In the last two seasons Charlie Weis did everything he could think of to help move the football. In 2012 he went with the Jayhawks formation and zone read look. This year the offense shuffled offensive linemen, quarterbacks, and receivers.
Weis changed formations and even lined like up the Baylor spread late in the year. He took a hard look at the offense and decided it was time to bring in a new offensive coordinator. Weis even admitted during the last press conference of the year he fired himself.
"As the year went on, there's some things as you evaluate your team, you evaluate yourself, too, and I think that there's some things I'm really good at and some things that I'm not so good at and some things I'm in between, okay," Weis said. "But I thought that if we were making changes on offense, I thought one of the things we needed to do was have somebody that could be the lead person on offense not being me."
Long before the season ended Weis knew that offensive line coach Tim Grunhard was going to step down. That gave Weis time to go out and pursue possible replacements. He said he needed to find an offensive line coach that also had the ability to coordinate an offense. Weis said there aren't lot of offensive line coaches available that are also coordinators.
John Reagan ran the offense at Rice which defeated the Jayhawks the last two seasons. This year Rice won the Conference USA Championship and Weis said he is turning everything over to Reagan. A question a lot of people will ask is if Weis will still pull the strings on offense.
On Thursday he said he won't even be in the offensive meetings.
"He's (Reagan) running the offense," Weis said. "He told me after spending now a week on his own and then a week with the offensive staff, he intends to mesh some of the terminology that he had with some of the terminology that we had because a lot of the verbiage is similar. The things that are drastic will just be the way he wants to call them."
One of the hot topics of the press conference was talking about the future at quarterback. There could be several candidates in the mix to win the starting job starting in spring football. Again, Weis said that will be Reagan's call.
"I'm putting it on John," Weis said. "I'm going to sit there and watch. That's the best part for me. I'm being a little bit sarcastic there, but I think in reality we have good depth at the quarterback position. I think it'll play itself out, but I think that we're in a much better situation than we were two years ago and we're in a much better situation than we were going into this year."
Better shape than last year
Throughout the season Weis asked if he saw progress compared to last year. He won't be able to give an answer on that until Friday when the assistants have to turn in their yearly reports and analysis.
But he believes the program is in better shape going into 2014 than it was going into 2013.
"We're in a much better (spot) it's not even close," he said. "It's not close."
Smithson was a signing day surprise
Going into Wednesday not many people knew much about Anthony Smithson. He was supposed to sign with Utah but backed out before signing day. Several schools including Wisconsin and Oregon State made a push for him in the last week.
Smithson was an all-region selection from Hartnell College in California where he had eight interceptions. He is a rare junior college recruit because he has four years of eligibility to play three years. Smithson's brother Shaky, who played in the NFL, reached out to Kansas. From there things happened quickly. The Kansas staff signed Smithson without making an official visit.
"It just kind of fell into place," Weis said. "We were looking for a range safety, a range safety and a kid just kind of fell in your lap now. He was going to Utah, and that's where he was going. He went to high school out there because his brother is out there. His brother raised him.
"He was going to go to Utah, and then he's back in Maryland, didn't really want to go out to Utah, so his brother did some inquiring and got to us, and we did our due diligence, and there was a lot of scrambling trying to get him there at the end because now all of a sudden he's open game."