Archive for Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Opinion: Mid-season change an encouraging step for Weis, KU football

October 15, 2013


He tried, but he couldn’t do it alone. So Charlie Weis, Kansas University’s head coach, implemented a new plan for Charlie Weis, the offensive coordinator this week. It entails the OC listening first and then talking. And if you think that will be easy for the man, well, you just haven’t spent enough time in the company of Jersey smart alecks.

In making quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus the pass-game coordinator and tight ends coach Jeff Blasko the run-game pass-protection coordinator, Weis acknowledged the way he’s doing it isn’t working too well and he needs help.

It might prove to be a case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, in which case more significant shuffling of the offensive coaching staff will be in order.

Those Weis rubs the wrong way insist he never would surrender total control, hire a new OC and let him do his thing. His ego’s too big, the thinking goes.

I disagree. Think about it: If you’re caretaker of Weis’ football legacy, your greatest jewels to this point are his four Super Bowl titles, three earned with Tom Brady at quarterback for the New England Patriots and one with Jeff Hostetler at QB for the New York Giants (Jan. 27, 1991, 20-19 victory against Buffalo Bills). And then there is the work he did with Matt Cassel with the Chiefs. Weis has an impressive record as an NFL offensive coordinator.

He’s not going to improve upon his OC legacy, no matter what he does at Kansas. He can add to it by turning a losing college program into a winning one. He was open-minded enough to realize he needs mid-season help, an encouraging sign that he’ll be amenable to larger changes in the offseason.

The college game is so different from the NFL it’s possible Weis’ offense works well in a league where the talent differential isn’t as great as in the college game, where various approaches that wouldn’t work in the NFL thrive in college.

So if Weis thinks he can land a better offensive coordinator who has a better college offense than his, I could see Weis hiring him and encouraging the coordinator to bring in another position coach or two.

Trying to get this offense moving has been a difficult task for personnel reasons as well. Weis inherited an empty offensive line, beyond the three starters who had one year of eligibility under him. That’s not a quick fix. Compounding matters, Weis and his staff haven’t been able to land their top targets at wide receiver, consistently getting left at the altar by some good ones.

Weis’ decisions to shuffle coaching assignments on defense and special teams already have paid off. If he doesn’t hit the trifecta, look for him to try something else, even if it means turning himself into a full-time head coach/academic liaison/Jersey smart aleck.


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