Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coordinator: KU football offense work in progress

Kansas University offensive coordinator John Reagan speaks to the media at an introductory press conference Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at KU. Reagan, most recently the O.C. at Rice, worked as offensive line coach and run-game coordinator under former KU football coach Mark Mangino.

Kansas University offensive coordinator John Reagan speaks to the media at an introductory press conference Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at KU. Reagan, most recently the O.C. at Rice, worked as offensive line coach and run-game coordinator under former KU football coach Mark Mangino.


New Kansas University offensive coordinator John Reagan has a plan for the KU football offense.

What it is exactly and how it will function this fall remains a work in progress. But during his first meeting with the media on Monday, the former Kansas assistant who returned to Lawrence after a four-year stint at Rice offered up a few hints about which aspects of offensive football would be most important to him and the Jayhawks.

“You have to be able to run the football,” Reagan said. “I think if you’re a much more talented team than everybody else you play, you can wing it all over the field. I don’t think that fits everybody. I don’t think that fits necessarily the mold that we have.”

So the emphasis at Kansas will be on setting the tone with the run, taking care of the football at all times and putting the Jayhawks’ play-makers in the best possible position to make plays from the first quarter to the fourth.

Without naming names, Reagan quickly analyzed the offensive pieces he inherited by talking about what he liked.

“We’ve got play-makers here,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m very excited about. There’s some skill talent that will be fun to work with and fun to let them show their talents.”

Reagan said he was thrilled to have multiple options at quarterback, which figures to be a three-man race between 2013 starters Montell Cozart and Jake Heaps and UCLA transfer T.J. Millweard.

“What I’m anxious to see is how those guys perform this spring,” Reagan said, “and to see who gives the team — not the offense, the team — the best chance to win.”

As far as the guys up front, who will protect KU’s quarterbacks and pave the way for those skill guys to get going, Reagan believes there are enough players in place to make pleasant his other duty as offensive-line coach.

“There’s no question that the ability’s there,” he said. “I gotta do the best I can to put ’em in the right position, both tackles, guards, centers, and with play schemes and protections.”

With his return to Kansas with a new title representing an exciting next step in his coaching career, Reagan said one of the best parts about his second stint in Lawrence is that it provides the opportunity to be closer to his 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, who live in Lawrence.

“It was torture not being in the same town with them,” he said. “So, yeah, I could envision myself coming back. I had no idea how it would happen.”

Now that it has, and with the busiest recruiting days behind him, Reagan said he was “excited” about more closely evaluating the talent he has and putting together an offense designed to bring back the production that Reagan was a part of the first time he wore crimson and blue.

“During that time here, I felt like we did some things that were pretty special,” said Reagan, who helped coach KU’s offensive line and running game to three bowl appearances during five seasons. “You’d like to say you’re going into spring ball with an idea of exactly how it’ll turn out. If I said that, I’d be lying. Because I don’t know that I have a full picture right now.”

Weis alters staff duties

Early Monday, KU head coach Charlie Weis released the details of staff changes that will alter the duties of Weis, running-backs coach Reggie Mitchell and wide-receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello.

“I have decided to adjust our staff,” Weis said in a press release. “Reggie Mitchell will return to a position he is very familiar with as our recruiting coordinator. Rob Ianello will move to an off-field position as director of research, spending most of his time on recruiting. Coach Reagan and I discussed several alternatives and have decided to have me handle the wide receiver position at this time.”

Mitchell served as the recruiting coordinator at Kansas for two years under Turner Gill and also held the title at Michigan State from 2000-04 and Illinois prior to joining Gill’s staff.

Weis, who has handled every offensive position during his career, worked closely with KU’s wide receivers at the end of the 2013 season in an attempt to pull better production out of a position that has struggled with drops, getting open and making plays since his arrival.

Asked if having the head coach as a position coach within his offense would make him uncomfortable, Reagan didn’t blink.

“No. Not at all,” he said. “I don’t have any concern about it whatsoever.”


Jim Stauffer 8 years, 7 months ago

This interview really has me even more excited than I was at hearing of his return. He is confident. He will know who to play and where to play them. He will design an offense around the talent we have and then proceed to run that offense each and every week.

We will become consistent with this guy at the helm and then and only then will we know just how good the talent is that CW and staff have brought in the last two years in particular.

Kyle Coffey 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a great coach who is fair but firm. Went to a few camps when I was in high school and he was at KU. Guy who knows what he is doing.

David Williams 8 years, 7 months ago

He could be the next head coach for the medium-/long-term...this might be a transition year, depending on the outcome of the 2014 season. I might think that we will see a new WR coach sometime in the near future as well. Return to Lawrence, Darrell Wyatt!

Dirk Medema 8 years, 7 months ago

Wyatt & Beaty are both more likely to get a $B from Warren. 2 months is plenty of time to find a new WR coach, now that it is public knowledge that we are lacking a person in that position long term. It definitely let's them look without pressure.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 7 months ago

I believe Weis and Reagan wanted to bring in another WR coach, but there likely aren't any candidates who are both good enough and interested in the position at this time of year so Charlie will handle it for a year. That's not the worst set up ever since Charlie does have experience coaching the WR position even if it was almost 20 years ago, but the principles of running good routes are the same now as they were then.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 7 months ago

Welcome back! Get us a bowl game next year! I know I am shooting for the moon, but let's do this and make Jayhawk Nation proud! Whether Reagan is the new HC in waiting who knows, but for now, let's get some wins and let the rest play itself out.

Dale Stringer 8 years, 7 months ago

For Cozart to be our QB, one of two things must happen: Cozart learns how the throw... or... Harwell grows another 3 feet taller.

Jim Stauffer 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, God forbid that a young man would improve his performance from his Frosh year to Soph. We certainly know that has never happened and it completely logical to deduce that a few games as a true Frosh will be the pattern all players will follow their entire careers.

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