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November 10, 2007

Charlie Weis


Q. He also seems like a guy that's not too worried about what the score is or if the guy is after the ball or something?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: No, he shows very good composure for a young guy, for a freshman in college. He's just into that drive.
So usually the first people, what Tim was asking before about consistency, usually with a young quarterback you see them getting flustered as the game goes on, and I don't see that with him which is a very encouraging, encouraging, encouraging thing.

Q. Seemed like Stewart played all right on that touchdown drive. Was that just to get him a taste of the action or what brought him into the game?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, we've been playing him for the last few weeks now. We've been playing him more and more. You know, as Chris knows, I think that he was a guard that we moved out to tackle so he feels much more comfortable run blocking and pass blocking. And he knows in his future if he wants to be an every down player and play all the time, we've already had these talks about if he wants to get himself in position to be a starter here, that's the area where he's going to have to work on.

Q. The drop kick, did that catch you off-guard, or has that been happening during the week, too?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: It was very, very surprising. It was very surprising and they were all over. It's not like you sit there and say it's just one person. I mean, there was a number of them. That was disappointing.

Q. Any thoughts on why they were able to run the ball so effectively?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I think that formationally, you know, they did throw a nice little wrinkle on balance and unbalanced line and running their option to the unbalanced.
But realistically, I mean, they just, you know, kind of spread us out and they just played in space and, you know, made some guys miss. I think they just did a real good job of getting us -- getting us in space and then making some guys miss.

Q. How much different is this offense from the one you saw last year as far as execution?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, it's a lot different in the fact that they -- first of all you see them in shotgun a whole bunch and in the shotgun, they have some of that read option element that you have when you're in the shotgun versus last week where everything is under center; and it's either give the ball to the fullback or call down the line one way or the other or run and toss.
They have more versatility and the fact that they are not afraid to get into the shotgun and run the flash boot and do some bootleg out of shotgun and roll out and hit a couple of guys, you know, I think that we didn't -- we didn't lose the game. We didn't lose the game to that element, but I think that they have a lot -- they have more versatility in their entire package than Navy did. I think Navy is just good at doing what they doing.

Q. Anything on Sullivan; Sergio Brown left the game?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I think he was walking around on crutches so I don't know if that's precautionary or real. Sergio had something wrapped up -- and who was the other one you said?
Sullivan was standing there when I was talking, so he wasn't like hobbled over or anything, I'm not really sure. It was a little bit of a mash when I walked through the training room on the way over here because there were a few other guys getting things wrapped with ice. There were a few people in there who got a little banged up.

Q. You mentioned, talking about the streak last week with Navy, most of the guys were more concerned with getting the home win and last chance is next week, will that play a big part of the message you send to your guys?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I think that, well there's two parts to that. I think the first thing that you have to do is do all you can to win that game. You know, let's go back to just going to win the game, end up with your last game at home with a win, because who is to say, who is to say that September 6 next year against San Diego State, okay, the players are going to know that they are going to win that game or feel they are going to win that game when they haven't been winning games. You could sit there and go into the off-season and say, hey, we've got it all fixed now, everything is fine now. Okay, but they need a little taste of it, they need a little taste of that.
Second, the emotion that you really do play on, okay, which is a little bit different than the first part, is the fact that for the seniors, it's last time they are ever going to play; and I think that that alone should have enough impetus for the players to be ready to play for the seniors for the last time out there, they should want to play. And for anyone who is not a senior, they had better be playing for them, because this is the last time they are going to be able to walk out and play at this stadium.

Q. You expressed frustration, what was your message to the team and maybe more importantly, what was your tone with the team after the game?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, my tone wasn't very pleasant, okay. My message is I think that I'm 51 years old; my greatest attribute professionally is as a teacher. That's my greatest attribute. I've always been able to teach at a very high level, and the subject happens to be football. It's just like a professor and a subject and my subject happens to be football.
I've always been able to do a good job of getting my message across and regardless of the age of the student, I've been able to figure out in a classroom where there's different levels of football intelligence what they needed to do to understand what we are doing, okay, and being able to take it from the classroom to the practice field, and then see it applied on the practice field -- on the game field.
It's one thing when you see those things applied on the practice field but then it doesn't correlate or you don't see the corresponding thing on game day. And I think that that's my biggest frustration where, you know, we didn't all of a sudden put a package in and practice hit and come out to the game and you don't have it right.
So as I always do, I told them that as a teacher, I'll consider that as I'm not getting the job done. But as a student, especially a bunch of young, intelligent guys, you would like to think that there would be a direct correlation between the classroom and the practice field to the game.

Q. What about the older guys, the blitzes, is that more compounding that the seniors out there --
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I think that's frustrating and once again, I had a coach that I used to work for when you would say to them, when you give the answer, the excuse, this is when I kind of learned about the no excuses type of mentality. "Hey, Coach, a hundred times I told them; we practiced it a hundred times."
And I would sit there and say, "Well, obviously you didn't tell them enough."
So for me to sit there and call out those guys and say, hey, it's just them, that's one area where I feel very frustrated because I believe that that's our responsibility as teachers is to get the product taught and then be able to get it executed.

