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December 19, 2013

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS:  First of all, I wish everyone happy holidays here in this festive time of the year.  We'll obviously broach different subjects.  This presser will be more a Q&A than it will be me giving you anything in particular.
Obviously the two issues since last we spoke‑‑ well, two issues, one connected and not one second.  Tim leaving and going back to spend time with his family, and me hiring John Reagan as a replacement coaching the offensive line and to coordinate the offense.  There's one issue that's fair game.
Yesterday was early signing period for junior college players, which everyone knows by now we signed three guys.  We signed an inside offensive lineman in Keyon Haughton down from Georgia Military, starting left guard for them but played center guard and tackle for them while he was there.  His college coach couldn't be any higher on this young man:  Wide, big, physical, not the tallest guy in the world but just a rocked‑up unit.  I like the way he plays.  He'll be here mid‑year and be a factor in our depth when we get to depth down the road as it goes into the spring.
We also brought in two guys for secondary help, Ronnie Davis and Anthony Smithson.  Ronnie was a corner pretty much for them at NEO last year.  He has played corner and safety.  He originally was an offensive player, was a quarterback to be honest with you.  We picked up Anthony Smithson there late.  It was kind of the no‑one‑knew‑this‑was‑happening, but that no one included us.  This was one where his brother kind of solicited some people that he had relationships with to see if they would have any interest, and then we did our due diligence of going through our whole staff, watching tape and going back and forth between me and the defensive staff, me and the defensive staff going back and forth.
I even went one step further because I can't mention any people that aren't coming here mid‑year, but we have one young man that we recruited as a safety that I told him that we intended just to take one safety this year, and if he committed that were him.
So before we went on Anthony, we actually contacted that young man and let him make the call.  We let him‑‑ we said, we told you we were only going to bring one safety.  We have a guy that we think can help us at safety right now, but we told you we were only going to bring one safety, so you can make the call.  We got him to sign off, and his family and everyone was comfortable with that, so we jumped on Anthony, and Anthony jumped on board, and I'm very, very glad that we got both Ronnie and Anthony to help our depth in our secondary, and Keyon should be able to instantly come in there and be able to compete in the interior part of our offensive line.
From there, everything is open.  I'll try to answer as honestly as I can, try to tell you as little as possible, but I think that it's been a little while, and this is our one opportunity, and I figured you guys will probably want to keep it short because you're getting a free lunch out of me here momentarily.  On that note, it's time for any questions you'd like to ask.

Q.  Will Keyon come in and play guard and center?
COACH WEIS:  He's played both guard and center.  I think because of his height or lack thereof it kind of limits you, at least on this level playing tackle, although he has played tackle.  We'll bring him in at‑‑ we'll bring him in and get it figured out, but he has played both guard and center.  He started at left guard.  That's what he started at.

Q.  Bringing in those secondary guys, was that something you targeted or was that just a case of these guys are the best players we can get after right now?
COACH WEIS:  Yeah, what we decided‑‑ last year at this time I had already made my mind up that we were going to change our scheme to an odd configuration.  I had not really met with the defense until the first week in February after signing to go over those plans, so we were trying to recruit to that‑‑ to what I was looking for, okay.  That being said, this year the one thing that has‑‑ we've had time to now this week, especially do our due diligence and say, okay, going forward here, what were our issues and what are the simplest answers.  Let me just go over one generic one to start off with.
When teams are playing three and four wide receivers, three and four wide receivers, you have to get more DBs on the field.  And what we wanted to do was we wanted to build up our depth in the secondary because some of those guys‑‑ for example, Victor Simmons, who played our star position or the Sam linebacker, he might end up flipping over to the other side and being a buck next year so that we can get another DB on the field.
I think that you have to get more DBs on the field because you could get mismatch personnel wise.  Schematically you could be in good shape, but personnel wise you could get exploited some.
So we felt that‑‑ we're a long way‑‑ we're going to bring in more than what we've got right now in the secondary right now.  Those are just what we're bringing in right now.  We need to bring in some more depth even yet because if you look at all the teams that are playing four wide and three wide on all these plays, you need to be able to match up and get personnel out there that can go ahead and play with them.

Q.  I know Tim came to you early in the process and kind of let you know his feelings.  What went into the decision that you wanted to hire a coordinator and not just an offensive line coach to replace him?
COACH WEIS:  Well, let's separate the two things.  Let's start with Tim, and I know that one is leading to the other one.
I think that Tim's departure stemmed all the way back to Andre, and I think that people don't realize how much of an impact Andre's passing had on our team, but Tim in particular, Thursday he's talking to him in the afternoon about how many tickets you want for the game on Saturday, and on Friday he's gone.
And I think that day was kind of a slap in the face to Tim saying he's got all these kids that are all going to be in high school and he's not there; he's here.  And I think that that day, that weekend after he got through the cold reality of what had happened I think was the time where Tim said, I'm going to coach the hell out of these guys for this year and then at the end of this year I'm going to move on.
So we started talking all the way back then, so this wasn't like some rash decision that just happened all of a sudden.
I had already in my mind, 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.  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.  And for those people who think I hired somebody to be just my manager, that's not what I'm doing.
I think that I'll do a much better job of being the head coach with a guy like John being the coordinator.  That's what I think.

