Weis Has Decision to Make

Charlie Weis met with the media on Sunday to talk about the loss to BC and his role in the offense going forward. Weis also talked about the health of Jimmy Clausen and suggested that there might have been something other than the ankle bothering him on Saturday.

Charlie Weis will take a more active role in the Notre Dame offense. After watching the tape from the Boston College loss and meeting with the offensive staff he knows that, he just is unsure exactly what that will mean, but he will know soon enough.

"At our staff meeting today I just told them that I was going to be taking a more active role. I'll define that more with them today," Weis said. "Whatever I'm going to do, I will lead off the press conference on Tuesday, that'll be the first thing I say on Tuesday, whatever that role is."

Weis was not certain what that role will be and whether or not he will take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Mike Haywood. The Notre Dame staff's schedule has been pushed back a bit because of the late arrival home on Saturday night, but Weis will finalize his decision right away.

"I'll know after I talk to the staff. I think that, it won't take me until Tuesday to figure out what I'm going to do is what I'm saying. I don't have etched in stone what I'm going to do at this point," he said. "If I'm going to be more involved with game-planning and playcalling, those type of things, I have to be involved tomorrow. That's not something I can decide on Tuesday because you have to be in all of the meetings."

The head coach continued to laud the defense's effort in the game and is pleased enough with the group's play that he can devote more time to the offense.

"I feel very confident with where we are on defense right now," he said. "Look it, I'm trying to do this head coach stuff and trying to delegate, but I think that when there's a problem in area where you believe you can be part of the answer than you can better go help fix it.

"The problem I have is… that different components of the team have different issues. For example, defensively they actually played as well as they've been playing. That was a pretty gutty performance by the defense. For example, five times BC starts the ball in plus-territory five times and they get points. I have to look at the team as an entirety and kind of separate special teams from offense, from defense because we have different issues within different aspects."

One of the problems in Saturday's game was the play of quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The sophomore was hampered by an ankle injury throughout the week, but Weis said that was not the quarterback's biggest issue.

"I think that his problems more (Saturday) physically were more flu-related than they were beat-up related," Weis said of Clausen. "Now of course, he's got bumps and bruises. He's had a toe, he's had ribs, he's had a finger, he's had a bunch of different things that he had to deal with physically and he's fought through all of those. I think that more than anything this weekend he just was not feeling good.

"I sent him to bed early on Friday night because he definitely looked like he needed it. He didn't look too good on the plane coming down. He felt better (Saturday) before the game, but I think as the game went he probably wasn't feeling too well both physically and how the game was going. I think yesterday was more, if there were anything, and he's not an excuse-maker, but I think it was outright more of the flu than it was physically."

Weis chalked up three of Clausen's four interceptions to a quarterback trying to make a play, but either way when combined with costly penalties, it was just too much for the Irish to overcome.

The head coach pulled Clausen and the rest of the quarterbacks aside toward the end of Saturday's game to explain to them the value of leadership at their position.

"We're always looking for so-called leaders on the team and how they're going to react," Weis said. "When you're the quarterback of the team, especially a quarterback whose status has risen as the years go on, I think it's important for them to see how you respond. People are always looking to see how these guys respond."

Clausen may only be a sophomore, but according to Weis, that is not too soon for him to start showing those qualities.

"It's never too early for a quarterback to show that he's going to respond in a favorable manner," he said.

Weis is still confident that the program is headed in the right direction.

"As the pieces of the puzzle keep on coming together, there comes a time when all of those pieces of the puzzle seem to fit just right," he said. "When that happens I'll let you know."

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