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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 9/4/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
Also, here's the updated depth chart (Not many changes this week, with Jake Love being taken off the OR line at linebacker and kicker Nick Prolago being added to the OR column on kickoffs).
• Most of the rushing yards that Rice allowed last Thursday against UCLA were on big plays. Sometimes, that skews the numbers. You have to look at the whole body of evidence. Rice gave up big plays, but it also made some plays as well.
• Weis thinks UCLA's three blocked extra points against Rice last week were all kicked low. Sometimes, the protection gets all the blame, and it's the kicker's responsibility to get the ball up.
• Weis grades players with pluses and minuses that add up to a percentage grade. The coaches grade hard, so Weis said there were "probably not" many guys that graded well after the first game. When you have a clicker in your hand, it's easy to nitpick, because you can see every little thing. With the naked eye, it's sometimes harder to see detail.
• Coming in, Weis knew that Taylor Cox had some shiftiness and shake-and-bake and also that he had some power. Weis said seeing both the shiftiness and power in the same game was encouraging. Weis also said that, after the fumble, Cox was ready to get back out there, and that was a good sign as well.
• No one gets graded harder than the quarterback. Weis joked that Dayne Crist's parents wouldn't have been happy if he'd have brought his grade home.
• Weis says if you bring in a junior-college player, they're probably not coming to sit the bench. Cox wasn't picked as an All-American in junior college for no reason. Weed, Calif., is a tough place to find. The coaches definitely thought he could help KU. Tape doesn't lie. Weis didn't have doubts that he could compete at a higher division. All players can do on film is dominate, whatever the competition is, and that's what Cox did on film. He dominated.
• Weis said it was good for both Tre' Parmalee and Schyler Miles to get their feet wet. Any time young guys get 10 or 20 plays out there, those players start to get their butterflies out of the way. KU is going to need some of these guys later in the season.
• There are so many things you can fix when there is evidence of it on tape. KU is mostly a new team, so game tape is helpful. The more these guys play against opponents, the more significant their improvement should be.
• Guys are much more receptive to coaching after a win than a loss. It's not close. Weis said if you win a game and there are a lot of problems, you can't wait for them to come in. They feel good, then you tell them how bad they stink. That knocks them off their pedestal quickly. Weis said he thought his guys were expecting that. Weis makes a cut-up of good plays and bad plays after each game. When Weis' team wins, he shows the bad plays first. After losses, he shows the good plays first to build them back up and show that everything is not all bad.
• Charles Brooks is a little behind the other tight ends because right now he came in as more of a pass-catching tight end. Weis has been very happy with Jimmay Mundine, Mike Ragone and Trent Smiley. It all starts at the tight-end position. If tight ends get manhandled by defensive ends, then you're going to have a long day at the office. Brooks is catching up, but blocking isn't something he's had to do all that much before.
• Crist gets every play broken down in film. Then he gets it broken down to good plays in the run, good plays in the pass, bad plays in the run, bad plays in the pass. Quarterbacks can get negative plays on runs if they don't carry out fakes. After a day off, Weis looks more big-picture with his QB, like telling him not to press. Weis' biggest concerns with Crist going to be whether he was going to be scared, whether he was going to be looking at the rush and whether if he was composed if things didn't go well. To Weis, Crist hit the trifecta on those three with the first game. Weis says he can help fix the other things. Crist passed those three criteria with flying colors.
• When Weis was a younger coach, after a win, he'd feel miserable. He'd think about all the mistakes and feel awful. As he's gotten older, he's learned to at least celebrate the win 24 hours before looking at corrections.
• Weis says he doesn't single out offensive linemen. You don't, for example, say Tanner Hawkinson played well and someone else didn't. You talk about them as a group. Some guys grade better than others, but that's not the point. They want to be talked about as a unit.
• Weis wants to build some depth on his offensive line. One of the ways you do that is by playing more than five guys. KU would have liked to play nine or 10 on Saturday, but that's not the way the game played out.
• KU has a couple walk-on kickers (Austin Barone and Nick Prolago) that have kicked pretty well in camp. This week, KU will give a look to the walk-ons for kickoffs to see if they can take that one duty from Ron Doherty, who already kicks field goals and punts.
• Weis was happy with his defensive line. He started by jokingly asking a reporter how he thought the D-line looked. After the reporter said, "Better," Weis said, "Thanks" with a smile.
• Quarterback Jake Heaps was the offensive scout team player of the week the first week. Weis said he's not giving him the award any more, telling him that if he's not the best offensive scout team player each week, the two are going to have a problem. On defense, Tyler Holmes was the defensive scout team player of the week.