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Quarterback plans signal next year can wait

Dec 7, 2011, 9:34 PM EST

Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Beating Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl is a big deal for Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish. His decision to keep Tommy Rees the starting quarterback proves that. In a bowl game that most fans see as equal parts rivalry and exhibition game, the Kelly regime needs a victory to keep the football program moving in the right direction.

There’s plenty of time for the Irish to figure out who’s going to be starting behind center when the Irish take on Navy in Dublin next September, not to mention how to split up reps next spring during one of the more interesting spring practices of recent memory. So forgive Kelly and his staff if they aren’t engaged in the daily debate amongst Irish fans about who should play quarterback not just against the Seminoles but into the future.

“It will be a topic that gets debated and I understand that — it’s the quarterback at Notre Dame,” Kelly said.

But that debate needs to wait until after the season is over, and that’s the main reason why Kelly is sticking with Rees behind center instead of promising sophomore Andrew Hendrix. The Irish need a win. And after twelve games and a season filled with highs and lows, Kelly still believes Rees is his best bet to beat the Seminoles and keep momentum going into the final days of recruiting.

***

Back to back 8-5 seasons isn’t what anyone had in mind — Kelly and athletic director Jack Swarbrick included. But a victory against Florida State, a team that had even higher preseason expectations than the Irish, will be enough progress to keep recruits interested in the Irish as the staff heads down the home stretch in a two-year quest to land the skill portion of the first phase of rebuilding this program.

There’s little doubt that Stanford revealed another blueprint for limiting Rees’ production in Kelly’s offense. He was a stationary target in the pocket. His inability to run neutralized the ground game, while his less than accurate deep ball allowed the defense to shrink the top of the field as well. But given a month to rebound from his worst game of the season last year — a 20-16 victory over USC — Rees came out firing against Miami in the Sun Bowl, hitting Michael Floyd over the top of a talented Hurricanes secondary for 35 yards on the game’s opening drive and again for a 34 yard touchdown strike on the second drive. For the Irish to win with a young quarterback that had just given the ball away multiple times against USC, they needed to be efficient with their shots and protect the football. Rees did exactly that after a month of coaching and game planning. Naysayers will argue that Rees put those numbers up against a Hurricanes team in free-fall. That may be true, but it was also the No. 3 passing defense in the country. You can say a lot of things about Tommy Rees, but he’s certainly resilient. After a month to recover after his worst game of the season, he’ll likely be ready to come out firing.

***

Dayne Crist‘s announced transfer could actually be seen as a stabilizing factor in a quarterbacking situation that seemed precarious. If the Irish season went according to plan and Crist made it through the first half of South Florida, the 2012 depth chart could be anyone’s guess. Would Hendrix stick around — likely still third or fourth on a depth chart that may or may not include another talented freshman recruit? Could Kelly keep four scholarship quarterbacks happy for a second season in a row? Some people will knowledge of the program thought Crist’s transfer would come before this season, seeing him as a square peg in Kelly’s round hole offense. Rees’ ability to think quickly and distribute in the spread offense make him a step forward, but he’s still one evolutionary step behind guys like Hendrix and Everett Golson. With Rees, Kelly has a known commodity — a guy that can clearly win football games, but has also struggled through some ugly growing pains as the Irish program moves forward according to Kelly’s blueprint.

Of course, prepping for the season’s final game won’t stop people from looking ahead. Spring practices, summer workouts, a 2012 schedule that looks the part of a meat-grinder, all point to an offense that needs to make a big step forward, and do so without Mike Floyd. Is Hendrix the best fit moving forward? What about Golson, a guy that this coaching staff is incredibly high on? What will Gunner Kiel do to the mix if he signs on the dotted line? More questions than answers, and all of them need to wait until after December 29th.

“I didn’t want any debate within our program,” Kelly said. “I wanted our guys to know, here’s our starter, here’s where we’re going.”

We might forget sometimes, but a coach never forgets that long term planning can wait. Especially when there are games left on the schedule, the only objective valuation of a head coach’s performance. For Kelly, a ninth win means progress, even if it’s only incremental. A loss throws a bundle of negativity, not to mention a lost year of forward momentum, on an offseason that’s already going to be filled with questions.

