October 21, 2009 // Notre Dame Football

Charlie Weis Presser Notes 10/20

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Weis wrapped up the USC game and previewed this weekend’s Boston College game at his weekly Tuesday press conference.  Here are some highlights and notes.

  • Robby Parris had an ankle, knee, and hip x-rayed after Saturday’s loss and all came up negative.  He also had an MRI on the knee and that came up as just a bruise.  There is a chance he could play this weekend.   Considering how bad the injury looked on Saturday, hearing that he could play this weekend was surprising.
  • Jimmy Clausen had a lot of ice on his toe after the game but Weis said that he was looking forward to getting out on the practice field today.
  • Theo Riddick and Barry Gallup will be back as the kick returners this weekend after being replaced by Armando Allen and Golden Tate in the second half against USC.  Weis explained that he was hoping for a game changing play on special teams so he went with his big play guys.
  • David Ruffer handled the kickoff duties because he had been kicking the ball the furthest in practice.  Weis said that consistency is still an issue for him, but that he thought he did a pretty good job against USC.
  • Kyle Rudolph was held in check by USC largely because he had to stay in and help block for most of the second half.  USC’s pass rush was getting to Jimmy Clausen so fast that Weis decided to use Rudolph as a blocker for most of the second half.
  • John Goodman’s role in the offense will continue to increase because he’s become very dependable.  Weis said that there are a few more wrinkles to the wildcat package with Goodman at quarterback that Notre Dame never got to run against USC.  Considering Goodman’s ability to the throw the ball, a pass from Goodman in the coming weeks seems likely.
  • Weis talked about having to be patient on offense against the Boston College defense because they play a lot of zone and force you to throw the ball underneath.  With the way Weis has been moving Golden Tate around the last few weeks, look for Tate to get the ball on shorter routes where he can make plays after the catch this week.
  • Weis gave Randy Hart and Bryant Young props for the improvement of the defensive line over the course of the season.
  • Weis talked about his relationship with Boston College’s Mark Herzlich.  Herzlich was diagnosed with cancer back in the spring and has developed a friendship with Weis.  The two talk and text back and forth regularly and Weis even said that he ran the idea of taking the players to the lake on the second day of practice before he told the team.  Herzlich is friends with Golden Tate as well and texted Tate to have fun at the lake while the team was on the way there.  It was pretty neat to hear that Weis had developed that kind of relationship with an opposing player facing the type of battle Herzlich is.
  • Golden Tate has been able to excel while Michael Floyd has been out this year even though he struggled in his absence last year because of his ability to handle more on the mental front in terms of understanding different formations and wrinkles that Weis has developed for him.
  • In describing the problems on defense, Weis said that he was pleased with the progress in defending the run, but that the pass defense has just been giving up way too many long plays.  Most of the errors on the long plays have been mental errors as well.
  • Weis discussed briefly the cushion that the defensive backs have been giving the opposing wide receivers.  This has been a hot topic on the forums so it was interesting to hear Weis address the issue as one of the reasons for the defense struggling.  Hopefully this will mean we see some more press coverage the rest of the season.
  • Notre Dame will reduce the number of packages it uses on defenses as well in an effort to cut down on the mental errors.
  • Jamoris Slaughter is going to get cross trained at safety and corner this week.  Weis said that he wouldn’t start, but that they are going to practice him at safety and try to get him on the field.
  • Weis also said there would be some competition in practice this week because there were some players they weren’t too happy with and that they wouldn’t be afraid to make a change.  If I had to guess, free safety would be one of the positions where there was some competition this week and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a couple different players get some reps there against Boston College.
  • Because Notre Dame is on fall break this week, the players are not limited to the 20 hour NCAA limit this week.  This has allowed the players to get in some extra preparation and workout time in.

Comments to this Article

  • Shazamrock commented on October 21st, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Great news about Parris. The kid worked hard to get his chance and is making the most of his oppertunity. His replacement slipped on the last pass attempt agianst USC. With the kind of day he was having, I could see him finding a way to make that catch. When Floyd returns we will now have three solid receivers.

    [Reply]

  • Jason commented on October 21st, 2009 at 8:34 am

    It would have been nice if Notre Dame was on fall break last week leading up to the USC game and I am looking forward to the Leprecat with Goodman possibly throwing the ball some.

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on October 21st, 2009 at 11:51 am

    It’s wildcat.

    We’re not going to use that other word.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor commented on October 21st, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Is seems to me that Barry Gallup has been much more effective returning kick offs than anyone else they have put back there including Riddick or Tate. I would like to see him touch the ball a lot more.