Q.  Did you consult with anybody about other coaches or other people in the building?
COACH WEIS:  No.  No, I didn't consult with anybody.  Once I had the candidate, you know, I went to administration and said what do you think of this thought process, and administration has been wonderful since the day I've gotten here, but I talked to the powers that be and we talked about the guy and they had familiarity with the guy.  I kind of zeroed in on one guy a long time before you guys heard about it.  I mean, this was the guy I zeroed in on a ways back.
Now, there's a protocol, there's a proper way of communicating with John, and I did everything right with Bailiff.  I requested permission to talk to him.  He said I'd prefer if you don't talk to him until such a such a time, so I did not talk to him until that time, and then we talked and I offered him the job.  We kind of agreed that it was going to work out, but then they're in the midst of a run to try to win their conference first and then have a chance of playing for the championship of their league second.  So there was also that‑‑ let's not be disrespectful to the program he was coming from.
Other than the fact that it came out a little earlier than you'd like for it to come out, it all worked out for everyone.  They won their league, and we got our guy.  So it's worked out for everybody.

Q.  Will he run his offense or run your offense?
COACH WEIS:  No, it's funny, he's running the offense.  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, but he's going through the meshing process right now, which I'm really interested now when we get to that first week in January when they‑‑ before the convention and before we go back on the road recruiting, that's going to be a grind week because right now we'll be a little bit behind on offense because that meshing is going through.  But it'll be his‑‑ it'll be his system but it'll be a combination of taking verbiage we had and verbiage he had and kind of putting it all together.

Q.  What was it about John that made you zero in on him?
COACH WEIS:  I wanted an offensive line coach that could coordinate, and that really cuts the pool way, way down.  There's very few guys that fit into that, and the reason why I wanted that is because I'm confident with our staff, and if he wanted a liaison to run ideas by, I'm there for him to do that.  I don't go to the meetings, okay, because I'm not‑‑ if I'm there, then who do they listen to?  Are they going to listen to me or listen to him?
We just talked about it a little while ago.  He said from time to time he's going to want me to come into the meetings to describe empty protection, do this how you would do it, and at the end of the day when I leave it's going to be how they want to do it, that's the way they'll end up doing it.

Q.  How would you describe his offense at Rice?
COACH WEIS:  Well, I'd say a lot simpler than what we were running, but also I would say much more efficient than what we were running.

Q.  Other than personnel, what made it more efficient?
COACH WEIS:  Well, I mean, production.  That's really a very, very simple‑‑ when you get production versus not getting production.  I had watched their games, I'd be sitting here on TV watching Rice games.  I might have been the only one in Lawrence looking for the Pay‑Per‑View Rice games that are on or whatever was on, but I had been watching him for some time.
He's very well respected in this community to start off with.  That's important to me.  That's important to me.  And he's been very well respected as an offensive line coach for a long time, and he's done a really nice job over the last three years coordinating the offense.  And I think that the combination of all those things led me to John.

Q.  Having had a couple of weeks to reflect on the season, how much better was this season overall from season one for you?
COACH WEIS:  Well, I'm not to the season.  I have more segmented right now.  Remember now, we just came off the road on Sunday.  I mean, so I've been on the road right to the end here.  It isn't like I've been sitting in here watching tape.  I've been doing a little bit of traveling, and in case you haven't logged the Kirby miles that he probably puts on wherever I'm going, but we have had now three and a half days to evaluate the whole season, and I think that if you ask me a pointed question, I could probably give you a pointed answer.  Why don't you give me a more pointed question, and I'll try to help you out.  It can be a specific.

Q.  With your quarterback situation‑‑
COACH WEIS:  That's too general, too.  Be more specific.  Maybe I should wait for the question.  Maybe it's an easy question.

Q.  Let's go back to the offense and we'll work from there.  Specifically with the offense, do you think there was a big improvement or an improvement at all between year one and year two?
COACH WEIS:  Well, let's start with the running game.  The run game was numerically productive, but percentage‑wise and efficient.  What that means is most of our runs were‑‑ as an average for the season have winning numbers.  Most of our runs, okay, which that wasn't exactly the case.  There were fewer runs that had winning numbers from the year before even though the production was good.
Now, the problem I have is when the efficiency, which means if you run the same run 10 times and you average five yards a carry, okay, that's 50 yards, okay, but on two of those runs you got 20 yards, so that's 40 of the 50 yards, you might only have been productive‑‑ you might only have been efficient on four out of the 10 runs even though you averaged five yards a carry, okay.
So on the one hand we had more production.  On the other hand we were less efficient, and that's an area that has to be addressed because what you can't do is have runs be inefficient because then it leads to trouble down the road on 2nd and 3rd down.

