When most people think of Charlie Weis as an offensive coordinator they remember players like Tom Brady, Brady Quinn, or Jimmy Clausen. Weis was the offensive coordinator when Brady led the Patriots to Super Bowl titles. Quinn and Clausen threw for close to 4000 yards in a season, which are some of the most prolific numbers in Notre Dame history.
Weis is known for his pro-style offense and development of quarterbacks. But then there is the year two seasons ago when he was the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs and helped Matt Cassell get to the Pro Bowl. That was an offense that got the ball in the hands of play-making running backs.
Although Weis is known for his quarterbacks he developed he can also put together game plans that fit the team's strengths. That is what he has been doing this season at Kansas.
"You have to do with what you have," Weis said. "People also have known me as being able to take the personnel we have and trying to get the best out of them based off of who you have."
The Jayhawks now rank 22nd in the nation rushing the football and much of that has been the numbers they put up over the last five games. Weis has tailored the offense lately to get the ball in the hands of his backs James Sims, Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox, and Brandon Bourbon.
"Unfortunately for us the passing game has been inefficient in all aspects," Weis said. "Quarterback play has not been good in the passing game, the receivers haven't been good, the blocking has not been great. We have been much better running the football and our best players are our running backs."
On Saturday the Jayhawks nearly pulled off the upset at Texas Tech before losing in double overtime. After the game Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Kansas ran formations they hadn't seen on film and had them confused.
Weis said his favorite day of the week is Monday because he spends the entire day coming up with a scheme for the next game.
"Part of what I do is being able to take the players and figuring out how to best produce some offense," he said.
Strength and conditioning paying off
One of the biggest aspects of the program that needed to change was the strength and conditioning. It is evident that change has taken place by the Jayhawks performance late in games. They started to push both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech around in the fourth quarter. They held a lead until the final seconds against Texas. Opposing coaches have mentioned the physical style of football the Jayhawks are playing with.
Much of that credit goes to strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple and his staff.
"I'm obviously the biggest supporter and advocate of Holsopple," Weis said. "From the day I got here I have said he might have been the most important hire because he is the guy that is around them all the time. He doesn't just do strength and conditioning. He also motivates them."
Weis talked about the fact Holsopple gets more time with the players than the coaches. He is trying all week to get them ready to play.
"He gets an opportunity to permeate the message for a week even better than we do because he is around them more than we are," Weis said. "I think him and his staff have done a great job of strength and conditioning. But in addition to that they also do more than that because they get the message to the team."
Weis hopes to see a good crowd
Iowa State marks the final home game for several seniors. Earlier on Sunday Weis went to Twitter to get his message out to the fans to pack the stadium.
"It means a lot to me," Weis said. "Remember there are two different ways new coaches treat players when they come in. Some say wait until I get my guys here and everything will be great once I get my guys here. Then there are others that say these are my guys. That's who I am. Once we got rid of all those players in the off-season it was no longer 'he played for Mangino or he played for Gill or he played for Weis'. These were our guys."
Weis believes it will mean a lot to the seniors if they see Memorial Stadium filled against the Cyclones.
"I think it is really, really important with the trials and tribulations that went on with the team that the coaching staff and all of the non-seniors to send these guys out with a good taste in their mouth," he said. "At the same time I think we really need as many fans as possible. Obviously everyone wants to play in front of a full house. That's what I want. I can't ask them to do it for me. Right now I am a new head coach that is 1-9. But I can ask them to do it for them."