    [Reply]

    svenghali replied on October 21st, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Barry is easily the most elusive player I’ve seen in the Weis era. I’m not just saying this from a few kick returns this year, but from practice vids before the ’08 season when he was getting reps at tailback. He doesn’t have the physical presence to get meaningful time at RB or WR, but I agree he could be our most dangerous weapon in the return game.

    [Reply]

    Kevin ND'89 replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Barry Gallup is a story. Dad coached some team around here (Boston) and it would be poetic justice if he could stick one to BC.

    [Reply]

  • Chris commented on October 21st, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I would like to see an influx of new players on defense. What I am not seeing is any improvement from game to game in fact they appear to be going backwards in yards given up. I think giving other players a chance may help re-motivate all current starters. With the amount of yards given up each game thus far – it can’t hurt. I also think T’eo has been quite good and has been a definite impact and based on his skills – I would use him as a rover / blitzer focusing on pressuring the QB at all times with his nose for the ball. The kid is a natural talent – clearly. I did not like to see the change on kick off returns – Riddick was doing well and you jepordize an injury to Tate putting him back there especially against USC. I think the game would have had a different outcome had Charlie rushed up the middle earlier in the last 4 minute drive. SC gave up a lot of yards up the middle all game and we had good success much like what Washington did when they beat SC – I think Washington had close to 170 yrs on the ground w/ most coming from runs up the middle. It exposed the weakness and circumvented the SC rush attack going up the middle. I am at a loss as to why Weis abandoned that. I also think the tipped pass in the endzone to Rudolph was a touchdown for sure. I was disappointed it was not challanged.

    [Reply]

    MMA83d replied on October 21st, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I thought it was reviewed by refs. Agree, T’eo is exciting and clearly an impact type of player; and yet, with him blitzing whom beside Kyle and T’eo will make the tackles?

    [Reply]

  • beau lo commented on October 21st, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    go to http://voteobrien.org to vote for Jimmy Clausen

    part of the fan voting for the O’Brien award……Get him to the top, pass it along.

    [Reply]

  • teo commented on October 21st, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I agree. I am not seeing much improvement on defense. My God, Michigan smoked us for 38 points, Purdue and Michigan State scored big and Southern Cal ate us up, too. We need some better players. Now, the best players may be out there — but they may not be playing their best.

    Competition helps flesh that out.

    [Reply]

    C-Dog replied on October 21st, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Teo,
    I’d like your comments on this. Our defense has gotten torched and I agree with you overall about the disappointment. However, is there some hope that the weakness to date has been pass defense? Sounds ironic given they were supposed to be great against the pass and weak against the run. But the run defense is pretty good. And I don’t buy the notion that teams can pass so they don’t run. I like in Weis’ presser that he’s noticed how bad the pass coverage is. Do you think it’s possible that the defense might improve just enough to be solid the rest of the year? what say you?

    [Reply]

    Doug replied on October 21st, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I’m not holding my breath on that one

    [Reply]

  • wkurtz94 commented on October 21st, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    “Weis talked about his relationship with Boston College’s Mark Herzlich. Herzlich was diagnosed with cancer back in the spring and has developed a friendship with Weis. The two talk and text back and forth regularly and Weis even said that he ran the idea of taking the players to the lake on the second day of practice before he told the team. Herzlich is friends with Golden Tate as well and texted Tate to have fun at the lake while the team was on the way there. It was pretty neat to hear that Weis had developed that kind of relationship with an opposing player facing the type of battle Herzlich is.”

    This is a very cool story, I admit that I myself don’t really like BC that much, still wouldn’t it be nice if the rivalry could be more like this (friendly rather than petty and overly nasty)? Two Catholic schools should be able to get along, theoretically speaking anyway. There’s no good reason why BC and ND shouldn’t be more like ND and Navy in terms of a friendly, respectful rivalry (win or lose).

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 8:24 am

    wkurtz94,

    A lot of truth in what you say about the 2 schools playing a repectfull rivalry. But it has to go both ways. A lot of us fans who have been around awhile remember the ND team lead by Rick Mier & company.
    They were in the hunt for a national title until we went up to BC. We lost the game late (because the defence couldn’t hold up, sound familular?) and their fans stormed the field. There was pushing, shoving, spitting and foul language being hurled at our players before they could get off the field.
    Real low life stuff.
    I also remember BC winning one year at ND. Some no class BC player thought it would be funny to rip up chunks of turf from our field at the end of the game.
    The ND players always carry themselves with pride and class. BC and their fans hate playing second fiddle to ND.
    They have always had a inferiority complex with us.
    I say most of the nastiness lies with them. We win or lose with class. Class… not a word often associated with BC fans.