Q.  Was blocking a big part of that issue?
COACH WEIS:  Well, everything is‑‑ what you can't do is segment things and just blame one area of concern.  I mean, for example, I'll give you an inconsistency.  You talk about‑‑ you start to talk about the quarterback situation.  How many dropped balls do you think we had this year?

Q.  A lot.
COACH WEIS:  That's not‑‑ give me an answer, though.  I'm going to give you the answer.  Just give me a number.

Q.  22.
COACH WEIS:  47.  47 dropped balls.  By our charts, 47.
Now, regardless of the other problems, okay, the other problems in the passing game, when you have 47 dropped balls, so basically four a game, when you have 47 dropped balls, there's a good chance that your passing game is not going to be efficient.  So your first question is going to be about the quarterback.  I have to look at the whole passing game and say, okay, break it down.  I'm just giving you one facet of the passing game is dropped balls, accuracy is one facet, getting open is a facet, protection is a facet.  They all factor in.  Okay, mental errors is a factor.  But I'm just giving you one obvious one that every one of us watching a game can see when a guy drops a ball.  47 of them, so that's obviously one of the areas in the passing game that leads towards inefficiency.
So if I told you every quarterback, just add four more catches a game, right now, okay, all of a sudden some of those numbers look totally different.  So I'm just using that.  You can't just look at it from one angle.  You have to break down each element to go ahead and give you the most critical evaluation of where the areas of concern are.
How's that?  Is that okay?

Q.  You've been on the road a while.  What is the pitch now?
COACH WEIS:  First of all, it's not a pitch.  Hold on, let's get that first of all.  Pitch is a sales job.  I totally disagree that recruiting is sales.  I totally disagree.  I think recruiting is representing your school.  I do not believe it's a sales job.

Q.  And I don't think you did it that way because you were very honest about what you thought you had and what you needed from recruiting before.
COACH WEIS:  Well, see, you don't have every position.  It's different by position.  It depends on what position you have.  For example, right now if you're an offensive tackle, if you're an offensive tackle, well, the guy who was starting at the end of the year, both seniors, they're both gone, okay.  Well, if I were an offensive tackle, okay, and if I were looking for a place where I think I had a good chance of playing early in my career and I saw that the first two guys that were starting there weren't there anymore, I would think that that would be a viable option.  So when I'm sitting in a young man's home, you could bet that that's one of the things I'm talking about.
Now, there's certain possessions I can't say that at.  There's certain positions‑‑ I'm not going to say we don't have a middle linebacker, am I?  I'm not going to say that because that would be a lie.  Conversely I'll say we might have the best linebacker in the league, okay, but he's going to be here for one more year.
It all depends on what position you're talking about with what you say to them.  But my thing is I always tell the truth, and that doesn't always work.  But I always do it.
But one thing will never change.  I will never change the support of our administration; that won't change.  This building is always a good representation.  The housing that we live in, I mean, no complaints there.  The food they eat, no complaints there.  Academic support, no complaints there.  So when I go into it, I don't just talk about the football situation.  I talk about this building.  I talk about the dorms.  I talk about the training table.  I talk about academic support, and I talk about the academics in general.
When you lay that all out to a kid, if that's not good enough, then it's not good enough.  But that's what it is.

Q.  Is it less raw than maybe it was two years ago when maybe you felt‑‑
COACH WEIS:  There's less holes.  There's less holes.  I mean, look at the defense.  What defensive player walking in the door right here knows they're going to play?  You're beating out those two safeties?  You're beating out those two corners?  How about the linebackers?  Are you beating them out?  Could you say that a year ago?  Okay, we're starting to be‑‑ there's starting to be some positions where it's going to be‑‑ you're going to have a tough time beating one of these guys out.  You're fighting for playing time now.  Really that's where you need to get to.
Now, the problem is we don't have that at every position yet, and that's where we intend to get to.  Because once you get there now you're not recruiting ‑‑ you're not recruiting everyone to come in and play walking in the door.  You take a handful of those guys when you have a glaring hole or glaring need, or other than that you bring them in to develop them to get ready to take over when those guys are gone, and that's what good programs do.

Q.  And you feel you're in a much better place‑‑
COACH WEIS:  Than a year ago this time?  We're in a much better‑‑ it's not even close.  It's not close.

