Sunday, June 19, 2005

This is not a recruiting trip, I swear. | by Pat

To pass, or not to pass...that is the question.
In the recent John Ryan post, we mentioned that Ryan called Coach Ianello to announce his verbal commitment. The reason he wasn't initially able to reach Coach Weis is because Charlie was deep in the heart of Texas at a football clinic.

Now, we realize that coaching clinics are commonplace and nothing terribly special, but since the local papers felt the need to mention his visit in not one, but two articles, we figured we might as well give it a mention, too.

Weis arrived at the Angelo Coaching Clinic (80 years after Knute Rockne hosted his first coaching clinic in the Southwest) with, as he claimed, the intention of only talking football, not recruiting.

He said it would be "wrong for him to go into a recruiting pitch to lure Texas' NCAA Division I football players to South Bend, the Mecca of the universe", as he called it.

First off, that statement is just hilarious. Forget that I'm from the greatest University in the world...I'm just here to talk football, okay?

Second, while he may not have been actively recruiting players, he was certainly busy schmoozing Texas high school coaches, and convincing them that their current and future football players will be in good football hands in South Bend.

Oh, and did he really say South Bend is the Mecca of the universe, or did he say Notre Dame? I mean, no offense to any South Benders reading this,, nevermind. Moving on.

Weis' official topic was Screen Passes (something that seemed to be lacking from the offense last season). But what he really seemed to enjoy was the Q&A session afterwards.

Weis, who coached high school football in New Jersey before hitting it big, fielded questions from numerous coaches for nearly an hour and a half, talking one-on-one with them about specific scenarios that related to their teams.

When there was a momentary break in questions being asked, Weis fired out, ''Come on, give me more.''

He discussed any football topic that was addressed and diagrammed plays for everyone, including one coach who simply asked for a play that would score a touchdown.

The article fails to mention if the name tag for that last guy read "B. Diedrick".

Weis then summed up his talk by explaining how to handle the pain of losing, and facing your toughest critics.

''We had won 21 games in a row, and we went to Pittsburgh and they cleaned our clocks,'' Weis said. ''I called my wife to get some loving support after losing for the first time in 21 games, and when she answered the phone, she said, 'Your son wants to talk to you.' When he got on the phone, he said, 'Daddy, that was a pitiful performance.''' Weis said he is hoping he doesn't have to hear that line after any of his games as coach of the Irish.

Who knows what else he might have said at this coaching (definitely not recruiting!) clinic...

"When you practice the screen pass, as we do at Notre Dame, which, by the way, has one of the highest graduation rates of any major football program in the country, it's imperative that the running back..."

"One of the keys for your linemen on the screen pass is to sell the missed block to the defensive lineman, as you'll be able to see every Saturday this fall on NBC..."

"Now, in order to make a good touch throw you need to make sure your grip on the football is...hold on, can you hold my four Super Bowl rings for me for a second? Thanks. Now then..."

It will be interesting to see if Weis' presence at some of these clinics leads to increased interest in Notre Dame from players in those areas in the future. At the very least, it won't hurt ND's chances.