    [Reply]

  • svenghali commented on October 21st, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Compare this year’s starting defense to the starting offense of ’07 in terms of experience and talent (Scout.com) and you might understand why they rank near the bottom in just about everything.

    2009 Starting Defense
    Avg years = 2.82 Avg stars = 3.64
    DE Kapron Lewis-Moore 2nd yr ***
    DT Ethan Johnson 2nd yr *****
    NT Ian Williams 3rd yr ***
    DE John Ryan 4th yr ***
    SLB Darius Fleming 2nd yr ****
    MLB Brian Smith 3rd yr ***
    WLB Manti Te’o 1st yr *****
    CB Robert Blanton 2nd yr ****
    CB Darrin Walls 4th yr ****
    SS Kyle McCarthy 5th yr **
    FS Harrison Smith 3rd yr ****

    2007 Starting Offense
    Avg years = 2.64 Avg stars = 3.82
    QB Jimmy Clausen 1st yr *****
    RB Robert Hughes 1st yr ****
    FB Asaph Schwapp 3rd yr ***
    WR David Grimes 3rd yr ***
    WR Duval Kamara 1st yr ****
    TE John Carlson 5th yr ***
    RT Sam Young 2nd yr *****
    RG Michael Turkovich 3rd yr ****
    C John Sullivan 5th yr ****
    RT Eric Olsen 2nd yr ****
    LT Paul Duncan 3rd yr ***

    But if everything stays the course with the players we already have…

    2010 Starting Offense
    Avg years = 3.91 Avg stars = 4.27
    2010 Starting Defense
    Avg years = 3.45 Avg stars = 3.73

    2011 Starting Offense
    Avg years = 4.18 Avg stars = 4.09
    2011 Starting Defense
    Avg years = 3.82 Avg stars = 4.09

    For further perspective, Weis’ last BCS team in ’06…

    2006 Starting Offense
    Avg years = 3.91 Avg stars = 3.73
    2006 Starting Defense
    Avg years = 4.18 Avg stars = 3.55

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on October 21st, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Stats like that are kinda nifty, but I think they miss the point.

    Or rather, they’re skewed.

    The thing that jumps out at me is that Kyle McCarthy was a two star player, yet right now, he’s our best DB.

    More to that point, after the first year or two, stars don’t mean that much. They only mean anything if You’ve been on the field. A better way of putting this: If you’re a 5 star player, but you haven’t played till your senior/junior year, you probably didn’t live up to your potential.

    However, a 2-3 star player starting can mean one of two things: 1. They’ve exceeded their assumed potential and are holding off higher prospects. or 2. We’re that thin.

    That said, I think it is relevant that our Defense is relatively young. But we’re probably going to have to overhaul our DB’s and Pray that our Line continues to develop. It’s also worth noting, that we still have no idea if Manti will be here next year, which would thin out our LB’s a bit too.

    And that’s still not a good excuse for how much our secondary is under-performing this year. The way I look at it, if CB and JT don’t start rotating in some new guys (like they did with Gary Gray, who looked good) they should both be on the hot seat.

    [Reply]

    svenghali replied on October 21st, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Bill,

    I’m glad you mentioned Manti. He wasn’t included in 2010′s numbers.

    Kyle McCarthy has two stars, but he’s in his 5th year. That just goes to show what happens when guys are playing as grown men.

    In ’06 we had grown men all over the field who didn’t necessarily possess a whole lot of talent. I think draft results back that up pretty well. However, they were in the NC and Heisman debates for a period of time and they raised the all time win percentage. On a yearly basis that’s all anyone can ask for while we wait for that magical year to come around. That’s essentially what the Holtz era was.

    The bottom line for me is that everyone wants to debate 9-3 or 8-4, but the fact is we’ve never seen Weis handle a team with the amounts of talent and experience he’ll have in the very near future. So long as the program isn’t derailed there are no signs that those levels couldn’t continue for the rest of his tenure.

    [Reply]

  • Scav commented on October 21st, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I think the recruiting of Charlie Weis is starting to pay off. It looks like he is not afraid to bench someone if they are not performing. The quickest way to increase the effort is to know that you could lose your spot if you don’t perform.

    Charlie has mentioned several times in the past that he wasn’t comfortable with his back-ups and it looks like he is changing his stance, which comes from depth. I love the fact that he is willing to play anyone who shows they can handle it. It just seemed in the past that once they named a starter, they were safe no matter what. Now, Blanton has been benched and it looks like Harrison Smith may see some pine as well.

    I also like that they are reducing the number of defense packages. This defense needs to find a few things they can hang their hat on and go from there. They need to relize that if they can just force field goals over easy touchdowns, the offense will do enough for them to win. I know that wasn’t the case the last few years, but it is now.

