Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Jan 2011

Florida Hires Weis As Offensive Coordinator

Will Muschamp's search for a homerun hire at offensive coordinator has led him to Kansas City's Charlie Weis.

Muschamp, officially Florida's head coach after Meyer's final game Saturday (a 37-24 win over Penn State), said that he was looking for a coordinator with both college and NFL experience.

He replaces Steve Addazio, who took much of the blame for Florida's offensive regression this season and is leaving to be the head coach at Temple.

The Weis announcement is expected to be made official Monday, and he is expected to coach the Chiefs through the playoffs.

Posted by: David Gardner on 01 Jan 2011

25 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2011, 3:10pm by Dave0

Comments

1
by Andrew Potter :: Sat, 01/01/2011 - 11:54pm

Is there something I'm missing here? (Probably is. I don't follow the college game AT ALL.) He's had a pretty successful year as a NFL coordinator, surely? Why would he make that move?

2
by Brian Fremeau :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 12:33am

Weis' son Charlie, Jr. is enrolling at Florida. Probably a family decision.

3
by Tighthead (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 12:36am

Who wants their parents to follow them to college?

4
by Drunkmonkey :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 12:46am

I could've sworn I saw something that said that Weis' son was following Muschamp to Florida from Texas. I got the impression that he was already part of the staff.

5
by peachy :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 2:02am

Muschamp is costing something like 1.3 million less than Meyer a year, so there is presumably more cash than usual available for assistants. And Weis strikes me as being at least as self-confident as the average football coach - it must vex him extremely that he was essentially chased out of the college game as a punchline. Running a successful offence at a high-profile place like UF is a good step towards rehabilitating his reputation at the college level and perhaps landing another HC job should he desire one. (Frankly, if he's successful I can't see him staying more than two years.)

8
by IAmJoe (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 7:12am

So to rehabilitate his reputation, he needs to downgrade from NFL OC to NCAA HC? That doesn't make sense. He could rehab his reputation just fine in the NFL.

So Josh McDaniels as the Chiefs new OC next season, right?

9
by peachy :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 8:33am

College and the NFL are two entirely different worlds - and two entirely different reputations.

17
by IAmJoe (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 4:10pm

To a limited extent, I think - Pete Carroll isn't back in the NFL because of the rehabbing he did to his "NFL reputation", and Weis didn't get the job at Notre Dame because of his "NCAA reputation". I might believe you more with regard to the Head Coach position, just because the position is so different between the two leagues (recruiting, boosters, BCS and style points, the list goes on and on...), while for the most part the OC/DC jobs are much more closely aligned.

6
by Jim is rad (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 2:36am

The looming lock-out. Assistant coaches for the most part get screwed in the lock out due to contract langauge and since he has closer to a 0 percent than a 1 percent of every landing a NFL HC job this is the smart money thing to do.

7
by Richard :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 5:18am

Who wouldn't rather be in Florida than Kansas City?

10
by t.d. :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 10:30am

Gainesville ain't exactly South Beach

11
by Al (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 11:41am

The best question to ask is whether Weis is even a good OC. When he left NE, they put up much better numbers, even pre-2007. The defense just started to get old and that was that. At ND he came in and had his best season with someone else's recruits then stunk up the joint. Now in KC he has Jamal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Thomas Jones and a pretty decent QB in Matt Cassell, as well as a pretty easy schedule and suddenly he's a good coordinator again? Sorry but I don't see it. KC has dropped 30+ 6 times this year: vs. San Fran, @ Houston, vs. Jax (w/ Todd Bouman starting/throwing a pick-6), vs. Arizona, @ Seattle, and last week at Tennessee. Not exactly world-beaters.

19
by Sophandros :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 8:52pm

He did really well at New England as OC, and at ND the problem with his teams was the defense, not the offense. And yeah, he did great at KC as the OC. Now, going to Florida, he's going to have great talent (much better than what the much--and improperly--maligned Ty Willingham left him) year in and year out, plus he will be able to focus on the xs and os aspect of the game instead of having to manage an entire organization from recruiting, meeting with boosters, to gameplanning, and game day.