Q.  Running back has been a deep position for you, and I know Tony is a hybrid, but you've got the issue of Tony's health and Darrian Miller's issue.
COACH WEIS:  Darrian will be okay.  He'll be okay.  Look, I can't go into it, but he's got some issues, and he'll be okay.  He'll be around.  It's just when the time is right, the time is right.  It still won't be something that we're really going to talk about.  He's got some personal issues that are obviously major or else he would have been back.  It has nothing to do with football.  He's not in trouble with school, he's not in trouble with football.  He's got some things he's got to deal with, and we have to leave it.  But Darrian will be there.  You can count on‑‑ the odds of him being there and ready to go I think in the spring, when we go into spring, I think you'll see him trotting out there just like everybody else.

Q.  How about Tony?
COACH WEIS:  Tony is well‑‑ the best thing we did was start his rehab early by shutting him down a couple weeks early.  He's way ahead of where he would be, no pun intended.  Pretty sharp on that one, wasn't it?  Pretty good.  Proud of myself on that one.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH WEIS:  I can't talk about somebody‑‑ I can't talk about somebody that is not here yet.  I only can acknowledge per NCAA rules if we're recruiting the young man.  That's all I can acknowledge.

Q.  How often have you ever signed a kid without him visiting the campus?
COACH WEIS:  Seldom.  Not the only time, but seldom.  It just kind of fell into place.  We were looking for a range safety, a range safety and a kid‑‑ a punch of picks, good range, just kind of fell in your lap now.  The kid 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.  If he's opening up‑‑ it was nice the way it went down, because it went down in a hurry now.  I mean, it did, it went down in a hurry.

Q.  To put that 47 drops, that number in context, can you remember at a previous institution you had very productive wide receivers.  Do you remember the low number you can ever remember from a season?
COACH WEIS:  Less than half of that number.  Less than half.

Q.  Less than two a game?
COACH WEIS:  I'm just saying less than half of that 47 number.

Q.  What are your plans with your quarterbacks starting today and heading into the off‑season and all that?
COACH WEIS:  Are you in cahoots?  I want them to go home, have a nice holiday, spend time with their families, overeat, then about January 2nd say, oh, my God, I'd better get working out.  Get them to show up here for the 17th for our big recruiting weekend right before school starts, take the recruits over to the Okie State game, let's see if we can't close out this recruiting with a bang, have our boys go ahead and win that game.  That would be a great way to hear the decibels at Allen Fieldhouse that day, have a meeting with them on the 19th, go back out on the road, Martin Luther King day the next day, go back to school on the 22nd.  There it is.  That's my plans.

Q.  You mentioned you evaluate everybody, your players and coaches and all that, and then you mentioned you do some self‑evaluation.
COACH WEIS:  Well, I've hired an offensive coordinator.  How do you like that one?  I made a change there.
I think that everyone you look at, I think that you have to find their strengths and find their weaknesses and see if you can't help address the weaknesses and play to the strengths.  And that includes yourself.  I think you've got to play to your strengths and try to minimize your weaknesses.
I'm always‑‑ it's funny because people think that you're dogmatic in your approach and how you do things, and I'm probably the antithesis of that because I'm always looking for a better way.  Always.  And I think that this gives us a better chance to win.

Q.  I know you said Reagan's offensive (inaudible) and you were the only guy in Lawrence watching the team.
COACH WEIS:  Well, I mean, I like the‑‑ first of all, I could watch and I could see when you're‑‑ let me say this the right way because I don't want to make it sound like I know any more than if you were watching the game because you don't really know what the play call is when you're watching a game.  You don't really know when a mistake is made who really makes the mistake in a lot of cases, but I just liked the sharpness, the quickness, the efficiency, just boom, boom, boom, boom, and not exactly playing with the greatest players in the world here now.
And one of the things I liked by reputation was he always got the linemen, specifically when he was here, always got linemen that might have been unheralded to play way better than most people thought they were capable of playing, and I think that's usually the sign of a very good coach.

Q.  You guys obviously mixed up your offenses a lot and had success in the first half.  Will it be kind of a philosophical change here?
COACH WEIS:  The only problem with that is you become a jack of all trades, master of none by doing it that way.  When you keep on trying to hide deficiencies and game plan that team, because you know you can exploit any team you're going against, there's certain things you can exploit, but what you can't do is you can't do that at the expense of not having‑‑ having a staple to fall back on, and I think that's where John will really help.  He'll help provide that staple, especially being an offensive line guy because selfishly offensive line guys always want to start by taking care of the offensive line, okay, and I think whereas our quarterback guy will always start by taking care of the quarterback, okay.
So I think that it's just a different mentality where your starting point is.  His starting point will be up front, my starting point was the quarterback.  I think it'll be a nice blend when it's all said and done.

