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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 2, 2014
COACH WEIS:¬† All right.¬† Let's just go with a couple of things.¬† When it comes to questions on our personnel, keep them to our list of two‑deep depth chart.¬† I will give you one note on Nigel King.¬† Not only has everyone, all the troops arrived with getting here and Mosby getting here.¬† Our class from last year was filled up with initials.
So Nigel, who is a non‑recruited player who approached us when he left Maryland, okay, is on scholarship and he falls under a term, like you guys are familiar with red‑shirt, well, he falls under a term called blue shirting.
Nigel will count in next year's class.¬† He's on scholarship.¬† He's got two years to play too.¬† He's a blue shirt, not a red‑shirt, which means if you have a non‑recruited player, and you have room in your 85, okay, and you don't have room in your initials for the previous year, you can legally count them forward.
So Nigel is, there you go, Kirby, there is for your recruiting sites. ¬†You have one person that is signed, sealed and delivered for next year's recruiting class.¬† As most of you know, he's a college graduate from Maryland and has two years to play too.¬† He got accepted into graduate school and he's ready to go.
Going forward towards Southeast Missouri State, Coach Matukewicz just came in from Toledo where he had been the defensive coordinator for the last bunch of years.¬† Obviously, in a short amount of time he's put a staple on the team.¬† The first game they were dominant in all three facets.¬† They were dominant on offense, they were dominant on defense, and I think that he was most pleased about they were dominant on special teams because it seemed from doing the research on him that was the area they were most concerned with going into the start of the year from the previous year, and they were dominant there too.
They have a bunch of high‑effort, good players.¬† Their defensive line, Sanders, who last year was actually playing like an outside linebacker, he's moved to an end.¬† They're basically using three down linemen along with Hampton and Slania.¬† Okay.¬† The linebackers, Ymonice their top guy last year, he's their Sam linebacker.¬† He plays on one side, and Sanders plays their BUCK on the other side, and Garrett and Bledsoe play inside.¬† Then their corners, Hamm‑Bey plays the boundary corner, and Jennings plays the field corner, and Davis plays the boundary safety, and either Coley or Freeman play the field safety.
On offense, Snyder is a veteran kid that returns as their quarterback.¬† Jackson, I know you've all watched tape of them from last year.¬† For those of you who have done that, he was wearing No. 7 last year, and wearing No. 20 in this first game.¬† He had a big game both as a runner and as a pass catcher.¬† Took a screen to the house, took a run to the house.¬† He's their main guy.¬† Then they have two change‑of‑pace backs.¬† McFerren is their small guy, their small, shifty guy who is a change‑of‑pace back, and then Washington is their big bruiser who is a change‑of‑pace back.¬† Larson is the regular tight end, but Coleman is the guy you have to keep your eye on because he's a converted running back, and he ran the ball a little bit in this game.
But a lineup at fullback, lineup at tight end, lineup at H‑back, they do a lot of things with him.¬† The two main receivers, McRoberts is a 6'3" tall kid, and Davis is a much smaller kid, but Davis is their big play guy.¬† He made big plays in this game, makes them in the return game, especially as a punt returner he runs speed sweeps and it's something you definitely have to account for.
Their offensive line, I decided not to single any of them out, but I can say as a unit, they've played very well together.¬† The specialist, Knight and McCrum their kicker, he only kicked in the first half because things went so well for them.¬† Went 7 for 7 on extra points and kicked off eight times in the first half and had four touchbacks.
You know, the snapper, Baker had the long snap and Smart only had to snap once or he punted once, but he was the long snapper.¬† As I said before, they used three punt returners in the game, but Davis was the first punt returner of the game I think he took down to the 9‑yard line.¬† Elias handled their one kickoff return, and Manne was zero.
Q.¬† Is it possible that Kevin Short could return next season?
COACH WEIS:¬† I don't see him this season.¬† He might be back in January.¬† He's not in bad standing in any way, and he's not on the two‑deep which is the first thing I said.¬† But because you've got a handout here, he has some personal issues that I can't do anything to help him, which I tried.¬† There is nothing I can do.