Great fit for him and great opportunity.

Now, regarding whether or not this is a step down, being a college OC is less stress, and at a place like UF, you're getting a comparable salary. So that's a good thing for him.

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

12
by Scott P. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 1:19pm

Now in KC he has Jamal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Thomas Jones and a pretty decent QB in Matt Cassell, as well as a pretty easy schedule and suddenly he's a good coordinator again?

I guess the question is are Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Thomas Jones and Matt Cassell great players, or average players who have been coached up? Nobody seemed that high on Cassell until Belichick coached him to an 11-5 record, after all.

15
by Eddo :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 2:12pm

Charles looks like a true stud, and some have argued that coaching/playcalling has held him back this year. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I do think that it's tough to say he's been "coached up".

Bowe was a top WR before Weis got there. I suppose you could argue that Weis resurrected Bowe's career, but he clearly has tons of talent.

Jones was an above average back in other cities, and frankly has had an awful year. He's not a point in favor of Weis.

Cassel sure seems to be a product of coaching, so I think that's to Weis's (and McDaniels's) credit. However, you could argue that since Cassel has now succeeded in two different cities, he must have some qualities of his own, and isn't just a product of coaching.

Overall, Weis has done a good job, but let's not act like he's had little to work with. He has some good skill position players and a very good offensive line.

16
by Easylazy :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 3:23pm

First of all, Bowe had talent but wasnt living up to it until this year. Second of all, Thomas Jones would have had a bad season anywhere, he got old fast which is why the Jets didnt resign him. Third of all, Cassel sucks and is just lucky to have had good coaches so far.

And just overall, most NFL teams have similar talents on their team, generally the coaching just makes them better. Just within the division, san diego has more talent than kansas city and finished with a worse record. Its a credit to the coaching staff that they turned this team around.

18
by Drunkmonkey :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 6:23pm

Really? Would you mind watching a Carolina game and make the claim that most NFL teams have similar talents? I realize that I'm in the minority here, but I don't think John Fox is the problem at all. The problem, and I know I'm going to take heat for this, since Richardson is so well respected and has come back from triple bypass heart surgery, is that Marty Hurney is a complete idiot, and that Jerry Richardson is way too cheap. The players on that team have played hard as anybody all season long even though everybody and their mother knew that the staff was out. The talent level is terrible, and everybody knew there was a problem when Carolina couldn't score an offensive touchdown in the preseason until the fourth quarter of the fourth game.

I don't think you can make the claim that most teams have similar talents on their team. I do think that coaching is a HUGE part of the success of football teams at all levels (although, my theory is that at each level the importance of coaching decreases as the level of talent available increases). It does matter about the level of talent on the field, but coaching is extremely important too. Kind of like the whole idea behind 'is it the offensive line, or the running back?'.

And I know you said 'most NFL teams' but its not really just Carolina; look at the Bills, the Bengals, the Browns, even the Lions (I think they have a good coaching staff, but not good players). Some would include the Titans (I won't because I don't think Jeff Fischer is as good as everybody thinks he is, he's just been around for an eternity), the Redskins, and the Texans. All of those teams have multiple glaring needs around their team, and the coaching staff isn't considered the only problem for any of them (although I have heard that some people think if Gary Kubiak goes, everything will be OK in Houston).

Your assessment of the talent levels of all the players I completely agree with (although I don't think Cassel sucks that badly, but he is lucky to work with great offensive masterminds). But coaching can't cure all. And teams don't have mostly similar talent levels. Good coaching can make good players and teams, but I don't think one can happen without the other.

And as for San Diego, yes their head coach is horrible, but they do have good assistants. I think the problem there is AJ Smith being the hardliner that he is, and not giving in to Jackson, even after it was obvious that they needed him badly, and that it was clear he was definitely worth the money he wanted. The problem there is definitely coaching, but it's more than that. It has a lot to do with the leadership of the club, and with the philosophy towards paying players, and equally the coaching (or lack there of) by those responsible for it.

