Friday, October 25, 2013

Players aren't only ones being critiqued by UConn coach

Since taking over as UConn's interim head coach T.J. Weist has prided himself with being blunt but fair in his evaluations when he looks at the game tapes. His breakdowns are not limited to just the players he coaches, however.

Weist is aware that the UConn offense, which he is in charge of, has been dreadful for most of the season. So as he watches the footage of the Huskies' latest defeats, he can't help but look in the mirror.

Weist gave serious consideration to handing off some of the offensive play calling duties to fellow offensive assistants Kermit Buggs, Shane Day and Mike Foley although he told the media on Thursday that he will continue to call the plays when UConn plays at Central Florida tomorrow.

"We are going to have some changes," Weist said earlier in the week. "I am going to focus on Coach Buggs, Coach Day and Coach Foley getting more involved in the play calling because me as the head coach I have to focus on the whole team. At times I think it may cost us because of things going on the field and we are a no-huddle team, we have a lot in the flow of the game, lining up so we are evaluating that and are still talking about, we have a great plan for it.

"The truth is our offense is not doing very good, I have been the coordinator since I have been here and we are not very good so I need to improve. I talk about being honest and that is being honest. I am the one calling the show. I am the one calling these plays. Sure our players have to make plays but I have to keep it simple, put our players in the best position and I want to make it enjoyable for the fans, want to make it enjoyable for the players. I want our players to enjoy the game, I want recruits to look at our games and 'say I want to play for that offense, I want to make plays in that offense.' I want fans to say that is an exciting offense. It is not 3 yards and a cloud of dust. My wife sits up in the stands and she hears it all the time, sometimes she calls out the plays. The best one was Jackie Harbaugh. Everybody talks about John and Jim and Jack but Jackie (the mother of NFL head coaches John and Jim Harbaugh), she is probably the most competitive of the whole group. She sits up in the stands, she calls plays and she gets after the coaches if they aren’t getting the plays in on time and being very critical. I understand when you are in college football, you want it to be exciting offense, you want to have an unpredictable offense and the biggest thing is you want an offense to score."

With Weist saying that his wife calls out plays from her seat, I couldn't let that pass without asking him what kind of play caller she is.

"She is probably better than me, she can probably call better runs. I may have to try her out this week."

On a serious note, UConn is 0-6 and staring at 0-8 with games coming up against Central Florida and Louisville. A year ago the Huskies rose to the challenge when they went on the road and upset nationally-ranked Louisville. However, in two road games this season the Huskies have been outscored 82-28 so there is the potential for tomorrow's game to get ugly.

"Players are not down, they are excited," Weist said. "They are together and I have been pleased by their response with us in us keeping them together in an 0-6 situation because they know that so we will get that changed around in everything we do is focused on this team and getting a victory this weekend.

"We are settled and we know the direction. In the locker room after the game you never know how a team is going to react after 0-6 and after a loss like that. Against South Florida we really felt like we beat ourselves and against Cincinnati it was more of a combination of them beat us and at times we beat ourselves. We didn’t stop them, you don’t know how they are going to react in the locker room, they are very positive, very upbeat, they were disappointed, they were mad. You can’t accept losing under any circumstance because as soon as you accept it, it is going to happen again so we will never accept it. "



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