Sometimes the fan base wants to look at while he's leaving for academics or he's leaving for social issues, but he's leaving because he had to leave.¬† It wasn't either of those choices.¬† We worked to try to help him as much as we could, but yesterday morning he came in and sat down with me and wasn't very comfortable.¬† He said, Coach, I've got to go.¬† So we set it up, got the press release ready to go, set it up, and he withdrew from school this morning, and he's currently on his way home, and that's as much as I can say.
There is a possibility in January he would be back, but it wouldn't be this semester.
Q.¬† Had he been practicing (No microphone)?
COACH WEIS:¬† He's been practicing as a back‑up, so really, it's not, because this is not something that just happened yesterday.¬† This has been going on for a while.¬† So it isn't like we haven't been prepared for this.¬† We've been prepared for weeks, so this is not something that just hit yesterday.
Q.¬† Since your last game last year, if you were to discuss a player among players who has improved the most?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, I think let's talk about the player that has to improve the most and that is the quarterback.¬† I think for us to win the football game, not to be better and to be more competitive, but for us to win more football games it starts with the guy with the ball in his hands on every play.¬† Our completion percentage was crummy.¬† He was part of that, okay?¬† And everyone else was part of that too, coaches, players, everyone.¬† I think that right now he's confident bordering on cocky, and that's a good place to be.¬† I never saw that at any time last year.¬† So I think just happy to be out there was one thing.¬† Maybe not happy to be out there for that matter.¬† But I think you're going to see a different kid.
So I think that would be the best place to start on offense.¬† And defensively, I could pick so many of these guys that are back.¬† I think that the secondary is rock solid.¬† I think that the guy you see is a little bit of a surprise to you starting in nickel is Tevin Shaw.¬† I think he's probably been the one that's been the most pleasant surprise.¬† We have to find a way to get him on the field.¬† And that's why we, instead of him being the third or fourth safety, along with Fish, what we did is we moved him down to nickel and he's actually going to start at nickel in the game.
Q.¬† What about Greg?
COACH WEIS:¬† Tevin and Fish both have had great camps.¬† It's just those two guys playing ahead of him are better than him.¬† So Fish can play either safety.¬† Even though Alex is listed in the two‑deep, Fish would really be the first guy in at safety.¬† We had to find a way to get both those guys on the field more because they've done enough from the first day of camp to warrant getting on the field.
Q.¬† What was the deciding factor in that center battle?
COACH WEIS:¬† It wasn't close.
Q.¬† You talked previously about Haughton's strength being what really made him stand out.
COACH WEIS:¬† Yeah, he's stronger, and at this stage of his career, he's stronger and more athletic and has played against better players.¬† That's three big jump starts.¬† I think Joe has a big upside.¬† I think he's clearly behind Keyon.
Q.¬† How about the lineup as a whole?¬† Those guys were mostly in those same spots throughout the spring?
COACH WEIS:¬† Not mostly, that was the spring.¬† So we talk about continuity.¬† Everyone talks about continuity, well, look at it.¬† They played together the whole spring and now they've played pretty much together the whole camp and I think that you're always striving for continuity.¬† If you go back and look at spring ball's starting five guys, it's the same five guys.¬† There are a couple guys, Larry is on the rise.¬† Jordan Shelley‑Smith is getting bigger every single day.¬† He's already running second tackle.¬† They think in four years he's going to be between 270 and 280 because he's eating like a man possessed.
Q.¬† What are some of the pros and cons of maybe not playing in week number one?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, first of all, you're miserable not playing.¬† I said that the other day.¬† When everyone else in the free world is playing and you're not, okay, it's really antsy because you're sitting here watching TV and you're watching every game.¬† You think about all those games that are on, and if you have the right TV packages it's even worse.¬† I mean you can watch them from early morning until late at night.¬† It's just terrible.¬† You'd rather just get ready to play in the game.
