IE Notebook

Today's notebook looks at Rob Ianello as a candidate for the Syracuse job, how the Irish plan to reduce the impact of losing Michael Floyd, Charlie Weis' thinking when it comes to going for the jugular and much more.

With Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson being informed on Sunday that this season will be his last leading the Orange, the coaching search has already begun and one name that has come up is Rob Ianello's.

With Connecticut head coach and Syracuse alum Randy Edsall saying that he is not interested, there is no clear front-runner for the job and Charlie Weis said that he would welcome any attention given to his wide receivers coach.

"I hate to lose any of my coaches, and ever talk about losing a guy. But I think there's several guys on my staff that I think would end up being good head football coaches," said Weis. "Rob has a unique niche in the fact that he's got a reputation of being one of the best recruiters in college football. I think any time you're building a program, one of the things you'll have to be able to do is recruit. I'm not in the market of trying to push people out the door, because I need Rob, but if they were to come calling, I would give him my blessing."

Ianello certainly did not make any statements similar to Edsall's.

"My ultimate goal is to become a head football coach at the Division-IA college level," Ianello said. "If that opportunity ever arose I would certainly look into it at any school that I thought had a great opportunity to win."

Ianello was asked if Syracuse would fit his criteria.

"I don't know enough about Syracuse University to make that comment," he responded. "I just know that the University of Notre Dame, we're trying to win Saturday and all of my focus is on trying to help our team get our seventh win and send our seniors out the right way."

HAYWOOD TO MISS TIME, WEIS TO CALL PLAYS…AGAIN: Weis would not say much about why offensive coordinator Mike Haywood would miss practice time for the second consecutive week. Weis would not answer when pressed for a reason on Haywood's absence other than to say it was personal.

"I support his personal issues. So this is not like there's any friction with anyone right there," said Weis. "He's got some things that he needs to deal with, and I'm supportive of that and he asked me to leave it at that and so I told him I would."

Haywood usually meets with the media after practice on Tuesdays, but was unavailable for comment after practice, telling a Notre Dame spokesperson that he did not want to discuss the personal matter.

Weis said that it felt normal to be calling plays against Navy and that being in the offensive meetings all week helped him make adjustments.

"I think that it felt very comfortable doing it. I think that probably the thing that was easiest thing for me to do is to come in at halftime and be able to whittle through the game plan and get back to what we needed to do to win the game," he said. "I think when you're not involved in that whole process and all the play calling, that's a much more difficult test to do than when you're actually involved in the play calling."

Weis was quick to point out that he got plenty of help from the offensive staff and would not make any commitment to calling plays after the regular season.

"We're just trying to get through this week and then it's a short week to USC, with Thanksgiving and we're practicing 8:00 in the morning or whatever on Thursday," he said.

FLOYD REPLACEMENT COULD BE COMMITTEE: With Michael Floyd out with a knee injury, Notre Dame will be counting on David Grimes, Duval Kamara and Rob Parris to step up and make plays for the offense.

Ianello was pleased with the way that Parris played against Navy.

"I thought that Robby Parris stepped up really nicely on Saturday and did a nice job," he said. "It's unfortunate that Michael won't be out there, but we've got some other guys that are looking forward to stepping up and I'm anticipating them playing well."

Parris is happy about the opportunity, but not about the way it came about.

"I never would want to see a teammate go down, especially a friend," Parris said. "But he went down so my name got called up and I've got to do just as well as he would do and help the team."

Ianello made it clear that he will be using Floyd's injury as a learning tool with the freshman.

"He got hurt trying to block. If he had blocked his man he wouldn't have got hurt," Ianello said. "He knows that clearly."

No matter who steps up, opposing defenses will focus on shutting down Golden Tate, but the Irish staff plans to move him around to get him clear, which is a testament to Tate continually grasping the offense.

"We're going to formation a few things this week that, formation a few things this week that put him in a couple of different positions," said Weis. "They're the type of things that earlier in the year you slapped him at one position, just put him out there and said let's see if we can get this right. But I think that he's progressed nicely as far as the mental aspect of the game goes."

RUDOLPH'S ROLE: Freshman tight end Kyle Rudolph could also be featured more in Floyd's absence. Although it has yet to translate to an increase in catches, if opponents continue to give Notre Dame a split-safety look, the tight end's impact should increase.

Weis said that Rudolph had a solid game against Navy despite catching just one ball.

