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October 15, 2013

Notebook: Cozart still in mix to play

Head coach Charlie Weis said he'd do anything to help his team win and this week that means relinquishing some of his duties as offensive coordinator.

"Too many coaches' egos get in the way of what is best for the program and I think you have to sit here every week and ask, 'What can we do better,'" Weis said.

He announced on Tuesday that quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus and tight ends coach Jeff Blasko would be running the offense while he would be in more of an observation role overseeing the operation.

"Where I've really been the most disappointed is on offense," Weis said. "When I went back and reflected on how I put Dave (Campo) from running the defense to overseeing the defense where Clint (Bowen) is now much more involved in actually running the defense. I sat there and thought, I really should be doing more of the same with the offense."

The new arrangement will put Weis in more position player meetings and he hopes it will also open the airwaves with his assistant coaches who will have a better chance to voice their opinions.

"I think when you have a veteran coach who has been running offenses for a long time, sometimes ideas, not by me personally, but sometimes you might hold in ideas because the head coach or offensive coordinator already has a bunch of them on his own," Weis said. "What I now do is let them all put all their stuff up and before I put anything in addition to them I go through every play and ask, 'Why? Show me how to do it.'"

Headed into their sixth game, the Jayhawks rank last in the Big 12 total offense, last in scoring offense, eighth in pass offense, last in pass efficiency and last in rushing offense.


Cozart making his way onto the depth chart

Freshman quarterback Montell Cozart worked his way onto the depth chart for the first time this week as the Jayhawks continue to evaluate whether or not to redshirt him.

"Montell is one of the few people who is a candidate to be redshirted that we have not come close to making a decision on yet with seven games to go," Weis said. "I would not put him on the depth chart if he was not a legitimate candidate to play this week."

Cozart graduated from Bishop Miege in Shawnee Mission, Kan. where he led the Stags to the 5A state championship game last season. He was rated a three-star quarterback prospect by Rivals.com.

"I'm really high on Montell," Weis said. "Sometimes people say he's just an athletic quarterback so they're just going to run with him but he can throw it well enough, trust me."

Cozart sits behind Jake Heaps and Michael Cummings on the depth chart.


Weis seeing improvements in the offensive line

For the first time in several weeks there were no depth chart changes on the offensive line. Gavin Howard is set to repeat at center with Pat Lewandowski at left tackle, Ngalu Fusimalohi at left guard, Mike Smithburg at right guard and Aslam Sterling at right tackle.

"Now that we've got that solidified and we're not making any changes in who's playing where, even though we're going against another good defense, which we are, each week we go with the same group of guys you're one step closer to building yourself some chemistry," Weis said.

Saturday was Howard's first start at center, but he did enough to earn the spot.

"I think Gavin solidified the interior part of our offensive line," Weis said. "I'm not going to say that Gavin played wonderfully, how we played, nobody played wonderfully, but you didn't notice it like you noticed that position in the previous games."


Pierson progressing in recovery from concussion

Tony Pierson left in the third quarter against Texas Tech and missed last game against TCU, but Weis said he is getting closer to returning.

"Tony has already passed his concussion test, but still has headaches," Weis said. "If he is symptomatic, he could be not symptomatic tomorrow and he could play this week. I wouldn't bet on that."

Kansas' day-to-day injury list is slowly expanding with five players noted on the depth chart with injuries including Pierson, Trent Smiley and Andrew Turzilli on offense and Tedarian Johnson and Ben Heeney on defense.

Weis said that Samson Faifili and Taylor Cox are both still a long way off and may not return this season.


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