But with that being said, people talk about byes.¬† Let me go all the way back to July.¬† They finish summer school July 25th.¬† If you're playing the first week, they're reporting about five days later.¬† Now they're going to back‑to‑back sessions of summer school with no vacation, and boom, school is starting.¬† I think the fact that they get to go away for ten days and come back kind of psychologically gives you a reprieve.¬† Because you can only have 29 practices before your first game.¬† It doesn't make any difference when you're playing.¬† You're only dialed up for so many days that you can come in before your first game.
So that and the fact that we lost those two running backs, it gave you an opportunity to get those other two guys all the first team reps collectively between the two of them, and trying to come into a game a little healthier than normally you would be when you're coming out of camp.
Q.¬† Your running backs (No microphone)?
COACH WEIS:¬† You're going to see a whole bunch of both of them.
Q.¬† Are both facing the same weaknesses or different?
COACH WEIS:¬† I mean, Corey actually is probably the better athlete.¬† De'Andre's probably the better football player, okay?¬† But Corey's upside is through the roof.¬† De'Andre's ready for primetime.¬† He's built with that body to take a big pounding, and that's what his body is.¬† If you look at his body, a little short in stature, but he is just a roughed‑up dude.¬† I think that it's really not that important to me which one of those guys is in there because we feel very confident about both of them.
Q.¬† Are you confident with how they've both responded?
COACH WEIS:¬† I'd be surprised if they don't play well.¬† I'd be surprised.¬† Curious?¬† You betcha.¬† But I think you also have to know what your expectations are, and my expectations would be for them to play very well.
Q.¬† How tough is the area of pass blocking?¬† That's something maybe people don't think about, but are you confident because you don't have a lot of size in that position?
COACH WEIS:¬† Size really isn't that relevant.¬† The Denver Broncos won a bunch of championships with everyone weighing 280, okay.¬† The size really isn't important in pass blocking.¬† It's fundamentals and techniques and cutting and getting your hands on people and not get beaten around the edge.¬† You don't have too many people overpower people.¬† It doesn't happen that often.¬† You do, you can bull rushed sometimes, but that's only one technique that people use and they typically don't use it that often.
By the way, if you put Larry in there, that now is a moot point, okay, because he's trimmed down to 360.¬† So at 6'7.5", I think there's plenty of size.
Q.¬† Would running back size matter?
COACH WEIS:¬† Best pass blocker I think I've ever dealt with was Dave Meggett, and he weighed soaking wet 180.¬† I mean, he was as good as I've ever coached.
Q.¬† You talked about Montell trying to be a competitor this season, and you noticed a change in the confidence level?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, I said confident bordering on cocky.¬† So let's start with confident.¬† I think it was interesting in camp, he started off on fire, and then he had this little lull right in the middle of camp.¬† I actually pulled way off of him for a couple of days after this little lull because I thought his arm was tired.¬† Since then, I mean, he's been on fire.¬† Knock on wood, because I'm a superstitious person, but when you're on fire, it means you're completing most of your passes.¬† That means everyone around you is feeding off of that.
So I think that right now, look, we haven't played a game and we're 0‑0 like everybody else, and we know what's happening in the past, but we're only worried about going ahead and getting this going Saturday night at 6:00.¬† That's what we're worried about.
Q.¬† Looking at the depth chart at running back.¬† Beyond those two guys, how do you feel about the depth right now?
COACH WEIS:¬† I think Joe Dineen's ready to play in the game, and I'll only say that because they're 1 and 1A.¬† That means Joe Dineen would be a two, but he's ready to play in the game.¬† Hey, look, I can play Ed Fink and I can play Aaron Plump in the game, and they'll be dressed for the game.¬† If I need to use them, I can use them and they know what to do.¬† I think Joe Dineen is clearly the next guy in and he's ready to play the game.¬† He knows what to do, and he's been, since we've moved him from defense to offense he's just continued to get better.
Q.¬† Has Nigel King had enough time?
COACH WEIS:¬† Nigel's running like 1A, not 1.¬† Where you'll actually you'll see Nigel playing on both the right side and left side of the game.¬† Nigel is very close to bumping somebody that's already ahead of him.
