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October 17, 2012

Wednesday Football Notebook

Kansas coach Charlie Weis on Tuesday still wouldn't budge when asked which quarterback will start Saturday against Oklahoma. Although he did explain that both Dayne Crist and Michael Cummings were going to split reps during the two main periods of practice.

Weis said that they won't limit the amount of packages or plays that Cumming will operate even though he isn't as experienced as Crist.

"As a matter of fact, I'm fired up about this to see what this stuff looks like. I haven't been sleeping very well, but I've been drawing (plays) in the dirt now for the last 48 hours."

It was interesting that Weis addressed how Crist's leadership role would be affected if his playing time continues to decrease. Weis told a story from when he was with the New York Giants and he asked benched quarterback Phil Simms to address the team. Simms told him that players didn't want to listen to another player who wasn't playing.

"You know, I think that our team is not that immature at this point where they would not listen to Dayne because they all respect him and he gives good advice, so I don't see that becoming a problem," Weis said. "I think if it were a long-term situation, it would not be the best thing."

Willis makes depth chart

One player that continues to get more praise is defensive end Darius Willis. After starting every game last year at middle linebacker, Willis fell completely off the two deep during fall camp to the scout team. Kansas moved him from linebacker to defensive end to see if he would respond.

The early results are positive. This week he finally cracked the two deep and has received more playing time the last two games.

"Here's a guy, (he had) been starting here, at middle linebacker. Then he got beaten out by a bunch of guys and instead of whining and complaining, he went down the show team," Weis said. "He just went hard (every day). And eventually, I said to the defensive staff 'you ought to take a look at this kid on defensive end', because the defensive staff isn't watching that, they're watching the other end. And now he's put himself in a position to be in the two-deep and get on the field and play."

Progress for James Sims

Weis also spent a great deal of time talking about running back James Sims after his strong performance against Oklahoma State. Weis said Sims hasn't surprised him and he knew way back in spring what Sims was capable of doing.

When someone asked about the possibility of Sims playing on Sundays, Weis said he didn't see any reason why he couldn't make the jump to the next level. Weis also countered the argument that Sims doesn't have the speed to play professionally.

"I mean, he doesn't run a 4.3 (40-yard dash), okay, I get it. There are guys in the Hall of Fame that didn't run 4.3, either. I think he's a nice solid player. I'd want him on my team."


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