Charlie Weis met with the media for his weekly Tuesday press conference and addressed the health status of his team as well as their preparation for this weekend’s matchup with Washington.
- Jimmy Clausen and Armando Allen were both back at practice and were “ready to go”.
- Ben Turk has passed Eric Maust on the depth chart for the starting punter spot. Weis said that the only aspect of special teams the coaches weren’t happy with on Saturday was the punt team. He said that it wasn’t all Maust’s fault, but that they were making the change.
- Weis talked about the difference between winning close games and closing teams out. Last year Notre Dame couldn’t close teams out (Pitt, North Carolina, Syracuse). So far this year Notre Dame still hasn’t really done that, but Notre Dame has learned to win close games.
- Winning two weeks ago with a defensive play and then last week with an offensive play really helped the confidence of the team according to Weis.
- Weis talked again about the trust he has in Frank Verducci and how his presence on the staff has allowed him to focus his attention elsewhere at times. Weis also talked about being able to utilize Verducci’s expereicne with what the Cleveland Browns did with Josh Cribbs last year in Notre Dame’s implementation of the wildcat.
- On what Randy Hart has brought to the team, Weis talked about Hart being a technician and high energy guy. He said that his players feed off of Hart’s energy. As we’ve seen the last couple weeks, a few of these young defensive linemen are starting to put the pieces together and play well.
- Robert Hughes is listed as the top fullback again this week, but based on his performance against Purdue, he will also be fighting with Jonas Gray for the backup reps at halfback behind Armando Allen.
- This biggest issue for Shaquelle Evans right now is his precision in his route running. Weis talked about how young receivers in particular have trouble with this coming out of high school because they didn’t have to be great route runners to excel at that level. Both the coaches and the quarterbacks are helping Evans by letting him know where they expect of him to be on a particular route.
- Darius Fleming is starting to get comfortable in what the coaches are asking him to do. Weis made mention of Fleming being in the Purdue backfield all night Saturday.
- When asked about Jimmy Clausen’s potential for leaving for the NFL after this year, Weis said that you never want to see a kid pass up the opportunity to finish a Notre Dame education, but that if a player moves up the draft board so high that he gets an offer he can’t refuse, its something that have to consider. He said he’d love to have Clausen back next year, but that if he plays good enough that leaving for the NFL is an option, it would mean good things for the success of Notre Dame this season.
- Weis said that Saturday was a turning point for Dayne Crist since it was the first time he’s had a chance to run the offense with the game on the line. Weis also said that Crist will continue to get more work in practice as the season progresses.
- Weis wouldn’t give any details as to how they intend to use Manti Te’o this weekend, but did say that he will play more.
- When asked about how comfortable Weis was with a safety leading the team in tackles by a lot, Weis was very complimentary of Kyle McCarthy. He did say that he thought the linebackers and defensive linemen were starting to make more plays each week though and that he was pleased with the defense’s ability to shut down the Purdue running game.
- Weis said that what committed players tell the media and what they tell him might not necessarily be the same thing and that he has a firm view of what a commitment is as do the recruits. When pressed further on the subject about what happens when a player decides to visit elsewhere Weis said, “I’ll just once again — because I know the person in particular we’re getting at — just say the communication between us has been very good. Let’s just leave it at that.”
- Kyle Rudolph asked the ball on the game winning 4th down play. Weis said that if Purdue would have double-teamed Rudolph, the pass would have went to Tate, but that Rudolph did ask for the ball.
- Weis was asked a lot of questions about getting Kyle Rudolph more involved in the passing game. Weis said that they take what the defense gives them and when a team plays a lot of Tampa-2 coverage, like Purdue did Saturday, using the tight end isn’t the best option. When a team plays a true Cover-2 defense though, he’d be more likely to call plays for the tight end. The difference being that in a Tampa-2 coverage the middle linebacker drops back into the zone while in a true Cover-2 the middle linebacker usually ends up cover the tight end.
- With Michael Floyd out, it forces Weis to be more creative with the game plan because Notre Dame can’t just rely on getting Floyd the ball and knowing he’ll come down with it.
- Weis talked about the progression of Kapron Lewis-Moore saying that by the end of the year he thinks Moore will be one of those players that is night and day from where he started the season. As far as Ethan Johnson though, he said while his production numbers weren’t high that he was still grading out OK after each game.
- When asked about Steve Sarkisian and Weis both inheriting teams coached by Tyrone Willingham and Willingham’s skill as a recruiter, Weis said that he wouldn’t say anything derogatory about any coach that’s been at Notre Dame.
- Weis said he didn’t think the wildcat would be going anywhere anytime soon because it allows an offense to play even football with a defense. In a standard formation, the quarterback just hands off giving the defense a 11 on 10 advantage.
Our DE need to keep contain…and as said above have a LB shadow Locker…I would like to see Teo in that role…my thought is that we need to utilize Teo more than we are currenlty.
We need to have someone (B. Smith or Teo) shadowing Locker all game. Or use a safety/nickleback to do it. Make sure he stays in the pocket.
………how does 10 and 2 sound?
rick in GA……..
Who’s the recruit he was talking about? Anyone know, or am i just being dense?
Chris Martin DE taking visits to Cal and most likely USC.
That decision is likely to come down to when we play USC!
Urban Meyer from Florida is hot for Martin as well. He is trying to get a visit from him in late November.
Meyer pushes for late November so he is the last visit of the year. Makes stealling someone elses commitment easer.
if we don’t win the rest of are games and by a greater margin we will lose another top commitment
Washington has been a poor road team. I can’t remember the last time they won a road game. Let’s keep it that way.
Stanford ran the ball 50 times agianst them for 321 yards. 200 of those 321 were by powerback Toby Gerhart running between the tackles.
USC ran 33 times for 250 yards.
Watching them agianst USC I couldn’t decide if Washington’s secondary and linebackers were that much improved or USC played that miserable.
I’m still confedent that if we protect our QB that he will get the job done.
The Husky’s are suspect agianst the run, and our running backs are getting healthy and putting all together at the right time. Could it be our best rushing game so far this year?
Washington also looked shakey on special teams. I think that they are ripe for a blocked punt and/or a big return.
USC out rushed Wash. by 200 yards. Washington held a 127 yard edge in passing. The difference in the game was turn-overs USC-3, UW-0 and USC was o for 10 on third down.( I think Washington’s coach new a little something about USC’s offence)
And as Russell has pointed out, keeping pressure on Locker is a must.
They need to keep Locker inside the pocket. He’s real good when he scrambles. Is anyone paying attention to the drop off that Robert Blanton and Brian Smith are having this year? What happened? And Toryan Smith, cut him. He should see the field on first down, if at all. Constantly out of position. Example the blown coverage this past weekend. He plays with cement blocks on his feet.
For an ND win, they need to get presser on Locker and make him through bad passes. ND needs to force turnovers, which seems like they havent done very well of that lately. Walls had one last game, but we need more