Q.¬† Coach, trying to deal with the psychological aspect of losing the two running backs, did you talk to the players about keeping their focus straight or let them deal with it on their own?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, first of all, you don't worry about those players.¬† You only worry about the two that got hurt.¬† The rest of them, that is part of playing football.¬† Getting hurt is part of it.¬† My biggest thing is for them to be there for the two guys that got hurt.¬† Not for them worrying about themselves.¬† Look, we were rolling four guys through the whole camp, and they were playing equal amounts all four of them.¬† So what happened is the depth chart with them getting hurt clarified the depth chart because now you weren't rolling four guys through, you were rolling two guys through.
So you had to be a little more careful the rest of training camp to make sure you came out of training camp with those two guys being healthy and nothing happening to those guys.¬† Needless to say, they weren't getting hit a lot by the rest of that camp after those first two guys went down.
Q.¬† How much (No microphone)?
COACH WEIS:¬† Say that again?
Q.¬† How much did that lead help (No microphone)?
COACH WEIS:¬† Dineen's been practicing for a couple of weeks, so he was only out for about a week and a half before he was back going again, so he recovered quickly.¬† What that allowed us to do was not have to overload them with reps too early.¬† Because we had an extra week, we could kind of ease him into it instead of throwing them into it.¬† Trust me, if we had to played a week early, he wouldn't have gotten eased into it, he would have gotten thrown into it.¬† But I wouldn't have done it if they didn't say he was medically ready to go.
Q.¬† So you have some true freshmen on the depth chart.¬† Will they have a chance of playing?
COACH WEIS:¬† I think they'll all play.¬† If they're on the depth chart, you should expect to see them in the game.
Q.¬† What about at kicker?
COACH WEIS:¬† He was better than the other guy.
Q.¬† Throughout camp?
COACH WEIS:¬† They were even for a while.¬† They were pretty close for a while.¬† But at the end of the day, he had a week last week where he was up and he went five for five, and we haven't had that from either one of them.¬† One of them's legs are a little stronger, but Duvic's more accurate.¬† In this case, I'll side with accuracy.
Q.¬† You said yesterday you (No microphone).
COACH WEIS:¬† You've got nothing better to do on Labor Day but to listen to the Big 12 call?¬† Really?¬† Really?¬† Okay.¬† Go ahead, ask your question.
Q.¬† Well, you mentioned that it's hard to get too excited or too low going into game one.¬† But for this team and where you want to go is it important to make a statement and have a strong effort out of the gate?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, let's throw out this statement comment.¬† I think it's important for Tuesday to play well in all three facets, and the fans would like you to play well for them, but I think psychologically you've got to play well for you, okay.¬† Because I think that for our team‑‑ look, I'm cognizant of the fact that last year we were going against an FCS team and it's 14‑7 at halftime.¬† I was there too.¬† Okay?
I think that you have to be respectful of your opponent.¬† Okay.¬† They just won 77‑0.¬† They could have won 100‑nothing if they wanted to.¬† He was nice about it in that facet.¬† But I think it's important for the psyche of our team for us to play well.¬† If we come out and have a sloppy opener, a win is still a win if that's the case, but a sloppy opener doesn't help the psyche of the team.
Q.¬† Charlie, the experience of some of this year's team, how does that maybe manifest itself throughout the game?
COACH WEIS:¬† I think the thing that I liked the best were commitments from players who stepped up and gave up things that they didn't like about themselves publicly to the team.¬† I had a bunch of guys on our team saying this is what I do wrong off the field.¬† I'm not doing that anymore.¬† I think when the players do that on their own when you're not there, okay, it clears up a lot of things where you get many more people getting focused on the only thing that's important.
Look, we have a bunch of older guys now and they're tired of losing.¬† So there's only one way to do it is work your way out of it.¬† That's it, is to work your way out of it.¬† Allow the front line guys, the guys I'm talking about, they're not like the down the line guys, they're a lot of the front line guys that stepped up and said this is what I'm going to do to help us win.¬† Then one guy did it, the next guy did it, next thing you know there's 30 of them doing it.¬† It was a good situation for us in the summertime.