22
by donk (not verified) :: Mon, 01/03/2011 - 2:05pm

When was it obvious that the Chargers needed Vincent Jackson badly? The Chargers led the league in passing yardage while Jackson only played in four games (plus a couple of plays at Indy). The player that they missed more than anyone this year (including Antonio Gates) was Kassim Osgood. Losing a Pro Bowl special teams player in Osgood was AJ Smith's worst personnel mistake this year. With just average special teams play this year the Chargers win 12 games.

25
by Dave0 :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 3:10pm

I can see why you'd say that, but its not true. Chargers coverage breakdowns would have benefited from Osgood's presence, but many of the special teams problems--blocks and missed kicks--Osgood would have had nothing to do with.

Osgood left for less money for a chance at starting offensively, which is something that he's totally unqualified to do in the NFL. What do you want, AJ to put a gun to his head or lie to him and say "suuuuuure, big slow guys might become the focus of our receiving game"?

Meanwhile, a healthy Jackson on the field for 16 probably would have led to a couple more touchdowns in-season. You could easily distribute those to win a game or more that the Chargers lost.

24
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Mon, 01/03/2011 - 8:42pm

"I don't think you can make the claim that most teams have similar talents on their team. I do think that coaching is a HUGE part of the success of football teams at all levels (although, my theory is that at each level the importance of coaching decreases as the level of talent available increases). It does matter about the level of talent on the field, but coaching is extremely important too. Kind of like the whole idea behind 'is it the offensive line, or the running back?"

You can make precisely that claim. As you go up through the levels of the sport the strong contraction in the number of available spots assures a relative parity of talent around the league. Yes there are up and down swings in talent but they are short in duration and you don't have the situation as in college where the top programs take most of the talent and create a whole set of perpetual haves.

And you theory on coaching would be precisely backward in my mind. As the level of talent available increases it means everyone is more likely to have great talent making differences in coaching more pronounced. And indeed that is what becomes apparent if you compare the college verses the pro level. In college talent disparities between the top and the bottom are so huge that you could pick a fan from the stands to coach some of the games and they'd still blow out the weak teams. Many college coaches are horrible in game tacticians and yet succeed well in college because if they can recruit well they have a huge advantage over anyone else.

In the pros your options to switch out the talent pool are fairly limited. Most teams have more comparable talent. Therefore, coaching accumen becomes more important in winning individual games. This isn't to say that coaching isn't overrated because it is. Talent matters more than anything else and managing personnel is incredibly important as well (and how dynasties are built rather than great teams). But NFL teams have a very comparable level of talent. If you need evidence just look at the fluctuations of the teams in the playoffs from year to year.

13
by Scott P. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 1:21pm

Dammit, can we get HTML tags some time before the world ends in 2012?

14
by Eddo :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 2:08pm

<em> = italics
<strong> = bold
<code> = fixed-width

I don't believe any others are supported, but that's not a big deal to me. The only nice one to have would be <blockquote>.

20
by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Mon, 01/03/2011 - 1:57am

Maybe someone in the community has some insight into the situation in KC? From a distance, this seems strange. This is a definite step down. Sorry, but rehabilitating his college image doesn't make a lot of sense. Neither does the lockout threat; its just a threat and Weis has millions in the bank.

The two most likely possibilities (to my purely speculative mind) are that he and/or Haley wants a divorce, or that Weis wants to dial back the workload (he has experienced more health issues over the past year). Again, that's just my utterly uninformed speculation (maybe I should start a blog), so if anyone has access to Chiefs info, I'd appreciate the insight.

21
by Yinka Double Dare :: Mon, 01/03/2011 - 1:20pm

I guess now Florida will have a decided schematic advantage in every game, eh?

23
by kevinM (not verified) :: Mon, 01/03/2011 - 6:42pm

Anyone who thinks Charlie didn't do a wonderful job with his offensive players at Notre Dame is crazy. They didn't win because it takes more than QBs, WRs, and TEs to win football games.

One of his QBs won the Maxwell Award and the other was the 3rd ranked QB in the country his final year. He had a Biletnikoff winner and a finalist for the award. Kyle Rudolph will be the third of his TEs to get drafted in the first 2 rounds. I think he'll do an exceptional job at Florida.