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Rapid Reaction: Weis handing off offensive game-planning duties a positive sign for KU football
By now, you've all surely heard that KU coach Charlie Weis has handed over at least some of the offensive game-planning responsibilities to assistant coaches Ron Powlus (QBs) and Jeff Blasko (TEs) in an effort to help jump-start an offense that can only be described as struggling.... and that may be putting it kindly.
So, let's talk about this. For weeks now, fans have been begging and screaming for Weis to hire an offensive coordinator – for him to focus on being the head coach and let somebody else run the offense and call the plays.
I'm not sure that this move takes Weis totally out of the equation — particularly on game days — but I do think that it's a good sign for the KU program as a whole and further proof that he's willing to do whatever he can think of to make this thing work.
The way I see it, it's kind of like writing an article and then trying to trim it down before handing it off to editors. I go through it over and over and over, sometimes as many as 12-15 times, looking for paragraphs I can tighten, words I can take out and information that I can eliminate only to find myself eliminating less and less with each read.
Then, after going over it until my eyes are burning, I pass it off to someone else to give it a quick read and, within minutes they find a mistake or two or something that does not need to be in there. At that point, we've collaborated to put together the best article we can and that's when it runs in the paper.
Consider Weis the original author here and Powlus and Blasko to be his proof readers. Fresh eyes can do wonders and, although I don't think that KU will magically start to score in the 30s or 40s, I do think that this move can only help.
And I also think that it's further concrete proof that Weis is serious about getting this thing turned around and serious about proving he can be a quality head coach. Lesser men with bigger more obstructive egos would not have been able to make this move. And I think he deserves credit for swallowing his pride and taking the extra step to see if something, anything, can be done to fix the offense's issues.
What's important to remember here is that the offense is not going to change drastically. It's not like Powlus and Blasko are going to burn their play books and throw a party designed to draw up new and exciting plays to fill the pages of a new offensive script. There may be a few new wrinkles added in here and there, but the bulk of what we'll see already is in place because it's based on the personnel KU already has.
We were able to talk to both assistant coaches this afternoon, though, and both said that having the freedom and confidence to speak their minds and toss out new ideas would make them a lot more likely to be a part of the solution. At the same time, with Weis more focused on overseeing the offense – and that means being in positional meeting rooms and stepping into individual position drills during practice — the players might bring a sharper focus than they have to this point. It's one thing to be alert and attentive when you're doing drills and watching film with your position coach and your peers, it's something else entirely to go through the same things with the head honcho watching over your shoulder.
I'm a fan of this move for several reasons, but that last part might be the biggest of all. It seems to me that these guys needed something to shock the system and having Weis breathing down their necks even more than before might lead to a lot of good.
As for Weis himself, I think he deserves some credit for making the move. After admitting during today's press conference that it was tough for him to give up some of the control, I asked him if he'd ever done anything like this before, be it as a coordinator with the Patriots or Chiefs or at Notre Dame or Florida. He said no. Never. Not once.
He's trying here. He's trying everything. And although it may not always be pretty and the moves he makes may not always work, I think his effort should be appreciated.