Q.¬† (No microphone).
COACH WEIS:¬† That was very evident because they're doing it in front of everyone.¬† And the young guys know better than to even open their mouths.¬† They don't say anything because if they do, we never have to say anything because the older guys usually take care of that.¬† I don't believe in freshmen hazing or anything, but I do believe a freshman keeps their mouth shut until they've earned the right to say something, which means that none of them have opened their mouth yet.
Q.¬† What should we expect this year based on the win‑loss record through the years?
COACH WEIS:¬† Is that a rhetorical question?
COACH WEIS:¬† It's not?¬† Well, I'll have to sit on that one for a second.¬† I think that our players will be very disappointed if they don't win a significant number of games more than we had last year.¬† That is as politically correct of a response as I can give to that.
But I think that Kansas football at this stage is not about being just respected.¬† I mean, we all want to win, starting in this building.
Q.¬† Talk about actual game day and going through in that manner, but are you pretty comfortable in how John's going to call the game and how it's going to be on Saturday?
COACH WEIS:¬† I find it refreshing to tell you the truth because most of the days in practice I wouldn't even wear a headset because I don't want to hear what he's saying.¬† Now there are other days where I'll listen to everything he says, and then afterwards I'll sit down with him and say slow down.¬† You don't have to say the personnel group 15 times.¬† Like 11 is a personnel group, he'll say 11, 11, 11, and we'll say, okay, we've got it.¬† It's 11.¬† We got it.
Now every once in a while after a practice I'll say what are we trying to do here?¬† But when you're installing and you're not game planning, you don't second guess anything because maybe that play wouldn't be good against that defense, but you also wouldn't be calling it against that defense.¬† It would be kind of fun to watch.
Q.¬† A couple years ago (No microphone) you said you had it dialed in for months.¬† Obviously, you won't be calling it.¬† But philosophically this season, A, if you could run it 90 times on Saturday and that's all you need to do to win, would you do that?
COACH WEIS:¬† Let's just say this, in the past this coaching staff and this defense has very often rushed three and dropped eight in the past.¬† They didn't do that so much that first game, but in the past.¬† Well, if they rushed three, dropped eight, we should be running it on every single play.¬† We should never throw it.¬† That would be the same philosophy I would have against everyone.
If they want to drop eight, you know how small those windows get when they're dropping eight?¬† If they mixed it up a lot more in this game and they played it odd, they played fair, they played even, they played multiple fronts in the game, all things we're going to have to be ready for.
Q.¬† At tight end it looks like Ben is getting on the two deep.¬† I know we talked about Ben for a couple years.¬† Has he really made big strides the last couple of weeks?
COACH WEIS:¬† Jimmay is clearly the first guy.¬† And the thing is after Jimmay everyone brings something, one element better than the other.¬† Ben is the more athletic of the back‑ups.¬† Trent is the more physical of the back‑ups.¬† So, I mean, I think that you'll see all those tight ends end up playing when it's all said and done.
Q.¬† You don't see an offensive lineman that's true freshmen too often, is that a credit how much you like Junior or is it lack of depth?
COACH WEIS:¬† We're really high on Junior.¬† We have older guys on the team that we recruited that could be playing ahead of him.¬† But not that are physical and tough and physical and tough and huge human beings like he is.¬† He's so proud of himself because he's trimmed down.¬† As a matter of fact, he even wanted to make sure that Katie had changed his weight online because he was feeling so much better about how much weight he had dropped.¬† John's really, really high on where we're heading with Junior.
Q.¬† How much weight would you say he's lost?
COACH WEIS:¬† He's probably dropped about 30 so far, and I bet by next season he'll probably drop another 20 or 30.¬† You can't do it all at once, but he feels a lot better about himself.
Q.¬† With your tempo offense, is it hard for them (No microphone)?
