Charlie Weis wore a black sports jacket as he walked into the Sixth Avenue Ballroom on Wednesday night, ready for a night dedicated to his Kansas football program.
A small version of the KU band played inside, pompoms decorated the room, the first night of the Kansas football preview tour was ready to go.
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Just no questions about any players, please — specifically last year’s starting quarterback. While Kansas fans gathered to think about the 2014 season, Weis stayed quiet on the status of quarterback Jake Heaps, the subject of multiple transfer reports in late April.
“I’m not talking about any of those things,” Weis said. “That’s not what I’m here for. We’re not here to talk about the personnel of our team. What I’m going to do, is I’m going to talk about the evolution of our team.”
The evolution, Weis said, includes the addition of offensive coordinator John Reagan, hired to jump-start an offense that languished for two seasons with Weis in charge. The Kansas defense underwent a similar change last season, when defensive coordinator Clint Bowen took the reins from Dave Campo.
“You go 1-11, you go 3-9 the second year,” Weis said. “You don’t come out here and say: ‘OK, well this year, we’re going to win 10.’
“You just say: ‘Well, here’s what you did the first year to make it better in the second year. Here’s what we did the second year what’s the next phase?’ ”
The next phase, for now, will feature former Bishop Miege standout Montell Cozart at quarterback. Weis picked Cozart as the starter in the week after the KU spring game, which relegated Heaps to backup status.
The Jayhawks played two quarterbacks last season, when Heaps and Cozart split time, but it’s pretty clear that Weis would like to avoid such a setup this fall.
“We went through it last year, we were playing two guys at periods,” Weis said. “But when you set your offense up, you don’t set your offense up for two different guys. You set your offense up for one guy.”
While Weis did not speak about any specific players, he did acknowledge that the quarterback position can be different when it comes to transfer decisions.
“When you think you’re the guy or you think you could be the guy, then there’s no reason to go anywhere,” Weis said. “What happens is a lot of times, depending on where quarterbacks are in their career, they see the writing on the wall.”
Weis optimistic about Sims’ chances
Three former Kansas football players signed free-agent contracts after the completion of last week’s NFL Draft. Running back James Sims landed with the Green Bay Packers, while offensive lineman Aslam Sterling and receiver Josh Ford will go to minicamp with the Broncos and Falcons, respectively.
Weis said the key for all three was landing on teams with holes at their respective positions.
“In all their cases, you have to pick teams to go to where you actually have a chance to make it,” Weis said. “(Sims) went to a team that didn’t draft a running back. Well, if you’re a running back, you go to a team that didn’t draft a running back.
“He’ll have his work cut out for him, but that’s the type of rationale that you have to make when you’re going to a place.