Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart knows the spotlight will be on him when the Jayhawks battle Central Michigan, Saturday at Memorial Stadium. After a horrific performance in last week’s 41-3 loss at Duke, Kansas will go as far as the young signal caller can take them.
Some wonder if head coach Charlie Weis will have a quick hook on him, but patience and stability might be more the way to go. At his weekly press conference this week, Weis attributed the bad outing to just being one of those day.
“I think it was a bad day at the office,” Weis said. “That’s what I think it was.”
Indeed, Cozart looked like a deer in the headlights through most of the game, but deeper within him is the same guy who looked and sounded the part last November, when Kansas defeated West Virginia. It’ll be up to him and his coaches to work together to get it right, as Kansas (1-1) faces what could amount to a must win game against the Chippewas for a number of a reasons.
The first key to getting Cozart on track will be to get his accuracy where it needs to be for the Jayhawks to be successful. The other will be to get his confidence where it usually has been, something Weis said was settled before the week even began.
“By the time Montell left on Sunday, I think Montell was feeling a lot better than when Montell walked in because when you see what the issues are and you see what the answers are, and if you believe that the answers can solve the issues, then you're okay,” Weis said. “It's when you don't have an answer. That's a bigger issue. But, there were a lot of simple things that could be done.”
As for the thought that Cozart should be looking over his shoulder at backup Michael Cummings, Weis made it clear that Cozart is his guy and he will stick by him as long as he can. If Cozart is to exit the game, it will be after the staff does their due dillegence and not because fans or anyone else feel he shouldn’t be given a fair chance to right the ship. There will be no short leashes or any other written clichés.
“Short leashes as a football phrase, that has no definition, because you don't know when that could happen,” Weis said. “Is that the first quarter, is that the second quarter, is that the start of the second half? All I know is whoever is going to give us the best chance to win this game, that's who's going to be in there. And right now we think that Montell gives us the best chance to win this game.”