Q.  Their quarterback down at Rice ran for a lot of yards the last two years.  Do you see John's offense lending itself more to a quarterback that can run?
COACH WEIS:  Well, actually the guy wasn't like the most athletic quarterback in the whole world now.  I think that John will‑‑ I think the quarterback will have the ball in his hands, but that doesn't necessarily dictate that it's Montell over Jake or TJ or whatever it ends up being right there.  I think that that's just part schematically of how he approaches football.
Do I think that the quarterback will have the ball in his hands some of the running game?  Yes, I do.

Q.  Montell can run the ball more than Jake can, but where does TJ fall?
COACH WEIS:  He'll be an interesting candidate here now because not a lot of people know a lot about him, but this kid is pretty good.  He is.
I don't think TJ is going home expecting just to be satisfied coming back here being third, fourth or fifth here.  I think that's no different than those other guys, but I think that it'll be interesting because he had a nice year on the show team, but that's where he was most of the time after he got through the individuals and everything.  It'll be interesting in the spring to see whether or not one of those other guys can play themselves into the mix with these first two guys.

Q.  The last couple years you've had maybe one guy that you expected to be the quarterback.  Are you kind of invigorated to have just a competition between or two or three guys?
COACH WEIS:  I'm putting it on John.  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‑‑ we're in a way better situation than we were two years ago and we're in a much better situation than we were going into this year, and now you can actually go into the season, not just who the first guy is.  That's one question.  Who's the second guy going to be?  Who's the third guy going to be?  There's at least options when you're talking those weren't even considerations here in the last two years.  We're trying to get one guy ready to go, let alone two.

Q.  Running ability and throwing ability are just two parts of a real complicated position, but just on those qualities would you rank Millweard second among the three?
COACH WEIS:  I wouldn't rate them anywhere right now because I haven't watched them enough.  I'm normally standing on the offensive field, not on the defensive field.  To this point since I've been here, when you're coordinating the offense, all you do is watch that on tape, and usually when you're watching that on tape you're not watching him because the defensive tape that you're watching, you're watching the defense, you're not really spending a lot of time to watch the show team quarterback, so I couldn't rate them at this point.  I'd be BS'ing you, and that's not my deal.

Q.  It would be hard to hype the guy without any help?
COACH WEIS:  No, I can't hype him.  I can't hype him.  I'm really interested to see how he‑‑ whether or not he plays himself into this mix.  I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  Any changes to the roster or your staff or anything like that?
COACH WEIS:  It's too early.  There will be some‑‑ there will always be some guys at mid‑year that either graduate or just don't want to play football anymore, or there will be a couple guys like that.  I talked to 15 of them the other day, and every subject is different.  You know, somebody has got problems at home, health issues with family members.  There's a lot of things that come into play.  You're still dealing with 105 different guys, so there's all sorts of different issues that come into play.
I'm sure there will be some changes.  And as far as staff goes, I told you that those type of things are done at the end of recruiting.  Right now the only thing that's really important, really important, is to finish off recruiting.

Q.  The rule where you can graduate and go somewhere else, once they've graduated, are they fair game to contact, or do they have to contact you?
COACH WEIS:  It's always through compliance.  They can't contact us without getting permission from compliance from their school when they graduate.  Just like our guys couldn't go‑‑ say, well, I'm graduating, I'm going somewhere else.  They have to get permission from you so their compliance office lets their compliance office know that you can talk to them.

Q.  Connor Embree was a guy that you honored on senior day.  He's obviously decided that he's done already.  Was that‑‑
COACH WEIS:  I talked to him.  He had another year of eligibility left.  He wants to coach.  He's another dumb one.  That's what he wants to do.  I told him if he wanted to come back, I'd gladly take him back, and he talked to his parents and everything, and he said, Coach, I'm not going to play in the NFL.
Here's a guy who has his head screwed on straight now.  He got good grades, great kid, played for us a lot this year, but he wants to coach.  And he said that if he comes back here for another year, it'll be one year further behind than he is to being a coach.  He wants to go be a graduate assistant somewhere and try to work his way up the ladder.  I mean, he's another one who's a coach's son that's making that foolish decision to go into coaching, but that's what he wants to do.

Q.  Having seen how you operate in the recruiting game, you always have a spot open or two, do you keep your eye out for transfers?
COACH WEIS:  Yes.  Next question?

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COACH WEIS:  What time of the year are you talking about?

Q.  February.
COACH WEIS:  February in the 20s.  By the summertime, full.  I will tell you one bit of good news, okay.  We had an offensive lineman who you all remember came for about five days here last year.  Well, we got that number back, okay, so we got that spot back.

