Charlie Weis talked about changes to the offensive line, updates on injuries, and many more topics about Kansas football.
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On offensive lineman Riley Spencer:
"He's had both knees done, he walks around like me. But, what he is is a big man that is very physical. He's a big, physical guy. He has some limitations because of all the surgeries that he's had, but big and physical and tough, he's all of those things. You have to understand the limitations of your players and know what you're getting. Well, I know what we're getting even in the plays that he played in last week, a bigger body and more physical presence."
On if the offensive line penalties are forced because of players being overmatched and trying too hard:
"Well, sometimes that might be true, but sometimes they are careless. We've had a number of flags that have happened behind the play when the play is already passed you. There's a runner running up the right edge and there's a holding call inside. It really has absolutely nothing to do with the play. Now, it's still a holding call so you can't complain about the fact that it's a holding call. Sometimes it's careless by not really knowing where the balls going to be on a specific play."
On Tony Pierson:
"On Sunday, after he went through Saturday and went through warm ups, we knew that he was going to dress and go through warm ups and not play. He hadn't practiced all week long. But, I have a different policy than most, if you don't practice then you don't play. It doesn't make a difference who you are, you have to practice if you want to play. There's very few people in the history of football that can go through a full week and not practice and you put them in the game and they play any good, especially coming off of a concussion. I'm hoping he's full go this week."
On what his point of emphasis was to the wide receivers when he started working with them:
"There were two things in particular. I though their attention for detail was particularly lacking to start off with. Anytime the head coach comes to position drills, there's obviously a great sense of urgency because I have a tendency when I'm not feeling very well to be kind of ruthless. So, any little mistake is magnified when I have that type of mentality. That's number one. Number two, I think that technically, they've made a more concerted effort to do what Coach Ianello has been telling them, but now when you have that extra hammer of the head coach right there, emphasizing how you come out of a break at a stem. One thing is, when you teach a kid how to run a route, despite my size, I can teach kids how to run a route. I know that would befuddle most people. When you do it, you have to teach them weight distribution and weight balance and how different body types have to get their weight in a different sense to come in and out of breaks. I think that that attention to details has paid minor dividends over the last few weeks."
On Rodriguez Coleman:
"He's been that person that I've talked about since training camp where he was a guy that we were kind of counting on. Here's a perfect example, let me correlate Coleman to your last question. Coleman is tall. When you're tall, coming in and out of breaks, it's important that you keep your weight down because the taller you are the more inclined you are to start rising up when you're ready to come out of a break. When you're a defensive back, once you start to notice a wide receiver rising up, you come out of your back pedal and you start to drive on your route. Therefore, there is no separation. During the last few weeks, he's done a great job of stemming the guys he's going against which has helped him not only run by him, but run intermediate routes as well. His best route of the day was the ball he dropped. He came and he planted his foot in the ground and he almost broke the guy's leg when he came back for the comeback. He's wide open. Unfortunately, he dropped the ball, but that's what it's supposed to look like. Now, when you have a guy that goes by you, you don't know if he's running a comeback or he's running right by you. That's a perfect example. If he can do that, he has a chance."
On offensive lineman Damon Martin:
"Damon is a physical, physical presence. One of the strongest guys we have. His issue never has been whether or not he can play or not. His issue has always been one of consistency. Actually, if he wasn't playing more consistent, then he wouldn't be listed as first."
On the stages of development for guards:
"For example, this week, I'm going to split my time with the receivers and the offensive line. Because now we're starting to make some progress here, while we're still behind here. So I'll go over and throw my two cents in over there. One thing we're going to work today on is combination blocks. A combination block- you got a three technique right here. Three technique with a guy on the outside shoulder of the guard, you got a tackle next to you and a linebacker on the next level. Where's the ball being run? Is it being run outside or is it being run inside? How are you two guys going to block those two guys? And those types of things are about linemen working together.
"There's other times though, where you just have him. He's on your outside and we're running outside to your side and you have him. So now instead of taking a step towards him, you have to take a lateral step because on that lateral step, what you're trying to do is get to the guy's outside shoulder- he already has you leveraged. That first step for an offensive lineman, is by far the most critical step an offensive lineman makes. As I watch tape over and over again, I see the first step not being the right one. So we'll be working on the first step."
On a breakdown between the first step:
"It isn't a question of the position coach teaching the technique. I think the guys listen to them, they're good teachers, the guys listen to them. But I think that there are guys get back to focus, and careless and those things, everyone's red flag is up when I'm standing right there. Because if I'm standing right there you think Grunhard yells at them- now I don't yell very much anymore- but when I do it, it's not very pleasant. But all I do is take points that those guys are already coaching- and I only try to teach one thing in a period. Too many coaches are trying to get eight different things done, I try to get one. For example, if I'm working on first step, and if I can improve their first step, they'll have a better chance to be successful this week."
On the team's stamina in the third quarter:
"Stamina has not been the issue. With the exception of Baylor, there's been a big play in the third quarter of every game that has turned the tide. Texas Tech, now remember now, besides the fake punt- which I'll take full blame and responsibility for, I'll pass it down when I leave, but I'll take it here- say that's a dumb call and coach is an idiot, OK, but it's still 20-10 at halftime, and the first play of the third quarter, is a deflected interception that gets run down to the four yard-line. In this game, it's 14-6, it gets late in the third quarter, so this isn't a question if the guys are playing hard, or whether or not they have no juice left, there's been a critical thing that has happened in the third quarter.
"And it isn't like they come right out of the box, well they made a half time adjustment- well when a ball goes off a guys hands into another guys hands, that's not an adjustment. That's a deflected pass that you just caught and ran down to the four yard-line. Or when you have two guys collapsing on one to go make a tackle on a swing pass and they run into each other, and the guy takes it to the house, that wasn't an adjustment by the offensive coordinator. That's a mis-tackle, okay. There are things that happen in a game, what we have not done a very good job at collectively, is overcoming those bad things that have happened somewhere in the third quarter. That's what we haven't done a good job of and that's what we've got to do better at. That's one of the points of emphasis, when we meet as a team at 2:55 today."