Big-game Coach On the Way

While the final results of the 2004 recruiting season are far from concluding, it's quite obvious to most Irish fans that this class likely won't be ranked among the top five of recruiting classes in the nation. However, Notre Dame fans landed their top-ranked recruit in 2004, Charlie Weis, and boy does the future look bright.

Watching the Patriots last night had to get Irish fans salivating, and some fans of opposing teams worried.

There has been much said about the talent, or lack there of, on the Patriots roster, and especially on offense over the past few seasons.

The Patriots don't have a Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens or a Michael Vick on offense, but they do have some very good players all working towards one common goal—the same goal they've accomplished two out of the previous three years—winning the Super Bowl. They now have the chance to earn their third.

With the salary cap in the NFL, it's rare you see any team in the position the Patriots are currently in. Most predicted there would not be the dynasty teams we've seen in the past in the NFL because of it. But then you have the Patriots, who continue to win and defy those odds.

Weis and his offense dominated the No. 1 defense in the NFL last night and scored 34 points--the most any team has scored on the Steeler defense all season. The Steelers defense had surrendered 30 or more point just twice during the season, and surrendered 20 or more points just seven times in 16 games.

More importantly, we believe, is the fact that Weis usually has his offense playing their best games in the big games—like the 41 points they scored last night, and the 32 points they scored against the Panthers to win the Super Bowl in 2003.

It's been awhile since Irish fans had a big-game coach to rally around, and Weis continues to prove that he can outsmart the best defensive minds in the NFL.

It's common knowledge that the best minds in football are usually in the NFL, and Weis, with what many believe to be limited talent, continues to dismantle whatever defense is put in front of him.

The Irish offense finished the season ranked No. 81 in total offense in 2004. I think it's a safe bet to think the Irish are going to dramatically improve that ranking in 2005 and beyond under Weis and his staff.

While watching the game last night, I was reminded of a curious quote that Akron, Ohio defensive end Lawrence Wilson said to me earlier this month.

"I'm still considering Notre Dame," Wilson said. "I watched their bowl game and that kind of had a bad influence on me. They just weren't getting it done out there. They didn't impress me much."

Considering Weis' success in the playoffs, I doubt very much Irish fans will be hearing that quote from prospective recruits too often in the future.

Sure quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and receivers will likely be jumping at the chance to play in this offense in the future, but people need to understand the magnitude of what Weis has done.

Irish fans are not only getting a great offensive mind in Charlie Weis, they're getting a big-game coach.

Regardless of what happens in the Super Bowl this year, although the Patriots will likely be favored, Weis beat, no dismantled, the No. 1 ranked defense and second-best team this year (the Steelers) already—all the while trying to balance two jobs at the same time.

Think of that…. The NFL's best defensive minds still can't beat Weis even when he's trying to do two jobs at the same time.

What Weis has done is quite remarkable considering the demands any coordinator has in the NFL. To continue to win with the Patriots and still do what he's done at Notre Dame is extraordinary.

So don't fret this recruiting season or where the Irish end up being ranked, Irish fans. The Irish already landed their top recruit in Weis.

Once Weis does his magic on the Notre Dame sidelines; I don't think you'll have much to worry about in recruiting anymore. Top Stories