When given the option, Kelly went with what he knows best — and that’s Rees at quarterback. But as most smart coaches do, he did so with a caveat.

“I think you all know that Andrew Hendrix can do some things that can help our football team and we need to see him as well,” Kelly said.

That’s true. Now and in the future.

 

 

  1. ndfanwabashman - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    The real question is, who gets to use Dayne’s $420 gift cert to Best Buy?

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/12/05/In-Depth/Bowl-Gifts-List.aspx

    I say give it to Jonas Gray, you know, just to come full circle.

    • NDfan1224 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      Does every player get that stuff? Or one set per team?

      • tedlinko - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:56 AM

        Each player.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      “I didn’t want any debate within our program,” Kelly said. “I wanted our guys to know, here’s our starter, here’s where we’re going.”

      Oh really coach Kelly? Just like having a while off-season and swithcing your starter 30 minutes into the season during a hurricane lol? I’m sure Rees feels very comfortable.

  2. smurphdoggy29 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Keith excellent job this year. Thank you.

    Now to my comment, I completely disagree with this decision, shocking right ? Not really.

    I am utterly baffled by Coach Kelly. His approach with Rees doesn’t seem to resemble in any fashion what I watched him do here in Cincinnati, or what he purportedly did while in the state of Michigan. Coach Kelly also has followed up his bravado after the Tulsa loss when he blurted out, “you better get used to it”.

    The point of wanting to win to keep forward momentum is well taken, yet the decision to start with Rees is really confusing, especially when the Bowl practice time keeps getting whipped around. Isn’t it feasible to say another Quarterback could be primed for the Bowl in those practices ?

    As it stands now I am at a loss. I will always root for Notre Dame, yet my enthusiasm for Mr. Kelly and his approach has cooled noticeably. I am also scaling back my expectations for 2012 to a more modest observe and acknowledge approach, merely to save myself the aggravation.

    Here is a Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New year to the Notre Dame Family, fans, and friends !!

    Beat the Footlocker Creminoles !!

    Keith keep up the good work !! Thanks again !!

    • nudeman - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      The thing that concerns me about Kelly, although I still am a BK believer is that he apparently has an intense devotion to detail, down to giving players diagrams of how they need to keep their lockers. I have zero problem with this. But I don’t know why that seems to NOT translate on game day.

      How many times did they play undisciplined, mistake ridden, penalty-fest football this year? From the first game (USF) to the last, and many in between, they friggin’ KILLED themselves with mistakes. While they played a few “clean” games you could arguably make the point they didn’t improve at all from game 1 to game 12.

      How many times did they play “down” to their level of competition?
      How many times were they completely flat in big games?

      These are NOT indicators of a highly disciplined, well coached team. Maybe in 10 years we’ll look back and conclude this was an anomaly. Hope so. Because they will NEVER win a BCS Championship being near the top of the entire D-I NCAA in penalties and turnovers, regardless of how well they recruit.

  3. NDfan1224 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Kelly is right for starting Rees he has been our QB all year and we need a WIN thats the most important thing. I do think Andrew Hendrix is capable of getting the Irish a W but im sure we will see plenty off him in this game.

    • Keith Arnold - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM

      @NDfan1224 — I was cool with you plugging your own website every once in a while. I’m not cool with you plugging your ESPN pool. Our website flags all your comments as spam with those links, so I’m not going to publish them with it on it.

  4. trbowman - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Rees is a good QB who can only get better. He can be the long-term starter in South Bend if you ask me.

    A big bowl game would go a long way for him!

    • bernhtp - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      Unless Tommy gets some combination of a far stronger arm and way faster legs, he can’t get good enough to propel ND to the next (BCS) level. Because of his limitations, a good defense can shorten/narrow the field so it looks more like play in the red-zone everywhere/always and the difficulties that presents.

      With that said, Tommy will get better and may be the best bet to start this game. I have to defer to Kelly with his infinitely better experience and knowledge of the situation. If Florida State successfully constricts the field on him as did USC and Stanford (and others) to make him unproductive, I expect Hendrix to get the majority of the snaps.

