Question: Are you a fan of Chicago?
Weis: I was talking about the concert I went to in 1975 with Chicago and the Beach Boys. I think it was the USC game, that night or something. I remember going to watch them when I was a student here.
Q: How is DJ Hord coming along?
W: He's starting to run pretty well. We hope to have him practicing in the postseason, that month in between the season end and the bowl. We are bowl eligible now. We hope to get him practicing in that month of December.
Q: Is Chicago close to Bruce or Bon Jovi?
W: I guess it would if I grew up in Chicago, but I grew up in New Jersey. I think it's all the music you grew up listening to. For me it was Springsteen followed by Bon Jovi. Before that you'd have to pull out Frankie Valley and the four seasons. Before that it was Frank Sinatra. Does anyone else really matter? That takes care of about 50 years so I think I'm all set there.
Q: How will the weather affect the game on Saturday if it doesn't change?
W: We went out and practiced the last two days and gave us a perfect opportunity for inclement weather, but it doesn't look like it's going to be too bad on Saturday. The last 2 days by the time the sun went down, it dropped in a hurry.
Q: Does the first game in cold have an effect?
W: Not if you practice it. We had two good days out there for a substantial amount of time and they were two of the better practices we've had all year.
Q: Will you watch some of the game tonight? Do you look at it as a potential matchup?
W: No, I'd rather just watch a game. I hate watching games with a critical eye because then I just second guess everyone just the way they second guess me. I like just watching the game and what unfolds and the ebb and flow of the game. Watch a little bit of the strategy on both sides. I'm not really worrying what their offense and defense is at that time, I just want to watch the game like everyone else. My son will tell me what I don't know anyway.
Q: Can you compare John to Mcaffee? How's has he progressed?
W: I really hadn't thought about McAfee and body type. But that's interesting, I hadn't thought of anyone that big and burly like Ken was. Both have soft hands, the difference is Ken had been playing all along. John is one of the guys I have singled out on the team who has been improving all year long. There are a few guys who just keep taking steps up all year long and he's one of them.
Q: In reference to Travis, you said you were giving everyone a clean slate when you came here. Were you aware of his fumbling problem sophomore year?
W: Yea, you mean the BYU game. That was the only game he played, right? Because after the BYU game he was on the shelf. Tiki Barber used to fumble too but I don't think he has fumbled in about 500 snaps now. Things can be fixed. Once you have a reputation of being a fumbler people go after you and try to get you to fumble, but once you learn to take care of the ball that reputation kind of fades away.
Q: Did you see the warrior in him?
W: That's all I saw. I never saw any sign of being other than what it is. If you a re being objective you can't go by what you thought you knew, you have to go by what you see.
Q: Any signs of the team taking things lightly this week?
W: Effort-wise, I'm not saying every play was perfect, but effort-wise this was the best week we have had since I've been here. Of course as a coaching staff we addressed this before the week that that was they way it was going to be, but the players have taken it and run with it. I think if you asked any player on the team, as far as flying around out there, this is the best week since I've been here. You still have to make plays and can't give up big plays and there are other things that go with it, but this has been the best week of effort we have had.
Q: What does the effort mean or translate into?
W: Tempo. It means that when we have a period that is 15 minutes and you run 18 plays, maybe 20 if you are hustling. When the tempo in and out of the huddle is such that you run 18 plays and there are still 3 minutes left it means that everything is going crisp and you don't have to run things over and the plays are pretty well executed. We haven't had many weeks like that, this is one of the rare weeks we've had.
Q: How would you treat a stout 3rd quarter defense as an offensive coordinator?
W: It would mean to score the first time you get the ball in the 3rd quarter. You'd write openers for the 3rd quarter and be ready to treat it like the start of the game and do all you can to get points on the board. That's what it would tell me. That's where the game could start to fall away from you. A close game could start to fade away if in the 3rd quarter you aren't scoring any points but the other team is.
Q: How important are the first possessions of halves relative to the last possession of the first half?
W: The first possession of both halves is important, but the reason why the last possession of the half is because of the psychological edge it gives going into the locker room. It's different than just scoring points. Like last week, it was 17-14 then it was 24-14. So we go to the locker room feeling pretty good about ourselves. They go in saying "aww, it was just 3 now it's 10." It makes a big difference psychologically with your players.
Q: Are the players developing a sense of urgency in practice?
W: I hope that that is the case. We emphasized consistency. Part of consistency is playing well from start to end of game, not just week to week. I think that is what they've been working on this week and hopefully it shows the fruits of their labors this weekend.
Q: Do players feel style points are important, is there a sense of that?
W: I think they've just taken our message for the week and run with it. This has been our message of the week, these are what our expectations were and they've handled practice in a very mature manner.
Q: Do you remember weeks where you practiced well but didn't play well?
W: Here we've never had a week like this, but on other teams we've had great weeks of practice and gotten our buts kicked. So it has happened before, but hopefully not the case here. I'd love to think how hard they practice pays of on Saturday.
Q: Do you really blast Bon Jovi in the morning?
W: Yes. At 4:30 who am I bothering? Chad's down on the treadmill so I'm not bothering him. There are 2 people in the building, maybe a security guard. Ruben rolls in about 5o'clock and he's down in the weight room. So yea, the music is fairly loud.
Q: Is that your wake-up call?
W: That's if there aren't kids outside like this morning on their bicycles asking me to sign their footballs. Sickos, I'll tell ya. They sit there and wait for me. Students. They sit there and wait by your parking spot.
Q: How often does this happen?
W: Once a week I'd say, it gets worse around Christmas time though (laughing). It's a cheap present. Every once in a while if they walk over and the weather is good, I'll feel sorry for them and pop them on the golf cart and drive them back over to the dorm. It's the best time to catch me. I shouldn't have probably just said that (more laughing).
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