Not even after a full season with the Florida Gators as offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis left for greener pastures and the head coaching job at Kansas University. He is widely regarded as an offensive genius but his success was short-lived during his last head coaching stint at his alma mater Notre Dame.
The Irish went 34-25 under Weis but only 15-21 in his final three years, including the worst season in school history.
Clearly some things need to be fixed if he is going to succeed at Kansas, and here are three of those things.
One of the biggest problems Charlie Weis had at Notre Dame was getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stopping the run. In his last three years, the Irish averaged 77th nationally against the run and 89th in tackles for a loss.
He isn’t starting out with a great crew at Kansas, either. They ranked 117th against the run as well as in tackles for a loss and gave up an astonishing 604 yards rushing to Georgia Tech.
He will obviously need to recruit better guys on the line in order to be successful.
Weis is obviously a pass-first guy but there has to be some semblance of the run in order to be truly effective. Between 2007 and 2009, Notre Dame never averaged more than 128 yards rushing per game. Brian Kelly has been rushing the football more during his tenure and the team is winning more games.
Right now Kansas is doing a running-back-by-committee offense and that hasn’t worked particularly well either.
Weis needs to get one running back who can carry the rock on every down if necessary, especially in the Big 12 where everyone is accustomed to seeing passing attacks.
None of Notre Dame’s special teams units were particularly good under Weis and having quality play there can help win close games, something that happened only on rare occasion in South Bend between 2005 and 2009.
Having a great return man can put you right back in any game and until the better athletes come in, winning the field-position battle could be the difference between going to a bowl and not. He never put much of an emphasis on it but Weis needs to start doing so in order to be successful at Kansas.