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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 4/24/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
• Weis said you have to set a mentality that matches your philosophy on how things are going to be done. Weis told his players when he first came in that there would be a different way of running business. He also told his players that he was better at being a dad than a coach. The most important thing in college is growing up. But there comes a time when players have to determine when enough is enough. You can give players a couple of hiccups, but there comes a point when 1. things that happen are too severe, or 2. a player has had multiple things occur, and you give them an ultimatum that they start doing the right things, or they're off the team. Usually when a guy is dismissed from the team, it's because of the latter instead of the former. Usually, players are dismissed because of a few incidents instead of one incident. Weis isn't in the business of running guys out of here. But the players need to know that the team is most important.
• In addition to dismissing linebacker Collin Garrett and cornerback Chris Robinson Monday, he talked to them about leadership and tried to put the onus more on the team. Weis isn't going out looking for guys on Saturday nights in Lawrence. Weis believes in letting his players have the normal quality of life of typical college students during the spring when they are not fully in football season.
• The team voted for permanent team captains Monday. When the staff is gone throughout May while recruiting, there will be little guidance from the coaches. Also, the coaches cannot coach players in June because of NCAA rules. So Weis thinks it's important for a team in transition to have leadership. Weis will tell the team today who the captains are, and those captains will be made available to media members later this afternoon.
• Weis says he's excited about the spring game. He's fired up about it. As long as the team doesn't sustain any injuries in the next few practices, KU should have two teams (other than the defensive line, which will have one unit that will play for both teams) and should be able to have some fun.
• Weis says he needs the leadership from the team now. That's why he didn't wait until other players showed up on campus to vote for captains. Those guys coming in don't have the right to come in and be captains without practicing with the team thus far.
• Weis says you only have one opportunity to get it right at a school. He learned a long time ago that it's a lot easier to set that table in the beginning. It's always easier to loosen up on a team when it's been rigid than it is to tighten up on a team that's been loose. Weis is not trying to be a drill sergeant. He's just trying to make practical decisions based on what's happened on and off the field. When you deal with young men, there are going to be issues. But there comes a point when enough becomes enough.
• You want each kid to be successful. You don't want any of them to fail. But at some point, you put them in a situation where they have to decide to grow up.
• KU will actually play a game Saturday for its spring game. The team won't show everything, but it will come out and run it and throw it. If somebody wants to do enough study, the majority of things Weis has done offensively are already on tape somewhere. Offensively, you want to see if you can run and see if you can have good pass efficiency. Weis said he wouldn't call it a glorified scrimmage, because it's going to be more competitive than that.
• Weis will tell his players Thursday which of the two teams they will be on for the spring game.
• Weis believes the team has made great strides in the spring. There's still a bunch of questions, but there area a bunch of answers, too. Weis has a much better feel for his football team, but he said there's still a long road ahead.
• Right now, Weis is disappointed in KU's kicking game in general — not just the kickers, but the kicking game in general. Weis says he's watching the game a different way than reporters do. On kickoff coverage, he's looking for who the first guy down the field is. That guy's probably going to be playing on special teams.
• Weis would like to see his team defensively run around and have some fun during the spring game. At the end of the day, he also wants to see everyone walk off the field healthy.
• Weis has sat at Allen Fieldhouse, which he believes is the mecca of college basketball. He doesn't just watch the game ... he studies coach Self, because he thinks he's a great coach. He like the psychology involved. But Weis also likes the whole experience and how the fans interact with the team. Weis knows when KU is 2-10 and 0-9 in the Big 12, it's tougher for the students to buy in and show loyalty to the football team. Weis thinks the team needs to do something on the field to help with that. if you don't try to make that bond between the football team and students, fans and band, then it's not going to happen. Weis doesn't believe things happen by accident. Weis has made the decision that KU's players will sing the alma mater with the band and students at the end of each home football game. Weis says KU has to be willing to bite the bullet in case it doesn't work out, as it's not easy to sing the alma mater with students after a loss. KU's players will be there after every game, though. It takes effort for the KU students to stay there the whole game, so will they be there? If it all works out, Weis thinks the change will be a really good thing for KU.
• Weis sat down with all of KU's graduating seniors and told them about the NFL Draft process. He talked about the thought process of the teams and how it goes down. He also talked about what their thought process should be if they don't get drafted. Weis gets more questions from kids that he coached at previous schools than the ones at KU, just because he knows those kids better.
• From what Weis has heard about former KU linebacker Steven Johnson, he believes he has a good shot at being on someone's team in the NFL. As a player, that's all you ask for.