Tag:Charlie Weis
Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:31 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:31 pm

Who replaces Bill O'Brien in New England?

One thing Belichick's offensive coordinators have had in common: a QB by the name of Brady. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has agreed to become Penn State's next head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman confirmed Thursday night.

This comes after a week of rumors had O'Brien taking the job, not taking the job, then interviewing for the job in that order on consecutive days. But now that his employment status is set, what does this mean for the Patriots?

It's not the first time the organization has lost an offensive coordinator (or even one to a high-profile college job). Notre Dame hired Charlie Weis in December 2004 and he coached the Fighting Irish through five mostly disappointing seasons before he was fired.

Weis was Bill Belichick's first offensive coordinator in New England, arriving in 2000, the same year the Patriots used the 199th on (wait for it…) Tom Brady. The Pats won three Super Bowls from '00-'04; when Weis headed for South Bend, he was replaced by then-29-year-old quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. (McDaniels didn't officially have the title of offensive coordinator until 2006, but according to a 2008 New York Times, story he called the plays during the 2005 season.)

McDaniels was there in 2007, too, when the Patriots went 18-0 and set countless offensive records on their way to the Super Bowl. They lost to the Giants in one of the biggest upsets in championship history, and following the 2008 season, McDaniels was hired by the Broncos to replace Mike Shanahan. He lasted a season and a half before poor personnel decisions and a string of losses led to his dismissal 12 games into the 2010 campaign.

Both Weis and McDaniels reemerged as NFL coordinators; the former with the Chiefs in 2010 (Weis later returned to college, first as Florida's OC this fall before accepting the Kansas head-coaching gig in December), the latter with the Rams in 2011.

O'Brien's NFL journey began in February 2007, when the Patriots hired him after two seasons as Duke's offensive coordinator. After a year, he was promoted from offensive assistant to wide receivers coach. And like McDaniels before him, O'Brien called plays "unofficially" before eventually being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011.

So how have New England offense's fared the year after losing their coordinator? Unsurprisingly, as long as Tom Brady's upright, it's pretty much all systems go.

In 2004, the Pats' offense ranked third, according to Football Outsiders metrics. In 2005, after Weis left for Notre Dame, the Pats ranked seventh. In 2008, they were eighth; in '09, with McDaniels in Denver, they were first.

Next question: with O'Brien off to State College, who replaces him in New England? CNNSE.com's Tom Curran has a list of names -- some familiar, others less so.

* Chad O'Shea, Pats wide receivers coach
* Josh McDaniels, Rams offensive coordinator
* Jeff Davidson, Vikings offensive line coach

But again, the most critical element to New England's success isn't the guy calling the plays, it's the guy under center. The Patriots go as far as Brady goes. But we already knew that.

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 6:43 pm

Offseason Checkup: Kansas City Chiefs

Posted by Will Brinson


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The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t -- as a certain former Chiefs coach-turned-analyst said -- the “story of 2010.” Maybe at the midway point of last year, but now? Come on. Still, watching the Todd Haley’s crew grow up right before our very eyes last year was definitely fun.

And definitely a reason to give tons of credit to Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis, the two coordinators that managed to get a slew of the Chiefs’ early-round draft picks to actually play to their potential. Glenn Dorsey, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers, and Tamba Hali all blossomed on the defensive side, and Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki turned into fantastic offensive seasons.

Various talent levels aside, there were too many players who took a step forward in 2010 to simply call it a coincidence. Sustaining those levels, though, is the bigger problem.

Scheme, Blocking

The offensive skill positions are pretty well set for KC (depending on what you think about Matt Cassel anyway, and with the notable exception of a second wideout with wheels) and if they can bring back Brandon Carr, the secondary is going to be sick long-term, and possibly even as soon as next year.

But the Chiefs still need some help in the trenches, though. Defensively, Tyson Jackson played well before suffering an early season injury and Glenn Dorsey certainly made people in Kansas feel a little better about his top-five selection.

And offensively, well, it’s pretty obvious how good this team can be. The biggest question is whether or not Haley can stay out of his own way. (Or, alternately, if Weis really is that brilliant a playcaller -- 2011 will let us know to some degree.) Weaknesses in one particular area -- offensive line -- could put the risk of not repeating on the table.

1. Offensive Line
The key indicator that the Chiefs’ offensive line played better than it is in 2010 is the differential in yards per carry for Thomas Jones (3.7) and Jamaal Charles (6.4). That’s not to say the two backs are equal, because they’re absolutely not; Charles is many times better than Jones at this stage. But Charles also creates his own yardage to a significant degree, and made it easier for KC to be the top rushing team in the NFL. There’s enough talent at O-line in the draft this year to warrant beefing up early.

