I have with Weis is what he does with the QBs. I dont think Christ was very good with two bad knees and getting benched. I do not like when he pulls the QB once he gets in a groove (I know this year they are few and far between) then he trys to go back to pocket passing. stay with what is working.

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