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


April 19, 2008

Charlie Weis

THE MODERATOR: All right, fire away.

Q. What are your overall impressions, things that you can tangibly take out of this game and into the off-season?
COACH WEIS: There were a lot of good things that came out of the game. Obviously, we've been running the ball better. The offensive line is more physical. Jimmy's got good zip on the ball. Wish he would have caught a few more of them.
A couple of those sacks really were not really fair to the offense, because a couple of the sacks were guys that were being cut, imaginary. But they went ahead and brought it on anyway. So that's why you saw Jimmy getting mad. Because the lineman would say, Cut, and the defensive lineman was supposed to pull off, and they decided they weren't going to pull off.
So we had a couple of tough starts out there today. Okay, but obviously, he can sling it. What I'm disappointed about was some of the drops of the day, but I like the physicality on offense. What I liked the most on defense is in the first half things didn't go as well for them, and they came out at halftime. See, there's both sides of the fence here. You know you come out in the second half, and the offense is flat, and the defense, you know, regains the momentum. Then they make the charge, and Harrison makes a game-changing play.
I think probably the only real disappointment out of this game right here was you're trying to coach emotion, and you saw a lack of composure at the same time, and it was a few times. You know, one you didn't notice as much in the first half, but they would have called an unsportsmanlike on Robert Hughes on that touchdown when he flipped the ball in the air. So now when you score a touchdown, you're kicking from the 15, because they would have called an unsportsmanlike conduct. They didn't call it at the time, but they would have called it in the game.
I went over to the official, and said, Would you have called an unsportsmanlike? And he said, Yeah, I would have called it there. Early in the third quarter, you have three guys involved. As usual, the first guy involved, his name isn't even involved in the penalty, so you've got three guys involved.
So the first guy pushes one guy. Okay, he doesn't get anything. The next guy throws a punch, and another guy defends him, and both of those guys would have gotten thrown out of the game.
So let's go over that sequence for a second. The offensive guy starts it, he doesn't get caught. The defensive guy throws the punch, so now, you've just scored a touchdown, which is a game-changing momentum play, but now you're kicking off on the 15-yard line.
Okay, let's flip it again. Now the offensive guys even things out. So now you're going to get the ball with good field position, now you're letting them kick the ball back off the 30-yard line again.
So I think in the game, probably, the things that annoyed me a little bit were probably the most were little slow start to the second half offensively, obviously. But just as importantly, you know, you're trying to play with emotion, but you also have to have composure.

Q. After the Harrison Smith --
COACH WEIS: Let me finish right here, and I'll come to you.

Q. Just a quick follow-up. Parris and Wade nicked?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, they were both nicked earlier in the week. So, it was one of those ones where game time they could have gone out there and run around. But I just felt at this time that the guys running around at the end of the week, it was better for both of those guys just to hold them both.
I think that if we were playing the last game of the year and it was, you know, it was a significant game, I think both of them would have ended up going out there and trying to go. Okay, go ahead.

Q. I was going to ask you, what would you call that after the Harrison Smith touchdown? A skirmish, a dust-up?
COACH WEIS: I call it a happy moment watching one of my defensive players scoring a touchdown on an interception. And a sad moment watching my quarterback throw an interception for a touchdown.
As far as everything else, what would I call it? A perfect example to teach. That's what I would call it. That's probably five minutes of what I talked about in there. That was a perfect example to teach the team about composure. I couldn't have scripted -- the practice things -- that I couldn't have scripted any better was that example and the score at the end of the game. You couldn't have scripted those two things. You've got the game to be competitive right to the end of the game.

Q. As far as that mentality, you don't want it to manifest in penalties or anybody getting kicked out of the game. Isn't that what you're building to though, kind of a nasty edge?
COACH WEIS: Absolutely. But I'm saying there is a fine line there. You're trying to push them so they're playing with emotion. You can play with emotion by parting with your own players. You don't have to be talking trash to somebody else.
You do it in good fun, but still, the bottom line, is 15-yard penalties are 15-yard penalties. And ultimately, that responsibility, once again, comes back to me about making sure you're teaching that fine line. You know, living on the edge can be dangerous sometimes.

Q. You have 15 consecutive rushing plays; was that scripted before the game?
COACH WEIS: No, it wasn't scripted. They had some plays scripted before the start of the game. But I think that they want to come up and try to score a big one early. One of the things going into the game, we wanted to make sure all three of those running backs got at least ten carries. I think James might have come up with eight carries. Hold on a second. Well, he had six. Armando had 11, and Robert had 22.
What we wanted to do is make sure we ran the ball about 40 times. That's how it turned out. So I didn't care how they did it. They just wanted to do it where we got a heavy dose. I wanted to let the offensive line tee off. You can't build physicality if you don't let them tee off. That is one of the things we wanted to do today.

