By now, everyone is aware of the (rumored) less than amicable divorce of Jeff Lebby as the offensive coordinator from Ole Miss. It left a perceived massive hole in the Ole Miss coaching staff that head coach Lane Kiffin was forced to fill.
Whether you believe Coach Kiffin will ultimately be calling the plays on Saturday or not, the new offensive coordinator by title is Charlie Weis Jr. — also the quarterbacks coach.
“Lil’ Charlie” is following in the path of Lane Kiffin, ditching his houseboat in Florida to head to the greatest college town in the country. Weis Jr. spent two season at USF as the OC after two seasons with Kiffin in the same position at FAU.
He also had some time in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, as well as time at Alabama, Kansas and Florida. Let’s just call a spade a spade here, Weis Jr has been the beneficiary of his being the son of Charlie Weis Sr. but Junior has been no slouch.
During the 2015 Heisman season for Derrick Henry, Weis Jr. was an offensive analyst working with the running backs under..... none other than Lane Kiffin himself. In 2018, Weis Jr. called the offense for the FAU Owls that saw current Bills running back Devin Singletary finish second in rushing touchdowns in the NCAA with 22 and 11th in yards.
Together at FAU, Kiffin and Weis Jr. had top 20 offenses and while fans may think Kiffin is just some air it out, “score from far” fun-guy, these two have seen a lot of success together - running the ball.
The timing of “Lil Charlie” coming to Oxford could not be better as Ole Miss is going to have to run the ball. Last season, the Rebels were 12th in the NCAA in rushing (217 ypg) trailing only Tennessee and Arkansas in the SEC.
Now the Rebels have a better crop of running backs to work with - the issue? Teams might be able to stack the box due to the various unknowns at QB and WR.
Fear not. While Alabama is its own breed, the 2015 Tide roster featured Calvin Ridley catching passes from Jake Coker. Not the greatest passing threat. However, the Tide ran the ball with Derrick Henry, Bo Scarbrough, Kenyan Drake and Damien Harris (that’s 4 NFL running backs).
The Rebs may not have the O-Line those guys ran behind, but Ole Miss does have the two brains behind that running game calling the plays. How much success fans can expect varies wildly, but it seems the offensive side of the ball should be in good hands over time.