Question: Can you talk about Asaph and his condition after today?
Weis: From watching him warm up today I wouldn't have had him play today. We'll have to watch him on Saturday. I wouldn't have played him today, not when I saw him loosen up. I told him that wasn't enough for me to play him so we will just have to wait and see on Saturday.
Q: Is McConnell next in line?
W: Yes, that is who is number 2, yes sir.
Q: Did you tell your players to say anything in particular this week, anything different? Do you treat some game differently…
W: Let me interrupt you and say I do treat them all the same. That will never change.
Q: The players seem to be told…
W: No, the players were not told anything. I read what they said about fundamentals and techniques. That was our point of emphasis all week long. I never tell them what to say or what not to say. I tell them every week what the theme of the week is, the point of emphasis. This week the point of emphasis was there were lots of things in the first 2 games that if we don't get better at those things against Michigan we will lose. The whole point of emphasis starting on Sunday was fundamentally and technically we need to get significantly better or we are going to lose something on the field. And that was the whole message; it was nothing more or nothing less than that.
Q: So you merely had a theme with the players in practice this week with the media?
W: You could play that game as a coach any way you want to, but I try to have a theme each week. It wasn't a theme like don't say anything about Michigan, because if you want bulletin board material you just come out there and flatter them all week. You could just say how great they are. You could say good or bad things for bulletin board material, but that was not what we were trying to do this week. What we were trying to do was we had to get fundamentally better. You can look at a win like Penn State and say that was really good, or you can look at it like I do and say here are all the things that we could do to be significantly better and we could be better than we played.
Q: Do you feel that was accomplished?
W: I feel that Tuesday and Wednesday went really well. The problem I have with Thursdays is that I start toning down the tempo because I don't like leaving it on the practice field. So when you start toning down the tempo as a coach you get very ancy, because you want to yell at them to go full speed on every play on the one side, but on the other side you are trying to save their legs so their legs are ready to go on Saturday. You kind of get in that catch 22 where you find yourself biting your lip on Thursdays. Tuesday and Wednesday I was very pleased, and on Thursdays I'm usually miserable like I am right now.
Q: Is there a point where you "get it" while watching film of another quarterback?
W: You don't get it when it's not your guy, because you don't know what they are supposed to be doing. You can evaluate when I guy has a strong arm, when he has good touch, he's got good fundamentals, he seems to find the open guy, but sometimes you don't know what their reads are or what the play design is. I always liked watching people who had composure. I'll give you an example or an opponent. I thought Matt Leinart was as composed a quarterback as we have gone against. He comes to line of scrimmage, nothing fazed him, he could redirect protections, so as far as running the operation which is the number one responsibility of a quarterback, from an opponents stand point, which is what you are looking for. Now I'm a little prejudiced to my own guy because I see him every day and see what he can and can't do. When you are watching an opponent, you just try and identify what you view as his strengths and weaknesses.
Q: When a guy comes along, does it happen quick in one game or how does it happen?
W: Not usually, not like that. They might have one good game, but they might have one bad game. It's usually a process that they build over time. It usually doesn't happen overnight.
Q: Was there a different emphasis with the strength and conditioning this year than last?
W: It wasn't about guys' weight, because we had guys gain weight and guys lose weight. The biggest thing that Reuben was trying to emphasize was stamina. I thought that was one area where we could greatly improve was the stamina of our team. You know how you get in those games and everyone is putting up there hands in the fourth quarter and then you see people sucking wind after a while. I think the most important thing is to see how guys are playing at the end of the game compared to the beginning of the game.
Q: Has it worked so far?
W: So far so good. I think our stamina has definitely showed up so far. The defense hasn't been on the field in the first two games. Under 60 plays both games I believe. Sooner or later will come a time where they are on the field for 60 or 70 plays and then it is a little bit different. The offense has been on the field for over 70 plays for the first 2 games.
Q: Can you talk about Carl Goia and his range?
W: Well, he kicked a long one today. He only kicked one and it was a long one to win the game. And fortunately today we would have won. Normally we go out and kick half a dozen kicks and start at the extra point then go to the right hash, then the left hash, then right middle, left middle, and work our way back, but today we just put down one. I said ok, no time, this is it to win the game and the good guys would have won today. At long range.
Q: Were there more NFL scouts here than usual today?
W: No, that's usually about what we get on a Thursday. We are only open one day a week at practice on Thursday and they will stay till the break, then after the break they leave and we do move the field type of things, get ready to play the game.
Q: Can you have too many recruits come visit at one game?
W: You could have too many come in, but I don't think that is the case. Usually the times you have too many come in is when you say yes to anyone who wants to come. We are no longer in that position. Now it is more we are inviting them and whether it is a junior or senior. The toughest time I have is I spend a little block of time with them before I go out to play the game talking to them and you have to talk to different levels of people within one room. This guy might have committed already, this guy might be close, this guy might be a junior, and you have to talk to all of them at the same time. You have really different messages that you have to try and tie in together.
Q: What is your philosophy on recruiting guys who already have a verbal elsewhere?
W: Only if they tell us they are interested. Now sometimes you don't know all the little idiosyncrasies. Some might have said yes to somebody but then called us up because they want to come for a visit. It's not like you go and try to track them down, if they call you up perhaps they are having reservations about the place they are at. So when they call you up and say they would like to come for a visit you make sure all the proper people, and not the other school mind you, but that their parents and everyone else knows what they are doing and there are no surprises. It is unethical to go hard after someone else's guys, but when they call you I don't think there is anything wrong in saying yes. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Q: Do you make adjustments to special teams like offense and defense as the year goes on?
W: There are adjustments but they aren't as drastic, but they are definite adjustments, especially when you have a dynamic returner like Breaston. First of all there has to be a great sense of urgency across the board because the guy is so dynamic as a returner. But we will make our adjustments in both our coverage units and our return units. They just won't be drastic ones they will be more subtle ones.
Q: Have you talked to Geoff about the kicking game and getting the ball inside the 10 yard line?
W: As a matter of a fact, because we were inside for the first 2 days this week, what Brian did is afterwards our special teams went outside so we could work on that very thing. You don't really know when the mud is stopping the ball right there, because there were some mud stopped balls inside the 10, but at least they were landing where they are supposed to landing so we'll see how it goes.
IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories
Rees Home Again in South BendFormer Notre Dame quarterback Tom Rees returns to coach quarterbacks at his Alma Mater.
Irish offer new 3-star defensive endThree-star defensive end Victor Dimukeje has another offer to consider with barely a week to go before National Signing Day. Notre Dame entered the mix Tuesday and hopes to score a…
Preview: No. 12 Virginia @ No. 14 Notre DameIn five games against Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, Mike Brey is 0-5 with a high-point mark of 66 and two games with less than 50.
How high can Irish rank on signing day?Notre Dame won’t finish with a Top 10 class next week. But when National Signing Day arrives the program could still pull off something notable considering last season’s record.
Irish get a boost from top safety targetThree-star safety Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah landed an offer from Notre Dame last week and on Monday he decommitted from Virginia following a school visit from Brian Kelly. He’ll…