COACH WEIS:¬† They're at the line of scrimmage.¬† After a play's over they stand at the line of scrimmage and wait for the quarterback to say something to them.¬† When everyone else has to get lined up, all the skill guys are all looking for the signal.¬† Not the linemen though.¬† They don't look for a signal.¬† They just waddle back to the line of scrimmage and get ready like they're like trained pigs.¬† They waddle back to the line of scrimmage, and they get their command and they go forward for the next play.
Q.¬† Did you expect this many true freshmen to make the team?
COACH WEIS:¬† There were a couple guys we were counting on.¬† I'll give you a guy that's really played just great, and that's Boateng.¬† Now Boateng, for a while, he was starting.¬† We were actually starting him at nickel.¬† So not only has he played corner, but he's played nickel, and he can play both those positions, and he doesn't look like a freshman when he's in there playing.¬† So out of all of those guys, you know, Kyron and everyone knew about Kyron some, so that one comes as no surprise.¬† Corey, everyone knew about him some especially after the injury, so that would come as no surprise.
But Junior, people probably would be surprised at all of a sudden him being in there, and Boateng, people would be a little surprised with him too.¬† So there are some guys in there, I tell you what, we like all four of those young receivers, but you're going to see both Neal and Hartzog in the game.¬† They're both going to show up in the game.
Q.¬† What do you like about those guys?
COACH WEIS:¬† They don't play like freshmen.¬† They look like freshmen.¬† I mean, Neal, we might have to stuff some stuff in his pockets or something like that, but he plays good.¬† Both those guys on the field, and given the opportunity, Neal will get on the field as a punt returner, and given the opportunity, Hartzog will get on as a kickoff returner.
I'm hoping Hartzog doesn't get a lot of action, in other words; whereas Neal, I'm hoping he does get a lot of action.
Q.¬† (No microphone) to the outside right away?
COACH WEIS:¬† Actually, he's just gotten better through the spring and then training camp because we thought for quite a while he was clearly the best right tackle.¬† Because if he wasn't clearly the best right tackle, it would have been interesting to see what the competition would have been at right guard if it was him and Smithburg fighting for right guard.¬† But if you were putting out the five best guys, three guys that were definitely in it the whole way were Hartzog, Smithburg and Damon.
So it's kind of good that Damon could end up handling that spot, because we could go ahead and keep it like that the whole time.
Q.¬† What is the main difference between Lewandowski now versus last year trying to play left tackle?
COACH WEIS:¬† He didn't have anywhere near the confidence that he has now.¬† He just wasn't‑‑ he had been a defensive convert, and he had bounced around and center didn't work out so well, and tackle was new to him and everything like that.¬† But I think that by how they practiced, they all looked at Ngalu as a leader by example, but verbally clearly the leader of the offensive line is Pat.¬† He's the guy that's taken the offensive line under his wing; whereas, Ngalu does it more by his actions, where Pat has been very vocal.¬† And I don't think we ever got that from him ever once last year.
Which there is no irony in the fact that he got picked on the leadership committee by his teammates.¬† That wasn't by chance.¬† They obviously viewed him that way.¬† It wouldn't surprise me if he would have said last year Pat would be on the leadership committee, but after this camp, it didn't surprise me at all that he got that number of votes.
Q.¬† Is that a good thing out there in terms of during a game on the fly like that?¬† Obviously you want the centers to know everything too as they go through the night, but can the left tackle stay at that spot?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, because you're staying at the line of scrimmage waiting a lot of times for all the other stuff to go on, there is plenty of communication that goes on with those guys before they even get to a play.¬† So, yeah, that's a good thing.
Q.¬† You talk about Cozart was on fire in the fall.¬† How much credit do you give to the experienced receivers?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, I think that let's say that I think let's start with John and Ron, and the guys coaching them.¬† I think that things have cleared up for him nicely.¬† This offense fits him and his skillset.¬† I also think he's got better players playing around him.
