After getting off to a quick start, tight end Kyle Rudolph has struggled to produce, making only three catches for 9 yards against USC and only a single catch against Boston College. After Southern Cal, Charlie Weis mentioned that Rudolph was used more as a blocker than a pass catcher, helping the offensive line protect Jimmy Clausen from a ferocious Trojan pass rush, but against Boston College, Weis admitted Rudolph and Clausen were struggling to connect.
“I think that last week wasn’t so much game planning was just we weren’t hitting on a lot of combinations between those two guys,” Weis said. “One of the things we’re going work on today is we’re going work a
couple routes. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go over and one of the
individuals today and just we’ll work with the cornerbacks and tight
ends and work on nuances and routes. When it’s one-on-one I would think
Kyle should get open every time, I would think, but that hasn’t been
happening, so we’ll be working on that today.”
Tuesday, Weis was indeed working with the tight ends, and Rudolph in particular, as the media watched practice. Thanks to the guys at Irish Illustrated, we got a first hand look at Charlie coaching his tight ends up as they worked on routes during practice. For many people, this is some of the first video we’ve seen of Weis working hands-on with players. I’m used to picturing Weis as a cerebral Xs and Os type coach, but watching him coach up Rudolph and get all over him was something I found very encouraging.
(I’m also not going to lie, I loved the fact that Weis ragged on both Rudolph and freshman Jake Golic, using some colorful language to get his point across and help Rudolph deal with something that’s obviously been a problem the last few weeks.)
Watch for yourself as Weis works with Rudolph, Golic, and Mike Ragone on adjusting their routes to defensive contact. (Adjust your speakers, as there are a few mild four-letter words if you’re listening carefully…)
Thanks to the guys at Irish Illustrated for the great video.