    One more thing, why is the Clausen for Heisman dying down when Brady got into the Heisman after a loss to USC. He threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another against a defense that has given up 9 points a game coming in. If anything, this perfromance should have increased his chances.

    Go Irish Beat BC

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on October 21st, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Scav,

    He’s still in the race. But there’s 2 big problems hurting him.

    1. Many no longer consider the heisman an award for the ‘most outstanding player’ in college football. It’s become a ‘lifetime achievement’ of sorts this year. Thus, as Tebow has won before, and his team is winning, he ‘must’ be the most outstanding player. Regardless of stats. How else can you explain a guy (McCoy) with 7 INTS and 12 total TD’s in the race? Mind you, he compiled those stats against a powdery powder puff cream schedule.

    2. The media now demands a ‘Heisman moment’ or big game against a big team. And since many consider the Irish schedule to be weak from here on in, they see no opportunity for Clausen to prove himself worthy. Clausen facing the same challenge Quinn had in 2006. He lost to USC and Michigan, the two biggest names on the schedule. Meanwhile the QB on the #1 team is doing just enough not to lose the trophy.

    I’m not saying he’s any less worthy, But between the people that think McCoy deserves one for last year, and the people that think Tebow deserves 2 for his Sophomore year (which was a pretty pitiful year as far as heisman candidates went), Clausen has an uphill battle.

    On a side note: anyone catch McShay hinting at Bradford to return to school next year, because JC or Locker might take his #1 spot if they come out this year?

    [Reply]

    ted replied on October 21st, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Im not sure if i saw the same bit on cfl, but mcshay said that bradford might comeback for another year because people might not be thrilled with his total body of work thus far.. how implicit was jc or locker taking the top qb spot? completely, or did he actually mention names that might pass him on the draft board?

    [Reply]

    Scav replied on October 21st, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Do you really think Jimmy will leave? I know the money is there, but Jimmy has the chance to leave ND as the best QB ever to play here. Also, with Tate, Floyd, Allen, and Rudolph coming back, don’t you think he would like to have that one last shot at a National Championship. He could be the guy that led ND back to the top.

    I think he will stay like Brady did and if he does, Sam Bradford will not be the #1 pick next year either.

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 2:12 am

    ted,

    Originally I saw it online, so I wasn’t sure if it was something from CFL. But I also noted that he mentioned Locker as well. Tonight I caught something during or after the game that explicitly mentioned JC as #2 behind Locker for QB’s.

    Scav,

    No, I think JC will stay. First, I don’t think he sees any pressing need to rush into the NFL. Second, he still has something to prove. Third, I just don’t buy that you cost yourself something by staying.

    I understand that injury’s a risk, but I don’t think it’s that big a risk for JC. Bradford was a unique case because he came back AND he lost pretty much his entire offensive line. That won’t be the case if JC stays.

    I totally discount the risk of underperforming his senior year, because let’s face it: If you can’t perform your senior year of college, how well did you expect to do in the NFL anyway.

  • Jack commented on October 21st, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I am rewatching the game on the UHD channel on Comcast and I had revelation about the defense. ND’s defense is like a child with ADHD at times focused and at other times it’s like look there is a hot chick in the stands. They have mental breakdowns on 3rd down or on a certain running play. Also I just watched the field goal drive in the 2nd quarter and no one wraps the ball carrier when they tackle. Everyone is going for the knock out blow. They need to breakdown hit and wrap the ball carrier. This is basic tackling and I know they practice this because I see practice video on Irish Illustrated.

    [Reply]

    Scav replied on October 21st, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I agree with you. All they need to do is limit the big plays and easy scores and let the offense do it’s thing. Most of that could be accomplish by just doing the fundamentals.

    Do you think that they still have the mentality that they need to score points because the offense struggled so much the last few years?

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Scav,

    I don’t think that is the problem. I think the prolem is the players are young and thinking about their assignments more than just reacting. I rewatched that game and 3rd down killed this defense. Both our safties got suck up on play fakes. That is because we were so horrible on the run and they have been giving run support. I think our d-line has played excellent and now that Brian Smith is playing Middle LB the entire game the front seven will handle the run. I think our safties now need to be worried about pass coverage.

    [Reply]

  • Scav commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Here is a great article from another site:

    Great Expectations: Why Charlie Weis Is Not the Problem at Notre Dame
    by Eric Murtaugh

    I was doing some hearty coverage of Notre Dame football last night when I came across a blog that made some forthright comments which aroused my interest. Here is a short summary of what was written:

    *Charlie Weis is not the problem at Notre Dame

    *No coach in South Bend could recruit like Carroll at USC

    *Notre Dame is like a small market MLB team

    *ND as a program & school cannot recruit dominant defensive players

    *Weis has pretty much maxed out ND recruiting

    *The program has a bigger image of itself than in reality

    *Notre Dame is a “rich man’s Stanford”, a second-tier school that can’t hang with the big boys in college football

    *ND has zero shot at beating USC until at least 2013

    *Weis’ biggest problem is his physical appearance

    Let those comments sink in for a moment if you can. Now, I know a lot of Irish fans are going to be somewhat surprised by all of this, but you have to ask yourself: how much of this is true?

