Weis Talks Tight End And More

Charlie Weis met with the media on Thursday evening for the final time before Saturday's home game against Purdue. Weis said that there has been no change in the status of tight end Will Yeatman and that he is not likely to play. Yeatman may not have been a go this week anyway with a shoulder injury that has limited his practice time.

"He hasn't done anything," Weis said of Will Yeatman. "His shoulder was a little bit banged up, but this was not a big sense of urgency on my part because really I had to take reps and get those other guys ready to go."

But Weis said that the junior is in a good place mentally following a weekend arrest for underage drinking.

"He's good. We've talked a whole bunch of times," Weis said. "I really don't share too much of a private conversation, but I think it's always important to work on a guy's psyche regardless of the result."

The other big piece of news that Weis delivered was also at tight end, where Luke Schmidt is still experiencing headaches and is also unlikely to play on Saturday. Schmidt will undergo a cognitive test on Friday, but even if he does pass he may not play after missing practice.

"Knowing what to do is one thing, but actually practicing it is something else," said Weis.

With the tight end position down to just a pair of scholarship freshmen, the head coach has had to do some mixing and matching.

"We practiced Joseph (Fauria) a whole bunch and we have our cast of characters that we use," he said. "We use (fullbacks) Asaph (Schwapp) and Steve Paskorz in a move tight end package similar to what we do with Luke."

There has been no shortage of players pleading with Weis to get a shot at tight end.

"I've had a whole entourage of guys wanting to be the next two-way player," Weis said. "Paddy Mullen, Pat Kuntz, John Ryan, Brian Smith. There's a lot of guys that want to be that guy."

But Weis did not offer any further hints about position changes.

There will also be no change at kicker. The staff opened up the competition after Brandon Walker missed his first three field goals of the season, but Walker easily proved why he was selected over Ryan Burkhart as the kicker coming out of camp.

"It wasn't close in the competition between the two of them," Weis said. "We let them kick off a couple of days in a row, so it wasn't just a one-day deal, but the competition wasn't close."

Weis has looked into the entire kick operation and while everyone shares some of the blame, none of them will be replaced.

"This year, so far, everyone's kind of had their share of the blame and they'll all be the same. Same snapper, same holder, same kicker," said Weis. "There's been high snaps, there's been misheld balls, there's been bad kicks, there's been poor plant foots, there's been some penetration. There's a whole plethora of problems that have occurred."

Weis is confident that this team is better prepared to respond to a loss because it is more experienced.

"We're more grown up at many of the positions where people are playing than we were a year ago," said Weis. "The more grown up you are, the more mature you are, it's easier to understand the things you have to do to fix the problems."

Weis also said that getting a chance to play at home should help.

"Last year one of the things we did a poor job of was winning at home," he said. "One of the advantages of having four home games in the first five games, it gives you an opportunity to get off to a fast start, which is one of the things that we have professed the whole time. So I think this game is very, very important to us."

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