Leadership committee for this year is Jimmy Clausen (QBs), Asaph Schwapp (RBs), Sam Young (OLs), Pat Kuntz (DLs), Terrail Lambert (DBs), and Scott Smith (Special Teams). Weis made mention that he was pleased the players selected Scott Smith even though he isn’t a starter because it shows that the team understands what leadership is.
Weis mentioned that it is easier to focus in on where the problems were on offense because there is such little turnover from last year in terms of personnel. On defense, Weis said they installed a few (a few?) new wrinkles in terms of “pressures” and that they are focusing on doing fewer things more times on the defensive side of the ball.
The staff spent the entire month of June doing their initial game planning and scouting all of the opponents for 2008. Those game plans and scouting reports will change each week as there are more games for the staff to evaluate.
On offense Weis said they were cut back to bare bones last year and that they are growing to where the offense was a few years ago.
Weis had comments on a number of freshman:
Ethan Johnson – “I wouldn’t call him a pleasant surprise, but he has definitely put himself in the mix in a very short amount of time.” Weis said he has a lot of room to grow, but that he has great instincts and pass rush ability and hinted he will be seeing the field early.
Kyle Rudolph – “I am very, very, very high on Kyle Rudolph.” Weis said he lacks explosion at the line like a veteran would have, but that he makes up for it in other areas such as his straight line speed. Weis also hinted that Rudolph would be seeing the field sooner rather than later.
Robert Blanton – “He has shown very good cover skills and cockiness that a corner needs to be able to get on field. He’s not afraid of anyone and he’s not afraid to tell anyone and he’s not afraid to tell anyone in the free world willing to listen.”
Steve Filer – “He’s got so much athleticism that even if he’s not at the two deep at this point, before its all said and done you’re hoping he is.” Sounds like the staff really wants to get him on the field in some capacity but that he needs some work before he makes it there. Weis specifically mentioned they are working him on special teams.
Michael Floyd – Weis said he has gotten significantly more reps than both John Goodman and Deion Walker.
John Goodman and Deion Walker – Weis grouped these two together saying they are both in a position where they could see playing time because they’ve shown enough in camp to show they can play, but that there are still a bunch of receivers ahead of them. Weis specifically said Goodman was a smooth route runner and has good hands. Weis also said that Goodman’s experience as a QB last year in high school could help him in terms of understanding the passing game.
At fullback Weis said that it will say Schwapp OR Schmidt. He did make mention that they will both be playing the fullback position, but in different ways. Schmidt’s played both on line and off the line and it sounds like he’ll be used as an “h-back” in the Chris Cooley mold. Steve Paskorz is Schwapp’s backup right and Weis said they were pleased with his progress.
Weis said some of the young guys are pressing to be in the 2-deep and that some, “are pressing for even more than that” suggesting that some of the younger guys might be pressing for starting spots. Some of the names of the younger guys Weis has mentioned the most who are currently not listed as starters would be Floyd, Rudolph, and Blanton