Q. Aside from Clausen, is there anything else that you saw today that you can take out of this afternoon?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, you know, we turned the ball over a few times on defense. You know, we turned the ball over a few times on defense. The first half James is running his butt after, Armando made a few plays in the first half, as well.
And then the game, all of a sudden the game started to get away from us a little bit. Probably the biggest negative of all, you know, you say all of those things, but for the second week in a row, even though we got the game to 10-10, for the second week in a row we turned the ball over on offense on a fumble that ended up being a walk-in touchdown in the first half. We did it against Navy and it ended up being a critical play in the game. And once again, we did it again and it was a critical play in the game.
When you turn it around, when you turn around and just hand the ball inside to the fullback, would you like to think the worst thing is going to happen is you're going to get a couple of yards and you're going to be playing second and eight.

Q. So getting back to your analogy to trying to figure out where the problem is, if so much of the teaching happened during the week and then their ability to execute doesn't manifest on a Saturday, how do you determine where the problem lies?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: That's really the question. I raised the exact same question when I was sitting there talking to the team. That's the analysis that really has to take place is where, in fact, is the breakdown. Where, in fact, is the breakdown, and if I had that answer, we wouldn't have the problem.
So I think that's a good question but it's one that I can honestly tell you I don't have an answer to.

Q. Is there any way you can formulate any time of answer, or begin to formulate one in the next two weeks or does it take a lot longer than that?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I think one of the problems even on this subject is that the answer to this at this point is subjective.
You know, you don't know -- there's too much subjectivity to sit there and say, he said, she said. It would be easy for me to get up there and say, hey, I told them what to do and they don't do it, go talk to them they are coming in next, call them in, talk to them. But guess what, that's my job. My job is, okay, we know what they are doing, here comes a weak corner, we have two to block two; you block him, you block him and the quarterback getting hit in the back, okay. So it's partially your fault and partially my fault.
I don't know if in two weeks I don't know if I'll be able to give you an answer to that. As a matter of fact, I don't know if in two months I'll be able to give you an answer to that. But I can tell you that in two days, I don't think I'll be able to give you an answer for that for sure.

Q. Your counterpart said with all your youth, it will be a different team in nine months?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, I appreciate that. That's probably the politically correct thing for him to say after a game like that. It's a classy organization. I mean, it's a classy team. I mean, they stand for all the right things and I appreciate him saying that.
Still, the players have to have some evidence of that. To sit there and say on paper, you have a bunch of good players that are all going to play great next year, that's great. That sounds good and everything.
But you have to have some evidence. There isn't anyone in this room right now that wouldn't think that the quarterback was a bright spot. Do you think that the quarterback was a bright spot? Well, that's one player. Guess what, you need 12, and throw some specialists in there and backups, and all of a sudden you need 50. We need to see evidence that more people are going to be playing at a higher level.
You're last, so how many parts to the question? You've waited patiently so I'll go ahead and get it.

Q. As far as Clausen is concerned, how did he come out of this physically, and what would you like to see from him in these last couple of weeks?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, coming out physically, you know, other than bumps and bruises, there's no injury, which that's the first thing. He's not one of the people in the mash unit. And he probably got hit as many times as anyone, so that's an encouraging thing.
I sat there and talked to him at the very end of the game. I called him aside and we talked about, you know, the program and next week and the future. And I think that one thing he understands is we took a baby step at his position, okay, but the thing is now the team needs to take one.
And my correlation to the team was, okay, you have to take one step at a time but as a team, the first step is winning a football game. And you can't sit there and isolate 50 things in a game, hey, that was a good play, that was a good play, that's a good play. The bottom line, the final score was 41-24. That's still the bottom line.
So I think that he feels that he's taking a baby step but that's not good enough right now for us. It didn't put us in position to win the game.

Q. Last teaching analogy here, you're a teacher but you also learn a lot of things, what's the most valuable thing you've learned form this season?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: That's a big question. I think that you need to understand as a coach, okay, you need to understand that there's many different -- many different personalities and psyches involved within a hundred players. And dealing with an 18-year-old isn't the same as dealing with a 23-year-old, okay. There are different sets of things going on in their lives. Okay, first time you go through midterms, first time you have a weekend off. I mean, you know, there's a lot of things that are changing.
And I think that as you're going to play a bunch of young players, if you're going to play a bunch of them, they need to understand that being young, is no reason or no excuse for not being on the same page as the older guys. And somewhere along the line, you have to find that blend, that mesh of 18-year-olds and 22-year-olds that, combination of personality-wise that gets your team to play a hungry, aggressive style of football with a lot more efficiency than we're playing right now. That's the best I can do on that one.

Q. (Inaudible).
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Actually his last kick in practice on Thursday, pulled -- so he wasn't benched at all. It was the last kick in practice on Thursday if you want to talk about bad luck. He can't even hold. You notice it was announced the holder, so he couldn't even get down into his stance and couldn't get into his stance.

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