  5. trbowman - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Something to get you pumped…Arnaz Battle is the man!

    • miked8577 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:06 AM

      I wish Notre Dame would get back to creating turnovers instead of turning it over. That 2002 team, you just knew that they were going to force 2 or 3 a game. This years team could go 2 or 3 games without forcing any. With a struggling offense, that doesn’t help any. How dominating would Notre Dame be if we could get that 2002 defense to join up with the 2005 offense and special teams?

  6. 9irish - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    I pretty much agree with everything in this post. I’m not any ND coach (last I looked), and am tired of these freshmen QBs getting thrown to the wolves every 4 years. They need to get into a progression of QBs that start as Jr/Sr and keep plugging a new one in every two years. If Rees is the bridge to get us there, I’m all for it. The guy spits the bit sometimes in a big way, but he does know that offense…very well.

    In other words, I’m tired of pontificating and worrying about it.

    Go Irish

  7. nudeman - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Maybe semantics, but I take issue with this:

    “With Rees, Kelly has a known commodity — a guy that can clearly win football games, but has also struggled through some ugly growing pains”

    The “growing” stopped weeks ago. He’s hit a plateau and isn’t getting any better. Might get marginally better on some of the technical aspects like going through his progressions or calling protection schemes. But he’s always going to be an immobile guy with a mediocre arm in an offense that demands mobility above all.

    It’s probably the right thing to start Rees in the bowl game, as his experience means he’s less likely to be overwhelmed by the moment after 3 weeks to think about it. But Hendrix needs to have a significant role, and I hope this isn’t one of those things where Kelly’s “package” for him means 3 or 4 snaps.

    Next year needs to be Golson or Hendrix.

    • ndgoldandblue - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      I agree with you on this take. It’s no secret that you are incredibly critical of Rees, but, in all honesty, the man has earned a lot of that criticism. I like the fact that the Irish have won with Rees, but I’m not sure how much of that is a direct result of what Rees has done. Meaning, did Tommy lead the team to the victories, or have the Irish been able to win in spite of Tommy’s limitations? I don’t know. I’m not sure of the answer to that question. The guy has serious limitations, but he has also done some nice things.

      Anyway, my point is that I think you are right in saying that Rees should start because of his level-headedness and ability to avoid freaking out in big situations. Moreover, I think that you are spot on with the Hendrix/Golson take. If the Irish truly want to make that leap to the next level, they will need a quarterback with more to offer than pretty good (not great) accuracy and a relatively calm demeanor in stressful situations. My only fear with Golson is that he might be too short to see over an offensive line that features guys like Tate Nichols who are 6’8″. If we think that Tommy’s passes get tipped too much, what can we expect from a QB that is actually 5’11” (he really isn’t 6’0″)?

      By the way, I’ve been posting on this site for a couple of years now, and I’ve always wondered about your handle. What’s with nudeman? I really hope that it’s metaphorical.

      • nudeman - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        Totally metaphorical. Clothed right now, in fact.

        So many here assume that if one says “he’s not mobile” or “those 3 INTs really hurt” that it means you “hate” Rees. Stupid. I am sure he’s a good person and doing the best he can. Has physical limitations as a QB of a major college program. That’s all.

        Re: Golson’s height, valid point, but I’d expect a lot of his throws to be coming from outside the pocket. If they took him as a pure dropback passer, then I think that would be more of an issue.

        One thing is undeniable: Both Hendrix and Golson give them another offensive dimension that is sorely lacking right now and would make them a more dangerous offense.

        On the recruiting front (off topic, sorry) I’d really like to see them get that Armstead guy. What a tremendous D-Line they’d have for the next 3 years with him and Tuitt and Lynch.

      • bernhtp - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM

        Golson is the same height and size as Denard Robinson. By most reports Evert has a far better arm, but not quite as fast (who is?). His 6’0″ is also the same height as Michael Vick and Drew Brees, and that hasn’t stopped them from excelling not only in college, but in the pros.

        Yes, taller/bigger is better but a fast/mobile QB does not need to be as tall as a pure pocket passer. I don’t see Golson’s height as a major problem.

