Florida Football: How Charlie Weis Pulled a Lane Kiffin on the Florida Gators

Kevin King@kevin glen kingSenior Analyst IIAugust 18, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 9:  Coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis of the Florida Gators direct play during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2010 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

As the late, great former Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi once asked, "what the hell's going on out here?" The Florida Gator football nation has been asking that same question about their team's offense for two years. 

The college football national champions from 2006 and 2008 seem to have become a forgotten bunch here lately. Ranked a whopping No. 23 by the latest coach's poll, it is almost as if when Urban Meyer left, the fun of football left with him.

This team is still loaded with talent. And, by the way, beat Coach Meyer's new team in the 2011 Gator bowl.

Second year head coach, Will Mushamp is dealing with the issues that came with an offense that failed to meet the Florida standard last year. In fairness to the coach, play started to slip below that standard during the final year of the Meyer regime.

When Charlie Weis agreed to come to Gainesville as part of the new staff, fans were immediately excited. Here was an offensive guru, leaving a high paying NFL position to come help get the Gators get back on track. With this guy the offense will be flying high right out of the gate!

Wrong! Half way through year one of the Weis system and the excitement had cooled.

The national press was all over the Charlie Weis move. How he did this for his family, so they could be together near Ocala horse country. Here is where I really want to say something that has the word horse in it. But it isn't horse country; it's more like horse crap, to put it nicely.

Charlie Weis used Florida and he used the media as well. Here is a nice example of how Weis used the national media to help him to use Florida.

A nice little puff piece by Dennis Dodd, a senior writer for CBS.com about family man Charlie Weis. The story tells about how the Florida job was going to be a great fit for him and his family for the next four years. It also went into some detail about how both Charlie and his wife, Maura, were done with Kansas.

Don't blame the reporter by the way. He is just taking the information provided and laying it out there for everyone. He was just as used as the Gators.  

Charlie Weis pulled a Lane Kiffin on Florida and their fans. He used the offensive coordinator job as a stepping stone, period. Think there is any chance that Weis knew Turner Gill was not going to make it at Kansas? If so, why not stay at Kansas City and wait for the Kansas job to come open?

Glad you asked.

Charlie Weis was done in Kansas City. His relationship with head coach Todd Haley had become so strained it would have been next to impossible for them to continue working together. Charlie needed somewhere to land, while he waited for his next opportunity.

Along came Florida and Will Muschamp.

Just the detached nature that Weis seemed to go about his work in Florida made one think he would not be around the Gators for long.

While Weis was not getting the offense fixed, the Florida defense was performing well.

Fortunately, now that Weis has moved on, coach Muschamp appears to be getting his offensive house back in order with the hiring of Brent Pease. Pease promises to bring more motion, misdirection and better use of the screen game—all things which should confuse defenses—making the offense less predictable.

The new playbook will also encourage the young quarterbacks to get rid of the football sooner and cut down on sacks and hurries.

Pease has a good plan and there is no reason to believe it should not be an improvement over the pro sets of Charlie Weis. So, finally, two years after Muschamp's hiring, the offense should begin to get in step with the formidable defense.

Also, a year and a half later, Charlie Weis should have that perfect family situation he talked about having in Gainesville when he first came to work with the Gators.

Nice how everything worked out—except that whole leaving in the middle of recruiting thing—for everyone involved.