home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 22, 2007

Charlie Weis

COACH CHARLIE WEIS: All right. Fire away.

Q. What did you see that you could build from, and where did you go from here with this team?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: The one thing I was encouraged with was the play of our running backs. We went into this game saying regardless of what was going to happen in this game, we were going to try to run the ball and run the ball with some power. Even though we had a couple negative runs in the game, for the most part I thought Aldridge, and Nuss, for that matter and even Armando for a couple plays, a couple plays he had; and Travis runs the ball once and he scores a touchdown.
So I think the play of the running back, if I want to pick one bright spot in the game, that would definitely have been the play of the running backs in the game because there was some semblance of a running game. And I think that that's, you know, that's a start.

Q. You had a very difficult first four --
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Let me finish and I'll come over to you. I'm not going anywhere.
I think the running game, if we can keep on improving the running game, it will improve the playaction game, which right now would be one of our best plays to be able to throw the ball down the field because I'm not throwing it as much as I've thrown it in the past. And playaction becomes more effective if we can establish the run. So we have to do more of the same, we do. We have to do more of the same.
Go ahead, sir.

Q. Would you just talk about Michigan State, your assessment of them and what you thought?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, first of all, I thought it was very classy of Coach D'Antonio at the end of the game -- because he could have scored again. You know, he had us where our guys were pretty worn out at the end of the game, and if he really wanted to, he probably could have run it in again, okay.
But I think that -- I thought that that was a pretty classy thing for him to do after the game was over to put the bats away, and I told him that after the game. I mean, they are a physical team; to score 17-14 at half-time, but the game could have gone either way at half-time. Coming out of the gate, coming out of the lock room at half-time, obviously it started at the kickoff return, and now they get the ball in plus territory and then they are in the end zone. Next thing we know, the game started to change.

Q. The training camp mentality, do you think you got the desired result from that today?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well it definitely helped for at least a half. This is the first time in a while where at half-time, you know, you went in. And it was far from perfect now. At least we looked like a football team out there. We looked like a competitive football team going against a good opponent, and I just think our performance in the second half wasn't nearly as good as our performance in the first half.

Q. What did you tell the guys after this one?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I started with that comment right there. I talked about how at half-time -- one of my biggest disappointments this. At half-time -- I don't talk for eight minutes at half-time. I gather the coaching staff, we talk about corrections and then I try to make my biggest points of emphasis. I talk about three things. First of all, we had to start off on kickoff coverage pinning them back. How did I do? The ball ends up in plus territory.
Then I said, we have to get off the field on third down. How did I do? Convert a third and nine, and third and 17, and next thing you know they are in the end zone, okay.
And then I said we have to get a sustained drive so that the defense isn't on the field the whole day, and how did I do again.
So obviously, I know I'm not playing, I know I'm not playing, but still, all of my points of emphasis at half-time, I hit the trifecta; I was 0-for-3.

Q. What's your overall feeling? You improve, but it's still a loss.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: A loss is a loss no matter what. I have to -- my perspective is a pretty simple one. My responsibility and my job is to get this job team to improve, okay. And when they rush for a couple hundred yards and rush it 50 times, it usually means that things are going well for the other team. Because when you rush it 50 times, it means that you're moving the ball, and I think that the quarterback goes, what, 11 for 24, but he throws four touchdown passes. Why is that? That's because they are running the ball so effectively that play-action pass ends up being almost a slam dunk, like you saw the one down on the goal line. You're selling out to try to stop the run and next thing you know, there's a guy wide open in the end zone.
I do know this. I do know that after last week's game, the guys could have done one of two things, okay. They could have come in and thrown in the towel, or they could have come in slugging it out and they came out slugging it out, and you could see that from the start of the game. This wasn't a team that was anywhere close to packing it in, and I think that we'll continue to improve because we'll continue working on our mentality to see all of those things that we talked with, whether it be the kicking game which really killed us today; I don't have to say anything about that. You guys all saw it. I mean, the kicking game killed us. I wanted to play field position and punting the ball a whole bunch, and we had an awful day in that situation right there. Field position was awful.
To be honest with you, I came out of there in retrospect saying, you know, what calls would I have done different? And the only thing in retrospect I might have done different is not go for it fourth and one around the 50-yard line. But we had run the play twice for nine and seven yards the exact same play. I figured this is a situation you try to give your offense some confidence. It's 24-14, you know fortunately, it didn't come back to haunt us, and we stopped them and they punted the ball for a touchback, but it could have come back. It could have been a quick flip at the time. They had just scored and now it's 24-14. So I go for it at the 50-yard line, and next thing you know, it could be a quick seven right there. Then that move which would be the one thing you say maybe I should have just punted then that move would have hurt a lot more.

Q. Do you continue with the training camp mode, as you said, this week?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Yeah, the only difference, we're doing it again tomorrow. We're not stopping. But the only difference is unlike last week where we didn't even watch the tape, we're going to come in and watch the tape. It's just that their weight lifting part of the day that normally takes place, that will get replaced. That will get replaced by practice, but they have already been told that. And I don't think they are going to be jumping out to buy the papers or anything tomorrow.

Q. With the way Michigan State owned the second half, is there a talent gap between these two programs, and if so, why?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: You really can't worry about the talent gap because Michigan State, you know, that was a nice, decisive win for them and a great second half. It was a very competitive first half. I mean, would you have asked me that question at half-time? I'm just saying, at half-time, you might not have asked me that question.
But as the game turns out, that's a fair question to ask. I can't evaluate that now until after I've gone in there and given it a good, long look, because it would be premature at that point. I don't know if it's because they are playing so good; we are playing so bad; I don't know if it's talent.
I do know that I never make a rash judgment until after I get a good chance to go ahead and evaluate it the second time around, because during the game you really can't see it the same as when you see it tomorrow morning.

