Former Jayhawks stand up for Weis
By The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
Members of last year's Kansas football team who Charlie Weis called a "pile of crap" earlier this week could have taken offense at their former coach's assessment of them.
Instead, they wholeheartedly agreed.
Weis made the comments during Big 12 media day in Dallas this week, and defensive back Bradley McDougald and fullback Toben Opurum — a captain on that Jayhawks team — said Thursday they came up with the same evaluation of a team that finished 1-11 last year.
"I mean, that's what it was, truth be told," said Opurum, who along with McDougald is trying to make the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. "We didn't put out a good product on the field and he was just expressing how he feels about it.
"He may have been able to word it differently but that's the type of guy he is," Opurum added. "He's going to tell you straight forward. He's not going to beat around the bush."
There's no doubt about that.
Weis rarely spoke with a filter during his first season in Lawrence, offering brutally honest assessments of his struggling team on a weekly basis. If guys were blowing assignments, failing to hustle or even missing blocks, the longtime NFL assistant and former Notre Dame coach certainly wasn't going to hide his opinion of their performance.
So when he was asked in Dallas about how he's managed to recruit so well after beating only South Dakota State last season, Weis wasn't about to start varnishing his answers.
"Everyone wants to play. There's no one that wants to not play," Weis said, before recalling what he'd tell recruits. "I said, 'Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don't think you can play here, where do you think you can play?'
"It's a pretty simple approach," Weis said, "and that's not a sales pitch. That's practical. You've seen it, right? Unfortunately, so have I."
McDougald admitted that he was offended "to an extent," but said he didn't believe that Weis was disrespecting any of his players. The defensive back also pointed out that Kansas went 1-11 last season, "so it was a crap season."
"He's complimented me many times on my skill and me as a player," McDougald said, "so I can't really take too much offense to it because of what we produced last year."
Opurum brushed off the comments made by his former coach by saying that he's focused on his first NFL training camp, and making the transition from defensive end back to fullback.
"People have their opinions about that team. People have their opinions about him," Opurum said. "I'm up here with the Chiefs. I'm not with the KU football team anymore. If that's how he wants to speak about the team last year, that's perfectly fine."