Kansas vs. Texas Tech: Charlie Weis Previews the Red Raiders

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis met with the media on Tuesday to discuss this week's matchup with Texas Tech

Below is a transcript of Weis' session with the media.


Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis

On his friendship with Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville:
"On to Texas Tech. The head coach, Tommy Tuberville, and I have been quite friendly over the years. We met on a trip overseas to go visit the troops when I head coach of that previous institution. When you're going from country to country and visiting the troops with just five college coaches, you get to spend a lot of time with each other. I really enjoyed his company and have followed his career fairly diligently since that time."

On Texas Tech's defense:
"They're 18th in the country, giving up 314 yards a game. They have given up about 126 yards rushing and another 188 yards passing (per game) and that is pretty stout on defense, especially in this league. (When scouting a team) You always look at their greatest strength and they are as strong as any team we have played up the middle. Up the middle starts with their defensive tackles (Delvon) Simmons and (Kerry) Hyder and then it goes to their middle linebacker (Will) Smith and then their two safeties (Cody) Davis and (D.J.) Johnson, who are their two leading tacklers. Boy, they are strong up the middle. They are stout. They actually go two deep inside. There isn't a big drop off from Simmons and Hyder when they come off the field. The middle linebackers are good and the safeties are really good and that is really the core of their whole defense."


"Outside you have (Jackson) Richards and (Dartwan) Bush manning the defensive ends and (Sam) Eguavoen and (Terrance) Bullitt are the two outside linebackers. Now Bullitt, he's going to need a shoulder repair at the end of the season; he's been on and off some and he's trying to tough it out and play. I think they are trying to play him a little bit more, because of their nickelback situation that they got in. They really had to take (Eugene) Neboh, who is one of their corners, and play him at nickle. Neboh and (Bruce) Jones are their two regular corners. Neboh will be able to stay at corner this week, because (Tre') Porter and (Jarvis) Phillips are their nickelbacks and both are healthy this week. So with them being back, I expect in any multiple wide receiver set, they will try to get Bullitt off the field to try to save that shoulder and get a combination of either Porter or Phillips back on the field as that field adjuster. They are getting healthier in the secondary, which is not great news for us, but at least two of those guys come back. I think that they still have one waiting in the wings that we'll have to wait and see how the week goes, but right now I think that they gained a lot and I think those injuries really cost them in the Texas game."

On Texas Tech's offense:
"On offense they are getting 500 yards per game and I'm going to talk a lot about their quarterback here in a second. But you know, (Tech is averaging) 145 yards rushing and 355 yards passing and scoring over 38 a game. They have the most touchdown passes of any team in our league and they are another team, like Baylor, that plays very up tempo. It starts with (quarterback Seth) Doege. He's having a heck of a year. He throws for 318 yards a game and he's thrown 31 touchdown passes versus eight interceptions, so he's just having a wonderful year. He's got (Darrin) Moore and (Eric) Ward to throw it to. Moore is 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds and runs really well. (At one time) I thought he was their go-to-guy, but the more you watch the tape, you see Ward has just as many catches even though he's 6-foot, 204 pounds. Ward's a little faster, he's a deep threat and he runs good routes. Last week in the game, (Jace) Amaro got banged up some and they list him as a tight end at 6-foot-5, 257 pounds and he's a huge target with soft hands. He doesn't really line up at tight end, he's usually detached (from the line), so it's almost like a big wide receiver. He got banged up and we'll have to see the status of him as the week goes on."

"They have two different styles of running backs. (Kenny) Williams is their main ball carrier and he's a little bowling ball at 5-foot-9, 220 pounds. He is very strong. And then they use a combination of (SaDale) Foster or (Eric) Stephens as the smaller quicker guy to compliment Williams. They do play two-back sets as a complimentary package where they'll use two of those halfbacks on the field at the same time."

