Charlie Weis announced on Friday that he was giving up play calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Haywood – something he said when he was hired he would eventually do, but something no one really thought would happen this soon.
Well, I’m going to try to cut the proverbial — the figurative — umbilical cord and try to move myself a little bit away from being the sole primary guy on the offensive staff. So in the springtime we’ll start off with the offensive staff running the offense. That means (offensive coordinator) Mike (Haywood) will write the scripts and set it up on offense, and that means that all the offensive coaches now won’t have to worry about the ever presence of the head coach breathing down their neck all the time.
I’m trying to do this. This is a tough one for me to do, but I’m trying to give them an opportunity to run the offense with me interjecting rather than me demanding and telling them everything that we’re going to do. So that’s how we’re going to run this in the spring.
Everyone is coaching the same positions, nothing is changing. They’re all doing what they do, it’s just that we’re going to try to do it with the head coach less involved. My wife knows I’m going through withdrawal on this one right there. This is really not the easiest thing.
But I’m going to give them an opportunity to see if we can’t be more expansive on our ideas, and I think that sometimes when you have a number of good coaches, sometimes they get stymied or stifled a little bit when you have a very domineering presence when the head coach is also involved in the offense. They know that I reserve the right to change some things, they know that I can interject things, but at the same time I want to give them an opportunity to do it, so that’s what I’m going to do.
He will still be working with the QBs, but possibly not as extensively as he did in the past:
I’ll stay involved with coaching the quarterback, but I’m not going to — I always feel that my greatest strength as a football coach is developing quarterbacks, so I think that for Jimmy (Clausen) and Evan (Sharpley) and now the new guy (Dayne Crist), for all those guys, I think that that’s part of what I do.
And I think that — (quarterbacks coach) Ron (Powlus) and I have already discussed this, that I’ll always be part of the development of that position, and I’ll always be part of the development of the offense. But I think that — I don’t want to pigeonhole the offensive staff, and I think that some of the creativity that comes in offense sometimes gets stymied when you have a domineering head coach that happens to be an offensive guy.
I’m trying to cut this cord. Really, it’s not the easiest thing to do. I’m trying to do that.
And why is he doing this?
I think that play calling is my greatest strength, okay, but I’m the head coach, and I think that when you’re play calling on offense, you might not necessarily be the best head coach. So what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to be a better head coach. That’s what I’m trying to do.
When you ask that question, it’s very valid, and that’s getting back to this — but at the same time, I think this might give me the best chance of being the best head coach.
And what will he be doing with his extra time now?
I’m actually going to spend more time doing two things; A, spending more time with the players, which I feel that’s one thing I haven’t done since I’ve been here. Since I’ve been here I think I’ve been spending so much time with the offense, I haven’t spent much time with the offensive players to tell you the truth, more with the offensive coaches, and have spent very little time with the defensive players. And come 6:00 Monday morning I’m going to start changing that because although I give the staff off next week, when they go work out at 6:00 on Monday morning I’m going to be in there with them and see if I can’t start being more — I won’t say more open, but more approachable with the players because I think that especially the young guys get so intimidated, they don’t know that you can come in and talk about everything.
I think if we’re going to play a bunch of young guys, which we did last year, I think the one thing I have to do is make sure I’m much more approachable and make sure I start working on that — now that recruiting is over, start working on that on Monday.
As far as special teams go, I screwed that up last year. Brian Polian is going to be the special teams coach. He’s not coaching defense. He’s just coaching special teams, and I’m his assistant. So the only two people who will be coaching special teams this year will be Brian as the special teams coach, and that’s his, and I’m going to be his aide because since I’ve been here I’ve been talking about how special teams, special teams, special teams.