Frank Commentary

The sting has now worn off from a very miserable 3-9 season….at least for most. There really is little to talk about at this point other than to examine the warts—and there are warts. However, as I sat in "the Gug" the other day listening to Weis speak at his press conference, I just smiled. What about you?

I don't know why I was smiling other than I felt that he got "it." He "gets" Notre Dame. He gets the expectations. He understands there are problems. He's not afraid to make the necessary changes, even when it means giving up the things he truly loves if that means his program will be better.

He gets that he made mistakes. He recognizes that he wasn't a good "head coach" last year and has no problem admitting it.

If nothing else, I admire Weis for always taking responsibility squarely on the chin. I've seen a lot of press conferences in my time. Not just as a journalist but as a fan as well. I can't ever remember a guy who truly stood up continually and took the beating as a head coach should in most cases. And, I have to say, he took the beating without retribution from a journalist's perspective. If the beating was fair, he never held a grudge.

I hear a lot of things throughout the year. I heard the good. I hear the bad. I hear the ridiculous. I hear the appalling. I hear the unbelievable. And I hear a lot crap…..lots and lots of crap.

I also hear the Weis rumors. You know, the one about him being arrogant. It's funny how the negative rumors come out like a cancerous tumor the minute things look bleak. I rarely heard these rumors before this miserable season.

I'll admit I also had my doubts. "How could ND possibly be this bad?" "They didn't improve one iota from the beginning to the end of the season." I said those things many times throughout the year and after. I think they were valid concerns.

But sitting there last Friday, my confidence was renewed. How about you?

Am I convinced that Weis will succeed? No…..

Do I still have doubts? Sure.

However, if he doesn't succeed it won't be from a lack of effort, preparation or "due diligence" as Weis likes to say.

He won't fail because he's arrogant. He won't fail because he's stubborn. He won't fail because he doesn't understand how to go about fixing things.

He also won't fail because he's blind to the problems. He won't fail because he's too proud to get some real constructive criticism. He won't fail because he's afraid to delegate.

If Weis does fail, it will be because he simply can't coach. I don't believe that will happen.

My guess is many of you have heard at least one Weis horror story. That comes with the territory. Heard them about Holtz. Heard them about Davie. Heard them about Tyrone. Heard them about myself. And, some of them about me are true. My point is nobody is perfect all the time, certainly not me, as some of my customers have witnessed.

So while Weis and I might not be perfect, I think it comes down to the job you do. Is he doing a good job? In the vast majority of cases, I'd say yes.

Weis made mistakes last year. He'd be the first to admit it, but that's what you get with a first-time head coach. Every coach will go through growing pains. Every coach has to learn how to be a head coach. I believe Weis is learning that lesson currently.

It's obvious Weis has a real love for Notre Dame. It's also obvious he can attract quality assistant coaches. The head man can certainly recruit, and we don't hear any stories of Charlie ducking out of the office for a round of golf. The man is truly dedicated to being successful and doesn't expect anyone to work harder than he does, and he works very hard at this job.

When there's a problem, Weis clearly identifies it, seeks counsel to make sure he's doing the right thing, and tries to fix it. Now, it comes down to "can he fix it?"

I've had my doubts. I'm sure you've had yours. But after listen to Weis the other day I thought to myself: "this guy gets it."

I'm not certain he can fix the problems, but I'm not sure ND fans should want anyone else at the wheel trying. I'm certain Weis will do all the right things to push this program in the correct direction. The question will be, will his team respond to him and his leadership? That's where the real "coaching" part of this comes in. Top Stories