"He was involved last week because we were running right at him on about every play, but we weren't throwing the ball. It all comes down to whether you're throwing it or not throwing it," he said. "Last week was a game where he was very involved because most of the runs were run right at him.

"Would I like to throw the ball to Kyle Rudolph more? You betcha. I think he's got a chance to be a dynamic tight end. But it's a week-by-week basis and last week his number one responsibility was to block at the point of attack and at the beginning of the year that would have been one of the biggest questions about him. So I think that he's made drastic improvement in that vein."

Tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee continues to be impressed with the way Rudolph has handled everything in just his first season.

"He's done a tremendous job, mentally, physically. You never really find too many freshmen that can hold up and be asked to do those types of things," said Parmalee. "It's not like in our offense that you don't utilize a tight end or a receiver. You've really got to be sharp mentally and I think a lot of our young guys have stepped up to the plate this year."

WEIS UNDERSTANDS ATTACKING JUGULAR: Some Notre Dame fans have questioned whether Weis' pro background prevents him from taking out opponents and whether that could eventually prevent the Irish from reaching elite status. Weis addressed that on Tuesday and it is clear that he would like to see his team grow into one that unabashedly puts teams away.

"I realized that this year we're not in a position to go play for a national championship. I got that. I got that figured out," Weis said. "But just like as our team is developing a different mentality, I also understand that as we move forward and continue to get bigger and better and try to get into that position, you're going to have to play the game differently.

"I think that that's important for me to understand just like for them to understand that going for the jugular is part of this game. Development is all great and everything like that, that's part of the game, too. But like what you're talking about is really just going for the jugular, and I think that that's something that they're going to have to get sooner rather than later."

But for now the Irish players seem to be more worried about winning than style points.

"You never want to complain about a win," James Aldridge said. "What you want to focus on is to execute and execute as much as you can and that's where the style points come in."

Sam Young wondered if the current game allows for teams to come in thinking about blowing an opponent out.

"I think in today's college football, maybe style points aren't as important. So many teams are getting so good now," said Young. "It's really gotten to a point that any given Saturday any team can win."

WEIS DOES NOT AVOID TOUGH TOPICS: With negative attention swirling around his job last week, Weis said that he would not let the media dictate what is going on with the program, but does not shy away from talking to his team.

"I talk about everything openly. But, once again, because the media says it, doesn't mean there's any fact to it," he said. "That's not being disrespectful. I mean because a lot of times speculation is conjecture. Sometimes it's based on facts, sometimes it isn't. But I'm big on always telling the truth. I try not to hide anything from the players."

Aldridge said that the team hears things in the media, but that it cannot focus on them.

"You see it and it is what it is," he said. "There's not much we can do about it besides play and do what he says. That's really what it's all about."

HANDS TEAM WILL BE ADDRESSED: After failing to recover any of three onside kicks against Navy, it would not be surprising to see the Orange open the game with an onside kick this weekend, but Weis plans to have his team ready.

"I promise you on my top 10, it's on there. It's one of those things and we're going to have a period tomorrow, OK, on Wednesday, we're eliminating one period in practice and we are going to go nothing but full speed onside kick for an entire period," he said. "I can promise you one thing, if there's one thing that will be practiced, full speed this week, multiple times, that will be it."

WEIS KEEPS UP WITH QUINN: Weis stayed up late to watch his former pupil, Brady Quinn, earn his first career NFL win on Monday night.

"Unfortunately I watched every snap. That was painful. I don't know how many times he got hit last night, but it was a lot," he said. "But I had to stay up and watch the end of the game because if he's going to get his first win and I didn't watch I thought that would have been the wrong thing to do. It was past my bedtime, I promise you, but I had to make sure I got out of bed to send him a text so he knew I was watching. He got it and acknowledged. I noticed the response early this morning."

Weis joked about Quinn setting up Cleveland's Phil Dawson for a 56-yard game-winning field goal.

"I think he was happy to know that his supporters here were happy that he could complete a couple of passes in that last drive to set up that chip shot field goal," he chuckled.

IRISH GO GREEN: The University will be celebrating Green Week and Weis got a chuckle out of having to read a prepared statement about it.

"This Saturday I would like to encourage all fans to wear green to support the University's Green Week initiatives. We'll be playing the first carbon-neutral game in Notre Dame Stadium history," Weis read. "For more information fans can look at Notre Dame's website. So I encourage you to wear something green to the game this week."

Anyone looking for hints as to whether the team will be dressed in green for the seniors' last home game should look somewhere else as the statement was definitely not Weis' idea. Top Stories