Q.  Because he signed?
COACH WEIS:  No, because he doesn't count as an initial.  So that means that we can count one of these three guys backwards, so instead of having them max out at 25 we can max out at 26.  See, there's one bit of good news.  It's not all bad.  I have more good news, but I can't pass it all on to you.

Q.  I would think on paper, even though you're addressing it now with junior college players and recruiting high school players that the offensive line is still a serious concern looking at the spring at the very least?
COACH WEIS:  See, but we don't look at it as just the spring.  We think that‑‑ see, obviously when you look at recruits, you only look at like a guy here or a guy there.  You don't look at all the people and where we have them ranked and who we'd like to have in what order.  I mean, sometimes there's guys that their main value is just that you can get them at mid‑year.  Sometimes you have guys like that.  There's other guys that you think are much better players but they're not coming out until May.
So I mean, the Catch‑22 is would you like to have them mid‑year?  You betcha.  Would it help you in the spring?  You betcha.  But at the same time if you think another guy is a better player, you're willing to‑‑ you just have to sit there and wait on it and see if you get them or if you don't get them, and we have a couple of those right now that I think would fulfill some of those concerns very well.

Q.  Including graduating players?
COACH WEIS:  I'm not discounting that.  But right now let's say that that's not the area that we're talking about at this point.  Let's say we're just talking about like junior college players.  Let's say we're talking about that.

Q.  Do some junior college programs have real good weight programs and some not?
COACH WEIS:  It's just like high schools.  Some high schools you talk into and you'd think it was a Division I school.  Other high schools you walk into and say, do they lift any weights?  Same thing is true in junior colleges.  You walk into someplace and they've got it going on, and other places it's a makeshift and they're just trying to make do.

Q.  What got to you about (inaudible) in terms of his potential?
COACH WEIS:  He's ready to rock and roll.  That's what I think, and I'm looking forward to having him out there.  He's happy.  He goes, coach, I'm happy, I'm healthy, I've got my grades in order.  I'm ready to roll.  And I think that you'll be very‑‑ I think that we'll all be surprised if he isn't a major factor right off the bat.

Q.  Again, after the quarterback‑‑
COACH WEIS:  I just know he's 280, 290 with power and quickness.  That's some good attributes.

Q.  He's long, too, right?
COACH WEIS:  I don't think he's that long, no.  You're starting to learn these words now.  He's long (laughing).  You've been listening to too much TV.  You're watching too much TV.  You're listening to Mel Kiper; that's your problem.

Q.  Are you on the same schedule when spring gets here?  Will you do the last two weeks of April to get into the‑‑
COACH WEIS:  Yeah, what we'll do is we'll have the spring‑‑ you want that schedule already?  When is the spring game, April 12th?  I think that's right.  And then we'll stay in for a week, we'll do evaluations, make sure we meet with all the players, and then we hit the road to‑‑ basically you want that to you can get into all the junior colleges before they have their spring games because most of them have their spring games the last week in April, so this gives us an opportunity to get out there before they shut down, but yes, we'll be doing that again.

Q.  Is that pretty standard from here on out?
COACH WEIS:  Well, we could move it back‑‑ I think once Rock Chalk Park is done and the track team officially is there all the time where we know that, and Kansas relays and everything are all set and everything, we could conceivably move it back a week if we want to, but I don't know if we will because you're still going to have that issue of getting to the junior colleges, and the question is if you move it back a week, you're going to finish the spring game on Saturday, the coaches are going to go on the road on Sunday because it's the only way you can do it.  That's really the two choices you have.

Q.  This is completely off your subject, but as a guy involved heavily in college football, there are two major head coaching openings at high profile places that are high profile for a given reason:  Texas and Army.  What kinds of guys would be ideal at those two spots?
COACH WEIS:  Well, let's start with Army.  I think that Army needs people with familiarity with what West Point is all about.  I think it's a totally different mentality.  I think that‑‑ I had a brother that went to West Point.  I think the mentality there is different than most other places, and I think that you almost have to separate the academies from most other schools because the mentality is different.  The recruiting schedule is different.  How you get players in is different.  Appointments are different.  Everything is different.
And the type of kid you get in there is different, too, so I think it's really its own separate entity.
I think it's very attractive, but at the same time it's also pretty tough.  You need a special guy with familiarity to how the academies work.  That's what I think.

Q.  Why has Army struggled in recent years against the other two?
COACH WEIS:  I think that the whole point of the matter is that if you were a guy going in, you would do sort of like what I did.  You'd look at the other schools you're competing with and look at that as a place you could do the same thing with.  So I think you look at what Navy has done over the last bunch of years and say, well, if they can do it, we can do it.
So I think that that keeps coaches from being discouraged about taking the job.
Now, Texas, obviously one of the most high‑profile jobs in the country.  I think that just like when I was at Notre Dame, you have different issues going into that place.  I mean, you have different issues.  Now you have an eight‑people board that is involved in picking the coach.  Do any of them know anything about football?  Well, they probably do.

