Skip to content

A closer look at Weis' words

Oct 14, 2009, 12:30 PM EDT

Chances are you’ve already latched on to Weis’ disclosure that #3 would be out running around at practice and getting back in the swing of things so he’ll be “ready for Pittsburgh Navy.” I’m convinced Pitt/Navy/whatever game is in early November/it-doesn’t-matter-because-the-season-is-this-Saturday is really code word for 5-wide sets or red-zone offense, or motivational tool, or world’s greatest decoy.

But I digress.

After watching Coach Weis’ remarks, reading Weis’ remarks, and watching and reading them at the same time to see how good the people at ASAP sports are, I’m ready to share a few conclusions that I’ve reached:

1) Weis thinks his team is ready.

There was no mincing words yesterday for Weis when he talked about the urgency of this game.

I think that our players believe they’re going to win. I don’t know if
that’s always been the case. They understand the talent level of who
they’re going against. But I’d say this is probably the first time
since I’ve been here where the players really believe they’re going to
win. They might be in the minority but they certainly believe that.

He also acknowledged how much this rivalry and game mean to Notre Dame.

I think that our university really, really could use this win. Not me personally, our football team, our university. We don’t just play for us. We play for them, too. It’s been a long time coming. And we know the challenge we have at hand, we’re not oblivious to that fact, but been a long time coming and we’re going to give it a fair go.

This is just incredibly refreshing, and a far cry from the businesslike attitude Weis tried to instill in his players when he first arrived from the NFL. Sometimes you need to get your players ready for the moment. I fully expect CW to do that this Saturday.

2) Weis believes in Jimmy Clausen

There was no avoiding the Heisman talk, there was no avoiding the comparison of Clausen to his heralded predecessor Brady Quinn. Weis was especially frank with his analysis when asked to compare Jimmy and Brady at the same place.

I think we’ll have a better answer for that come Sunday. I think that he’s had a heck of a yer. You look at what he’s done through these first five games, there couldn’t be anyone in the country playing any better than him. But now he is going against the best defense that he’s seen all year long. So I think these are the type of moments where you really get judged on how well you do when you go against the really really good guys.

He won’t be judged by bringing us back three times in a row or four times in a row for that matter, he’ll be judged by what he does against USC.

As for the Heisman talk, Weis all but said “bring it on.”

I think if Jimmy were to ever win that award it will mean that we won a lot of games. Because if we didn’t win a lot of games, he would no be in the hunt, and they go hand in hand. If he wins that because we played great, because he played great, sign me up.

3) Charlie is willing to bet his recruiting class that the Irish show up.

Just about every marquee recruit Notre Dame is chasing is descending on South Bend for the best game on Notre Dame’s schedule. Weis wouldn’t have stacked the deck if he didn’t think the Irish were going to put on a show. He’s confident that they’ll perform both on and off the field.

This is a very active week for us, obviously, because we’re playing
against one of the best teams in the country and we got a ton of
recruits coming in, both officially and unofficially. That’s one of the
reasons why we’re not having a press conference on Sunday because my
appointments with these guys will run from, you know, eight in the
morning till five at night just so I can sit down and have an
appointment with each guy after they’ve gone through Saturday. When
these kids want to come in for a visit during the academic year, during
their season, they want to come in for a big game. What bigger game is
there as far as buzz and everything else than this one.

There are plenty of prospects visiting that have both Southern Cal and Notre Dame in their final schools. Weis isn’t a guy who leaves a lot of things up to chance. He’s got to feel good about the performance his program will put on this Saturday.

4) For Weis, this game is personal.

Weis relayed a story about an unpleasant hat that sits in his office with a pretty blunt message: “USC OWNS NOTRE DAME.”

I do have that cap but I keep it for a different season, Tom, which is
kind of private. But with that cap came a letter from somebody with a
very derogatory comment towards my daughter. So until we win a game,
I’ll hold on to that cap. And when we’ve won a game, that cap won’t
around any more. It’s kind of a refresher for me and I’d just rather
than share the derogatory comment I’d like to just keep that private.

Weis very rarely goes down the family road, but when he does, it’s often because someone erred greatly. Last time it was an impolite question to Weis’ wife during the grand opening of the Hannah and Friends ranch and this time it was over a derogatory comment about Weis’ special needs daughter. I’ve got a feeling that while we’ll never know what was written in that hat, the Irish will have a good idea of what was said before the team runs out of the tunnel Saturday afternoon.   
 

  1. Larry - Oct 14, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    As big Al used to say when he and his football team were relevant ” Just win baby just win.”

  2. DJ - Oct 14, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    Agree that this one is personal for Charlie Weis, but I think he sounded desperate and just wants to save his job.

  3. Geoffrey Hui - Oct 14, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    I graduated in 1973, and in my 4 years as an undergraduate we never beat USC. The 49 yard field goal attempt at the end of the 1969 game was as close at it got. The ball hit the crossbar almost dead centre and bounced back. I had a great view from the student section. 40 years after the 1969 game, I want us to beat USC much more so now than I did then. Go Irish.

  4. dave - Oct 15, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    I was fortunate to be an ND freshman in ’73 and I can still vividly recall USC week. This week feels eerily similar; in ’73 the campus was electric with anticipation and we were coming off many years of “manhandling” by Anthony Davis and company. I can still picture Eric Pennick rambling around the corner and breaking free, rumbling towards the student section and endzone, as I am sure my classmates can. We all know how great that gamed turned out. I truly hope the guys on the team, today’s students and rest of the ND Nation can experience that excitement once again this week. As we screamed back then …. GO IRISH, BEAT TROJANS !!!

  5. Jeff - Oct 15, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    The offense doesnt worry me as much as the defense. We need the flyin Hawaian at LB or at least tell him to teach our other LB’s how to wrap up and tackle. We also cant do what we did against Purdue and Michigan State if we put our corners in man coverage against SC we are gonna get smoked, we need to dial back the blitzes just a tad or dont send all the safety blitzes. In my heart i think we can beat USC and if that happens we win out and go to “A” BCS game.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!