Offense Looking to Explode in 2005

When Charlie Weis accepted the job as head coach of the Notre Dame football team, the excitement level went up a few notches. Also excited about his hiring is the offensive personnel of the 2005 team. As offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, Weis consistently outwitted opposing defenses. An example of this is torching the Pittsburgh Steelers number-one ranked defense for 41 points in last year's AFC Championship.

No one can be happier than Irish quarterback Brady Quinn. The junior has struggled at times with accuracy as the completed only 54% of his passes and threw 10 interceptions. The advice Weis can give Quinn will be invaluable in his maturing process.

"I think Coach Weis's schemes sets us up in favorable positions all the time," Quinn said. "The biggest thing is the way he has taught us is where to go with the ball every time with the ball under any situation. You've always got outlets. You've always got places to go. That makes you feel comfortable."

Quinn will look to throw the ball to a veteran group of wide receivers that possesses a combination of speed and height. Wide receivers coach Rob Ianello has liked what he has seen the first week and a half. The group, despite being older, still has to pick up the new offense like the younger guys.

"Because we have some guys with some experience, that really helps," Ianello said. "You're not starting from scratch from individual technique thing. Guys have a background in that. Where we all are starting from scratch is with the offense. With offense, I'm coaching them all like freshman."

Maurice Stovall is one of these targets. The senior came to Notre Dame four years ago with high expectations as a first-team USA Today All-American out of high school. To date, many associate Stovall with the Sports Illustrated cover he graced during his freshman year. The 6'5" receiver caught only one touchdown last season.

Weis wanted Stovall to lose weight in the off-season. These words have seemingly paid off as Stovall has trimmed down, improved his conditioning and is having a great fall camp. Quinn can sense the difference.

"Maurice has been doing an extremely great job," Quinn said. "He's been working in the off-season coming back and in better condition than ever before. It's truly showing there when he's running routes and making catches and being able to have more stamina out there to be able to run the deep routes."

Besides putting players in the right positions to succeed, Weis also uses every advantage possible to score points. This can include using defensive players when the need arises. Richard Seymour and Dan Klecko were Patriots used as blocking backs in certain formations. New England linebacker Mike Vrabel even caught a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Weis will not hesitate to experiment.

"I haven't tried it yet, but will I do it? Yeah, I'll do it," Weis said. "I will definitely look to do that. The most important thing for me is to make sure they know their main position first. So before I start looking for guy on a side of the ball to get involved on the other side of the ball, first things are first. Let's get them focused on that."

Quinn said on Monday that he feels 75% of the offense is in place and he's grasping it well. The junior is the captain of the offense and his teammates will look to him when the pressure is on during crunch time. Weis expects a lot out of his signal caller this year. The head coach is not the only one.

"Huge things (on what he expects form himself)," Quinn said. "Accomplishing anything we can for this team. That's the biggest thing is winning every game and going into it being confident. I think when it comes down to it, quarterbacks are judged on winning." Top Stories