Charlie Weis met with the media yesterday without an opponent to talk about. While he acknowledged USC was on the horizon, this wasn’t a Trojan-heavy Q&A session. Here are a few interesting tidbits that came out of yesterday’s session:
* Manti Te’o impressed Weis in his first outing, yet he was quick to acknowledge that the freshman isn’t a finished product yet.
“With those ten tackles probably came 10 mistakes, too. With the learning curve, he will make less mistakes each week and he will continue to make tackles the more he learns.”
When asked to identify the 10 mistakes Te’o made, Weis acknowledged he was taking a little creative license, admitting he didn’t know if Te’o had made 10 mistakes. But Weis’ point was that Manti is only going to get better as he has “the experience of having things happening at full speed.”
* The plan for freshman and their redshirts has been hatched.
“In most cases, we’ve had the conversation here this morning about the direction we’d go unless something unforeseen comes up. We will be sharing that with these guys before the week is over.”
One freshman who has already seen the field, Tyler Eifert, is done for the season and will have back surgery. He’ll be eligible for a medical redshirt even though he played earlier in the season. Eifert will have the procedure over fall break so it won’t affect his school work.
* Weis updated the injury report, mentioning that Brandon Walker has a strain in his back and his return is unknown. (Although if Tausch keeps kicking the way he does, Walker probably won’t be seeing much of the field.) James Aldridge is back to full go at fullback, giving Weis a backfield that should be 100% healthy for the USC game. And Jimmy Clausen’s much discussed turf-toe injury won’t keep him out of practice this week, like Weis had originally planned.
“I told him he could have this week off to rest his toe, but he wants to practice tomorrow. So he’s actually requested to practice because he doesn’t want to hold off until Monday without going. This is the only week that I can give him as much rest that I can. He asked to go tomorrow so he will end up practicing at least the first half of practice tomorrow.”
* Zeke Motta has impressed. I’ve noticed Motta streaking down the field ahead of the rest of the coverage team for the past few games, and it looks like Weis has designs for him in defensive packages as well.
“I don’t think we would put him back there as a regular safety but a drop-down safety the way he plays. We would definitely do that. That’s what he was really playing in the game and I think the defensive staff would continue to utilize him in that role.”
I’ve got to think Motta might get used in the upcoming game against USC — possibly to get some speed on the field and another able tackler to take on the power running attack of the Trojans.
* Theo Riddick is going to be more than a kickoff returner eventually.
“Theo has done a really nice job for us on kickoff returns, first of all. And second of all, I think he is going to be a very, very good running back here… This kid has a chance to be really special. He’s just behind some good guys.”
If you take a leap, I think this means that Cierre Wood, who many expected to be the crown jewel running back out of last year’s recruiting class, is redshirting this season.