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Nov 9, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT

When meeting with the media yesterday to wrap up the upset loss to Navy, Charlie Weis spoke a lot about accountability.

“The whole theme this week is going to be about accountability,” Weis said. “Accountability and dependability, because in that game yesterday, there
are just too many opportunities squandered.”

Many people are slaughtering Weis for his statements yesterday. I’ve read at more than a few places that Weis merely “blamed his players,” and gave himself a free pass for the loss. After watching the press conference and reading the transcript, it’s tough for me to reach the same conclusion.

“What I always do with the team after the game, I always take all the
accountability, and I do that until after I’ve had time to watch the
tape and properly evaluate it. So they know before they go to the media
or they know before they go to their families and friends where I
start, because I don’t pass it on to anyone else on Saturday after a

“Without being just totally condescending and demeaning, let them know
that — ‘You want to know why you lose? Here’s why you lose,’ and go
right down the list. It’s always easy because I always start with me.”

I’m having a hard time buying the argument that Weis merely passed this loss along to his players, but I can see why his comments rankle certain Irish fans. (Though many of these fans have been hellbent on getting rid of Weis since 2007, and anything barring ten minutes of apologies wouldn’t suffice.) People were looking for a quotable, a reason, an explanation, anything to help explain away another loss to Navy, and any answer Weis gave them could never be sufficient.

Coaches coach and players play. Ultimately the guys on the field have to get it done. While it’s up to the coaches to prepare the guys on the field, there’s a baffling disconnect that allows Navy’s fullbacks to kill the Irish defense and a play-action pass to go for a long touchdown when, as Weis said, the Irish’s “two biggest concerns were making sure we tackled the fullback and not giving up a play action shot.” That’s a very hard 0 for 2 to swallow.

Still, beyond anything that happens on the field (and believe me, I’ll get to that as the week goes on), as someone that started following Notre Dame as a student and a fan, it’s incredibly disheartening to read and hear the disparaging comments being thrown at the head coach after this tough loss. While I don’t agree with the people who want to see Weis fired, I’ve got no problem with people who put together a cogent case for finding a new coach to lead the football program. But judge the man for what he does on the field. Anonymous message board posters who write second and third hand tales of Weis’ mistreatment of support staff, ushers, and janitors does nothing but fuel a propaganda machine befitting partisan politics. For every person who claims they know anonymous players who hated Weis, I’ve talked to many former players on the record players that love and respect the man.

Accountability is a good theme for the week. For an embattled coaching staff, for a team that needs to look in the mirror, and for a legion of fans trying to find a convenient scapegoat for a incredibly disappointing loss. 

  1. Two_0s - Nov 12, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    I find the calls for Urban Meyer interesting. Didn’t we call him 5 years ago? I don’t think we got the answer we wanted. Also, I keep hearing calls for Gruden but our most recent foray into the NFL system for a coach isn’t working out so well. I am very frustrated with Weis in general and I question if he is the coach for the long run. However, I’m also not real interested in another change that sets this program back 2-3 years into rebuilding. If Weis get’s fired, this recruiting class could fall apart. Also, Clausen is most likely going to leave and that would mean a new coach coming in with inexperience at QB – a recipe for disaster. It interesting that CW’s “skill position” recruits have progressed since he started calling plays (Clausen, Tate, Floyd, etc) yet the secondary – which at the start of this season was going to be our best group on defense – has regressed terribly. I think Tenuta’s zone blitzing scheme is not suited for our “cover corners” skills and from what I hear from some friends who went to Ga Tech, Tenuta is completely unwilling to change his ways. Would it make more sense for Charlie to stay for next year and develop the young QBs; and fire Tenuta now and put Corwin Brown back calling the defensive plays? At least that keeps the offense somewhat consistent while potentially putting our defense back into the place in needs to be. If this defense progressed even a little from last year, this team would be undefeated or at worst have one loss. Ultimately, Charlie is the HC and therefore has a large amount of the accountability, but I think this year’s downfall is strictly at the defensive scheme level and that is 100% Tenuta’s fault.