Q. Can you talk about the play of Robert Hughes?
COACH WEIS: I think Robert, good and bad. I mean, obviously, he's a big, physical guy. Can read holes, knows how to cut, takes care of the football pretty well. I think the one thing we'll have to work on is making sure he's not running too high for me in this game.
I think when you're 240 pounds, whatever, the higher you run, the more you're giving the defense equalizers. You're letting them get shots at you. I think you have to run with a little more forward leaning, get your pads down more. I think that's what we'll work on.
I think all three of these running backs can play. I don't think there's any question that you can put any of those three guys out there and you'd have a chance of winning in the game.

Q. Do they go into the fall season?
COACH WEIS: We intend to play those three guys. I don't know how it's going to play out. I don't know if one guy's getting half and the other guys are getting quarters. I don't know how it's going to play out.
But the best part about it is you're not worrying about who is first. You're really not worrying about it, because you're going to play all three of them. They're all going to end up playing, and they all know it. That's a good thing. It isn't like you're really worrying about it. I think they all bring something different to the table, but they're all really good football players.

Q. The hit Terrail Lambert on Armando Allen, can you talk about that and what a big defensive play?
COACH WEIS: I would have liked for Golden Tate to continue that block on that play, that would have lifted my spirits, too, because I thought it was a walking touchdown. But that's what you have to do when you're down close. That's what you need to do.
You're talking the one going in, right? Okay. That ball could have come out. I mean, that was a big time hit, a big, physical play. That's the type of play you like to see from your corners and run fours and players like that.

Q. You talked about Jimmy and the zip on his ball. How about his managing the game and his being out there, more control?
COACH WEIS: Except for earlier in the third quarter when he had to call two timeouts and about the first six plays. You know, you could say whatever you want, but there is another example of teaching. You know, you've already burned two timeouts. We've played about 30 seconds. You know, we've already burned two timeouts in the second half.
So I like to save timeouts for critical situations. You know, you'd hate to think through clock management early in the second half that you had already put yourself in a bind.

Q. Your overall assessment coming out of the spring of the kicking game, and in particular, Brandon Walker?
COACH WEIS: Well, obviously you can see he's a lot more confident. You know, even just probably his best kick of the day was probably the one he missed. You know, that's the one he actually hit the best. I mean, it was a 46-yarder, and probably good from 56 yards.
He's been more confident. And I'm glad that he did that with a crowd there. It's a little different when you're doing it in practice. But he's shown he's got plenty of leg. He's just got to keep on putting them through the up rights.

Q. How do your level of expectations for Jimmy change from this point last year to now at the end of the spring?
COACH WEIS: At this point last year I knew that in a couple of days he was going to go get his elbow scoped. And it was going to be a recovery time, and it was going to be a while before he could get his arm strength up to be able to throw the ball.
It was really that whole quarterback situation was a little bit of a chaotic at the time, I'd have to say. You know, because nothing was really going as I scripted it. Whether it was Jimmy or any of the rest of the guys, because they're all, a whole bunch of guys involved.
The one thing I'm walking out of spring right now because of how this all played out, you know, Evan's hitting home runs. You know, Dane, he's in high school, and Jimmy's getting all the reps. That's allowed him to start forming a chemistry and bonding with the receivers and allowed him to get more of a leadership role with the offensive linemen. Where you say come on, fellas, let's get going. Making sure they're not just moping around out there.
I've been very, very pleased with his progress, as well as his throwing. Just about his leadership skills at the quarterback position.

Q. Did Kamara have a foot inbound on the last play?
COACH WEIS: I was on the other sideline to tell you the truth. The ref called it in, so it was in. But was there a replay official there? I really don't -- I couldn't tell you whether it was in or not.
But I thought it was, you know, once again, you look for teaching lessons when we get to it. The game's over. Defense has the game won. Now they give up a home run ball on 4th and 100 to Golden, and they get down there. Now it's fourth down again, and throw a fade ball to the big guy. Whether he's in or not, they called him in, so you end up losing.
I couldn't tell you. But the offense will say yes. The defense will say no.

Q. How about the whole line, overall, do you like what you see there after 15 practices?
COACH WEIS: Well, they're a lot bigger, and they're a lot more physical. Both of those things are obviously true, you know, to anyone, you know, out there observing. The most important thing is now when you start going against other guys that are moving around and running different defensive schemes.
You know, hey, they've been tested this spring because there is a lot of stuff on defense that's gotten thrown at them. But they've weathered that pretty well, and I think -- we talked about confidence when we first started the spring. I think the one position group whose confidence seems to be growing probably at a rapid pace is the offensive line.

Q. The captain's vote was I'm sure a slam dunk for Crum. But can you talk about the voting for Bruton and Grimes?
COACH WEIS: There was a few other con tenders that got some votes in there. But in all three cases, these guys were clear winners. You know, they were clear winners. Like if it came down to it a guy was a vote difference, I would have seen that the offense or defense or special teams saw two guys as the guy. But in all three cases, you know, it was a clear winner.