Q. Can you assess Clausen's performance and the decision to take him out after three quarters?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I think Jimmy was playing so solid. I didn't think he was bad. I didn't think he was good. You know, because we are about ready to go into a different type of mode in a game that he has not had as much repetition, which was a version of no-huddle, try to pick up that odd or scramble package that they have; the pressure, I didn't think he would have enough familiarity in doing that at that time. And so I won't let a guy who isn't more veteran at trying to run that package, that's the reason why I did that.

Q. Can you talk about playing Clausen three quarters?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, going into the game, especially for anyone who has been around this week, I've said the game is just going to be the guy who is going to get the ball.
We went into the game -- to be honest, he carried it 18 times; I would have liked to give it to him about another five or ten times, but just the game didn't warrant me being able to that. And I wanted to get Robert into the mix because he brings that even bigger body than James. He's 15 or 20 pounds heavier than James. If you're going to try to play a slug-it-out-mentality, you'd better have a couple of big bodies that can handle it.

Q. How do you feel about the play of your offensive line?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, the good news and the bad news, okay, the good news is that we ran the ball more effectively. That's not just the runners. Obviously the offensive line is involved in that mix as are the tight ends and the fullbacks, okay.
The bad news is I still think we had some problems, some fundamental problems in blitz pickup, which discouraged me because they weren't outnumbered situations, okay. There was only one time where, you know, there was a sight adjustable ball and we threw the ball away. There were a couple of times where you have enough guys to block you, and just we need to get some things fixed if we're going to be able to throw the ball down the field.

Q. Any comment on the history made in the first 0-4 start in program history?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: To be honest with you, I'm just worrying about my team and I'll be worried about critically evaluating last week's game and getting ready for next week's game. That's all I'm just doing. That's the way I do every week. I mean, records to me are not the critical factor. I live in one-week entities. You guys all know that. That's never changed, okay, and it never will change.
So I'll critically evaluate this game and then get ready for Purdue. I'm not worrying about the record. I mean, do I to want? That might be a tad bit rhetorical. I obviously want to win.
But right now I'll worry about evaluating today's game and see where I think all of the problems are, seeing how many of them I can fix, and then try to give us a game plan and try to be, you know, go to West Lafayette and give us the best chance of winning.

Q. How do you guard the guys from some negativity from coming away?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: It can't be any worse than the last couple of weeks. I mean, for the players it's going to be more of the same. I think that for those guys, okay, the one thing you have to guard against is really the opposite of what you're asking. What you have to guard against is them starting to just go off the ship. I'm not saying people quit, but I mean, psychologically, I think that it's important to make sure you keep guys on the same page right there.
More than even physically I think psychologically it's the most important thing. We worked on that in the locker room after the game. I don't wait until tomorrow to work on that aspect. That's one of the first things I talk about when we get in the locker room.

Q. How much of a concern is it or how do you guard against -- maybe I you kind of answered it there; do you worry about the players getting accustomed to losing, getting comfortable?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I take them out of that comfort zone. That's an honest answer. I take them out of that comfort zone. I don't allow that. I'm not one of those guys -- and you all have been around those type of guys where losing is okay. Well, I'm not one of those guys, okay. I've never been a finger-pointer, either. So you have to make sure that there's a fine line between how you deal with things.
But it's never going an it's-okay-to-lose; whether you lose by one or whether you lose by 17, it's never okay.
I think the most important thing for them is they know what my demands are going to be, and they know I never change. Some of you who know me very well, on the field or in the classroom, know that I'm probably as consistent as you'll ever see far as how I handle situations whether they are good or bad. And I think that they know what my expectations are. They already heard them in there and I will follow up on it, starting tomorrow.

Q. When there is no payoff, however hard they are working, how difficult is it to convince them that they are working toward an end, working towards something when there is no payoff?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: They have to believe there's going to be a payoff. I mean, you keep on working until there is a payoff. And at this point, you know, there's been no payoff. You keep on working for next one until there's a payoff, and there's going to be one. You know, hopefully it's against Purdue.
You know, what you have to do at this time right now, this 24-hour window that we're dealing with right now, first of all, you address them now, and then as soon as you get in tomorrow afternoon, you have to do two things at the same time. One, make sure they understand that things that happened bad are not okay. Two, start taking the things that were good, okay, and growing from those so that had we talked about that niche or core that we talked about this week, that has to grow. That has to grow.

Q. This is the first time Jimmy has faced as much adversity, with your conversation with him on the sidelines after the game, how would you evaluate how he's handling that?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: It one long conversation with him. Evan was going to come in to run that package right there, and I just explained to him the development of a quarterback. That's really what our conversation was about. It was really about the evolving and development of a quarterback.
Because when you're dealing with a kid on the sideline -- like I said last week, he doesn't show those far away eyes. He doesn't show any of that. He shows disappointment, but doesn't show those far away eyes. But you need to explain to him how the development of a quarterback is really in three aspects, okay, and one of them is leadership, okay. One of them is mental and one of them is physical, okay, and they are all part of the process.

Q. Do you feel like he took a step forward today?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: The biggest thing you look for in a situation like this, is how he's going to handle when things aren't going great. It's easy to be a quarterback when things are going well. I mean, you're the one that everyone wants to pat on the back and give you all the credit, okay. But when things are not going well, it's a lot tougher test. He's far from being the problem here. We have a whole litany of things that are involved in being the problem, okay. But he'll continue to develop the way he's been developing he'll continue to get better, and positive things are ahead for him.
But just like every other position, it's important you understand, it's not okay when things don't go well. I'm not going to be a pat-you-on-the-back, don't-worry-about-it, things-are-okay type of guy. I'm an analytic person; go look at what the problems are, see what we did, see what we did poorly and then try to go from there.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297