Weis Happy With Start

The first thing that stood out to Charlie Weis with the start of preseason camp was the condition of his players. "They're in very good shape, that was encouraging," said Weis, who also mentioned that even tight Will Yeatman, who was thought to be limited, was a full go.

"It's good to see everyone out there and healthy and running around. Obviously Ruben (Mendoza) did a good job because they were in very good shape."

Weis said that the NCAA padding restrictions for the beginning of the season can make the staff's job of getting guys to have a fast start a difficult one.

"When you can't put shoulder pads on it really concerns me to tell you the truth," he said. "The NCAA told us then that you no longer could wear the protective shells. Now of course, I complain saying that really you're protecting the guys (with the shells), because what are you going to do tell the offensive and defensive lineman, ‘OK fellas, you've got no shoulder pads on so don't touch each other.' It really doesn't work that way.

"I have no problem in the first couple of days them not having pants, but you can't even get to knee braces unless someone's hurt. Here the next few days as we start to add some attire, I'll feel a lot more comfortable."

Weis said that he was pleased with the new practice fields across from the Gug. He said that the kickers would use the grass field, but the rest of the team would lay off of it because it was just laid down in July.

"They're sweet. That's a really nice job," he said. "Right now if we practiced on that (grass field) it would get ripped up. But those two field turf fields (are nice)."

Weis said that the new artificial surfaces will help the team as fall comes.

"There's been so many times where if in doubt, I'd stay inside just to save the fields from being ripped up," he said. "Now when you have the crème de la crème that we have right now with those two field turf fields, you'll only stay inside when you want to stay inside, not because you have to stay inside."

Weis also talked about why his philosophy of having a primary ball carrier has changed a little different from the NFL to the college game.

"Because you have a larger number of players on your roster," he said. "You have more people to choose from and I kind of like the talent that we have at the position and I don't want to inhibit a good player from getting some playing time."

In just one day, there were a number of freshmen that caught the eyes of the coaches, but the staff is eager to see how they continue to compete throughout camp.

"There were a bunch of them that stood out to us, but the problem I have so early is that some of these guys were running down the line on the depth chart," Weis said. "So a lot of them were like 3's against 3's. It'll be interesting this week as we start mixing and mingling.

"Ethan Johnson is a guy who looked really good yesterday, but he's also running against the third offensive line. So now all of a sudden you can take a guy like Ethan Johnson you put him against the first team offensive line. You see if you see a lot of the same things you saw yesterday because yesterday he was in the backfield the whole day."

Weis said that there were several first-year players that fell into the same situation. He also commented on the physical size of the freshmen coming in, singling out tight end Kyle Rudolph.

"When we first got involved with recruiting him when he was a junior, he was about 215, he's 255," Weis said. "And he still looks thin, that's a huge difference from a young, evolving teenager."

Weis also commented on the growth of linebacker Steven Filer over the last couple of years.

"He was a weight of 205, 210 when we first got involved with, you know he's 235. There's a big difference between a linebacker being 235 and 210."


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