    I have to admit, I believe a lot of these comments are very true. Do you think the Notre Dame program has a bigger image of itself than in reality? I’m not sure how the powers that be who are running the University truly feel, but a quick look at history would seem to demonstrate that football is not a priority, or at the very least, not one of the top one or two priorities like it used to be.

    In other words, Notre Dame is not a football factory. We all know this and we all know Notre Dame is not the veritable minor league training ground and stop off point for football players the way USC and Florida are.

    So, the issue of where this self image comes from is not really about the school itself (except the coaching staff who obviously need to promote that image with statements like “9-3 just isn’t good enough”), but it comes from us, the fans of Irish football.

    But nothing really bothers me more then if someone says Notre Dame needs to get back to being an elite program because it’s NOTRE DAME. Why don’t people say the same things about Army? The USMA has a proud tradition of excellence in football, why don’t they compete for national titles?

    I know the comparison with Army is a bit of a stretch, but my point is, at the end of the day Notre Dame’s tradition and past mean very little. Sure the storied tradition helps somewhat with recruiting and the large fan base with deep pockets boost the University’s capabilities, but I just don’t like the notion that Notre Dame has to be an elite program just because it’s Notre Dame.

    Make no bones about it, this has been a bitter pill to swallow for many Irish fans. We have a glorious tradition of football, but the playing field is so undeniably un-level and it is difficult for Notre Dame to compete against such stacked odds.

    Sure it sounds great and makes one feel proud when we chastise the program, coaches, and other fans for accepting not just mediocrity, but really good football too, all because this is Notre Dame and it should not be happening.

    We’ve witnessed a program, on its knees from lack of recruiting, climb out of that hole and become respectable again. It’s very possible we could see this program go from 3 wins, to 7 wins, to 10 wins, but there will still be thousands of people claiming this is not good enough because this is NOTRE DAME. I don’t like that perspective.

    Which leads me to Charlie Weis and I agree that I don’t think the problem is the head coach right now for Notre Dame. In fact, as time goes on I think we’ll see that he’s done a pretty impressive job of taking this program to the next level from its 1997-2004 darkness, although he may never get it to an elite level.

    But again, does anyone really think another coach could bring Notre Dame to the level of USC right now? Even if we assume someone like Brian Kelly is a better college coach, that still leaves the Irish quite a distance from being elite, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

    What Notre Dame desperately needs are a couple of Buck Nasty defensive linemen who can dominate the way they do at USC, LSU and Florida. But Notre Dame makes it all but impossible to recruit that stud DT from Long Beach, California with a 2.5 GPA, nor does this kid have any desire to go to Notre Dame. Brian Kelly, Jon Gruden, or any other coach won’t change that fact.

    Not only does Notre Dame need some Buck Nasty’s on their defense, but they need to continually bring in a couple every single year if they want to be a truly elite team. Manti Te’o would be an example of the type of player Notre Dame would need. The Irish need about five or six more of him to be seriously discussed as an elite team.

    Just think about it for a moment. The signing of Te’o was heralded as a momentous steal by Weis and Te’o has come in with deserved hype and expectations. But he’s just one player. USC has been churning out Manti Te’o type players every season for the past decade.

    How many current Notre Dame defensive players would start at USC? How many would even play at all over four years?

    And I do think a lot of people are overly harsh of Weis because of his physical appearance and his demeanor which fuel a lot of the hate that is thrown his way. That and the dismissal of Tyrone Willingham.

    I suspect if Jim Harbaugh had the exact same record as Weis at Notre Dame we’d be hearing, particularly from non-Irish fans, about how hard it is to win in South Bend and that Harbaugh was doing a great job of digging the program out of the days of Willingham.

    As it is, Weis has done an excellent job of recruiting but he still has not been able to recruit dominant defensive players just like his predecessors could not stretching back to the mid 1990′s. I’m not going to say that Weis is going to win a title in South Bend, but I think he is clearly bringing the program in the right direction.

    There are two things I will stick fast to about Weis. First, he is one of the best offensive minds in all of football. Clearly this guy can score as evidenced by his complete obliteration of the Notre Dame record books over the past five years.

