News and Notes 8-15-2005

*The Notre Dame football team started their second week of fall camp with their second two-a-day practice of the season. The first practice was held in the morning in the fields on the west side of campus and the second was moved inside to the Loftus Center. The offense worked on aspects of the passing game and head coach Charlie Weis was happy with what he saw.

"I was really pleased today with both practices," Weis said. "This morning we were heavily featuring the drop back passing game. Mainly seven on seven but that was this morning. Tonight was full pads and a lot of banging around. We were running play action. I was really happy with how today went."

The same could not be said for the last half of Sunday's practice. Weis had wanted the practices to be at an up-tempo pace and that was lacking during that time.

"The second part of practice I wasn't so happy with because afterwards (from working on special teams) they were so spent at the break that I took their shoulders pad off," Weis said. "Taking the shoulder pads off did not mean go at a walk through tempo. Last night, we were running plays, it was kind of going at a walk though tempo and it was not satisfactory."

*The Pittsburgh game on September 3rd is creeping up on the Irish. While the focus is on Panthers, Weis has also used preseason practice to install his offense and the same with the defensive coaches. This week, though, the players will see the beginning phases of what to expect leading up to the game.

"On Wednesday of this week, we're going to have our first Pittsburgh day," Weis said. "After we get through individuals, we are going to spend the whole day on Pittsburgh. The first thing you have to do is kind of jockey your players around to see what you got and install offense and defense. We're not done with that. We have a long way to gone. We have some installation to go and some fine-tuning to go. I think we have to dedicate a day this week to start with the introductory phases on that game."

Planning can never begin too soon for game, especially for a team that came into Notre Dame Stadium last year and beat the Irish 41-38. Weis was the offensive coordinator of the Patriots at the time. However, he will be well versed in what Pittsburgh has to offer.

"I watch every game of every team we play," Weis said, who probably will study last season's tapes of the Panthers to familiarize himself. "How much more can you want? We played the Super Bowl and I watched every game of the entire season and preseason. How much more can you want? That's all there is."

*The USA Today ran an article today concerning the NCAA cracking down this year on spearing. Last year, the NCAA defined it as "the intentional use of the helmet (including the face mask) in an attempt to punish an opponent." The word "intentional" was discarded and added "no player shall strike a runner with the crown or top of his helmet in an attempt to punish him." The broader definition is intended to stop its danger use. Spearing is called on average once every 50 games in the NCAA as compared to holding being called once every six plays.

Weis had a team doctor come in to talk to the team about spearing. The doctor said the rule was put in to protect the player doing the spearing. Weis doesn't see it that way.

"Having coached offense for a bunch of years, I really never looked at it like that," Weis said. "I think that anytime that you're leading with your head, that's a dangerous thing. It's a dangerous thing for both players. There are some common sense things that come into play."

*New technology has changed the way coaches can contact recruits. Starting in September, Weis can call recruits but only once a week. The staff has turned to text messaging to increase the contact between player and recruit. Texting is not considered a phone call and falls within the boundaries.

"We sit down and we start typing away," Weis said. "It's a different message for each kid. With the presence of modern technology, that's how we do it. I just want to get them. I just want to get them and follow the rules and do all I can to help get the players we want."

After Weis was finished with the post-practice interview session, he jokingly had only one thing on his mind: "I'm going to go upstairs and have a few texts."


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