Weis: "Here For Life"

On Monday, NFL.com's Adam Schefter reported that two NFL owners contacted Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis to gauge his interest in coming back to professional football. Weis, who has repeatedly said he's staying with the Irish, told them he's not going anywhere.

Last season, Weis and Notre Dame reworked his contract for a 10-year extension after a successful start. Financial details were not released at the time but it's imagined to be the highest or one of the highest for any coach in college football. This hasn't stopped NFL teams from contacting the once-successful professional offensive coordinator. On Wednesday, Weis talked about the situation in detail.

"People start calling," Weis said. "They are called feelers. Every organization has feelers. People start calling early. People haven't figured it out yet so why don't we do this once and for all. When we redid my contract last year, it should have alleviated any doubt that I'm leaving Notre Dame. It's alleviated all doubt. Last year, they called because we hadn't done that contract yet. This year, they're calling to see if the contract is real. They want to find out what you're saying is actually the truth. How many times do I have to say the same thing? People still call. They'll continue to call."

They will continue to call. Last year alone, there were 10 head coaching vacancies in the win-or-else NFL. The openings are there. With recycled names such as Art Shell and Dick Jauron and new faces like Mike McCarthy getting head jobs, curious NFL owners have to be interested in the resume Weis has accumulated over the years. He's said time and time again that Notre Dame is his last coaching destination and unless he wins the lottery, the Irish sidelines are where fans will find him. He stays consistent with refusals for the feelers.

"It's a good thing because I always give the same answer," Weis said. "If I'd give you one answer and someone else another, that would be a bad thing. It would cost me too much money to leave, money I don't have. I do not have it. Millions of dollars for me to leave and the last time I checked, I don't have it. It's flattering that they inquire but that's why we did this last year.

"Everyone talks about whether they called or not. Yes they called. They called last year. They called this year. Even after this conversation, they'll call again. But the answer is always going to be the same, which is good for all of us. It's a consistent answer. It won't be the last. Sometimes they just don't get it. So I give the same answer.

"They'll continue to have feelers. Everyone will know that I'm staying here until they fire me or die. I'm here for life. That's what I want to do. Why would I not be a man of my word?"

On the field, this was the second practice for Notre Dame since coming off the bye. Weis gave Saturday, Sunday and Monday off to the players. With no classes this week because of fall break, he can spend as much time as he sees fit with the players. It allowed them to work on first and second down last week and speed up game preparations by a day this week. Weis said that usually the first practice after a bye is the sloppiest. Surprisingly, he liked what he saw.

"The first day was a lot better than I expected," Weis said. "What we did is because we had extra time, it allowed me to have a walk through prior to practice that I normally don't have time to do on a normal week. We're only on the practice fields for a couple of hours. You're trying to hustle and bustle to get everything done. Because the time restraints were down this week, it allowed us to spend an extra 15 minutes to do things before practice that wouldn't have been as hot if we did them for the first time once we got into practice."

The injury bug was the one big concern heading into the bye. Starters Travis Thomas, Tommy Zbikowski and Ambrose Wooden all missed the Stanford game along with backups Paul Duncan and Bobby Renkes. The extra time allowed the players to get a lot of treatment for their injuries. It appears as if everyone is ready to go.

"We look as healthy as we've been in a long time, even Duncan, who was sick, is back," Weis said. "It looks to me we are ready to go. This is probably as healthy as we're going to be for the rest of the way because now you are going six weeks in a row. There are no byes."

The Irish have had to be aware of one situation with UCLA this week: the health of quarterback Patrick Cowan. The redshirt sophomore got hit in the throat last week in the loss to Oregon and was coughing up blood on the plane ride back to Los Angeles. He's been ordered not to talk this week to heal the injury. Weis, who is familiar with Cowan's condition, said the Bruins might have to get creative in the way the communication is handled on offense.

"At the line of scrimmage, if you a center who is sharp, you can get by with the center handling those things," Weis said. "He's the only person you can get by with doing it because the center could identify fronts, handle silent snap counts or actually handle the counts. The center is capable of doing. We've done it before. The bigger thing is calling the play in the huddle. I'd be interested to see how that works out more than calling it at the line of scrimmage."

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