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.
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