Tuesday, December 04, 2007

One last Charlie chat | by Pat

On Monday, Charlie met with the media for the 2007 season wrap-up press conference. There were no prepared remarks and it was just a long Q&A with the assembled journalists. Charlie went into a bit more detail about his future visit with the Patriots, talked about the realities of coaching changes, and discussed the future of the program. Here are some highlights, but as always I recommend giving the entire transcript a quick read.

On team plans for December.

Q. How significant is it not having December practice when you're not in a bowl game? Are you in favor of legislation that would allow the teams not playing in a bowl to practice?

COACH WEIS: I'd prefer to be practicing rather than not practicing, but I think that it gives you an opportunity to get a lot of young guys that haven't had as many reps involved in your system, but fortunately/unfortunately for us a lot of those young guys were playing a good portion of the year, and I think that it's almost as important to get started on your weight program, a heavy dose of the weight program, so we're just countering that lack of practice time by the increased early start on strength and conditioning. And I think that that's all you can do based on what the legislation is at this time is utilize it properly and get going like we did this morning on the strength program.
On his plans for the off-season.
Q. Do you have any plans on -- you've said you're going to New England. Any other plans to visit any other coaching staffs?

COACH WEIS: I have several things in mind. I think that right now they're just ideas, they're not etched in stone. Even going to the Pats, that isn't something that I have to touch a date in. We'll just work it out when we can work it out. I just know that there will be numerous attempts by me and the entire staff to make sure we use the proper resources to try to help move in the right direction.
On the development of the younger players.
Q. Speaking of those young guys, individually it was obvious like (Jimmy) Clausen and (Armando) Allen, (Kerry) Neal, (Ian) Williams all got better as the season went on. Collectively in specific areas where do you feel that you made advancements?

COACH WEIS: Well, obviously our skill players, our freshmen skill players, we were pleased at the progress. We have a couple of guys on the horizon who really didn't get into the action like Gary Gray and Harrison Smith at the end of -- by this time of the year, these two guys looked like really, really good, solid players. We have four linemen who really didn't get any action this year, one on defense in Emeka (Nwankwo) and three on offense, that we really liked their progress, as well. In addition to the guys playing, there were some guys that were on the cusp of being legitimate contenders on the depth chart going into the spring. I think it'll be interesting to see how they push their way up.
On the possibilities of coaching changes.
Q. As far as your staff, do you anticipate making any changes?

COACH WEIS: I wouldn't even think about that until after recruiting is over. There's nothing I intend on doing until after recruiting is over. Right now the main -- my main emphasis and everything I'm doing is making sure that we do a good job in recruiting.
On the current recruiting class.
Q. I was wondering if you could maybe talk about what you tell -- in the middle of the season you told us you would tell the recruits kind of the inner workings of the system to give them a sense of ownership. Now that the season is over what do you tell them to keep them in that process?

COACH WEIS: I've got like 14 of them coming this weekend, so I said, I'll see you this weekend. We're going to have a whole bunch of them in for the banquet and get a hoops game. We're going to go break this record (for consecutive Joyce Center wins) on Saturday night, so we're going to be a part of that. We're rooting for Coach (Mike) Brey and the basketball team.

I think that really the mess that we got into, every home of every kid that's already said yes this past week and a bunch of others on top of it. I think the message is they're going to be a part of something special. I think that's the way they feel. It's really encouraging that -- it's really encouraging that we toed the line and said this was going to be our stance on recruiting last year to see how guys under a very turbulent type of year where you had a really -- you had all these roller coaster ebbs and flows and a lot more downs than ups, that these guys have all toed the line. And not only that, but these guys all become boys with each other, too, which is kind of nice to see.
On the officiating in the Stanford game.
Q. I was wondering about the first touchdown catch in the Stanford game, just kind of your thoughts on that?

COACH WEIS: I think that we've had a very good relationship with the BIG EAST officials this year since we've gone to the BIG EAST, and I think that they do a very good job of keeping us informed on things that happen, and we'll just kind of leave it at that.
On ND special teams.
Q. Someone asked you towards the end of the season about special teams, all the coaches being involved and so forth. I don't think you were really ready to look at it then, and it might not be today. But do you feel like that's one area you could make some changes in?

COACH WEIS: Yes, it has to be changed. I was not pleased with the way it went.

Q. Would you say that there would be one person overseeing that in the future?

COACH WEIS: If it were the right person.