Weis Puts 2007 in the Past

Charlie Weis was happy to see the Brett Favre-Green Bay Packers saga come to a close, as was the rest of the country. But Weis was able to take an appropriate metaphor out of it for his team's approach to 2008.

"As I was watching (Favre), who I have a lot of respect for, and watching how the whole situation was handled, I think probably the one thing that I was able to take from that that was probably a very strong analogy to how I feel right now is we're moving forward," Weis said. "That's exactly where our team is, we're moving forward. We're excited about our season. There's a two-part theme; the mode and the end message. What we're trying to do is we're trying to get off to a fast start.

"We're not saying one word about last season. It's August 2008."

Weis said that the fast start message would be the tempo of the entire camp. To emphasize that message, Weis borrowed a phrase from Bill Parcells.

"(Parcells) was looking for players that would dive right in," Weis said.

Weis talked about how there were two types of people who would go to the New Jersey shore at the beginning of summer when the water temperatures hovered around 50 degrees. There were the type of people who would dip their toes in the water and the other kind were the crazies that would dive right in.

"I'm not looking for toe-in-the-water type players," he said. "I'm looking for players that aren't waiting to see how things go, they're going to be a part of making things go."

Weis isn't positive how many guys will fall into camp, but he is confident that he will find enough.

"I know we'll have at least 22," he said.

In the offseason, Weis had strength coach Ruben Mendoza stress gaining strength and mass with the lineman this year. The entire two-deep offensive line is tipping the scales past 300 pounds.

"And for the first time in history Chris Stewart is no longer the heaviest lineman," Weis said of Stewart, who weighed in at 329. "Now I can call Sam Young tubby because he outweighs Chris."

Weis said that with the added size and strength the offensive linemen now need to translate that to the point of attack. Weis also noted that the six man rotation for five spots has been shifted to a two-man rotation for one spot. With tackle Sam Young and guard Chris Stewart firming up the right side along with Dan Wenger at center and Eric Olsen at left guard, the competition will be between Michael Turkovich and Paul Duncan at left tackle.

All three running backs gained 100 pounds on their bench presses and along the interior defensive line, Ian Williams, Paddy Mullen, Brandon Newman and Pat Kuntz all reached 600 pounds with their squats.

Weis talked commended captains Maurice Crum, David Grimes and David Bruton for their leadership in the offseason.

Weis said that the competition for carries at running back has been split up a little a bit.

"Let's split it into two and one. Let's think about Armando on one side and Robert and James on the other side," he said. "Really Robert and James are very similar players, so I think that they're kind of competing against each other…(Armando) is 1A already and we'll see from the other two guys who gets more reps."

Weis assured everyone that he is not going to be revisiting his decision to turn over playcalling duties to Michael Haywood.

"This has been a process. I don't wing anything. I think everything out thoroughly," Weis said. "I can hear me saying ‘Run it again, run it again, run it again.' Or if we're throwing it and they can't cover it I can say ‘Throw it again or play-action pass,' but I'm not going to be standing their studying the call sheet."

Weis was asked about the recent internet photos of quarterback Jimmy Clausen and some teammates at a party.

"I don't codone underage drinking," he said. "That being said, no sarcastic moment really meant to be, but give me a break and last move on."

Weis said that even with the much heralded recruiting class coming in, the team is in a much better situation depth-wise now.

"All of them are going to have to earn their way up…You bring in three WRs that all can play but they're going to have to earn their way up the depth chart," Weis said. "These guys are going to come in and start third team at best...If they do win the job it's a good thing."

Weis did say that running back Jonas Gray and receiver Michael Floyd did not look like freshmen. Weis said that he likes the way that Brian Smith played during the spring and that he is confident in Raeshon McNeil and Gary Gray's abilities to replace Darrin Walls.

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