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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 10/16/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
Also, there are quite a few changes to the depth chart, with James Sims moved to starter at running back, Brandon Bourbon moved to starter at fullback and Aslam Sterling moved to starter at right tackle.
• Weis says linebacker Tunde Bakare will be back this week after sitting out last week following a head injury. Running back Tony Pierson looks better, but KU will wait and see with him. Receiver D.J. Beshears has a slight fracture in his shoulder and will be gone for a long period of time. Receiver Daymond Patterson has concussion-like symptoms after getting hit hard on a punt return against Oklahoma State. He's questionable for the OU game.
• Weis says both Dayne Crist and Mike Cummings will play against Oklahoma. He's not going to say who the starter will be. Also, neither QB will be made available for media interviews this week. Weis says the reason for that is to limit distractions. The quarterback who plays the most significant role in Saturday's game will be made available for interviews after the game.
• Weis says his team can't go vanilla and expect to slug it out against OU. Both QBs will get plenty of reps in practice. Weis says he hopes the first guy plays so well that he isn't tempted to put in the second guy, but he knows that probably won't happen. He says he's fired up with how this two-QB system might look. He joked that he's been drawing up plays in the dirt this week for his QBs.
• Cummings is still significantly behind Crist when it comes to reading coverage. But seeing how Cummings has handled everything ... he hadn't played significant snaps in two years. Weis hopes his best football is ahead of him.
• During Cummings' last play against OSU, there were a lot of guys open. A corner route was open for a TD. With that defensive end rushing, instead of trying to throw over him, Cummings should have stepped up in the pocket and looked downfield. Weis isn't mad at him for that play. That's all part of learning.
• What Weis saw out there was, on defense, KU was being physical and winning the line of scrimmage against OSU. Those weren't lucky tackles. There were a lot of gang tackles by KU.
• Weis said a couple guys came in to try out for kicker earlier this year. One was an Australian rules football player. The problem was, those guys couldn't kick a football well. Weis said he took a kid out of a dorm team one time, and he ended up as a finalist for a Groza award. KU hasn't been that lucky to find a kicker on campus to help. Weis thinks the problem will be fixed soon.
• Ron Doherty will be the starting punter this week. He also will be the backup kicker. Doherty was banged up a little bit last week.
• Weis said knowing he's going to play might take pressure off of Cummings. It also keeps Crist from being in the tank. Weis said he joked with Cummings to "check his pants," because he was going to play this week in Norman. Weis thinks both QBs were at ease. Weis says he always tells the players exactly what's happening. Weis met with both QBs on Monday night along with QBs coach Ron Powlus.
• Two weeks ago against Kansas State, KU defensive coordinator Dave Campo was miserable. KU's defense had a nice turn-around against OSU. The players haven't seen good play until this year. The expectations of play have gone up. KU's defense played well against the best offense in the country last week. That gave the players confidence. They have some bounce in their step.
• All running back James Sims has done is verify what Weis thought of him in the preseason. Sims is physical. He can pick up the blitz. He can catch.
• KU has been a run-first team for some time. The better the backs run, the better the offense, as teams have to move more defenders toward the line of scrimmage.
• On KU's side of the field against OSU, James Sims told his offensive linemen, "Just give me a little bit of space, and I'll get it into the end zone." A few plays later, he was in the end zone. The linemen block a little harder when they hear that.
• Oklahoma has a bunch of good players on both sides of the ball. You look at draftable guys on OU compared to KU, and it's night and day. If both teams play their best game, OU wins, because it has good coaches and players. Weis is hoping his team plays well while OU doesn't.
• Weis told his team after the game that it was the second time he was proud of them, because since he'd been at KU, it was the first time he saw his team with a different attitude in the fourth quarter like it wanted to win. The first time was for its grades. As miserable as he was after the game, Weis was proud of his team. You could see true pride in the locker room after the game. That's a good thing.
• Darius Willis has moved up the depth chart. He started as a middle linebacker at KU. He got beat out by a bunch of guys, and instead of complaining, he went down to show team. KU moved him to defensive end, and he played hard. Eventually, Weis told the other coaches they had to take a look at him, because he was making plays. He's disruptive. He's helping KU.
• Weis says he can't see any reason why James Sims won't eventually play on Sundays. Weis thinks he's a solid player. He would want him on his team.
• Crist will never change who he is. When he isn't in there, he will be the first guy trying to help Cummings. Realistically, it's tough to be the leader when he's not on the field. Weis said he had a conversation like this with quarterback Phil Simms when he was with the New York Giants. Weis wanted him to talk to the team when it was struggling, and Simms told him that players don't want to hear from players that aren't on the field.