Q.  They know it's played on Saturday.
COACH WEIS:  They probably know more than that, but I'm just saying, who are you answering to?  Are you answering to administration and the chancellor/president?  Are you answering to the trustees?  You know, or whatever they call them there.  So that's an issue.
And I think that would scare a lot of people off.  Just the opposite of Army.  I think it would scare a lot of people off.  A lot of people would say, you can have that one.
Now, they'll have no problem with people wanting to go there because the dollars will be big, okay.  But let me tell you something.  The dollars being big, that only goes so far.  You can be miserable, too.

Q.  Would Texas have as good a recruiting advantage as anybody still?
COACH WEIS:  Well, kids born today want to go to UT.  Now, it's a little different than it was 20 years ago when all these other schools in the state of Texas weren't as big a competitors.  But basically, usually when you grow up in a state, the "University of" always is the leader.  Usually.  That's a good place for them to start.
Now, they in recent years have had to branch out to different areas because before they just used to take everyone from there, and now they'll branch out into other areas because it's become much more competitive in their own state to win on the best players.

Q.  At what point and how much do you get involved with guys that are like James or whatever‑‑
COACH WEIS:  I met with all those guys last Friday afternoon and kind of give them advice, and then I give them advice as needed.

Q.  Obviously you've coached at that level a long time so you know what they're looking for, you know what it takes to be up there.  If you don't think a guy can get there, do you tell him that honestly or do you let them all kind of find their own way?
COACH WEIS:  Well, I'll talk to everyone generically, but if they ask me I'll tell them exactly what I think.  Now, I won't tell them not to follow their dream, but I'll tell them what I think, and I'll say it to you, now, this is my perception.  Now, I've been wrong plenty of times before, but this is my perception and my perspective, and I will tell them what I think that is.  But at the same time I will not discourage them from giving it a shot.  I mean, I had a meeting with the outgoing juniors, and one of the guys in the meeting was a walk‑on who had never played a down, then wants to play in the NFL.  Now, what am I going to do, go over to him and say what are you doing here?  Why are you in the meeting?  Everyone is the same, right?  So I treat everyone the same.
But I'm looking at it and saying‑‑ I'm saying to myself‑‑ and then I had asked a question just to make sure, how many of you guys‑‑ because a lot of people were in the room.  I said, how many of you guys aspire to play football after college, I saw all these hands up, and I said, oh, we've got a bunch of delusional people in this room right here.  But that doesn't mean you don't give them advice the same.

Q.  Is it easier to know what Big 12 player can be an NFL player than it is to know what high school player can be a Big 12 player?
COACH WEIS:  Oh, much easier, Big 12 player playing in the NFL than high school.  I mean, you're talking about kids.  The older you are, the more developed you are, the less risk you have of taking that guess.  I mean, there's no question about it.  I mean, you might have a kid that's just an absolute stud in high school that just is a bomb, just bombs out completely in college, okay, whereas you might very seldom‑‑ usually if you draft a guy, you're going to‑‑ he might not live up to your expectations, but usually you get something out of him.  It's not like they come in and say, God, what a mistake this was.  You do have those, but they don't happen that often where you just say‑‑ sometimes it takes them longer to develop than you'd like.  Sometimes you'll take a first round draft choice and everyone wants them to be the best thing right off the bat.  Sometimes it takes a few years.  But usually you get something out of them.
Now, I've also been with an organization one time where we drafted a guy in the second round and we cut him.  You want to know the friction there was between the coaching staff and the personnel department when that happened?  That guy has already got second round bonus money and he's already got it.  That didn't go over too well.  But that doesn't happen very often.

Q.  Did he go somewhere else and play?
COACH WEIS:  Basically was a non‑factor.

Q.  During the course of the year you probably hear from position coaches or you probably ask them at the end of the year maybe about the players red shirting, can you think of anybody that was a red shirt that made so many strides that he could be on the depth chart?
COACH WEIS:  There are evaluations to me on our own players that are due tomorrow.  They've been on the road, too, so their evaluations are due tomorrow morning.  I haven't read‑‑ before I even talk to them I like to read what they had to say because I make them do an in‑depth season analysis of every player so they have to write pros and cons of every player.  We have projections, and then they also meet with the guys to go over those things, as well.
Before I say anything, I like to see what they have to say.

