Weis Not Thrilled With Progress

Day two of Notre Dame spring football practice went about like day one according to new Irish head coach Charlie Weis. The Irish were back in shorts, and like day one, day two was another day of learning.

Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis said his team set a bar after Tuesday's first spring practice. The question is, did the Irish raise that bar on Wednesday?

"I think that barbell might've been stuck on neutral today," said head coach Charlie Weis after Wednesday's practice . "I always say that you get better or you get worse, and I think some players got better. I just didn't feel that today was a major step in the learning curve.

"I felt that some of the biggest negatives for me walking off the field were the compounding of day one and day two's installation, and some people having day one's instillation down, then day two's installation--going along and struggling a little bit as we went by.

"One thing that I told them at the very end of practice, I think it's imperative that they use the next 24 to 48 hours where they don't have practice to get mentally caught up.

"To take the next two days and go back and do a review session to make sure they they're up to par on day one and day two. And then what really good students actually do is they try to get ahead. I said ‘if you really feel comfortable with day one and day two's installation, then you try get a jump-start, and take a peek at Friday's."

Weis said the confusion the Irish players are experiencing currently is not from learning a large numbers or plays, but from learning lots of formations inside a few plays.

"A lot of this ends up being carry over plays from multiple personnel groups," he said. "The philosophy of the offense is not to have hundreds and hundreds of plays, the philosophy of the offense is to have fewer plays, but with multiple looks.

"If you're going to try to exploit defenses, you need them to not be able to figure out what you're going to do every time you line up at the line of scrimmage.

The first-year coach was asked how he addressed the learning curve in the college game, and he said it's not unlike a teacher/pupil environment.

"You have to treat it like you're a professor," Weis said. "You have them for X amount of hours a week, and then you have to count on them. You give them a reference book, and you give them highlighters. They bring in notebooks and pens.

"What our job is, after we put in the installation, is finding what they're not capable of handling, and then throw that out. You don't try to do more than the players are going to be able to handle."

Weis also said he'd throw a lot at his players in the early going and see what stuck, is anything sticking at this point?

"I'll let you know early next week because what we do is we put in for three days, and then we pull off. We don't put in four days. We use one day a week as kind of a review session.

As for the hitting, that will begin this weekend according to Weis.

"We're putting the pads on Friday. I think Friday, because it's still another installation day, will be get acclimated to the pads. I think Saturday; we'll rough them up a bit more because no new plays go in on Saturday.

One major area of concern for Irish fans is the young and inexperienced category. Weis said he still doesn't know much about his young talent in the defensive backfield.

"One thing I can say about the secondary is there are several athletes, (and) a lot of speed," Weis said. "How good of football players they are, I can't tell you that. Usually when you have athletes and you have speed, you have a chance."

The Irish return to the practice field on Friday and Irish Eyes will be there covering all the action.


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