2. Wide Receiver
Chris Chambers, clearly, isn’t the answer to line up across from Bowe, who had one of the more dominant stretches by a wide receiver we’ve seen in a while across the middle of last season, despite the Chiefs not offering anyone that warrants not double-teaming the Pro Bowler. Putting a talented speedster on the opposite side of Bowe would boost the offense’s overall potent-ability and make life easier for Cassel.

3. Defensive Line
Though the defense produced some surprises from guys who previously underwhelmed, don’t be shocked if the Chiefs look to the defensive line with an early pick in this draft. There’s ample talent available in the early rounds (we’ve covered the depth at this position, no?) and stockpiling some big bodies will bode well for an overall defensive improvement in 2011.

2011 will carry the unusual burden of high expectations for Kansas City. On offense, that’s a distinct possibility if Charlie Weis’ presence really was that important to the development of his skill position guys (Cassel, Bowe and Charles, specifically). If Kansas City struggles to score points out of the gate, all fingers will be pointing at Todd Haley, who’s reportedly clashed enough with Weis to run the big guy out of Dodge and down to work for Will Muschamp in the college ranks.

Defensively, Crennel can help continue to restore his reputation if Jackson can step up and the Dorsey/Johnson can keep the redemption story rolling. Eric Berry, Javier Arenas, Brandon Flowers, and Carr should grow as well, so there’s absolutely some upside from last year’s defensive performance.

It’ll all come down to expectations, though. If some of the guys who performed so well last year regress, or the offensive performances in 2010 were a mirage built on Weis’ brain, there’s a good chance that 2011 looks more like a mirage than a blossoming team for a recovering franchise.

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Posted on: March 3, 2011 10:34 am

Hot Routes 3.3.11: Lesnar's conquerer retires

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It’s always nice to see a player, after he retires or is released, take out a full-page color advertisement in the local newspaper to thank the fans and city. That’s what former Bears DE Tommie Harris did today in the Chicago Tribune. Classy move.
  • Perhaps another reason why former Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left the organization to take the same position at the University of Florida: he didn’t want his salary slashed because of the potential lockout.
  • Former Alabama WR Julio Jones, who took part in the NFL combine with a fractured freakin’ foot, will have surgery Saturday so doctors can insert a screw into his foot. Jones should be healed in six to eight weeks.
  • This isn’t football-related, but I thought it was relevant to the continued concussion storylines. Former hockey enforcer Bob Probert, who died last year at the age of 45, was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Just like Dave Duerson and a host of other NFL players who have died recently.

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:56 am

Report: Haley didn't strip Weis of playcalling

Posted by Will Brinson

Following a disastrous second half for the Kansas City offense against Baltimore on Sunday, reports floated out yesterday that Todd Haley had stripped Charlie Weis of the Chiefs offensive playcalling duties.

It actually seemed somewhat logical (especially given the fourth-and-one sweep play to Jamaal Charles) but when rumors of this news leaking via Weis' public comments at a pizza joint came out, well, it seemed a little less likely.

Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN cites a source with the KC organization that debunks the rumor and calls the report "just outright lies."

Schefter acknowledges the disaster that Weis and Haley's relationship became by the end of the season, which prompted Weis to bolt (less-than-laterally) for the offensive coordinator's position at Florida.

But the source insists that Weis called "every play in the game," including the fourth-and-one that turned the tides for Baltimore.

The Chiefs didn't look like themselves in the second half -- or at least not like the Chiefs team that streaked to the AFC West title anyway. But they did look like the same team that was blown out by the Raiders in Week 17, which may be an more indication that Weis and Haley's relationship really fell apart at the end of the season, rather than the stripping of any duties.

Regardless, Weis is out the door now, and Haley's got to find someone equally adept at calling plays and, maybe most importantly, someone he can get along with for the duration of the season.

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Posted on: January 9, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 5:11 pm

Despite blowout, future's still bright for Chiefs

Posted by Will Brinson

It probably isn't fun to be a Chiefs fan right now, following Baltimore beating Kansas City down 30-7 in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

KC hung with a more talented team for the first half of what looked like a great game and then got totally dominated by the Ravens in the second half. The Chiefs sputtered offensively (Matt Cassel's three interceptions all came after halftime), they abandoned their gameplan (Jamaal Charles didn't touch the ball after the 9:45 mark in third quarter), they made critical mistakes (Dexter McCluster's fumble in the red zone on 3rd and 26, the offsides as the Ravens were punting on 4th and 3 with the game still within reach, the call to pitch outside on fourth-and-one, etc.) and they generally shot themselves in the foot. Repeatedly.