Q.  It seems like this is about the time that the whole (inaudible) kind of materialized last year.  Will there be changes dramatically, or will it pretty much be what it was this year?
COACH WEIS:  No, it's what it was.  Look, if I would have told you last year that I was doing this, everyone would have said, well, they just demoted Campo.  I just did the same thing to myself that I did to Campo.  I put myself in an advisory role where I could help more.  The same is different than the game that Dave and I coached for all those years in the pros.  Even at Notre Dame the game was different.  The game is different.  The game is different in the Big 12.  And I think Clint as the linebacker coach is better suited to put that all together, and I think that John is better suited than me.  That doesn't mean that I think John is a better coach than me.  I think he's better suited to handle the job in the Big 12 of coordinating the offense, or else I wouldn't have done it.  It wouldn't have made any sense.

Q.  The linebacker coach is involved in everything‑‑
COACH WEIS:  Yeah, but see, we'll get John help so that John can expand himself around right now.  Right now coming into today, John wants to make sure the offensive line are doing it the way he's thinking before he branches out and gets involved in a lot of other places.  I think that we'll be in good shape there.
Remember now, just like Clint has Dave, John has me.  I mean, so I mean, that‑‑ Clint having Dave is a wonderful resource for Clint.  Well, John having me I'd like to think is the same.  Now they both have wonderful resources with a lot of knowledge that makes their job‑‑ they don't have to‑‑ where do I go for an idea?  They don't have those guys.  They don't have to go searching for it.  They don't have to call somebody else to get an answer.  You've got them sitting right next to you or right down the hall.

Q.  Last year at this time Jake jumped in ready to take over right when the final game ended‑‑
COACH WEIS:  You guys are working together on this one.

Q.  No, it's a different question.
COACH WEIS:  I'm not going to answer it anyway.

Q.  You've got guys like Harwell and Jordan and those types of things.  Obviously they can't have the impact that Jake did or could?
COACH WEIS:  Let me stop you for a second.  Harwell will because Harwell, you can tell by personalities, Kevin is way quieter than Harwell is.  Harwell is one trash talker from‑‑ I love the guy.  Just one of those guys, don't be afraid, just‑‑ Harwell is a little different now.  I'm glad he's on our team.

Q.  By impact you mean more than just on the field?
COACH WEIS:  Oh, I mean, he's been‑‑ he's on people in the weight room.  He's on people when we run sprints at the end of practice.  If somebody is not running hard at the end of practice, you would think that one of the guys playing would be saying something.  You'd hear Harwell chirping all the time.  Just shut the hell up and get going, and that's when he wasn't playing.  Imagine when he is.  I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  On paper you have Harwell who's proven and established, people tend to do pretty close to what they did at their previous school, so he's up here as a receiver.
COACH WEIS:  Yeah, but the difference is now when you have somebody like Harwell, it brings everyone's game up.

Q.  All the other receivers?
COACH WEIS:  Yep.  It's been‑‑ everywhere I've been, it's the same.  When you have a guy like that, everyone‑‑ it rises everyone's game up.  When he's down on the show team field and they're not, it's a different type of deal.  Like when we go one‑on‑one last year against the secondary, we would always keep Harwell out for one‑on‑one, he was clearly our best guy, it wouldn't close for second.  They'd all see that.  He's one of them now.  He's not going to get summoned.  He's not going to get sent out down to the show team.  He's going to be up there and everyone's game will benefit for that one player.  I'm really looking forward to Harwell.

Q.  Other than Tony's position, which I guess (inaudible), is there in your mind someone who is No.2 to Harwell right now, or is it sort of a collection?
COACH WEIS:  No, I wouldn't call it a collection.  I'd say it's open.  And I would also agree with your comment that other than Tony's position because Tony is not really competing against any of those guys, either.  The outside guy opposite of Harwell I think you have to be determined.

Q.  And it could be a JuCo recruit?
COACH WEIS:  It could be.  It also could be guys that are sitting right here that just play a hell of a lot better.

Q.  Could it be those guys that were red shirted?
COACH WEIS:  Could be one of them, too.  Don't think, okay, don't think.  Let's just see what happens.  Let's not overanalyze this now.
You just asked about the transfers.  I was waiting for your follow‑up question when I didn't say anything else.  What was the next part of your question?

Q.  I think I got the answer.
COACH WEIS:  Yeah, there's people that we're interested in and that are interested in us, as well.  But we'll see how that plays out.

Q.  Would you think that the sooner you reach a decision at a certain position that that gives you more time to go with that guy, like say, for instance, quarterbacks?  Would you want to come out of the spring with your starting quarterback?
COACH WEIS:  Well, I'm going to leave it up to John and the offensive staff, but I'm pretty sure they'll know who that is.  I don't think it's going to go into August.  The old phrase, if you don't know who your quarterback is, then you don't have one.
Q.  Do you have an idea in your head right now who would be the‑‑
COACH WEIS:  Yep, I do.

Q.  Is it going to stay there?
COACH WEIS:  Yep, it is (laughing).  But yes, I do.  But that'll stay right there and see how it plays out.

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