News and Notes 8-13-2005

*Today's first practice was moved inside to the Loftus Center because of the rain earlier this morning. This is the first time the Irish will go through two-a-days in preseason practice. Head coach Charlie Weis said it was pouring rain when he got to the office at quarter to five in the morning, sunny by 7 a.m. but again raining heavily after his trip to the cafeteria for some coffee. He was pleased with the decision and the practice.

"I think it turned out to be a very good decision because it was a very up-tempo practice," Weis said. "What you are always concerned about when you're following a grind practice yesterday afternoon followed by a morning practice, you're always concerned with how it's going to be. But I thought it was very up tempo and I thought the execution on both sides of the ball was significantly improved."

*Tomorrow ends the first week of Notre Dame's preseason camp. The Irish will practice later today from 5:30-8 with the location depending on the weather. If they are outside, the team will be in its usual place on the west side of the campus in the field next to the Hammes Bookstore. They will be inside at the Loftus Center if the rain continues or the field conditions are too slick.

Weis said that the afternoon practice would focus on offensive plays being called without a script. Referees also will be brought in to officiate the action. Up until now, the plays have been planned in advance but Weis wants to see how his team does in situations.

"We haven't gotten to any situational, move the field type of stuff," Weis said. "It's all been controlled and scripted. Everyone kind of knows what's been happening. I want to see players respond when their on their own without the coaches spoon feeding them and telling them what to do all the time."

Tomorrow will see the team practice only once. Weis said there will be a heavy emphasis on the special teams like the session the media was allowed into during spring ball. The coach said that all options are open.

"I think that everyone is going to be involved in special teams<" Weis said. "You have to be smart. I'm not going to take Tommy Zbikowski and play him on four teams. But he's going to have a role on special teams."

*Weis has admitted to spending more time during practice with the offense than the defense. This is understandable coming from a man who has spent his entire coaching career on that side of the ball. But don't think he doesn't put in the time after practice.

"I watch all the (defensive) tape," Weis said. "Just because I'm not over there over doesn't mean I miss anything. We tape everything. The first thing I watch after practice is the defensive tape. I don't watch the offensive tape. I just watch them. I go back again to see what I missed because you don't see everything. But I know from going against the defense, they present some problems to us. Then again, there are other times where I'll go up to those guys and I'll go to Rick and say, ‘If you do this, this is what I'm going to do and you're going to have a problem.' They are doing a lot more now than in the spring."

*Fifth-year seniors are a staple of college football. Most of these fifth-year players were either injured for a significant portion of a certain year or were redshirted their freshman year. Weis said every case, whether or not to apply for a fifth year and accept it, must be judged on its own merits and considering future consequences to that particular person.

"First of all, Notre Dame is a little unique in that we try to graduate they guys in four years," Weis said. "So many of those schools that have all the redshirt years, not that we don't use them. But the first thing you have to do is encourage them to graduate in four years. The school is suppose to be a four-year institution. As far as that goes, I think each one of them has to be viewed on an individual basis. There are several guys I've talked to about next year already who have a chance to work on Wall Street. Go work on Wall Street."

*Freshman cornerback Ray Herring and sophomore linebacker Abdel Banda, both sporting the green jerseys, did not participate in the morning practice at the Loftus Center. Each of them appeared to be limping slightly with leg injuries.


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