    • joeschu - Dec 10, 2011 at 7:29 AM

      Nude is right… we’ve been bumping against the low ceiling for a while now. With time to put a full game plan in and get Hendrix some reps, I don’t see why everyone is “agreeing” with this horrible decision.

      For all the reasons listed above, we have no real reason to believe that this is a good “win now” decision and we certainly know it isn’t a good “win later” decision.

      I pray that Andrew Hendrix is an extremely patient and understanding guy with a deep love for ND in his heart. I just can’t imagine how he’s dealt with the frustration of being mismanaged. He’s wasted this year of eligibility when he could have been in there getting live fire far more often than was allowed. Every day that goes by that we don’t read about his transfer is a pleasant surprise.

      It is funny… after the spring game, we all wanted to shrug off the poor QB play by the “top 2″ guys , but the season really unfolded the same way that game did. Mistakes and poor play under Dayne/Tommy have been at the center of what has been a disappointing season. Too bad we weren’t given an extended glimpse of the future during the season.

  8. runners00 - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    It’s fine to start Rees. But let’s not wait an entire half before we recognize that the guy is way too slow and inaccurate to play against a strong defense that is fast and athletic. If Rees shocks me, great. If not, let’s be willing to make a change early in the game — early enough where we’re not down by three TDs.

    The ND line is fairly experienced. You guys have to know the snap count. No false starts to commence our first offensive series.

    I don’t think that Golson is big enough to be effective at this level. It’s not just height. He’s not very heavy yet, either. Both things may change, though — or maybe he can be a back. Hendrix is a big kid with a strong arm. He’s the guy who is waiting for the job at this stage. At least that is as far as I can tell.

  9. alsatiannd - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    I’ve been fine with Rees this season. Knew his deficiencies (mostly), knew his strengths. But the season end’s with me doubtful he’s the guy next season. Specifically, USC and Stanford showed me that he can’t take a hit; he’s too brittle. I didn’t see that said too much around here, but I think it’s true. In both games he took hits that he should have been able to shake off, but he couldn’t. As a result Kelly had to go to the bench; against USC it was disastrous, against Stanford it didn’t much matter.

    Rees will go down in my book as a guy who put his finger in the dike and kept us progressing, but I’m ready to see what the next guy can do.

    • nudeman - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      He went down against both of those teams; and the Irish O Line protected him well this year, so he wasn’t exposed to massive abuse. But to be a starter the entire season at this level and only go out a couple times for a handful of plays isn’t an indictment of his durability.

      Remember, he wasn’t pulled from the Stanford game because he was hurt; he was pulled because his play was poor.

      With all the criticism I’ve leveled at TR, I don’t think it’s fair to say he can’t take a hit. He seems tough enough to me.

  10. gtizzo - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Your right Keith,

    People who are not fans of Rees could have been won over with a win. That at least would have put the speculation to rest until the spring. People can tell you why Rees shouldn’t start, they just can’t give you more then the Stanford game why Hendrix should. Would have been better off just letting the discussion go and let Rees handle the matter on the field. I really don’t envy Brain Kelly if the Irish get beat on the 29th.

  11. gtizzo - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Actually Keith I might disagree with you know that i read my first comment.

  12. oldndgrad - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    For the 100th time–we can’t beat top 10 teams with a weak qb. Imagine if Hendrix had been getting reps all year and not just the last game. We won some games despite Rees and his turnovers thanks to the defense and an improved running game.

  13. gtizzo - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I have the solution,

    Forget Rees, Hendrix or any other QB on the Irish roster. If Gunner Kiel signs on said “dotted line” make him the starter from day one. There is just as much reason to start Kiel as there is Hendrix…the only reason against is Kiel isn’t on the Irish roster…yet.

    • dmac4real - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:43 AM

      Somebody hasnt seen Everett Golson do his thing……

  14. jonathanfesler - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    I’m a lifelong ND fan! 56 years old, I’ve read all the coments you guys posted and for the most part everyone offers valed points! I personally have no faith in any of the QB’s on the roster! I haven’t seen Golsen play so I can give him a free pass? As far as who starts against Fla St I support any decision the coach makes! I just hate that switching back and forth! Killed them in the USC game! I think ND is a top15 team! Turnovers killed them’ Iove BK but I was for Skip Holtz coming in and I believe he will be the next coach if BK can’t get it done!! You heard it here boys!!!

