Monday, December 3, 2007

Coach Weis 2007 Wrap-up Press Conference

Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis met with the media today for what he loosely termed a "wrap-up" of the 2007 season. Unfortunately, Coach Weis didn't really offer much in the way of a "wrap-up" and didn't have much to say of substance regarding the recently concluded 2007 season. Rather than the opening monologue that he typically opens a press conference with, he just threw it open to questions at the outset. I'm not going to summarize the entire press conference, but I did want to quickly relate what I thought were the key points.

1. Four Notre Dame players have been invited to and will attend the upcoming Senior Bowl to be played in Mobile, Alabama. They are John Sullivan (Center), John Carlson (Tight End), Trevor Laws (Defensive End) and Tom Zbikowski (Safety). Congratulations and good luck to those guys as they move on to the next phase of their football careers.

2. Coach Weis and the entire staff are locked in like laser beams on recruiting right now, and will be until December 17. They have been in the homes of every Notre Dame commit in the past week, as well as in the homes of a lot of other potential commits as well.

3. Coach Weis has been very pleased with the results (so far) of the new approach to recruiting and "commitment." Even through a very tough season, the kids that committed to the Irish early are still on board and are vested in the program and in each other already.

4. So you think you want to play football in a big-time college program? Where were you at 6:00 this morning? The members of the Notre Dame football team were in the weight room beginning their off-season strength and conditioning program.

5. Given his choice, Coach Weis would rather be practicing and preparing the team for a bowl game. But, he points out that the benefits of extra practices is the development of the young players who will be playing more minutes next season. In the case of this team, our young players have already been playing significant meaningful minutes in games. What those guys need most is the time in the weight room to transform their bodies from high school player to NCAA Div-I football player. Not practicing now means these young guys get a one month head start on that strength program. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

6. Coach Weis expects at least one, and possibly two mid-year enrollees this year, but he couldn't say who they would be.

7. He voted Ohio State #1 and Georgia #2 on his poll ballot. He thought it was unfair for UGA to be penalized for not playing this weekend. OSU and UGA were #3 and #4 going into the weekend, and #1 and #2 both lost, so he felt #3 and #4 should move up.

8. Coach Weis admitted that the idea of coaching special teams by committee (that's my term) did not work this year. He would prefer to return to having a single coach in charge of special teams "If it's the right person." That sounded to me like a "Help Wanted" ad for a special teams coach.

9. Coach may be on his way to being named one of 21 members of a Presidential commission concerning persons with disabilities. He was recently in Washington D.C. and met with the "The Big Boss" about that possibility.

10. Coach was asked several times about what lessons he learned from this season, what mistakes he made, what he would have done differently, changes that might be made in the coaching staff, etc... These were great questions, and they were the type of questions one might reasonably expect to be addressed in a season "wrap-up" press conference. Charlie refused to answer any of them, instead reiterating point #2, above. Once the current phase of recruiting is over, Charlie and the staff will begin systematically addressing the "what went wrong" issue and the "how can we fix it" question. For some reason I do not expect that Coach Weis will be issuing a White Paper in the Spring detailing the results of that inquiry.

So that's today's news. I have been remiss in not posting my full Stanford game review. That will be written in the coming days, as well as some of my thoughts on the season as a whole.

Only 277 days until San Diego State.



277 days and I can't wait.GO IRISH!!

Irish Chris said...

It's nice having a voice for the Irish in California.
Keep up the good work OC.

Hearing that there's 277 days until game time sort of depressed me.
It can't come soon enough.