    Secondly, I don’t blame Weis for the 2007 season as I still blame Willingham for that and I view it as an aberration of a season. Weis came in and won 19 games in his first two years and then didn’t just forget how to coach folks. Weis will never lose that badly ever again at Notre Dame.

    Charlie Weis’ winning percentage currently stands at .589 which is slightly better than his predecessors in Willingham and Davie. If Notre Dame is able to win the rest of their regular season games, Weis’ will move to a very respectable .629 winning percentage.

    What’s more, if we take out the aberration of 2007 completely, Weis’ winning percentage is .681 which would have him scratching at the door of where other elite coaches are. Minus the 2007 season and plus six wins to close this season and Weis would be at top 12 winning percentage of .720 behind the likes of legends and legends to be Carroll, Paterno, Stoops, and Bowden.

    Many will cry that I can’t remove 2007 because it still counts, which is true, but the reason I bring up these numbers is that Weis could very well be in to the .650 winning percentage range within a calendar year. That would put Charlie Weis at just about the same winning percentage as Frank Beamer’s career at Virginia Tech.

    While some call Notre Dame a mid-major along the lines of Michigan State or Boston College, and others shout that Notre Dame must be an elite school, I think the Irish’s potential is somewhere along the lines of Frank Beamer’s Virginia Tech program.

    Without the Buck Nasties continually prowling the field on defense for Notre Dame, as they do at USC and Florida, the Irish can never attain the level of success like the Gators and Trojans have over the past decade.

    But that doesn’t mean Notre Dame cannot be successful. With the level of recruiting that Weis has been bringing in for a few years, the Irish can be very similar to Virginia Tech and go out and consistently win 10 games a season and try and run with the big boys every three or four years.

    It’s time to stop complaining that Notre Dame isn’t an elite program anymore and put some things in perspective. Charlie Weis has done a great job recruiting and has this team’s stock rising. Two months from now we may be smiling at the renewed success in South Bend and another ten win season.

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 12:26 am

    you need to find a new team to cheer for if you are going to settle for mediocrity.

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 12:27 am

    maybe virginia tech is more your fit

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 2:17 am

    I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘Clemson’

    ted replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 2:51 am

    yeah, there are some good points here, but on the whole it’s crap…ND can and will be an elite team. hell, if jc wins the heisman next year, then crist bounces in the following year without the offense loosing a step, we could see a run at the national championship before you know it

    Scav replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Not my article, just thought it was interesting.

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I for one see a lot of holes in this article. If you really look at history you will see that “eliteness” for many of the top name schools runs in cycles. Tradition and a storied past IS special, and should never be tossed aside. It’s like our football program’s resume’.
    California, Florida, and Texas are receuiting hot beds.
    Most kids want to play for their home state or at least play close to home. CW has continully gone into California and picked Carroll’s pocket. Defensive players can be tough to get. But don’t under estimate the coaching staff that can develope defensive players.
    And as far as CW and coaching goes… There is a hell of a lot more that goes into being a head football coach than recuiting, or wins and losses. Here’s a situation we can all relate to:
    Oaklahoma has coach Stoops and QB Sam Bradford
    Florida has coah Meyer and QB Tim Tebow
    ND has has coach Weis and QB Jimmy Clausen
    Each of these QB’s has an injury. For the sake of fairness lets say JC has a shoulder or recent concussion.
    Stoops plays his QB even though the kid wasn’t 100 percent. Meyer had a sick QB and still played him at the time of Tebow’s injury.
    Charlie Weis. I guarantee you if JC had one of these injuries he would not play. If the doctor said he could come back in 3 weeks, CW would error on the side of caution and make it 4 weeks.
    He does what is best for his players.
    Stoops played Bradford and the kid is done for the year. If he does go into the NFL draft it won’t be as a top 10 pick.
    Meyer played Tebow. We are just starting to learn about the long term affects of a head concussion. Maybe give the kid a little extra time?
    Meyer says hell no, put him in, let him run with it. He’s gambling with this kids’ future. Would you call that being a good head coach?
    Not in my book. And especially not if one of those boys were my son.
    Charlie does things the right way. Not always popular, but right.

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  • Jack commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I disagree with the article. I do believe that elite talent will come to this university. In the 80′s we did not get Miami players but still won and we can do it again. In my eyes Pete Carrol and Urban Meyer are great college coaches because of recruiting. In college it is not about the X’s and O’s but the Jimmy and Joes. Carrol should have stomped ND in offense vs defense because of the talent difference. He has five stars two deep on that team, but yet every year he looses to an inferior team. Now ask yourself why? His teams are not disciplined and don’t show up every week. That is the reason he is not in the NFL, because you have to show up every week because the talent difference is not that far apart. Urban Meyer’s system in the NFL would get the QB killed in two games and his defense have superior atheletes over the teams they are playing. CW has done a great job recruiting talent to ND and I have faith he can continue. He is really good at getting people to South Bend and making them fall in love with the place. I admit as a head coach he needs to come up with a system and plan and stick with it, but he is learning and didn’t have much Head Coaching experience when he came here and lets be honest no one was taking this job after the Urban Meyer turned it down because he perceived he couldn’t recruit here.