"Their offensive tackles are huge. (LaAdrian) Waddle is 6-foot-6, 335 pounds and (Terry) McDaniel is 6-foot-7, 328 pounds. Their guards aren't that much smaller. (Beau) Carpenter is 6-foot-6, 284 pounds and Clark is 6-foot-5, 305 pounds. Clark, who plays right guard, stands out to me when I sit there and watch the different linemen. The center is (Deveric) Gallington and he's 6-foot-3, 319 pounds. So they have a really solid offensive line with a lot of size."

On Texas Tech's special teams:
"The most interesting thing (when scouting Texas Tech) other than knowing who Tommy was, seeing their punter's name was Erxleben. Ryan Erxleben is their punter and that might not mean a lot to a lot of you, but when I was in college there was this guy, (Russell) Erxleben, who was kicking at Texas and sure enough that's his dad. So, of course, my special teams coach (Clint Bowen) had never heard the name before and I made him go do research, so he knew what I was talking about. Now he knows who his dad is as well as he knows who the punter is. But he's averaging 42.3 a game. They have two different kickers. (Kramer) Fyfe handles the kickoffs and (Ryan) Bustin handles the field goals. (Austin) Zouzalik is their punt returner and (SaDale) Foster is their kickoff returner."

On particular memories of going on the foreign tour with Coach Tuberville:
"There are some that I won't say, but one I can tell you. I'll give you one really good one. He was the head coach at Auburn and they let him go, which was probably one of their biggest mistakes ever, but their big game is playing Alabama. We ran into probably 15,000 troops in the time we were there and any time somebody was either an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan, he'd hold up the number six (six fingers), because it had been six times in a row that Auburn had beaten Alabama. So somebody says, ‘Roll Tide'. And he'd sit there and put up the six right there and it was awesome. It was absolutely awesome. But the trip over there was awful. We were on one of those cargo planes that they threw some seats in that there was really no heat or no air conditioning, so it was either, 100 degrees, because they were piping in heat or it was 20 below zero. It was awful, but it was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life, because in that time there I saw more things, more spirit, more teamwork and more camaraderie than you ever could imagine. But I think that six with the Auburn-Alabama thing, that would crack me up every time I'd see him do it. And he probably did it about 1,000 times in the time we were there."

On what it says about sports culture that Coach Tuberville was fired at Auburn:
"It's a shame. Look, this guy had multiple 10-win seasons and this is over and over and over again. (He has) One off season, where you lose to Alabama, and now you're gone. Wow, that is something. But you know, he's landed (at Texas Tech), he's taken this team; he's been there a few years, and they are better on defense; they are good on offense and they are 6-3. It was a tough loss last week to Texas, because really, there were three big plays to (UT's Mike Davis). It was really three big plays to him. That's what the whole game was, two for a touchdown and one down to the one-yard line and that was the game. And a lot of it had to do with those DBs that we talked about that were injured in the game."

On what impresses him about Tuberville:
"I think the one thing he did, and we've talked about it more than once now. He, very similar to when I'm coming in here, he had a game plan coming in and he said ‘this is the way we're going to do it.' And, you know, people sometimes want it to happen faster. You want it to happen faster, too, but I think that he stuck by (his plan). They were always scoring some points there, but now the defense is ranked in the top 20 in the country. Now, all of a sudden, he's got himself a more complete team than just one-sided one way or the other. And being that he's a defensive guy by trade, I'm sure that brings a smile to his face, that they are playing much more stout on defense."

On what he wants to have happen before the end of the season:
"Well, I mean, the goals never change. Just like your way of doing things; the goals don't change. Now, you add things to that list, you don't take things away from that list. For example, it would be nice if we played well for a whole game on the road; that would be nice. It would be nice if the game was close at halftime and we showed up in the third quarter; that would be nice, too. It's important when you're doing that to say that you're not just putting it on the players now. You're putting it on all of us (coaches and players) right now, you know. We all need to do a better job when we're on the road. In the last three games, that's not the way it's gone. That would be an add-on, not a subtraction. You know, you still (want to) win a game on the road, win a conference game. By winning (one of these last three games) you could knock off two of these things at one time if you go ahead and do it. But you have to add on the fact that I'm very annoyed how last week went. I'm not in the greatest of spirits."