    • oldndgrad - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      Why giving up on Hendrix? He’s been in the system now for 2 years but has only played 1 half except for a spot here and there.There’s no guarantee that Kiel will be any better IF he comes. Remember Crist was a 5 star too and Kelly destroyed him. Sure he made some mistakes but Kelly gave up on him way too soon. I hope Crist goes somewhere that we don’t have to play against him next year. Not ready to give up on Kelly yet but his temperment and decisions have not improved since the Tulsa debacle.

  15. notredamegrad - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    A few days ago, Eric Hansen at the SBT (“Kelly to Roll with Rees in Bowl Game”) pulled up some interesting stats on how QB play correlates to a football team’s overall performance in terms of ranking. This is what he wrote:

    “ND sits at 53rd nationally in passing efficiency heading into the bowl game — a modest bump of six spots from 2010. The Irish are 116th in turnover margin, in ND’s case a strong correlation to quarterback play, down from 51st last season.

    “It’s not the only ingredient in a return to glory, but it might be the most critical at this juncture for this team.

    “Take a good look around college football in those two categories. Every one of the 10 BCS teams rank 45th or better in pass efficiency this season, with four in the top 12. And all but two — Clemson (53rd) and West Virginia (74th) — are in the top 30 in turnover margin.

    “On the flip side 12 of the 17 schools with coaching openings at the end of the season ranked below ND in passing efficiency and 12 of the 17 were 83rd or lower in turnover margin.”

    This is very interesting (if unsurprising) and suggests the importance of Kelly finding a QB who can be both efficient and protect the football. The upside to Rees when the season began was his reliability in pass completion (by being quick and accurate and making good decisions most of the time), and while this was absolutely adequate against average to poor defenses, it wasn’t enough for our offense to compete against talented defenses, especially when compounded with Rees’s tendency to throw the ball to the other team or fumble it (esp. when his passing game was stopped up by blitzes or 8 dropped defenders). It will be interesting to see if Kelly can win with Rees against a talented FSU defense, or if he will opt to play Hendrix a whole lot.

  16. jonathanfesler - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    I just read up on Gunner Kiel! Id welcome him in with open arms to compete for the job! I went through the dark ages when Jerry Faust was coach and Gunner’s uncle Blair was the QB! Blair was a can’t miss prospect and did have talent as he survived in the NFL for a few years (good punter to) he had a couple big wins over ranked teams (Pitt #1) was probably his biggest and a bowl game win against Doug Flutie and old BC! His biggest problem was Jerry Faust as coach!! Where art thow Dan Devine? That’s right Dan died several years ago! Sweet Lou? How about Sweet Skip if BK can’t get it done ? You heard it here!!!

  17. jonathanfesler - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    ND was overmatched in every faze of the game at Stanford! I thought TR may have been thinking to much changing the play at the line etc! In the words of sweet Lou, the game of football is based on blocking and tackeling excuse my spelling! Sweet Lou could’nt spell either his speciality was motivation and half time adjustments! I’m new here boys and I wlll share opinions with all ND fans and listen to all! My name is Jonathan Fesler AKA old school!! ROLL IRISH!!!

  18. jonathanfesler - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Im going to watch ND in they’re bowl game as I’ve watched every game sence I can remember! No matter how bad they are? One more game is better than no game! I think I’m more interested in how the defense plays then which QB plays or how BK decides to switch them out! Really! I hope Tao stays another year! If he does they should have a pretty good defense next year?

    • papadec - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM

      jonathan – I agree that one more game is better than no game. I just hope it’s not another version of USF, MICH, usc, or Stanford. Completely agree that MY focus will be on the defense. I’m tired of the QB debate. If Kelly can’t have Rees ready for this game – then Rees deserves what Crist got.

      • nudeman - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        No one deserves what Dayne got.
        That was cold.

        I hope TR plays well and ND wins, but next year it needs to be someone else behind center.

  19. bostonjan - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    My take: Unconscious Competence and the path/process to playing/winning like a champion – in the timeframe it requires (short term and long term), despite the impatience of fans.