So the combination of Harwell being in there in the slot, and Tony being a full‑time wide receiver, just starting with those two guys on every single play. ¬†Then you've got McKay, and you've got Coleman, and you've got Nigel, and you've got Tre', you've got a bunch of guys who have a clue.¬† We've all seen it for the last couple years since I've been here, the passing game has been anemic, and I have no problem being the head of the taking the blame crew.¬† I mean, it just hasn't worked well from the quarterback and the receivers and all the skill guys and the offensive line and coaches and everything else.¬† I think this just is a better fit.
Q.¬† Can you comment between Cozart and Harwell's relationship from spring?
COACH WEIS:¬† I've been around a couple big quarterbacks before.¬† This isn't my first rodeo.¬† When quarterbacks start looking for a guy, it's because they know that they're probably going to be open most of the time, and they know when they throw it to him, they're usually going to catch it.¬† And I think that's what Nick has brought to this team.¬† This team hasn't had since I've been here.¬† You know, he's a four‑five guy which is fast enough, okay?¬† But he gets open and catches the ball.¬† He did it before he got here, so it should come as no surprise that he's doing it here now.
Q.¬† What about the progress of the defensive line?
COACH WEIS:¬† I think that we feel that we have about three positions, excluding the BUCK position, we have about seven or eight guys that we feel we can rotate in there.¬† In the past we'd have had a tough time trying to get to six.
Q.¬† Is there any position you think should have been farther along than they are?
COACH WEIS:¬† You know, we haven't played anyone yet, so that's tough to tell.¬† Do I have some areas of concern?¬† Yeah.¬† I wouldn't voice them, but I do have some areas of concern.¬† But when you've had so many things that were areas of concern and some of them you feel so much better about, now you're worrying about less things and I think that in itself is a good thing.¬† But I still have restless nights worrying about this or that?¬† Yeah, I do.
I think like I said before, for the sake of being redundant, there are just less of them that I worry about now.¬† Last year at this time you wondered whether or not the passing game even had a chance.¬† I don't feel that way anymore.¬† You worried about well, are all these guys on defense going to pan out?¬† I think our defense is going to be pretty solid, to tell you the truth.¬† I think if our offense can score enough points, we'll have a chance to win a whole bunch of games.
Q.¬† When you have two quarterbacks (No microphone).
COACH WEIS:¬† Yeah, you can hide more.¬† The first thing that hides the sins is the athletic quarterback.¬† More than any other position, that is the first way you can hide some problems, and that has not been our MO for the last two years.¬† So I think he's played well, and Mike to be honest with you is not a big dropoff behind him either.¬† And to be honest, behind him, T.J.'s not a big drop off from Mike.
So we're going into the season feeling pretty good about the quarterback position, and that really has been probably the biggest nightmare over the last couple years of what's going to happen at this position.¬† How is this going to play out?
Q.¬† How do you feel about (Indiscernible) first pitch on Sunday?
COACH WEIS:¬† I was at the game.¬† He didn't throw an intentional wild pitch.¬† If he tries to play off like he did that on purpose, he's a liar, okay?¬† He was just trying to throw a high hard one right down the middle to(Indiscernible), and he hit big Big Jay right in the head, okay?¬† And then I accused him of trying to get on the not top 10 of ESPN because I just couldn't imagine.
I've seen some bad first pitches, but that ranks right up there with one of the worst of all time.
Q.¬† Is he not one of your emergency quarterback options?
COACH WEIS:¬† No, but I understand, according to Katie, he was politicking for running back with somebody right there.¬† By the way, that won't happen, but I heard he was politicking with somebody.
Q.¬† Can you talk about how Michael Cummings is the back‑up now behind Montell?¬† The battle between T.J. and the back‑up?
COACH WEIS:¬† Well, first of all, Montell was much more accurate than both those other guys, so before you even talk about their athleticism, which Montell has the most of that too, okay, the fact that accuracy at the quarterback position is the primary deal.
Now in the battle between Michael and T.J., T.J. does a great job of running the operation.¬† He's greatly improved.¬† But Michael, this offense kind of fits Michael very well too, and Michael still has a cannon for an arm, he's just not as accurate as Montell is.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports