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CFN Analysis - Charlie Weis As The Florida OC
New Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis
New Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 3, 2011


Florida sure has gotten more interesting. It's being reported that new head coach Will Muschamp will hire Kansas City's Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, so what does this mean? Is this a new direction for the Gator offense after years of the spread? The CFN writers give their thoughts on the splashy hire.

CFN Analysis   

Charlie Weis As Florida's OC


By Pete Fiutak

Thanks for playing, Urban. Now you and your little spready thing can move along.

Obviously, Will Muschamp is ultra-secure in himself, his place in the world, and his job status as the newly-minted ball coach, or he wouldn’t have been able to bring aboard a coach like Weis. It might seem a bit of a gamble, but it also might be the perfect marriage.

Muschamp is a defensive coach, and an elite one, but he’s the CEO. The offensive reins can and will be turned over to Weis. Weis should be able to be Weis, and that’s a good thing.

I’m not sold that the ego-clash/schematic advantage/I-coached-Notre-Dame-and-you-didn’t thing is going to be an issue. Weis isn’t exactly toxic, but he’s not going to be up for a head coaching job any time soon unless he’s willing to take a major step down and try his hand at a non-AQ program. He’s an assistant, and he should be happy with his place in Gainesville. Reportedly, Weis wants to coach at Florida to be near his son, and working as Todd Haley’s sidekick at Kansas City wasn’t exactly an easy gig. Now, there’s a chance for Weis to take the Florida offense and make it his, and if he and the attack succeed, he’ll get the same credit and the same respect Gus Malzahn is currently enjoying at Auburn, where Gene Chizik is basically known as the guy who hired the great assistants and found a way to get Cam Newton.

Ego-wise, this is a chance for Weis to change up his legacy a bit and repair his reputation with a possible eye on getting another head coaching job down the road, but in the reverse of how the coaching progression normally happens. Usually, great college coaches, like Pete Carroll, who struggled or failed in the NFL, want to get back to the big league to prove to the world and themselves that they’re good enough to succeed in the big time. For Weis, he has already conquered the NFL as an assistant, and now it’s time to repair his collegiate name.

But beyond all the potential head-butting and all the possible ego battling, the hiring of Weis is a statement by Muschamp, and Florida, that it’s time to make a change. Meyer could’ve stayed as the head coach as long as he wanted, and if he was able to stay healthy, and was able to keep his composure, he likely would’ve won at least two more national titles in the near future. He was and is that good, and the talent he’s able to bring in is peerless. However, if he’s not going to be a part of the show, then it’s goodbye to the spread.

The problem in the rebuilding 2010 season wasn’t just that Meyer hung on for another year when his first instincts were right, and it wasn’t just that Tim Tebow’s legendary career had ended, it was that the team never had an offensive identity. Quarterback John Brantley was an elite recruit, but he’s a passer not a runner, and Meyer and his staff tried to have the best of all worlds, attempting to take advantage of their talented young prospect while also trying to incorporate parts of the spread at the same time. The result was a sloppy mix that didn’t work, hurt also by the ongoing struggles to find a running back who could consistently produce and a receiver who could hang on to the deep balls Brantley was slinging.

There’s a chance that Weis was the hire to take advantage of a franchise passing prospect.

Muschamp saw the exact same offensive problems this year at Texas, who had thrived with running, mobile quarterbacks in Colt McCoy and Vince Young, and suddenly, had to switch gears to accommodate a top passing talent in Garrett Gilbert. Muschamp, with the hiring of Weis, is putting an end to the buffet style offense and saying it’s time to go to a pro style. And he’s trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

It might not take that much tweaking for Brantley to go from good to phenomenal, and Muschamp is hiring the top assistant coach out there to see if it’s possible. Weis might have his flaws, but he knows how to create an air show and he might be the best quarterback coach in all of football.

With the hiring of Weis and, now defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, it’s okay to raise the expectations even further right away. Meyer left the cupboard stocked with NFL talent, and Muschamp might have put together the best coaching staff in college football. Thrown in the facilities and the infrastructure, and it’s all there for Florida to win and win big immediately.

No pressure, Will. Now go and win a national title or three.

By Richard Cirminiello

Charlie can coach an offense. I’m just not so sure about this fit in Gainesville.

Charlie Weis has nothing to prove as a builder of offenses and developer of quarterbacks. His track record in those areas, both in college and the NFL, speaks for itself. However, I wonder if this is going to be a smooth transition back to the amateur ranks, where he left Notre Dame as a failure. Weis’ best days were in the pros, working a job that allowed him to be a 24/7 innovator, mentor, and game-planner. No recruiting and no dealing with teenagers or their parents. Does he really want to go backwards, essentially taking a demotion to an unfamiliar area of the country which isn’t likely to appreciate his candor, arrogance, and attitude? Oil, meet vinegar. And then there’s the matter of Weis’ massive ego, for which there is no bypass surgery. The proverbial bull in a china shop, is this really what Will Muschamp needs, an outspoken assistant with more head coaching experience than him?