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    Chris replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I agree – the focus and discipline has not and is not there since Weis came in. It seems they go to sleep when they are ahead and cant get motivated unless they are losing. Past mistakes seem to be fixed for a game and then they re-appear. They were supposed to be focusing on fundamental tackling techniques during the bye week and then get in a game situation and get dragged all over the field. So frustrating! A good barometer will be against BC. The Irish seem to come out flat after playing SC every year so lets see if they can change that this weekend. Also – it was clear Weis’ focus on recruiting when he got here was on offense – I think even he admitted he was behind the curve get the defense champed up sooner. I never would have thought with Tenuta in there calling the D we would be this miserable. A solid defense this year and we would be 6-0 no doubt. What a bummer! GO IRISH!

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  • Jon commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 8:53 am

    See my post about the chances ND has against BC next week: http://www.rankingsandramblings.blogspot.com/

    Jon

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  • Scav commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I agree with Chris, Charlie came here to fix the offense and he has done so, just look at the ND record book since 2005. The main issue with this team is the defense. If this defense was just average, we would be 6-0 or 5-1 and wouldn’t be talking about Brian Kelly or Jon Gruden.

    The defense needs some stability as this is the 4th different system in 4 years. When you throw in the fact that most of the playmakers on defense are young, it’s going to be painful to watch, bacause they are thinking and not reacting. I’m not ready to pull the plug on Tenuta just yet. He needs some time to get HIS system in place and I think we will have a dominant defense in the near future. Remember, he built a pretty solid defense at GT with 3 star recruits. I think ND will start getting the 4 & 5 star players as ND continues to improve.

    With all the players that are eligible to come back next year, I think something special could be brewing in South Bend. I find it interesting how a lot of experts tabbed 2010 as the year ND would regain it’s spot among the nations’s elite back in 2005 and I don’t believe they’re far off. As someone said earlier, Weis will not lose like he did in 2007 & 2008 ever again. This team will continue to win at least 9 games every year moving forward and they will compete for a National Championship very soon.

    Keep in mind, when Charlie has a QB that is a JR or SR, he has a 74% winning percentage. All we need is a defense that can hold teams to around 20 points/game and ND will be that elite team once again.

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  • C-Dog commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I don’t buy the article’s premise. I found one

    http://www.thedrakegroup.org/Splitt_College_Athletics_and_Corruption.pdf

    this talks about corruption and the acceptance of low academic standards. This may change as this nation realizes we can no longer compete with China. I make tha anology to those who say ND cannot compete. My premise is this: For America to be competitive and maintain our standard of living, edcuation must dominate, not sports. Someday soon, the fact that 40% or more of pro football players are bankrupt by age 40, will be divulged. And for all who make long careers, 95% never get the big check. That tilts things in favor of the ND’s Stanfords, etc. Why? Because it is possible to play big time college football and still get a REAL education.

    Another thing I don’t buy is the need for all 5 star recruits. I swallow hard saying this, but BC beat us last year and the year before with recruits not even on the map. Tough kids are tough kids. I believe you can teach any tough kid with reasonable size to play offensive or defensive line. But that’s where you need a really good line coach.

    Joe Paterno was a master for many years of mixing 5 star kids with 3 star character players. This created a chemistry. the 3 star kids had that Rudy perspective that infected the team with a sense of urgency. and guess what. Some Penssylvania farm boy with reasonavle intellignece who kicks cows can make a pretty nasty lineman or linebacker.

    ND needs to look at certain physical and mental attributes. Ratings only serve as a guide, not a bible. Quickness, speed and agility, and mental toughness may fall inside the ratings or may be found in a kid not highly rated. find those diamonds in the rough and get them in the mix.

    I take some of these sports articles with a grain of salt. Many of the least capable journalists become sports writers. It beats collecting garbage.

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    Jack replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 11:48 am

    C-Dog,

    Great analysis. I don’t want a National Championship team with players who can’t spell their name. There is a certain integrity with ND that the student atheletes are able to play at a high level and at the same time graduate from a tough academic institution. I just see a lot of similariteis between our offense last year and the defense this year. I think the light bulb will go off. The talent is there from recruiting as I have said time and time again the players are thinking to much and not reacting. I hope we see an improvement in the 2nd half of the year. I know I come off as a CW apologist, but I just don’t think it is time to can him.