  2. Joe - Nov 12, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    John, you are all right! You either really love ND or hate them.
    I hope I don’t have a for sale sign next door, because if we do
    then we just lost a great future head coach. Next time call me
    I’ll get you a better deal on your tickets.

  3. Gregizzo - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    People, People haven’t you learned anything? Urban Meyer runs a spread offense there would be several seasons for him to recruit the talent to run such an offense sound familiar? Does Michigan ring a bell? Gruden has no college football experince so I would throw him out, look for a solid defensive coach if your going to replace CW. ND has the cash to do what it wants but don’t be so careless with the decision. There are 3 games left and 3 wins means the gator bowl and a bowl win means were 10-3. Keep in mind Charlie broke the 9 game bowl losing streak. A gator bowl win is not the BCS ok I get that but it is progress.

  4. john - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Progress is so overrated! Besides what kind of progress is it when you end one streak and start a brand spanking shiny new one? ND football will continue to underperform under BOZO! ND students today think navy is more our speed, than lets say USC! Put that in your progress pipe and smoke it! CW keeps sinking this ship to new lows and if you call that progress I could only imagine what you consider regression! Stop with this one more year S this was constant last year well guess what this year is here and the only game he COULD NOT LOSE, HE DID and this should NEVER be forgotten! Show them all the door now. BTW I am fed up with this JC accolades garbage he threw a backward pass against washington that made him look like he has learned not a thing, add to that incident the 2 sacks at the end of the navy game one for a safety and how can anyone conclude this guy is lights out! The best 2 things can happen to ND is CW being booted out on his fat ass and JC leaving, NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. gregizzo - Nov 12, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    John do you watch the games?

  6. Bill B - Nov 12, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    No Charlie didn`t fumble the ball or miss the field goals, but he calls the plays.
    Calling for a fuulback with questionable speed to run an end sweep was an invitation for disastor.
    Why not run Riddick who showed both speed and power on that drive?
    This type of play calling by Charlie carries over from his ill advised fourth down calls in the Sugar Bowl game against LSU three years ago.
    He needs to go.

  7. Mike in Chicago - Nov 12, 2009 at 5:30 PM

    Most of thhe posters here saying ‘Charlie must go’ aren’t getting the point of the article! Keith says you have every right to argue that he should be fired. BUT you can not disparage the man and attack his character in the way that has been done on the ridiculous ND boards this week. That’s what’s supposed to make us different as the Notre Dame community.
    And just because someone disagrees with you on this point doesn’t mean that they are stupid or that they love ND more than you. They just differ with your opinion about what’s best for the program moving forward from here.

  8. Patrick - Nov 12, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    Excellant Summation !!

  9. mike ford - Nov 12, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    I understand your point I just would like to see more in the regular newscasts about this issue and everyone seems afraid to say anything other then with the debacle in the SEC

  10. Sam Nash - Nov 12, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    Weiss walks away with millions of $’s every year, while destroying the once rich history of ND. He should be sent, along with his Bon Jovi CD’s, packing back to New Joe-Zee! And his hapless Defensive Coach Tenuta should have been fired weeks ago. Tenuta is the greatest enemy ND currently has.

  11. mike ford - Nov 12, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    I’m talking about all the officiating problems (ex. Iowa-Indiana) That was some horrendous officiating and who is to gain from calls and games like that?

  12. Art Vandelay - Nov 13, 2009 at 1:01 AM

    Well, robertg is has given me my “chuckle of the day” with this line……”we are now in attack and settlement modes for these cases.” I just have to ask….what cases? You would think that if there were lawsuits filed about these issues, the party filing them would issue a press release and would want this to be big news. “They” would want coverage on ESPN, as calling these officials out publicly for their alleged misdeeds would probably do more harm than any civil remedy. Again, I must point out that the outcome of an athletic contest is not a justiciable controversy and a Court will not hear that type of case. Nice try robertg, you should try calling yourself Walter Middy, Esquire.
    Art (your pal)

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