Highlights from Weis’s First Spring Presser

Weis met with the media earlier today and had a lot to say. The full transcript can be found here, but here are some of the highlights since the full presser is pretty long.

Charlie Weis - Weis spoke with the media Wednesday at his first press conference of the springOn off-season improvements:

David Bruton, for example, we just finished testing as we finished the off-season program and his measurables are off the chart. I mean, his weight is a pound or two different, maybe a pound or two lighter but his body fat is like three and a half and he’s vertical jumping 41 and a half. He’s in phenomenal shape. He’s not alone. There’s a couple of those guys. Some of the guys you wouldn’t notice all the time. You look out on the field and watch the shape and conditioning of Sergio Brown in the secondary; watch the condition of Eric Olsen on the offensive line, you’ll see a couple of guys that are in phenomenal shape as we go into this off-season. Now I can’t say that for everyone but citing a couple examples, it would be very clear and obvious to everyone.

More on gains in the weight room:

Jimmy (Clausen), last year, started off at 194 and he’s walking in at 212 for the first day of training camp. That is obviously a significant gain. His body fat is status quo but has a lot more lean muscle. That’s pretty much the same — I’ll give you Dan Wenger last year started at 282 and he’s at 300 now. Sam Young started at 309, dropped to 287 by the end of the year and he’s at 330 right now.

On Mo Richardson and John Ryan moving to defensive end:

Also, you’ll notice Morrice Richardson and John Ryan for that matter, even though he’s not practicing, you’ll notice both these guys are now on their way to 260 and rising. They both are in the high 250s and we have moved them in the off-season from outside linebacker positions to defensive end positions and one of their biggest tasks in the off-season to continue getting bigger, slowly, methodically where we are not trying to gain too much weight too fast; to try to get them closer to the 260 to 270 range by the time we kick off in September, which is what our goal with both these players as they have been transitioned to having their hand up to having their hand down on a full-time basis.

On baseball practice affecting practice time for Evan Sharpley, Golden Tate, and Eric Maust:

But what I’m not going to do is I’m not going to hurt the baseball team, and take them off the baseball field if it makes a difference with us winning and losing. And Coach Schrage and I have been in steady contact with this. We know that there are days where they are definitely going to be in football, and there’s days they are definitely going to be in baseball with baseball taking the upper hand until we get that April 10 time frame.

On having more physical practices this spring:

I think our biggest issue is to make sure nothing happens to Jimmy (Clausen), you know, with as little time – Evan (Sharpley) not being a full-time player, we have a couple new quarterbacks, not that they are household names but there are a couple guys that are out there while we are holding down the fort, when Evan is not here waiting for reinforcements coming in the summertime.

But I think that’s probably the thing that could ruin our practice the easiest, if something were to happen to him. But I think that we are going to have to manage that but at the same time put in plenty of stuff that we are going full speed with everyone but him.

I think we will have to take running backs to the ground being we’re going to have to block and tackle. I think we’ll have to do those things, because without doing those things, at least managed, I think we will leave ourselves short.

On dividing his time between positions this spring:

One thing I’m doing differently, for example, I’m going to offensive meetings one day, defensive meeting the next day. And then I’m going to position meetings, which the coaches are fired up as you can imagine. One day I might be sitting in the defensive line meeting, one day I might be in the offensive line meeting.
I’ll always be in the special team meeting with Brian (Polian) but I’m going to make sure that I’m around every position, not just the quarterbacks.

On extra reps for Jimmy Clausen with Evan Sharpley playing baseball:

Other than that, every rep that he can take is a meaningful rep. He can’t take enough as far as I’m concerned. He can take every one if he can physically handle it, because every rep he makes will be that much more progress we can make from him.

On the status of Pat Kuntz and Will Yeatman:

I asked a question whether or not I could address those guys and I’m really in the same mode from where I was before. I can’t make any further statement from where we were the last time we talked.

On the development of David Bruton:

You know, he was timid when he was younger, when he was first getting his feet wet on the field here, too. So what we had to do is we have to get more guys to transition like David did, you know, where his confidence is sky-high and he expects to be a good football player.

On Sam Young switching back to right tackle:

Because when you’re that tall, when you’re that tall and you can add some bulk, which he’s added some girth now. There’s a big difference between 287 and 330. Usually those guys are more maulers than the finesse guys you get at left tackle who are protecting your blind side over there. And I think that that body-wise, stereotypically is where he seems to fit the best.

On Kallen Wade moving to OLB from DE:

Both Kallen and Kerry have very similar weights. They are both I would say somewhere in the low 240s, I don’t remember exactly what the weight is, because those weights or — as we took them the other day, so those are not like guestimates. Those are what the weights were. He’s put himself in a position and he’s started to do it at the end of last year on the scout team, started to put himself in a position to contend at that position, even though he wasn’t one of the big boys.

On Matt Romine challenging for playing time at LT:

He’d better push him. Right now, Paul is definitely first. Matt, you know, Matt went back and forth and he was banged up some last year, missed a lot of time, missed a lot of time but his weight has gone from — I didn’t mention him, but his weight’s gone from like 272 to 290…. But I’m counting on Matt Romine and I’m counting on Taylor Dever and I’m counting on Andrew (Nuss), those three freshmen from last year, I am counting on all three of those guys in this spring to not act like freshmen.

On the competition at running back:

Now, what’s happened because of those three guys, while you’re on it, those three guys have really worked hard in the off-season, because they are pushing each other. Because they all want to be the guy, and that’s really turned into a very healthy situation for us at that position.

On Luke Schmidt being listed at TE and FB:

Actually, he’s going to work at tight end and fullback. That’s why we have the fullback in parenthesis because what we are going to do is work him more closer to the line of scrimmage than the majority of the time, and only use him to supplement over there at fullback in the backfield.

On picking captains this spring:

I’m going to wait and see how it goes. That’s one of the things, we don’t know where all of the leadership is going to come from, and I think that we have to wait and see how that goes. The reason why we have had more than one captain on offense or defense is because the vote was too close to call. That’s the only reason why, like in the first year here, (Brandon) Hoyte and (Brady) Quinn were captains by a million miles. That’s why there was an offensive and defensive captain and last year wasn’t the case.

On Golden Tate’s development at WR:

All of it has to do with baseball. Right now the kid, he’s either third or fourth outfielder for the baseball team. So, you know, come April 10, he’s going to practice four practices by that time so he’s got a fair amount of baseball practice and come April 10, if he’s in the not top 3 outfielders, he won’t be on that trip to Villanova and he’ll be over here and see how it goes.

On Toryan Smith:

This is Toryan’s time right now. Right now based on where we are in the off-season, he’s No. 1. He’s had opportunities to get on the field before and we have not got a lot of production out of him, so this is his time. This is his time to step up. You know, if he’s got some guys behind him that we’re encouraged with and we’ve got reinforcements coming here in the summertime, so this is his time to make a name for himself.

On the offensive line:

One of the big deals is not only do we have so many guys that seem to be very motivated to prove the naysayers wrong, but there’s also a lot more competition than we have ever had there before. We have never been able to line up too deep and with guys that are actually contenders for the starters, and I think that that’s — any time you have competition at a position, okay, that bodes well, because usually the first guy plays a heck of a lot better when he realizes there’s a second guy that’s right there to take their spot.

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