On if he's noticed a change in the demeanor on the road:
"No, I think our road schedule is very well organized and there is not a goof around period. I have tweaked a couple of things this week that I don't normally. I've already spent a lot of time thinking about this, so I've tweaked some things. We're leaving earlier; we're going to the stadium to practice. There are things that I don't normally do that I'm doing this week, because I'm never going to stay status quo if it's not working. I'm going to try something else. So, we're leaving earlier than we normally leave, and we're going right on the bus, we're going right to the stadium. And we're going to get out there and we're going to go run around. We're not just going to go there to take a look at the wonderful stadium they have. Then, we're going to go to the hotel, check in and get right to meetings, dinner and all of that other stuff, and go to sleep, and get up and get going. There won't be a lot of time to think about it, because when an 11 a.m. kickoff happens, it happens quick."

On if playing Baylor last weekend helps the team prepare to face Texas Tech:
"I think that no matter how you practice, you can't simulate (the hurry up offense). Even if you practice with two huddles, so that you're going quick, (the scout team players) still have to look at cards to see what the play is to try to give you the best simulation. And they're not as good of athletes as the guys that they're simulating. So, still at the end of the day, you can give them the looks that they're going to go against, but not at the tempo. No matter what you do, you still can't create the tempo and get the same look. You can do one or the other, you could either get the look or you can get tempo. You can run plays as fast as you want, but it's not going to look anything like what you're getting ready for. So, I think that it's a catch-22 there. I think that having just played against that tempo, there will more plays where guys are more ready to go. Rather than just getting ready to go, I think they will be more ready to go."

On how he evaluates the progress his team has made:
"Well, what you do is every week, you study self-scout. You self-scout what formations we use what plays we run and what's working and what's not working. So, you have a pretty good idea of what's happening. But in reality, when you're in the grind of the season, what you try to do is you try to find those things that you think you can go back to the well with over and over again and have some success with. And then find a different way of doing it so that it doesn't look exactly the same to the defense, even though you're doing the same thing. For example, we've been handing the ball off to James Sims a whole bunch. We know it, they know it, but you know if you just run the exact same play the exact same way, it's just not going to work. So, you have to find different mechanisms to create some space so that you can have success there."

On running back James Sims:
"I think the No. 1 thing James is starting to do is he's starting to become more of a potential leader on the team. Before, he was just a ball carrier. He would just come in on running plays. But now everyone rallies around you, like the offensive line rallies around you and everyone kind of rallies around you, because you're the workhorse; you're the bell cow. I think that one of the things that I've talked to him and (running backs coach) Reggie (Mitchell) has talked to him about in the last few weeks as this has matriculated, is about taking more of the responsibility of taking the team with him. Obviously, we're a run first team. That's no secret. And he's the main guy. So I think that what's really helping James is he's taking more of that leadership role on. And I think it bodes well for both him and us as we go forward."

On running back Taylor Cox's progression:
"Well, Taylor is probably is just as hard-nosed of a runner as James (Sims) is. I think that we have one of those unusual situations where the stable of running backs that we have, led by James, is really, really good. I think that Taylor is somebody who could probably handle just as many caries as James has in the game. But I don't know how you could possibly do that. Taylor is going to get more and more action as we go forward and we trust him. The offensive line knows that when Taylor's in the game, you better look out, because he's only got one speed, and that's full. That's even in practice, when he's running a play inside, if the offensive lineman is a little bit high, they might get hit in the back by him, because the only speed he runs is full speed."

