IrishEyes Notebook

Charlie Weis has come to the belief that in the college game, teams are better suited to employ multiple running backs during the game because of the amount of players on the roster. "I think the numbers of guys that you have in college is so much different than the number of guys you have in the pros. You have more people to choose from which was a little different for me."

"You go to a game in the NFL, you only have 45 guys at the game. There's games where you'd have two or three running backs total, just dressed for the game," Weis said.

During Media Day on Friday, Weis said that he saw Armando Allen in a different light than James Aldridge and Robert Hughes. Weis considers Allen to already be 1A, while the other two will battle it out to become 1. On Saturday, Weis intimated that he would ride whichever back is hot at the time.

"At the running back position, I've coached it at multiple places, good running backs, it isn't just getting to recognize fronts and getting a feel for the tempo of the game and what the other team's doing. But they get in a groove," Weis said. "You might have a guy, like all of a sudden a guy gets in a groove and a good thing is going. Well, if you've got a good thing going, instead of worrying about the rotation at that time, you feed him until you wear him out and then you go to the next guy."

Weis is confident that Aldridge, Hughes and Allen will all handle the competition the right way, while noting that freshman Jonas Gray is still learning the way things go.

"I think that you'll see that it's been a healthy thing…All three of those guys know that they're going to be involved with what we're doing," Weis said. "I think that these guys are very unselfish. I think that from a selfish viewpoint, everyone wants to be the guy that's getting the ball on every carry, but I think these guys are very close personally. They've become very close friends and I think when you become very close friends with somebody, you're always going to be pulling for them, you're not going to be rooting against them."

Aldridge affirmed that the backs have become a tight unit.

"We've become friends over time. It's a good chance to cheer your friends on and for your friends to cheer you on. It's a good situation," Aldridge said. "It is competition out there on the field, that's just what it is. But outside that, it's cool, we're buddies."

Hughes thinks that the players feed off of each other.

"It's all friendly competition out there," said Hughes, who noted that he would be taking any advice that the coaches had about his game.

Aldridge did admit that as a competitor he wants to win, but said that the team is what is important.

"Everybody wants to be the man, but it's a team and that's what I'm sold on," he said.

According to Allen, the entire team became tighter since last season, not just the backs.

"We worked real hard in the offseason. We really built up a lot of team chemistry and everybody has confidence in each other," said Allen, who noted that he has been concentrating on his pass blocking techniques.

Allen, who will also get plenty of touches as a returner, is pleased with his role as a change of pace runner while Hughes and Aldridge battle it out to be the lead back.

"I'm here to do whatever I can to help the team and whatever role the coaches ask of me, I'm going to take it on," Allen said, mentioning that he played a similar role in high school.

Aldridge thinks that he has a nickname for the trio.

"The perfect storm," he said. "Because you never know what you're going to get. You could get some lightning, some thunder, some rain. You just never know what you're going to get out of the group."

DEPTH AT TIGHT END: Weis said that there was plenty of competition at the tight end position and that a lot of people are overlooking converted fullback Luke Schmidt, who is currently fifth on the depth chart.

"(Schmidt has) had a lot of bad luck since he's been here. Because just about every time he is ready to be involved in the mix, something has happened medically where he has gotten banged up," Weis said. "We're talking about Mike Ragone and Will Yeatman and then the two freshmen and we're forgetting a guy like that, who realistically has as much athletic ability as all of the rest of them, especially in more of a move tight end position.

"So what you have to decide is which are the stationery tight ends, which are the move tight ends and what kind of flexibility can you get based off the athletic ability of the guy. Because some guys just can't play far away from the line of scrimmage, they've got to play closer to the line of scrimmage and vice versa."

Ragone headed into camp as the number one tight end, followed by Yeatman and freshmen Kyle Rudolph and Joseph Fauria. Weis is known to use multiple tight end sets, so this group should give him even more packages to use.

As a junior, Yeatman is the oldest of the group and will look to replace some of the leadership that John Carlson brought the last two years.

"(Carlson) did everything as well as he possibly could and as a younger kid looking up to it, it definitely pushes you to be that much better," Yeatman said.

YEATMAN LEARNED FROM MISTAKE: Yeatman said that he is moving forward from his suspension after being arrested for driving under the influence this spring, but also that he gained a valuable lesson.

"That one night I made a terrible mistake and I'll regret it for the rest of my life, but I've certainly learned from it. And who knows maybe that mistake led to me being a much better person in the long run and saved people's lives in the long run," said Yeatman.

Yeatman mentioned that he spoke to plenty of people in the area and back home in California about the dangers of drinking and driving. He said that the one thing worse than seeing his name run across the crawl on the bottom of ESPN was having to tell the football and lacrosse teams that he was not going to be there for them.

"Approaching all of your teammates by yourself and telling everyone that ‘Yes, I screwed up.' And telling them the reason why, it's tough," he said. "But that's the beauty of going to a school where you have such supportive teammates and such great friends on each team. They all backed me up, they were there to support me."

DUVAL NEEDS SECOND 2 TO BE A 1: Weis said that Duval Kamara is wearing #60 at the start of camp because he came in overweight.

"I told him that I wanted the second number to be a one. After that 2 first number, the second number I wanted to be a 1," Weis said. "And it is not yet a 1. So when it is a 1 he will not have 60."

Weis did said that Kamara, who weighed in at 224, had a great first day and joked that maybe he would keep him with 60.

"But that would be an ineligible number so I guess I can't do that," he said. Top Stories