LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Charlie Weis is entering the third year of his five-year contract at Kansas, so he knows better than anyone that the Jayhawks need to start winning games in a hurry.
The longtime Big 12 doormat won just once in his first season and three times last year, including a conference victory over West Virginia. But for Weis to feel good about the progress that has been made, it may take going at least .500 for the first time since 2008.
"When we hand out a roster, this is the best we feel by a wide margin about the talent we have here," Weis said Thursday during his first availability of fall camp. "But that being said, we've done very little to back that up, me included. So we'll see how it goes."
There are certainly reasons for Weis to feel better about this season than any other.
Despite losing leading rusher James Sims and several other contributors from last season, the Jayhawks finally appear settled at quarterback, have their best wide receiver corps since Weis has been on campus, and have a defense stocked with seniors that should be drastically improved.
Throw in the energy brought by new offensive coordinator John Reagan, who has scrapped the pro-style offense of Weis in favor of a spread approach, and optimism abounds
"I certainly see the progress on defense, and I see evidence of it on special teams, and I think that what we're doing offensively gives us a better chance to win," Weis said. "If I didn't think it gave us a better chance to win, we wouldn't have made the changes we did."
Weis and Reagan took all the drama out of the biggest question mark in the spring when they appointed sophomore Montell Cozart the starting quarterback over a couple of upper classmen.
Not only did Cozart finally provide some stability for a position that has been vexing at Kansas for years, he also has the skillset to run Reagan's offense. He's an accurate passer on the run, and his elusiveness when he escapes the pocket gives the Jayhawks another dynamic.
"He brings athletic ability and somebody that can get us out of a lot of trouble," tight end Jimmay Mundine said. "He can extend the play, get a first down and throw downfield."
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