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  • C-Dog commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 am

    BTW – Anyone ever look at the professional careers of:

    Leon Hart
    Hon. Allen Paige
    Dr. Ken McAffee
    Dr. Reggie Ho
    Pat Eilers
    Mark Green
    Ned Bolcar

    I’ve probably missed a few. But there are people for whom football was just part of life.

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Scav,

    Good points. I look at the defense and I will identify the areas where improvement is needed.

    1. We have not had the same LB starting every game at every position.
    2. Flemming and Teo are both under classmen and Smith keeps getting bounced around
    3. Harrison Smith started at LB last year and is technically a first year started as a 2nd year player. He is making mistakes because he doesn’t know the position.
    4. DB’s have been a disappointment. They need to step up.
    5. D-line has shown signs of progression and will be a great unit.
    6. Ethan Johnson is playing a new position at D-tackle not D-end

    These things are reasons why the defense is a year behind the offense. Mistakes made by 1st year players and a new philosophy. It will get corrected and the talent is there.

    [Reply]

  • Cliff commented on October 22nd, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Jack I agree with your 6 points.

    If I may ad:
    – Free Safety, true that HS is the first year starter at ND for this position, however it is basic fundamentals that the FS keep all plays in front of him. And the play on McCoy where HS was trying to “ride” him down, if he would have wrapped up the legs he would of saved a 20 yard gain. Key point is Fundamentals.
    – Linebacker, I would rather see Teo at Mike, he is the most aggressive LB we have and the most sound tackler at LB.
    – DBs (corner’s specifically), they play very soft coverage and don’t disguise their coverage. That makes for an easy read for the QB. Last night I watched Alabama’s defense they were active and always moving- which in turn was giving the South Carolina QB fits in his adjustments.
    – D-Line, must admit they have progressed in the last couple of games. However, Ethan should be back at DE and move Ryan to DT. Ethan was very effective as DE last year and has a rather quiet year this year. He looks move comfortable coming off the edge rather than taking on 2 300lbs blockers.

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    jack replied on October 22nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Cliff,

    I agree with your points that we should be playing bump and run coverage on the corners. I also agree with your analysis on the LB issue. However I would be using Brandon Newman and some big bodies in the middle to stop the run and allow the LB’s to roam. Move Ethan to one D end and KLM to the other D-end. As far as saftey play I think part of Tenuta’s defensive plan was pulling the safties into the box and reading run first. This is HS goes back to being and LB and not saftey. I think we should have safties playing pass coverage first and run second. We need to see if the front 7 can handle run stop on their own and let the secondary handle pass coverage.

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  • ted commented on October 23rd, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    i have been confident about the irish going into every game this year, but for some reason i am worried about bc. bc is scrappy and will definitely show up. i know we can blow them out, but we have to keep the intensity up! im sick of outplaying teams just to pull off the throttle. i want to see the offense put up 50+ points!
    re education and football. i totally agree that education should be important to these players, however, it will be/is tough to preach this to 5 star recruits because it implies that they wont be making millions in the nfl. they dont want to hear about the reality of their futures, though it is the responsible thing to do.

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    Jack replied on October 23rd, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Ted,

    Our offense can score 30 on any team in the country. BC does not play well on the road. I had to say this but Mark May was right last night, dial back on the blitze and drop 7 in coverage and BC will have problems. I don’t think we will have any problem stopping the run. If it is windy pound Hughes, AA and Aldridge at them. We need to get through a couple of games and once Floyd is back the country better look out.

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    ted replied on October 23rd, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    i agree, but the offense has looked most comfortable in the 2 minute o. with the d being a constant gamble, i think we should open up with no huddle then go to the run after we rattle off a couple tds

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  • ted commented on October 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    also, i think jc will come back for reasons mentioned above, but also because he will have a second shot at beating usc and that little punk barkley

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  • Kevin commented on October 24th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    1) Agree if Weis continues to recruit I think we will be an annual 8-12 win team again.
    2) Yes having recruiting standards is an impediment in some ways but Weis has turned it into an advantage. Every recruit walks away from ND saying the same thing “they care about me as a person, we talked more about my future than about football”. Get Mom to come along and we will get more than enough to compete at the top ten level every year.
    3) NONE of Weis’ teams has had a defense worthy of real note. We will always lose some games each year if this does not change.
    4) The biggest gripe I have with Charlie is an inability to really inspire. It is a rare talent. Weis does not have it. He has been a good student learing how to coach, you can’t teach this though.
    5) Go Irish beat the whelps from Beantown.

    [Reply]

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