    It’s one of the things/themes that I remember Coach Kelly emphasizing, repeating, and consistently working to implement since he took the reins. It’s not about which QB starts, or how many plays each runs, or out scheming, and maybe not the season record per se…….it’s about moving the entire team forward to playing with Unconscious Competence until winning like (national) champions.

    I readily admit that I am Unconsciously (maybe consciously) Incompetent when it comes to football – and most certainly coaching and building a championship team. I truly don’t know what I don’t know; and don’t understand what Kelly and staff are doing with specific details & decisions. I think Lou summed up his approach with the theme “WIN” – do What’s Important Now” Rockne said something to the effect of “I play my best 11, not my 11 best” to communicate that championships are won by the best team, not by the best set of individual skill sets.

    I believe that this is what Coach Kelly is doing; and what’s driving his decisions & announcements about who starts, finishes, what plays, adjustments, etc.. I can’t explain the details to you – I look forward to looking back and seeing how it unfolded, perhaps reading about it in a future book written by Kelly.

    My gut feeling is that the team is playing much better now (as a team) than at the beginning of the season, much better than last year, that the quality and depth of players is improving (rapidly), that the reason for even more highly skilled players to sign on with ND is more compelling.

    I don’t have a lot of statistics to prove my point of view – just another impatient fan “blowing off steam” as Nudeman wisely reminded me is the purpose of this site.

  20. papadec - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    nudeman – who are you? And, what have you done to the nudeman we know, and love to hate? At least three really good posts from you, without Rees animosity. Are you into the eggnog early? OR, has the spirit of Advent crept into your ND (football) loving soul? Seasons Greetings from the Great NW & GO IRISH!!!!!!!

    • nudeman - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      Still here/still nude
      MANY MANY times I was careful to try to be fair and acknowledge Rees’ positives. Seems like an honorable young man, works and plays hard, good football acumen. I just was confounded by the early benching of Crist and Tommy’s mistakes. Also, like me he’s a Chicago guy.

      Anyway, I think we can now add Kansas to the list of suitors for Dayne next year. See this?
      Read to the end. Sounds like Charlie was not well received in Florida.
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Wow: Kansas hires Charlie Weis as its next head coach

      Posted by John Taylor on December 8, 2011, 5:40 PM EST

      AP
      Again, wow.

      Rumors that began to surface late Wednesday — and were dismissed by nearly every observer — have come to fruition: Charlie Weis is the new head football coach at Kansas.

      In an announcement made on its official website, KU confirmed that Weis will be introduced as the Jayhawks’ new coach at a press conference Friday. The specific time of the press conference is still to be determined.

      The college football world isn’t the only one stunned by KU’s hiring of Weis; according to a tweet from CBS Sports.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Will Muschamp, Weis’ boss, “didn’t know Weis interviewed at Kansas [and was] on [his] way to [a] Gator Bowl press conference when news broke [that] Weis [was] hired.”

      Muschamp later clarified that he and Weis had discussed the Kansas job over the past few days. Last month, however, Weis seemed set on returning to Florida for another season.

      “I’m going to coach for a long time,” Weis said on Nov. 22, when he was asked whether he would be back at Florida next season. “I’m not… my wife says I can’t quit. That’s not even… remember I have a kid who is a freshman in college here. Remember the reasons why I came here. So, I’ll be here for a while, unless you’re trying to get rid of me. No, he didn’t get free tuition if you were wondering.”

      That, obviously, was before the KU job came open after the firing of Turner Gill.

      Weis spent last season as Florida’s offensive coordinator — it’s very likely you’ll hear more cheers over this hire coming from Gainesville than Lawrence — after one year out of the game. From 2005-2009, and in his only head-coaching stint at any level of football, Weis led Notre Dame to a 35-27 mark. He was fired after the 2009 season, spending 2010 as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator before moving to the same job with the Gators.

      During his lone season at UF, Weis came under intense criticism from Gator Nation for the underwhelming performance of his offense in 2011. Hired as part of Muschamp’s first UF coaching staff, Weis took an offense that was 43rd in points per game (29.9) and 82nd in total offense per game (350.9 yards) in 2010 and transformed it into an offense that finished 72nd (25.6) and 102nd (334.2), respectively, in 2011.

