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Cliff’s Notes: Charlie Weis press conference, 11/5/13
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas football coach Charlie Weis' comments at his press conference today.
• Weis says the balance Oklahoma State has on offense is what you’re looking for. Weis isn’t like OSU, which favors a lot of four-wide sets all the time instead of using multiple formations, but Weis admires the run-pass mix that the Cowboys have.
• When Weis gets ready to make a change in the depth chart, he first makes sure his conviction is right by re-watching the tape. Weis says it’s tough to see things from the sideline at the game. KU has been talking about cohesiveness on the offensive line the last few weeks, but that goes out the window if you’re not playing well.
• New left tackle Riley Spencer is a big guy that plays physically. He’s had knee issues. Weis joked that Spencer walks around like him a lot of times. In last week’s game, Weis saw a bigger and more physical presence when Spencer was in the game. Pat Lewandowski, who started at left tackle last week, is a little bit smaller at 280-290 pounds. If you aren’t out-executing the opponent at that weight, there are times you are going to get beat.
• A lot of KU's receivers are getting back into the mix and getting healthier. Tony Pierson has had his red, non-contact jersey taken off in practice. Pierson didn’t practice all last week. With Weis, if you don’t practice, you don’t play. Weis is hoping Pierson's a full go this week. Rodriguez Coleman — as ugly as his injury looked on TV — just ended up with a bruised knee after the Texas game. He’s in a rush to get himself back because he’s been playing better recently. Tre’ Parmalee is out for a few weeks, but that’s not as long as Weis was anticipating. Parmalee has a lower-body injury.
• When Weis started working with the receivers a few weeks ago, he thought their attention to detail was lacking. Any time the head coach comes to receiver drills, there’s a sense of urgency. Weis says he can be ruthless. Little mistakes can be magnified. Weis also thinks the receivers have been listening better to receivers coach Rob Ianello since Weis has been coming over more. When you teach a receiver how to run a route, you have to teach it different ways based on the players’ weight and weight balance. Weis believes there has been more attention to detail. For Coleman, when you’re tall like him, it’s important to keep your weight down when you’re coming out of a break. That helps a player’s separation if he can do that. Over the past few weeks, Coleman's done a much better job of staying low.
• Former KU cornerback Tyler Patmon is playing a whole bunch for Oklahoma State at right corner. Weis said he’s sure that Patmon will be looking forward to playing KU, and KU will be looking forward to seeing him, too.
• This week, Weis is going to split his practice time between the receivers and offensive line. Today, KU is going to work on combination blocks. The first step for an offensive lineman is by far the most critical, and on tape, Weis keeps seeing KU not having good first steps. So Weis will work with the guys on that.
• Stamina has not been the issue for KU in second halves. With the exception of Baylor, there has been a big play in the third quarter of every game that has turned the tide. This isn’t a question of whether the guys are playing hard or if they have had enough juice. It hasn’t been halftime adjustments either. It’s been big plays. KU hasn’t done a good job of overcoming those bad things that have happened in the third quarter.
• Ever since the Texas Tech game, when Weis tried to open things up and it backfired, KU has made an effort to be more conservative offensively and try to play lower-scoring games.
• Weis says he might be delusional, but he’s been very impressed by the lack of evidence that his team has gotten down during its losing strak. Weis breaks the season up into different sections. Today starts the last third of the season. Weis told his team Saturday after the game that it will be remembered by what happens in its last four games. It won’t be remembered by what happened in its first eight games. 2-10 wouldn’t be good. 3-9 would be a little bit better. 4-8 would be showing signs. 5-7, things are getting better. 6-6, Weis joked that people start building a statue. Joking aside, that’s the perspective KU is taking. The 2-6 is not what KU is going to be remember by. KU is going to be remembered by what happens down the stretch. That’s their legacy. That’s clearly the way the team is looking at it.
• Weis is going to be miserable no matter what happens this season. He wants to win every game. He’s not very happy in any capacity, but it’s not because the players aren’t playing hard.
• Freshman quarterback Montell Cozart didn’t play as much against Texas. When he carries the ball, he looks pretty special. In the Texas game, there were opportunities where he might have had a big play if he had kept the ball instead of pitching. Weis wants to see progression with him the last few weeks.
• Sometimes, you can learn things when watching from the sideline. Weis told Jake Heaps he’s played two of his best games the last two games. Weis says it might be because he’s taking in more of the game during his time on the sideline.
• Last week, after being uncomfortable with the consistency at kicker, Weis practiced two different groups at field goal. After Matthew Wyman missed the short field goal, Weis said he’d had enough. Ron Doherty knew it might be coming. This wasn’t a surprise for him. Weis would prefer he not hit the upright on the second field-goal attempt, but he’s happy for Doherty. He’s well-liked by his teammates. Weis hinted Doherty might have had a leg injury he was dealing with a year ago.
• If Weis had to kick a long field goal against Texas, he would have put Wyman back in. He’s shown the best accuracy on the 50-ish yard kicks.