Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis joined Bob Socci and Ted Johnson on The Sunday Football Show this morning to talk about the upcoming moves the team needs to make in the off season.
But in addition to speculating what he thinks Bill Belichick will look to do over the next few weeks and months, Weis also expanded on his thoughts on quarterbacks, particularly Zach Wilson. Weis is concerned that Wilson, while a member of BYU’s leadership council, was not officially a team captain.
“If you don’t have that special IT factor, you have no chance of being being a leader of the team. I mean, one of the quarterbacks that everyone likes a whole ton in this draft is Zach Wilson, correct?” Weis asked hypothetically on the air.
“At BYU they have four captains on their football team, of which he is not one of. Now, can I ask you this question Ted? Why is your quarterback, who’s going to be taken probably the second pick in the draft, why is he not a captain of your football team?”
Hear more from Charlie Weis in the full interview below.
Bob Socci: We do have Charlie Weis on the Volkswagen Dealers expert hotline, and Ted you and I were having this discussion about attributes that you look for in a quarterback in today’s NFL. I know that’s very much on your mind with Charlie today.
Ted Johnson: Hey, Charlie, it’s Ted Johnson and Bob Socci. How are you doing, Coach?
Charlie Weis: I’m doing absolutely wonderful. How are you guys doing?
Ted Johnson: We’re good. We’re good. We appreciate your time today. And we were just talking quarterbacks, a position, obviously, you know very, very well. And, you know, Bob and I were talking about, you know, we wanted to get your opinion about what you think it is as far as you know, in today’s NFL. You know, what do you think that your friend Bill Belichick is looking for in a quarterback? You know, we all know that he covets, you know, a highly intelligent quarterback with accuracy. But it almost feels like today’s NFL. It takes a little bit more than those things, you know, to really be a really good quarterback in this league. What do you think Bill Belichick specifically covets from a trade standpoint in today’s quarterback?
Charlie Weis: Well, I think you get the best player you can get and then you do what he does. I think you take it just the opposite of what you’re asking Ted. You know you know, you played for the guy. He figures out what you can do and then does a whole lot of that. So, I mean, you tell me which quarterback that you can get at a reasonable price and I’ll have a better idea for what he’s going to do. I think that there’s enough flexibility both with Bill and Josh and the playbook and, you know, the whole package. There’s enough flexibility to take, you know, the best sound you can get your hands on and then, you know, kind of cater things around what that person can do.
Bob Socci: Hey, Charlie, this is in line with the evaluation of Mac Jones, because I know you’re very much on record as a proponent of Mac Jones, potentially is a Patriots quarterback or someone who’s going to succeed in the NFL as a quarterback that a lot of people view is not athletic. And I want to ask your opinion along the lines we just told Teddy too. Do we sometimes overrate certain traits like athleticism outside the pocket, in comparison to, I’d say, athleticism and maneuverability inside the pocket, along with awareness and anticipation. And in the case of Jones, how much credit should he get for the leadership that he exhibited when it came to leading that cast of stars in Alabama and stepping into those circumstances?
Charlie Weis: You know, it’s funny, no one talks about the cast of stars that Joe Burrow played with when he was at LSU. I mean, it was it was a cast of stars there as well. I mean, some teams. But what happens is when you have a really, really good leader, it doesn’t make any difference how many stars you have. It’s whether or not you’re really a good leader or not. And he obviously was everyone you talked to in Alabama from Nick right on down, I mean, ask Tua, you know, Tua, you know, Tua gets hurt and watches Jones, go ahead and play. I mean, the one thing about, you know, an NFL quarterback, if you don’t have that special IT factor, you have no chance of being being a leader of the team. I mean, one of the quarterbacks that everyone likes a whole ton in this draft is Zach Wilson, correct?
Bob Socci: Yep. Yeah.
Charlie Weis: Okay, do you realize that at Oregon I mean, excuse me, at BYU they have four captains on their football team, of which he is not one of. Now, can I ask you this question Ted? Why is your quarterback, who’s going to be taken probably the second pick in the draft, why is he not a captain of your football team?
