News and Notes 8-10-05

*A lot of the talk among Irish fans has been about the depth chart and where certain players fit on that chart. Whether it be the backup for Brady Quinn or the starting left cornerback, people want to know the first, second and third stringers. Irish coach Charlie Weis only cares about one thing: wins.

"We don't care who plays," Weis said. "We really don't. Whoever plays the best, that's who plays. You can't be in love with anyone. That's what gets you beat. You can't say, ‘I'm going to play him because I like him.' Whoever plays the best and performs the best will end up being out there."

*The entire defensive unit performs a drill in the beginning of practice. The first group of 11 players line up and a coach calls snaps the ball. As the defensive line pursues the coach with the ball, the ball is thrown to a member of the secondary. That secondary member intercepts the ball and takes it to the end zone for a touchdown while his teammates block for him. A controlled team celebration of sorts ensues among those 11 defensive players.

"As a team, we encourage team celebration," sophomore linebacker Maurice Crum, Jr. said. "You pick it off, find your blocks, and get to the end zone. And then make sure everyone celebrates together."

*The first game is not until the night of September 3rd and Irish fans are eagerly awaiting the opener. Weis has not lost sight of the opponent but fall camp also serves other purposes, especially for a new staff.

"We got Pittsburgh in mind all the time," Weis said. "But we're worrying about putting in the offense and defense and the special teams. Right now we're in installation. You know my big deal. Everyone needs to be on the same page."

*The key phrase of the practice day was "stop the bleeding." Weis said it's important to not let situations snowball out of control and they worked on that aspect today.

"There was a very valuable learning experience that took place on the field today," Weis said. "Sometimes you have a game where one side of the ball really is taking it to the other side of the ball. And guys have to learn on the side of the ball that's not doing too good is, to use the phrase, ‘stop the bleeding.' Sometimes it snowballs and before you know it you get blown out."

Weis saw this happening today. He stopped the drill, which he says cost the team six to seven reps because of the NCAA time restraints. But he got his point across.

"It gave me an opportunity to explain to these guys that play calling can slow down the damage," Weis said. "Eventually the players have to gain their composure and not worry about previous plays. Worry about the next play. If you can't do that, all of a sudden you get blown out in games that you might have had a chance to win."

*The news of Chauncey Incarnato's departure was rehashed today. The offensive line now has nobody left from the 2004 recruiting class and for this year, they are down another body. Weis said he is hesitant to start moving guys from other positions to the o-line.

"We are ways away from that," Weis said. "You have 14 guys out there practicing and a lot of guys are playing multiple positions. You build inherent depth by having guys play multiple positions. If you don't have flexibility within your own players, that is a legitimate problem. We are a long way away from something like that becoming a major problem."

*The freshman have their third day of fall practice in the books. More important is the fact that they have been around since the summer familiarizing themselves with the campus and aspects of college life. Weis said it's a big step up in their maturation process.

"They weren't able to get X's and O's for us," Weis said. "We weren't around to do that stuff. Back in the ole days, when we went to college, we were razzed pretty good. Well, these guys have already settled in as one of the guys. If nothing else, it allows them a comfort level. A young guy can go to an older guy for coaching point on how to do it. These guys have been here for two months." Top Stories