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April 17, 2014

Weis announces Cozart as starter




Once spring football was over Charlie Weis met with his staff and players for post-spring evaluations. Weis announced on Thursday Montell Cozart is the team's starting quarterback going into off-season workouts.

It wasn't long ago Weis referred to a situation when he was with the New York Giants. At the time the team needed leadership and Weis went to Phil Simms who was the back-up at the time to Jeff Hostetler. Weis asked Simms if he could talk to the team.

Simms told Weis that would be hard for him to do since he wasn't the starting quarterback. He said the players want to follow the guy who is the starter.

Once the spring game ended Weis began to conduct post-spring wrap-ups with the players and coaches. Judging by spring practice and what he heard from the players and his staff Weis decided there was no need waiting any longer. Montell Cozart had won the starting job.

It was a good decision by Weis to get this out of the way for a couple reasons.

The first is going back to that Simms-Hostetler situation. Jake Heaps is a natural leader. He was voted a team captain last year by his teammates. Now that the off-season has officially started it is up to the players to organize workouts, seven-on-seven and those type of things. Cozart needs to be someone they all follow and look up to for leadership. This move allows for that to happen.

It allows Cozart to take more reps in the off-season with the number one guys and develop chemistry. The coaches are allowed very little time with the players in the off-season so this gives the team some direction.

It also takes some pressure off Cozart. Instead of looking over his shoulder it was the right thing to do to give him the heads-up he is now the starting quarterback going into summer conditioning and workouts.

Heaps and Cozart have both said they are close friends. Last year Weis went with Cozart over Heaps when he pulled his redshirt midway through the season. This isn't a new situation for either player and they have been here before.

This was an easy decision for Weis. They evaluated the quarterbacks in a new offensive system and had 15 practices to analyze their performance. In the meetings Weis had with players and coaches once spring football ended he decided to make the decision public.



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