On how the team's record might affect where somebody is drafted:
"I think that the draft has very little to do with the record, to be honest with you. It has to do with your ability. Those guys at the next level get paid a lot of money to evaluate these players. And part of it is production, but part of it is workouts. And part of it is analysis. Most players that go to play on Sunday don't make money in their first contract. Once you make a team, it's how you perform and that's how you make your money. There are only a handful of guys that make big money in the NFL early and they are the guys that are taken early in the draft. So it really doesn't make that much of a difference if you get drafted in the fourth round, or you're an undrafted free agent. If you end up making it and doing well, your next contract is usually where you end up making your money."

"I mean, every day they (scouts) are coming through (the building). If they didn't think anyone could play, they wouldn't be coming through. I mean, I'm sitting out there talking to Joe Greene. He's here evaluating players for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every day (we have scouts come through), the Ravens are in today. They're not coming in for just a courtesy appearance into Lawrence. I mean, there are guys they are looking at. And when you look at one guy, let's say they're looking at Tanner (Hawkinson). Well, when you see Tanner, you see the other senior offensive linemen at the same time. And if they're playing well, they'll get noticed. And if they're playing bad, they'll get noticed. But they're going to get noticed either way."

On how he balances building for the future compared to playing veteran players:
"Well, I think the most important thing is, on a weekly basis, you try to make sure that you're putting your team in a position to win that game, no matter who you're playing. You never go into a game and say ‘well, we're not going to win this one, so let's just play him.' You don't do that. A lot of times, it's not what you've seen in a game; it might be what we 've seen in practice. (For example) One guy might be tearing it up in practice, and the other guy who was playing ahead of him might have no production. So in a case like that, we say ‘well, why would we put him in? Let's see what he does.' So, I think that the most important thing is just to go week by week and worry about that week. I don't think you can worry about anything other than that week."

On the Sunday practices without the regular starters:
"Sunday is the most fun day of the entire week as far as practice goes. Sunday is a day where the guys that have played that are practicing kind of get it out of their system. Then, the guys who don't play that are practicing get an opportunity to run our plays, instead of running the show team, because it's just offensive against defense. You're going one-on-one, good against good. I think it's a very competitive practice, because there are no cards; there is no show team. It's just all fundamentals; it's a whole bunch of time on fundamentals and techniques, and it's just offense against defense without cards. You'd be surprised how much more fun (practice is), especially for someone like Justin McCay. Justin McCay runs show team Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He goes to our individual (workouts) and everything, so he does get fundamental and technical coaching. But when it comes to offense, he's not with us; he's down there running show team. He's got a jersey on, running show team receiver. We don't even see him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday halfway through practice. He's gone, he's on the defensive field. So now on Sunday, he gets his chance to shine. Now, he's running every route we run. It's an opportunity for all of us to see him doing our stuff, not just doing what's on a card."

On how sitting out a year could help quarterback Jake Heaps:
"Jake is very frustrated because he can't help (this year). But there are two things, two really good things that are happening. A, he's been able to learn the offense and obviously, if he were the quarterback, you'd tailor (the playbook) more towards him. Whoever the quarterback is, you tailor it more towards them. But he's learned the offense and he's formed relationships with a lot of guys, especially guys that aren't the front line guys that are developing players because he's spent a lot of time with them. I mean, he's the head guy down there on the show team. And let me tell you something, he's the show team player of the week every week. We never give it to him, but it isn't even close. Every week he's the guy. That poor defense. You think that they get passes completed on them in the game, you should see this guy in practice. Okay, that's good and bad, by the way. I just figured I'd throw that out there. But all I'm saying is, he gets an opportunity. He has fun in practice. He has fun in practice, because he's just down there with Justin McCay. And if Justin does something wrong, he will say ‘come on, Justin, get out of the break.' He's developing relationships with people that he could potentially be playing with him, if he ends up being the quarterback (next year). And last but not least, he really helps us in recruiting. He's a hidden gem in recruiting, because all of these guys that are being recruited all want to talk to him. Remember, he can't call anyone, because I can't give somebody a telephone number and say, ‘hey, can you call the recruit', because it's an NCAA violation, so you can't do that. So thank God for the world of Facebook when people friend people and things like that. That's how the modern day technology that all goes down."