Ted Johnson: That’s a red flag for me, Charlie.
Charlie Weis: Well, that was so you don’t have that problem when you’re talking about Zach, when you’re talking about Mac, Mac Jones, I mean, he’s clearly the leader of that group. Now he might not have been the best player of the group, OK, but he plays the most important position. And if you’re an accurate passer, which he is, and you’re a leader, a leader who can pull all sorts of egos together and be in charge, you’ve got something going on.
Ted Johnson: Yeah, no, it’s very true, Charlie. I mean, when you’re the alpha dog amongst alpha dogs, it’s saying a lot about you. And obviously, there’s there’s huge value in that. Can you can you see that when you know, Charlie, if you’re a head coach in the NFL and you’re looking for a quarterback like the Patriots are, and you bring in a guy for this, you know, one of these official visits, you know? What is it you think teams, you know, they are looking at specifically in these quarterbacks that come in in these official visit? Do you get them on the board? Do you just want to see how people connect with them, how they relate to people? Because, you know, I mean, if you’re looking for a guy with the IT factor in these official visits, it might be difficult to do. But what are you looking for as a coach when you bring a guy in for an official visit? What are you trying to glean from this guy in that short amount of time that you had before the draft?
Charlie Weis: Well, one of the things is it depends on how much information inside information you have on this guy before he walks in the door. Don’t you think that I mean, Bill has a few confidants in college football, but Nick is certainly one of them. Don’t you think Bill knows everything about this guy already?
Ted Johnson: Yeah. Yeah.
Charlie Weis: I mean. I mean, what what do you think he’s going to learn? Oh, then look at the mind. I get to know this guy. Do you think you’re going to stop him on the board? That’s not happening because if it were going to happen. OK, Bill would already know it be cause Nick would have already told him. Now, I don’t know whether or not the Patriots have any interest in Mac Jones, they might want to be going for a more athletic guy like you guys were implying before, well, he’s not the most athletic guy, OK? He’s he’s not. But he moves in the pocket. He moves from the pocket, OK? He’s just not the guy that you want running the ball 10, 15 times a game hoping that you’re going to get anywhere from 10 to 30 yards a pop when they end up running the ball. That’s not who he is. OK, but, you know, all he does is complete passes, throw touchdown passes, OK, leads the team wins national championships. I mean, what more do you want from a guy?
Bob Socci: Yeah, sort of. Hey, Charlie, I’ve read that Bill Parcells had a certain list of criteria that he looked for in a quarterback. And a lot of them, a lot of the items really centered around experience and maturity. Be a graduate, a senior three year starter, be a winning quarterback. Now we’re seeing these quarterbacks often as transfers like Justin Fields, for example, come out before their senior year. And for many of the top quarterback prospects, it seems like the resumes are somewhat limited. Lawrence, not that guy, but a couple of the others, including maybe Trey Lance is the prime example this year as an athletic quarterback, played only one game this past season after only one year as a starter at the FCS level. How much does that challenge coaches with their evaluation, especially now when quarterbacks are expected to come in and have an impact by the end of that rookie deal?
Charlie Weis: If that were the case, they had to have an impact by the end of the rookie deal, OK, we wouldn’t have a problem. They wanted to be able to play the first year. Therein lies the problem. I mean, I don’t see any problem with taking the guy who’s relatively inexperienced, OK, that seems to have all the traits you’re looking for, but just has lack of playing time. I understand what Parcells said. I agree with what Parcells said. OK, but the game is different now, OK? And and how long coaches have to turn a program around is different now too. Now, Belichick is not in that class, but most of the coaches in the NFL have maybe a three year window on average to, you know, to get it right. OK, so the question is, you take a guy like Trey Lance, you take him who’s probably the least experienced out of all of them, both by level of comfort in the fact that he didn’t play this year except for one game. You take a guy like that and say, OK, he’s going to be our guy now. He might be your best athlete walking in. He might have all the tools walking in, OK? He has very little experience walking in and probably isn’t ready to go. But you want to know something, you can’t sit them very long. You know, you’d like to be playing them somewhere in his rookie year so that by the time you get to your second year, in your third year, you’re building the right in the right direction.
