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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 10/9/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
The most notable change on the depth chart is the moving of kicker Austin Barone to first team along with Ron Doherty.
• Oklahoma State running back Joe Randle is different from KU's Tony Pierson because he's a bigger back at 200 pounds, though he's still a home-run back. Weis wouldn't trade Pierson for anyone, but being a bigger back presents a different challenge.
• Receiver Andrew Turzilli has a chance to be a front-line receiver. He runs good routes, has good hands and he is smooth. He's still learning, but he has a chance to be a top-line guy in the future. Weis wouldn't call him one yet. Weis said he didn't know how good he could become. Weis joked that he barely knows the next play. Weis says, to use a coahing cliche, Turzilli doesn't know what he doesn't know.
• When asked what he'd like to see from his kicker competition this week, Weis said he'd like to make a field goal in a game. That would be a good start. Weis said there were problems with a high snap with last week's missed field goal, but those are attempts you just have to make. KU will practice field goals every day this week. That usually doesn't happen. Pressure does a lot to a lot of people. That happens in the pros, too. Certain people handle pressure differently.
• Weis said in the future he will use one and maybe two scholarships on kickers. KU has a transfer kicker right now with a big leg that can kick touchbacks (Eric Kahn), but because he's a transfer, he can't play this year. That could solve some of KU's kickoff issues next year.
• Weis says he's always been an aggressive coach when it comes to fakes. He also believes going into a game, you have to sit down and talk about the best way to put your players in a position to win. If you come to the conclusion that if you just line the players up and you can't win a game, then you have to take some chances to try to win.
• Weis said he's bothered by KU's struggles in the second half. He knows there is an issue there. That will be addressed this week.
• Both Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, whom Weis has worked with in the past, are both aggressive offensively like Weis is. Neither one of them are conservative. Belichick goes for it on fourth down more than any other coach Weis has seen. Both those guys are going to the hall of fame, and both, Weis says, are better than him. The coach said that's why he follows their lead.
• Weis says KU's seniors not practicing on Sunday with the rest of the team was more of a punishment for the younger guys than it was a slight to the older guys. The youngers guys had to go full speed a day after a game. That included a guy like linebacker Ben Heeney, who played almost every snap for KU against Kansas State.
• Weis says he's approaching this rebuilding job differently than he did the one at Notre Dame. It's different situations. Weis says you have to do everything in your power to win the next week.
• Weis says he has to continue to find more alternatives to how his team plays in the second half. He hasn't found the right one yet, but he's going to keep working on it.
• There's several guys that Weis doesn't know enough about when they go on the field. Sometimes, that happens because there are more experienced guys in front of them. Offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski is an example. Weis doesn't know how he can do in pressure situations because Tanner Hawkinson is in front of him. Maybe that means, with the game still in doubt, Weis need to put Pat in during a series to see how he does. That's the Catch-22. You want to know, but you don't want to at the expense of hurting your chances of winning.
• Everyone wants to look at developing your team as giving up on your team. Weis says those people misconstrue the whole thing. You can't sacrifice your team for the sake of development.
• By the time the players leave practice on Sunday, that Saturday game is history. The best way to move on is to practice. Anyone who watches KU's practice would say that the team isn't practicing any differently than when it was 1-0. Weis' philosophy is that you should coach hard and practice hard every single day.
• Running back Tony Pierson's elbow was stiff on Sunday. He said he jokingly called him the drama king. Pierson's range of motion is better now. Weis is expecting him to be a go on Saturday.
• Oklahoma State's tempo is different than other teams, but they also don't change personnel groups very often. The Cowboys don't use a tight end often. Because they don't change personnel groups as much, your calls and what you're going to do is more solidified. Other teams, you have to see who's running on and off the field and adjust.
• Weis can't be worried about anything that happened last year, like last year's lopsided result against Oklahoma State. He can only worry about what happened last week. KU played a really good team last week, had it on the ropes, then got whupped in the third quarter. That's Weis' framework now. He wants to improve from where his team was last week and not worry about last year.
• Weis joked that he's really appreciative that athletic director Sheahon Zenger and others voted West Virginia and TCU into the conference. Weis said Big 12 defensive coordinators probably don't sleep well. The team KU played last week is totally different philosophically from the team KU plays this week. Weis says as bad as it is to be a coach, the worst job in the league is defensive coordinator. You're basically signing up for gray hair.
• Weis said he talked to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn the other night. He told him to support Matt Cassel and then told him to be ready to go. He told him that was the reason he joined the Chiefs. Weis says it's Quinn's job is to support Cassel, and if Cassel can't go, it's Quinn's job to lead the team. Weis thinks he'll do that.
• Weis says the gap between Michael Cummings and Turner Baty lies in inexperience. It's not necessarily an ability gap between Mike and Turner. It's more an experience gap.