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October 23, 2012
Changes on depth chart
The big news of the day was Kansas coach Charlie Weis named Michael Cummings as the starting quarterback for this week's game against Texas.
Weis admitted that Cummings didn't have the best game against Oklahoma last week, but they were using a limited playbook as Cummings continues to learn the offense. Weis said every week they hope to expand the playbook as Cummings gets more comfortable with the system.
"We'll do a little bit more with him this week than we did last week, obviously," Weis said. "When you score seven points, that's not good enough no matter who you're playing, so you have to give your team a chance to score more points than that. At the same time, they're (Texas is) averaging 44 points a game. So the last thing I want to do is have our offense go three-and-out a bunch of times and have our defense on the field all game."
Of course for next year, quarterback Jake Heaps will be eligible and will likely be the favorite to win the starting job. For Cummings, the next six games will be his best chance to get an advantage in auditioning to be the long term quarterback. Weis he will have his hands full.
"[Cummings] doesn't want it to be somebody else's job," Weis said. "He doesn't want it to be Jake's job. He doesn't want it to be Turner's (Baty) job. He doesn't want it to be those high school kids we got coming in who I can't mention. He wants it to be his job. And I'll tell you what, on Sundays he gets to see what he's competing with. He's got his work cut out for him."
Martin, Omigie Move Up Depth Chart
Another big change on the depth chart was redshirt freshman Damon Martin was listed as sharing a first team spot at left guard with senior Duane Zlatnik. During spring practice Weis said that he didn't think Martin could contribute this year, but Weis said now Martin is processing the game a lot quicker and reacting to plays instead of thinking.
"It's no different than with a skill guy, like a young wide receiver that knows what he's doing runs a lot faster than when he doesn't know what he's doing, because when he's thinking about it, he doesn't run nearly the same as when he can just turn and let it loose," Weis said.
Chris Omigie will also get a chance to earn more playing time. Weis said based off the performance in the Oklahoma game the two played well.
Weis also mentioned it is his job to put the best players on the field.
"I'm the head coach of Kansas and my job is to make sure that I put our football team in an upward spiral, not a downward spiral and if the status quo doesn't show any improvement, then you have to find some way to make improvements and this is one of the ways. Hey, at left guard, when you get your sheet, you're going to see (Duane) Zlatnik or Damon Martin, not Zlatnik and David Martin, because if you went based off the game the other day, you might play Damon Martin first.
"You're going to see Chris Omigie as the first 'Z', because based on how he played the other day. Now, we didn't throw it to him a whole bunch, but based on how he played the other day he deserves to be the first 'Z'. So I think that our coaching staff doesn't sit still and just sit there and play people, because they are entitled. I think we try our best to put our team in the best position to win."
Running back Tony Pierson returned last week after missing the previous game with an elbow injury. Weis said that oddly enough Pierson should be more comfortable this week after getting hit last week and realizing his elbow can hold up through a game.
"That's what they want to do after they've got banged up some, so they know that everything's okay."
McCay Heating Up
Weis admitted on Tuesday that he was initially concerned with wide receiver Justin McCay's lackluster performance during spring ball. Weis said he later figured out it was because McCay was down from dealing with the fact that he wouldn't be eligible this year. Lately Weis said that the receiver is starting to look like his old self and has developed a strong rapport with Jake Heaps.
"I compare them to some of the starters on other teams. I'll say, 'well, he's a poor man's Justin McCay,'" Weis said. "So I obviously think that Justin has made great progress. But in the spring, I couldn't have said that to you, because he just looked to me like he's another guy."