Defensive line awaits reinforcements
- Apr. 23, 2012
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Fixing the defense
Charlie Weis has been pleasantly surprised by a few of the football team’s positions this spring. During Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference, Weis pointed to the running backs, wide receivers and cornerbacks as positions that have impressed him in one way or another so far.
While the running backs and wide receivers at least had some success last season, the cornerbacks along with Kansas’ defense did not. The Jayhawks’ passing defense ranked 110th in the country last season, allowing 277.9 passing yards per game.
Weis admitted the secondary got exposed some last season, but he doesn’t blame cornerbacks for all of the defense’s struggles last season.
“They needed to get some bigger muchachos up front,” Weis said.
Kansas will have some experience in the secondary next season. Senior cornerback Greg Brown and junior cornerback Tyler Patmon return next season and share 32 starts between them. And now Weis is bringing in six defensive linemen this season to help the Jayhawks create more pressure up front.
But the influx of new players can also be a disadvantage when it comes to spring practice for Kansas. Weis said he has players playing on his defensive line in practice right now, who likely won’t be when the season starts. This creates a mismatch between the defense and the offense in practice.
For now, Weis will have to wait for all of his recruits and transfers to come in before he can start having true competition in practice on the defensive line.
Kansas had a choice of when its first Big 12 game would be. The Jayhawks could have either played TCU on September 15, or two weeks later on September 29.
Weis chose the third week of Kansas’ season, September 15, to host TCU in Lawrence.
“Players are creatures of habit,” Weis said. “When you look at the big picture, once you get going into the season, you want to get going, you want to get in the same routine. “
Weis said it was about the mentality he’s been trying to build at Kansas. He said playing TCU will never be easy, and that the whole goal is to try to build momentum early in the season, following back-to-back home games to start the season.
“You’re going to play good teams in the big 12 and your going to play them on a regular basis,” Weis said. “So rather than waiting till the fifth week of the year to go ahead and play one, you might as well get your feet wet and get going.”
Edited by Max Lush