On his views on social media:
"Don't be stupid. That is a good way to start. Look, when the guys go on Twitter and say stupid things, I'm forced to say something to them. And really, use some common sense. Look, I don't even go on my kid's Facebook, because I promised him I'd never go on his Facebook, but the last thing you want to do is go on somebody's Facebook and see 50 pictures of people getting drunk. Now how dumb is that? I mean, just use common sense. That's all any parent would ask, just use common sense. Now when they don't use common sense, I then treat them like a little kid just the way you would expect me to and that does happen, that truly does happen."

On what a coach, like Tommy Tuberville, does to turn a losing program around:
|"Well, he (Coach Tuberville) kind of grew under Coach (Jimmy) Johnson, just like I grew under (Bill) Parcells and (Bill) Belichick, and I think then when you coach under really good coaches, the one theme that everyone takes is you do not ever deviate from the course. In other words, you have to have a plan, you just have to stick to it and there's going to be a lot of bumps in the road. But I think that, just as long as you come in there and say, ‘this is the way we are going to do business; this is the way we are going to fix the problems and we have to just stay focused and stay that way.' That is one of the reasons why I was talking to so many recruits last night and I'm going to do it again tonight. You are 1-8 and I was so fired up, I had a great time recruiting last night. I said, ‘I can't wait to get you here when we start smacking these people.' You know, they (recruits) love to hear that stuff. I had a lot of gas in the tank last night, but that's part of this job. You guys see one element; you see the business, very matter of fact, just answer the questions (coach), but believe it or not I actually have a personality. I know it's tough for you to imagine. It's not just sarcasm and obnoxiousness, I actually do have a personality and they see it a lot more than you would see it, because I don't let it out very often. Every time you do you're on the latest line. You know, they are rating what stupid thing you said today."

On if he lets recruits see the sarcasm and obnoxiousness:
"Oh, absolutely. I can't pull back from that, but then I blame it on my parents. I say ‘I grew up in New Jersey and it's their fault.' If I'd grown up in Lawrence, I probably wouldn't be that way, but I didn't. So that's where they settled and it's their fault. That's an easy one."

On how things are going on the East Coast:
"It's a disaster. You hear people say how bad it is, it's that bad. My brother still doesn't have power. My mother still doesn't have power. My dad still doesn't have power and this is (a week) afterwards now. My mother is staying with my sister; one brother told the other brother, ‘why don't you come and stay with us?' now he says, well not it's getting cold and we have fireplaces, but we have no heat. And remember Jersey Shore, when you saw those pictures and you saw Belmar and you saw Manasquan and you saw Pointe Pleasant, I met my wife in Manasquan. That is one of the places you see (on the news). She was living in Belmar. We have a lot of friends in Point Pleasant. We have friends that own the Point Pleasant Boardwalk that, right now, doesn't exist. I mean, it's bad. You don't want to get into name dropping, but you guys know that I'm friends with this singer guy (Jon Bon Jovi) here who just had a benefit concert there and he went up and down the Jersey Shore and he said, ‘the Jersey Shore, as we know it, does not exist.' That's a strong statement. And if you think about it, I mean, I've been following it as much as I possibly can and trying to reach some people and make sure they are okay. Everyone's okay; everyone I know is okay, physically they're okay, but there's a lot of damage and it's going to take a long time to repair all that stuff. A long time."

On Tony Pierson's status for Saturday:
"We get this brace off of his arm this week and as soon as that happens, I think that it'll be night and day. I think that what happens is you can't bend it that much and you have this brace to protect it, but then you end up playing and only carry the ball in one hand and you don't carry it in the other. I think that, this week is about the week that we get past that stage."

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