Ted Johnson: Yeah, it’s fascinating to see what the quarterback situation, how it’s all going to play out, Charlie. Charlie Weis, former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots kind enough to join us. Charlie, I want to change gears a little bit, and I want to ask you just about what’s going on in Seattle with Russell Wilson, in Houston with Deshaun Watson with regard to their star quarterbacks. You know, do you think you see player empowerment stronger than it’s ever been. Do you think star quarterbacks should be given more power and more influence in the game plans and personnel decisions like these guys are seeking? Do you think it should be a partnership with these franchise quarterbacks or do you think it’s getting a little bit out of hand with that?
Charlie Weis: I think that the quarterback relationship with the coach, OK, is always advantageous. OK, as far as input on game plans, I always took input on game plans just as long as the input was early in the week. I didn’t want these guys at the end of the week saying, hey, why don’t we do this? Why don’t we do that? And you never have a chance to practice it. But I would do that would does for other positions, too, just as long as their ideas came before your game plans. And you could go ahead and take a look at it and consider it. OK, we would consider it. That’s not changed. But the way those two situations are totally different to me because on one hand, OK, you got Pete Carroll, who’s one of the proven better coaches in the league, older, OK, older, more experienced guy secure in what he’s doing, having his quarterback go out and publicly say things, you know, against the organization. Now, wouldn’t that annoy you? Of course it would annoy you. You know, where everyone sees him, staying in Seattle, I see him going. If the right offer comes along, I see them making that move. And you look at Deshaun Watson, this is a totally different situation. Now you’ve got everyone brand new. But the one kicker here that has me a little confused is they hired a 65-year-old head coach. Well, I mean, you’re coming in new, it’s your first opportunity to be a head coach, is the first since your first move that you want your organization to take once you get there is to trade away, your star quarterback? And I think at the end of the day, they’re going to have to do it because I think they’ll be a couple of offers they can’t refuse. And even though they’ll take a step backwards at the quarterback position, I think as an organization, they’ll probably be able to move forward faster by making that move.
Bob Socci: Hey, Charlie, I got one more for you regarding the Patriots and a guy who had a good relationship, certainly with Bill Belichick last year, Cam Newton doesn’t have a lot of leverage. Obviously, right now. There’s a lot of talk about him being an option for the Pats as well, possibility of returning to New England with a stronger supporting cast, particularly a tight end and wide receiver. Can it work here with Cam Newton next year based on what you saw last year, if there are better pieces around him and if maybe, you know, Josh has more time to clean up some of the mechanics, but also tailor the offense a bit around his strengths and away from some of the weaknesses?
Charlie Weis: Well, any one of us would have to say it could definitely be significantly better. I mean, every one of us would say the same thing and there’s a whole bunch of reasons why you could say would be improved. I mean, whether it’s COVID, whether it’s health on the team, whether it’s guys coming back, whether it’s the receiver position and tight end position, getting playmakers in there. I mean, there’s a whole lit– whether it’s practice time, there’s a whole litany of reasons to say that will be better. And I would expect if he came back, it would be better. My biggest concern, and it’s just my point is that he hasn’t played well in a long time. It wasn’t just last year. It’s been a while since the man has played well now when he has played well, he’s been at the top of the league as far as how he’s played. So, you know, my issue with him is not whether or not he’ll play better if they bring him back. I would expect a definitely improved Cam Newton. The question is, do you think based off of how long it’s been since he’s played well, that you can get somebody better?
Ted Johnson: That is the million dollar question that we all want to know what they’re going to do Charlie. Charlie Weis, thank you, sir, for joining Bob and I on the Sunday Football Show. We appreciate it. It’s good to catch up with you, Coach. I hope you’re doing well, man.
Charlie Weis: Yeah, we really struggling down here in South Florida it’s about 80 and sunny right now. So I might have to go out to the pool for a while.
Listen to the Sunday Football Show with Bob Socci and Ted Johnson every Sunday morning from 8-10 a.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.