Notes from Weis’s Press Conference 8/6/07


  • Weis is more focused this year than any other season since he’s been at Notre Dame because of the transition the team has made since he’s been here especially with all of the changes in personnel this year.
  • Weis is proud in the stability of the program right now, the numbers across the board, and the academic progress of the team.
  • 3-4 is a personnel group that gives you the ability to get additional pass rushing ability off the edge which is something Weis feels Notre Dame has been missing since he’s been there.
  • Weis tried to hire Corwin Brown when he first got to Notre Dame, but Brown’s family was not ready to move after transitioning from UVA to the Jets.
  • Having Brown as the DC has allowed Weis to be much more familiar with the defense because it’s a system he has always been around. Weis mentioned he knows the defense second best behind Corwin.
  • Weis didn’t rule out using multiple quarterbacks, but he didn’t seem too enthused with the idea. He also mentioned he wanted to keep Georgia Tech guessing.
  • Weis will know how his starting QB is much sooner than the media.
  • Chris Stewart is listed as a guard for now despite Hand’s suspension last week. Weis did mention that Stewart, along with freshmen Emeka Nwankwo and Andrew Nuss, could end up back on defense is there was an emergency.
  • Weis’s expectations are always high and he said it’s easier to get the team to buy into his expectations when outsiders think the team will not be good.
  • The team won’t be using any gimmicks this year as they have in the past – presumably referring to last year’s “9-3 isn’t good enough” banners.
  • There is competition across the board. Weis made note that the depth and skill in secondary is better than it’s ever been since he has been at ND.
  • Weis said he really likes the offensive line and the wide receivers despite the common concerns amongst Notre Dame fans about the youth and inexperience.
  • Jimmy Clausen was out there practicing and would be capable of “slinging it 30 or 40 times” against Georgia Tech if he was the starter.
  • Weis will never use the word “rebuilding” and said he has an ethical responsibility to the nine fifth year seniors to try to win now.
  • Weis called the wide receivers this year “the Smurfs” after having some big, physical receivers the last two years.
  • The time is now for the upper classmen along the defensive line who haven’t played much such as Justin Brown, Pat Kuntz, and Dwight Stephenson. Trevor Laws is the only “etched in stone” starter
  • Weis acknowledged having a breakaway threat this year that the team hasn’t head. He didn’t mention Armando Allen by name, but he said “we all know who I’m talking about.” He also mentioned there is great competition at the running back position
  • The overall team speed is as good or better than it’s been since Weis has been here.
  • Offensive line depth is better than it’s been. Weis feels comfortable putting out two lines after having “maybe a half dozen” two years ago.
  • Weis talked a lot about getting players to walk the walk and not talk the talk. He made numerous references to getting the players to buy into the idea of proving people wrong.
  • On the kicking game, Weis made mention of having a new leg, Brandon Walker, and said that the kickers spent time working with mentors and old coaches this off-season.
  • Weis thinks there will be a lot more kicks returned across the country this year with the new kickoff rules.
  • The staff was all over the place visiting coaching staffs this summer – the Patriots, Saints, Panthers, and a few colleges.
  • Weis won’t make any decisions on the QB situation until at least Saturday morning – giving all three quarterbacks equal reps until then. He will take another week to narrow things down though if necessary.
  • All but two players passed the conditioning test out of 100.
  • Weis does not like the text messaging ban, but is in favor of an early signing period in August.
  • Weis’s Signing Day Press Conference about redefining what “commitments” are has had a very positive effect on the recruiting efforts this year because people have bought into it.
  • Weis talks to Brady about every other day and made mention that he is anxious to get to camp.
  • Zibby may have been a tad overweight at the beginning of the season last year and he was banged up after getting speared on a punt return. Zibby’s weight is down now and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this year.
  • Weis still wants a lead running back, but he will likely share the wealth much more this year. He does not, however, expect to get into a 50/50 share of carries.
  • The offense will be set around the quarterback and not vice versa. The offense will be installed early on and once a QB is decided on, the offense will be tailored around that QB.
  • Evan Sharpley and Jimmy Clausen are not the same type of quarterback.
  • The staff is looking for some early enrollments out of the current commitments, but obviously could not comment further.
  • Weis isn’t looking for a QB to keep them in games and just keep it close – he’s looking for a QB that can win games for this team.
  • Hiring Ron Powlus was the most important aspect of Weis’s tweaking of the coach staff. He wanted someone in here who walked the walk as opposed to someone who could just talk the talk with the group of inexperienced QBs.

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