Even "The Tuck Rule" -- it apparently follows anyone who's played for the Patriots throughout their career, right? -- and an inspiring red-zone defensive effort couldn't save Kansas City from the steamroller that came out of Baltimore's locker room in the second half.

But here's the good news: 2010 was a tremendous success for Kansas City even without the team's first playoff since 1994, and that's a lesson that shouldn't be forgotten.

Here's some better news: this is a Chiefs team that appears set to contend in the AFC West for some time based primarily on a youthful core of potential superstars.

People will complain about Todd Haley's decision-making and ego, but that comes with the territory of being a brash NFL head coach who goes for it on fourth down a lot. (What doesn't come with the territory, even if you're Bill Belichick, is not having people question the decision; see above.)

But this is a team with budding stars at the skill positions -- Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Tony Moeaki and Matt Cassel provide a potent core that'll trouble AFC West defensive coordinators for what could be a decade depending on management decisions. Toss Dexter McCluster in that mix as an all-purpose home-run threat who also can decimate opponents in the special teams game and there's no reason for this team to lose its explosiveness even when Charlie Weis takes his talents to Gainesville.

On the defensive end of things, Eric Berry is the next great NFL safety (ignore the times he's been torched deep this season, because that's just being a rookie), Tambi Hali is a 2010 Pro Bowl snub that should find his way to Hawaii next year and Glenn Dorsey and Derrick Johnson have finally emerged as the talents they were picked to be.

Scott Pioli knows what he's doing in the front office too, in case the quick turnaround in KC didn't convince you, and it's a pretty safe bet that he'll find a capable offensive coordinator to replace Weis.

The schedule gets a LOT tougher in 2011 (Packers, Steelers, Vikings, Dolphins at home; Colts, Bears, Pats, Jets, Lions away) so there's a distinct possibility of regression in terms of wins for the Chiefs next year.

But the fact remains that there's sufficient talent on this roster to warrant significant optimism in 2011. Even for a franchise that just extended some ugly postseason losing streaks, that's reason enough to be excited.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 7:49 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 8:17 pm

Hot Routes 01.04.11: Is Todd Haley a 'fraud'?

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • In case you didn't read it, Jason Whitlock of FOX Sports called Todd Haley "the biggest fraud in football." Well, "quite possibly the biggest fraud in football" anyway. That's a bold statement from a guy who knows KC pretty well. 

Posted on: January 2, 2011 5:18 pm

Haley confirms Weis leaving to UF post-playoffs

Posted by Will Brinson

The jokes during the Chiefs loss to the Raiders on Sunday (a surprising 31-10 blowout) were that Charlie Weis had already packed his bags for Florida, where, as Josh wrote, it was all but guaranteed he'd be working next year.

After the game, Todd Haley addressed the rumors and confirmed Weis' departure, calling it "bittersweet," but providing a logical reason for the jump.

"Charlie Weis is moving on," Haley said. "He's going to go to the University of Florida as a coordinator. There was obviously a lot of speculation on that. "Charlie and I, the Chiefs, we had a bunch of real productive conversations this weekend -- really productive. This is a bitter sweet deal for me, as the head coach, because Charlie was someone I was obviously really excited to have in here."

There was also some speculation that Weis and Haley had trouble co-existing, but the logic behind Weis' not-so-parallel jump appears to be him wanting to spend time with his son.

"With that being said, Charlie is a family guy. He has a situation, a family situation, where he can go to Florida and be with his son, who is going to get into coaching. Without talking personally about Charlie, this is a great situation for Charlie. And I respect it 100 percent and we respect it 100 percent."

As Kent Babb noted on Twitter, Weis' son is going to be attending Florida in 2011, he'll be working with the football team (likely thanks to Weis' job) and wants to be a coach in the future.

So, really, there's no better opportunity for Weis to mentor his son than what he'll have in 2011, even if it means taking a step back in terms of his likely goal of once again becoming a head coach.

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 12:44 pm

Weis is good as gone in KC

Charlie Weis has taken the offensive coordinator job at the University of Florida. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Today will be the last regular-season game for Charlie Weis as the Chiefs offensive coordinator before he takes the same position with new coach Will Muschamp at the University of Florida. That’s the official word from the Kansas City Star.

Does the move make sense?

I’m not sure. It seems that moving from an OC position in the NFL to an OC position in college football is a lateral jump at best. It certainly couldn’t be seen as a promotion.

But if Weis wanted more autonomy as an assistant coach, he could be more inclined to get it from Muschamp (though that autonomy didn’t exactly work out well at Notre Dame, did it?).

Either way, this opens the door for former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels to take the offensive coordinator job at Kansas City so he could be reunited with Kansas City QB Matt Cassel.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com