Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Back to School | by Jay

(photo: Matt Cashore)

You know, at my school, the football team was so tough, after they'd take out the quarterback, they'd go after his family.

-- Thornton Melon

Welcome back. How was your summer?

Today was the official kickoff of ND Football, 2007 edition, and there's all kinds of great coverage to whet your appetite. UND.com (sporting a new look) has the presser transcripts from all the coaches and players. Irish Illustrated, Blue and Gold, and Irish Eyes all have a bunch of feature stories, photo galleries, and video clips. (Irish Eyes, by the way, is running a special currently: sign up now, and you'll get a free month's subscription. Can't recommend this enough.)

I just got through watching Charlie's presser in full, and it's apparent the big man (now a little slimmer, actually) is fired up for the season. Some choice quotes:
Q. [Question about Corwin Brown]

COACH WEIS: Obviously I'm a big fan of Corwin. I tried to hire him when I first got here and he told me no, so I told him I wouldn't talk to him again. We had conversations then, and his family wasn't ready to move. They just had transitioned from Virginia to the Jets at the time.

And when I reflected on the last football season and started to do some research to try to get on with something that I had more familiarity with, I think one thing that I didn't do a great job in the first two years is I wasn't as familiar with everything we were doing on defense. And this is no fault of the defensive coach, this is more the fault of the head coach.

I wasn't as familiar with the scheme that they were using on defense; therefore when I'm watching tape sometimes, I couldn't be - I couldn't critically evaluate exactly what I thought the problems were because I wasn't always on 100 percent the same page.

Now the guy who knows the defense second after Corwin probably is me because we've been familiar with this defense for so long. So now when I look out there I can say 'was that a baseball call?' and before I could never say something like that because I didn't know exactly what we were doing on every play.

Q. Could you ever envision a situation in which you would use two quarterbacks?

COACH WEIS: I can't rule it out completely. I've always been under the guise that if you have two quarterbacks, it means you usually don't have one. I've always felt that. But I would not rule that out because I have guys that have different athletic skills, so I can't rule that out.

And to be totally honest with you, I certainly don't want to tell Georgia Tech what I'm doing because I'd rather they spent more time having to figure - well, are they going to play a true dropback quarterback? And are they going to play an athletic quarterback? There's only so much time in training camp. I'm not really in the business of passing out, giving out free information on that one. That's as honest as I can be.

Q. I know that you don't want to name the quarterback until they run out to the huddle against Georgia Tech, but in terms of getting from three to two and two to one, how quickly do you want to get there?

COACH WEIS: I think that'll take care of itself relatively quickly, to tell you the truth. Because this spring, I spent so much time in due diligence trying to be completely fair to all four guys.

Well, now democracy has now come to an end. Now it's time to get ready to go, and I think we're at the stage now where now we have to start getting the team ready to play.

Q. [Is this a rebuilding year?]

COACH WEIS: No, may God strike me dead if I use that word. I'll never use that word. You use it, I'm not using it.

You know, I have nine fifth year seniors that came back for another year. Don't you think I owe it to them to try to win this year? I think I have an ethical responsibility to all those nine guys that came back. They all graduated; it isn't like they're coming back to graduate. They all graduated. They all came back to win this year. I owe it to those nine guys to try to win now.

It's easy for me to throw in the towel and start playing a bunch of young guys and take the pressure off of me and buy me more time. But that's garbage. I have an ethical responsibility to those nine guys to win now, and that's what we're going to try to do.
More notes to follow as we keep sifting through all the material.