      At $865,000 last year, and as noted by Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, Weis was the highest-paid assistant coach in the history of Florida football.

  21. papadec - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    nudeman – yeah, I guess that comment about Rees getting what Crist got was colder than I intended. I’m just saying that if Crist got pulled so fast in the USF game, and Rees has three weeks to get ready for the FSU game & he can’t produce – THEN Rees should get the quick hook too. There aren’t 12 more games this season, after this game, to make up for a bad performance. Hendrix better be ready from the first snap – if the FSU defense is as good as everyone says, and Rees is as immobile……. then Rees could be knocked out very early. Also, thanks for the John Taylor post.

  22. bionicpeter - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    It won’t take long for lead feet to be replaced in this game. If Kelly wants top recruits he needs to be subject to change at any time. It will show recruits that hard work will moved you up into playing time status. Reese has served his time. His average play may be good at I U but not here.

  23. jonathanfesler - Dec 13, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    IDK guys, I love BK! I didn’t after that Tulsa game! I think I really don’t care for that spread offense! I lost all faith in TR when in the SC game he threw that swing pass that went backwoods and bounced it off the intended reciever’s shoulder pad and was ruled a fumble behind the line of scrimmage! The Mi game was a heart breaker 3 years in a row!, the SF game was just bizarre, the evacuation etc I pretty much dismissed that game as the worst way to start a season, now let’s get on with it! I curious as to what all you guys think about ND joining a conference and if they did, which one you’s think they should join?

  24. nudeman - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I’m having a problem with the “good coach” part of your message.
    No he isn’t.

    Lucked into the New England job at a time when Tom Brady was peaking and they were loaded with offensive talent. Was poor at ND and poor at Florida. Take a look at the end of the story here:

    Wow: Kansas hires Charlie Weis as its next head coach

    Posted by John Taylor on December 8, 2011, 5:40 PM EST

    AP
    Again, wow.

    Rumors that began to surface late Wednesday — and were dismissed by nearly every observer — have come to fruition: Charlie Weis is the new head football coach at Kansas.

    In an announcement made on its official website, KU confirmed that Weis will be introduced as the Jayhawks’ new coach at a press conference Friday. The specific time of the press conference is still to be determined.

    The college football world isn’t the only one stunned by KU’s hiring of Weis; according to a tweet from CBS Sports.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Will Muschamp, Weis’ boss, “didn’t know Weis interviewed at Kansas [and was] on [his] way to [a] Gator Bowl press conference when news broke [that] Weis [was] hired.”

    Muschamp later clarified that he and Weis had discussed the Kansas job over the past few days. Last month, however, Weis seemed set on returning to Florida for another season.

    “I’m going to coach for a long time,” Weis said on Nov. 22, when he was asked whether he would be back at Florida next season. “I’m not… my wife says I can’t quit. That’s not even… remember I have a kid who is a freshman in college here. Remember the reasons why I came here. So, I’ll be here for a while, unless you’re trying to get rid of me. No, he didn’t get free tuition if you were wondering.”

    That, obviously, was before the KU job came open after the firing of Turner Gill.

    Weis spent last season as Florida’s offensive coordinator — it’s very likely you’ll hear more cheers over this hire coming from Gainesville than Lawrence — after one year out of the game. From 2005-2009, and in his only head-coaching stint at any level of football, Weis led Notre Dame to a 35-27 mark. He was fired after the 2009 season, spending 2010 as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator before moving to the same job with the Gators.

    During his lone season at UF, Weis came under intense criticism from Gator Nation for the underwhelming performance of his offense in 2011. Hired as part of Muschamp’s first UF coaching staff, Weis took an offense that was 43rd in points per game (29.9) and 82nd in total offense per game (350.9 yards) in 2010 and transformed it into an offense that finished 72nd (25.6) and 102nd (334.2), respectively, in 2011.

    At $865,000 last year, and as noted by Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, Weis was the highest-paid assistant coach in the history of Florida football.

  25. nudeman - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Sorry about posting this article twice
    My mistake

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