College Football: Weis plans to stay on the field
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis started spring practice last week by saying he plans to stay on the field for games in the fall.
After announcing last month that he would resume calling plays for the Irish, Weis said he was considering moving up to the press box during games because of the success Notre Dame had in its 49-21 win over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl. Weis moved upstairs for that game because he was on crutches with two bad knees and was reminded how much easier it is to call a game with the overhead view.
But Weis, who had his right knee replaced in December, decided to return to the field after talking with numerous coaching colleagues, including the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Andy Reid.
“By a very, very large majority, almost everyone I talked to were overwhelmingly thinking I was thinking way outside the box,” Weis said.
Weis, though, said his knee problems still could force him to the press box at times. He also said he could reconsider his decision.
“As (Bill) Parcells said years ago, I reserve the right to change my mind,” he said.
Next season figures to be a key year for Weis. He came under criticism last season when the Irish lost five of their last eight games, including losing double-digit leads to North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. After the Irish lost the regular-season finale 38-3 to USC, athletic director Jack Swarbrick took several days before announcing that Weis would be back. Weis has seven years left on a 10-year contract.
Weis, who has a 29-21 coaching record after the Irish posted a 7-6 record last season, said the team needs to play with more maturity, so leads don’t evaporate.
“The team and coaching staff and everyone have to make sure that finishing the game is the utmost priority,” he said.
Weis listed maturity as one of main objectives for the team to work on. He also said it was time for some of the older players who are being pushed by younger players to step up and show they belong, citing specifically receivers Duval Kamara and Robby Parris.
“Some of these guys, it’s their last opportunity to put themselves in the mix. So this is the time,” he said. “I think this is going to be a very competitive spring.”
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