Beleaguered Gator QB John Brantley ought to be thrilled that Charlie Weis is headed South. He might be just the guy to resurrect the senior’s sagging career. For everywhere else, it’s going to be a wait-and-see approach to a very intriguing hire.

By Matt Zemek

The Will Muschamp era at Florida needed to begin with a bang. The new sheriff in Gainesville needed, before and beyond anything else, to reel in an elite offensive coordinator. After some speculation that Major Applewhite was going to be the man for Muschamp, the Gators found Charlie Weis.

That’s an elite coordinator.

Weis’s outsized personality really shouldn’t be a factor. The former Notre Dame coach will call plays and structure an offense. He won’t be a lead recruiter, but he can show off some Super Bowl jewelry and tell hotshot quarterbacks in the Southeast that he molded Tom Brady into an all-time great NFL signal caller. Weis won’t have to be the icon of a university or worry about the defensive side of the ball. Among all the offensive coordinators who could have taken this job,

Weis rates very highly on the list. If anything, he becomes the rock of the Florida coaching staff in 2011. Muschamp is a proven defensive play-caller, but his ability to be a poised and savvy head coach is very much in question. Charlie Weis should not encounter great difficulties when dialing up plays or scheming for SEC opponents. Laugh all you want about the “decided schematic advantage” Weis mentioned at Notre Dame, but the former boss in South Bend will be able to match wits with Nick Saban and Justin Wilcox. Florida’s overall coaching situation just got a whole lot better.

By: Barrett Sallee

It was shocking, it was out of the blue, it was unexpected…and it’s a perfect fit for the Florida Gators.

Don’t let the Notre Dame record fool you, Charlie Weis can coach. At least, he can coach offense. His 35-27 record as head coach of the Irish proved that he was not head coach material, but his ability to draw up an offensive game plan should terrify SEC defensive coordinators. In his first season with Notre Dame, he improved the Irish’s scoring offense by 12 points, and achieved similar results in stops as a coach for the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.

In his four years as Notre Dame head coach, he finished with the No. 27, 5, 11, 2 and 23 ranked recruiting classes in the country according to Scout.com. Keep in mind that this isn’t the Notre Dame that is remembered as the traditional football power either – at least for the players that are being recruited. With the wealth of talent that’s available in the state of Florida, Charlie Weis should be able to flash that Super Bowl ring (which is a level of self-righteousness that would make Chris Berman jealous) and attract talent like moths to a light. Generally, the primary goal of most recruits is to find a place that can take him to the NFL. Considering Weis’ track record, that should make Gainesville very attractive.

Will Muschamp swung for the fences with Charlie Weis, and hit a home run. His pro-style offense will be a departure from the spread offense that former head coach Urban Meyer brought to Florida, but it will be just as successful, probably sooner rather than later. After all, considering the general malaise that was prevalent under former offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, the only way to go is up.

By Russ Mitchell

What’s up, Chuck? Yes, we’ve heard the rumors about Kansas City Head Coach Todd Haley – one only has to go back to his last stop in Phoenix and ask anyone with the Cardinals: brilliant offensive mind, but seems to rub a lot of folks the wrong way. So we get it – you and the boss man don’t exactly see eye-to-eye.

But as of Sunday there are nearly a half-dozen NFL towns already looking to replace their coaching staffs, with more likely coming. After what you’ve done for the Chiefs this season, and your proven NFL history, it’s hard to believe your agent couldn’t have started a bidding war for your services. And we haven’t heard of any clause in your contract that forbids you from moving to another pro team. So, why take a step backwards?

What’s that Gainesville? You think for a man with Weis’s NFL pedigree, taking the same job at a university (even Florida) is a step forward? It’s not even a lateral move, unless your definition of lateral includes going backwards.

Forget the NFL/CFB salary differential for a moment, since Weis is still swimming in enough Notre Dame cash to do whatever he wants. Still, we haven’t seen a career move this puzzling since Craig Kilborn.

As for the Gators, at first glance this looks like a wonderful move – there are few in the game of football better at offensive X’s/O’s. However, he’s proven in spectacular fashion that he’s not cut out for all the non-coaching intangibles of college football. And is a stop-gap solution what you really want, Gators? Because you’re just kidding yourselves if you think Weis is going to put up roots in northern Florida for anything other than a head coaching position. And that in and of itself could be a mixed bag in recruiting: “Come to UF kid, and learn next year under the offensive genius of me, Charlie Weis. If I’m still around, that is...”

The only thing for certain is this: the quality of coaching in the SEC is just ridiculously ahead of the rest of the nation.