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Archive for Monday, March 3, 2014

Column: Weis makes winning moves in offseason

March 3, 2014

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Fresh off earning four Super Bowl rings as an offensive coordinator and ready to tackle the challenge of returning Notre Dame to its glory days, Charlie Weis moved his lips and burned himself with his most regrettable quote, saying his teams would have “a decided schematic advantage.”

Seven years as a college football head coach and 10 years of wisdom later, humility has replaced fantasy.

“I got rid of me because we weren’t scoring enough points,” Kansas University’s head coach said Monday of shedding his second title. “I fired the offensive coordinator.”

Great move.

Weis’ NFL teams had a decided schematic advantage whether a quarterback as extraordinary as Tom Brady or as ordinary as Matt Cassell was under center. In today’s world, running an NFL offense is as different from running a college one as shooting baskets is from clay pigeons.

Weis’ first KU offense finished 118th of 124 FBS schools with 18.3 points per game, his next 120th with 15.3 points. Rice, known as a football program filled with more quick minds than feet, beat both of those KU teams with John Reagan as OC. In 2012, the Owls were 41st with 31.8 points a game, 62nd with 29.6 points in 2013. Reagan, also KU’s O-line coach, has far more experience teaching college blockers than did Tim Grunhard. Wide-receivers coach Eric Kiesau replaces long-time Weis right-hand man Rob Ianello, shuffled to a research job, which I guess means he’ll be researching job opportunities. By firing himself and his guy — not easy moves — Weis put credibility behind his stated reason for accepting a five-year, $12.5 million contract.

“I didn’t come to Kansas just to retire,” Weis said. “I came to Kansas with a vision, and the vision was to turn Kansas from a losing football program to a winning football program.”

He’s 4-20 so far. But he’s coming off his best KU recruiting haul and has assembled his best staff of assistants. It feels as if the boat has stopped taking on water for the first time in years.

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