The following are some of the better discussions from Sunday’s press conference with Charlie Weis. The entire transcript can be read at UND.com.
On Duval Kamara’s physical advantage
The one thing that he does do which I’m very encouraged about, besides making some big plays, he plays to his body size. There are some guys that are his height that don’t and play small. He’s learning to use his body and that’s a big advantage going forward.
The biggest lack of improvement from the 2007 Irish
I think we’ve been fairly inconsistent catching the football. I think any layman could see the last couple of weeks that we’ve dropped a whole bunch of balls and we’ve dropped — I put down four yesterday, and I might be generous. Last week we dropped at least a half dozen, and they are spread out; it isn’t just like one person dropped every ball. And I think that’s cost us — it cost us some consistency in the passing game.
Tom Zbikowski playing quarterback
Let me tell you something, he was begging me to throw. And I said look, when we go out there, we’re running the football doesn’t make any difference what we do so don’t you even think about throwing it. He will actually tell you he’s got the best arm on the team. Just ask him. I’m sure he’ll tell you that.
Mistakes he’s made this year and how he intends to address them
Well, I think that I’ve probably made several mistakes this year and in my system. You know, the ones who know my system the best are New England, and I think that those guys would have no problem telling me what things I did right and what things I did wrong.
The future of the ND rushing attack
Going into the off season, the combination of James and Robert and Armando, you know, will give you a lot of reasons for — a huge reason to be optimistic in the running game.
Offseason plans for Clausen
I think the off season strength and conditioning program, and especially size and strength and bulk, are going to be as critical a factor as he could possibly have. This is probably going to be his biggest concern in the off season is going from, you know, 195 to 210. I think that that’s the direction we want to head. He says he wants to get to 215. I said that would take too many In N Out Burgers when he’s back in California.
The mood after a senior day win
I think it was pretty emotional for a lot of these guys, because you sit there and tell them about playing their last game at home, and it isn’t until they walk off the field that they actually realize that just happened.
Who is the starting quarterback against Stanford
It’s still Jimmy by a nose over Zibby.
His plans for Thanksgiving
Eat like a pig and lay on the couch and watch football, like the rest of America.
Clausen’s mental toughness
Here is the first thing that I was looking for yesterday. It was a little chilly yesterday, right, 45 degrees, a little drizzle, snow flurries and here is a kid from California, and you say, okay, is he going to shrivel up; is he going to be looking for a parka every time he turned around. I mean, there was absolutely no evidence.
Leadership comes from the field
It was 1991 and it was right after the Giants had won the Super Bowl my rookie year there where I was fairly insignificant as a coach but I was on the staff. And there was a little quarterback controversy and Jeff Hostetler ended up being the starter and the team started floundering during the year. And I went to Phil Simms and said, “Phil, why aren’t you taking more of a leadership responsibility?”
And he said, “Charlie, let me teach you something. You can’t lead when you’re not playing.” That was the first time I ever heard anyone who I had great admiration for kind of teach me, like you kind of have to be out there doing something.
Now, Sam (Young) has been a starter now for two years in a row. He’s been out there for two years, so he is one guy that can say he’s been out there for almost every play, and you can see where he could feel that obligation to help take over some of that reign and hopefully that manifests itself.