Q. The composure element, is that still a sign of youth in some ways with Robert and Jimmy, or do you not look at it so much as a youth thing?

Q. Just the composure.
COACH WEIS: It's the whole team though. You're saying one of the things we've been trying to work on all spring was I was not satisfied. There are games we played last year where our team came out and other teams are partying, having a good time, getting ready to go. Our team's going out there like tin soldiers. For that, several times, I'm the first guy to sit there and take the blame.
So if you're trying to change the mentality and trying to get them to have some fun out there and trying for them to be that way, there's got to be some give and take. They have to know where the limits of that are. They have to know what your expectations of that are so they don't do something foolish because you're working on something, and it ends up biting you.
You have to be able to, you know, make sure you know the difference between enjoying yourself and partying out there, and having some fun and doing something that's not very smart.

Q. So fun was stressed more throughout the spring? Have you guys stressed that?
COACH WEIS: Oh, no, we're always trying to be miserable (laughing). There's a fine line there, too. I think that the only way you're having fun is when you're making plays. Football's only fun -- it's not fun when you're out there getting your butts kicked. That's not fun, in case you're wondering. You only have fun when you're making plays. Making plays was the emphasis, and fun was a residual, positive effect that came with making plays.

Q. When you went out after the fight, was that kind of to sort things out?
COACH WEIS: No, I wanted to one by one make sure I got them all. As you guys haven't seen me get both of the offensive guys, probably. The offensive guys have already gotten theirs. I saw what happened, so I watched the thing even though I was on the other sideline. So long before I walked over to the other side to speak to our young man on defense, I had already had nice conversations with our guys on offense.

Q. We saw it was Olsen, are you naming names on the other two?
COACH WEIS: I was just saying hello to Eric. I really was just asking him how things were. His dad and mom had brought me some bagels from Staten Island, I appreciated it. But, no. We'll let it go.

Q. Jimmy's pass late in the game, you talked about his zip. But is that a pass he can make a lot last year, the deep throw?
COACH WEIS: He could never make the throw last year. Not a lot of last year, he could never throw. Even at the end of the year he couldn't make that throw. He couldn't have thrown it that far.

Q. As far as David Bruton goes, has he made even more progress this spring?
COACH WEIS: Well, it really started back, I remember we had the conversation like the opening day. We talked about it like how guys in the off-season had -- here's a guy that his changes have already been significant. They weren't weight, but they were always measurables. I don't remember exactly what the measurables were I threw out. It was like a 41-inch vertical, and his body fat had dropped a couple of percent.
David Bruton is a really good football player. That's why everyone when they talk about prospects to play past here, he's the number one guy that they all talk about.

Q. As far as his mentality goes to be a gunner like in the past couple of years, is there a special type of mental thing that has to go on with that?
COACH WEIS: I think the play of gunner helped him develop on defense. He started making plays. He was a skinny little kid, and then as he started to grow and started making some plays there that started giving him some confidence. He started playing some safety, and next thing you know, they kind of meshed.
By the way, he'll continue to be a gunner. Even though he's our starting safety. You can write it. Pencil it down over on the right side, 27. He'll be there. I'm giving away a secret. I don't do that very often.

Q. Just to follow up on Hughes. You talked about pad level, has that been an issue with him?
COACH WEIS: Because he's so big and physical, you can get away with that a lot of times. But all I'm saying is when you start going for real, the difference between maybe getting five yards and getting seven yards, you know, that subtle hidden yardage could just be the difference between running like this and running like that.
It might be a yard or two. But those yard or two add up as the game goes on. It might not be the difference between rushing for another 50 yards, but it might be another 20 yards. And instead of it 2nd and 5, it's 2nd and 3. It's something that we'll continue to work on.

Q. And the burning of the timeouts by Clausen, there are times when it's good and appropriate to use a timeout. Did he have a legitimate reason for making those two calls?
COACH WEIS: Well, one time the operation -- the second one, the operation was going late. And the first time it was a signal miscommunication. One signal was given, he thought it was something else. He thought one personnel group was supposed to be out there. It was the other personnel group out there. The play he thought was going to be run, could not be run with the personnel that was on the field. So there were two totally different situations that had happened.

Q. Can you just talk about the play of Harrison Smith today? How he's adjusted to playing linebacker?
COACH WEIS: He's not playing linebacker, actually. He's playing a safety that we're dropping down. That's, as I said the other day, we have a couple of different packages. But one package, you saw Scott Smith playing a lot of the same position. We're trying to get interchangeable parts so that we can play the same defense with what we call "base people" with linebackers with a big body like Scott Smith. Then play it with a smaller body that is more of a safety type like a Harrison Smith.
The reason why you do that is so when you're matched up with all these teams that use multiple wide receivers, if you have a three safety defense out there, and they go ahead and spread you out, you're already in position to play them. But all of a sudden, if you put a three wide receiver and they pack it in, now you don't have to give up a lot of one-back runs which we gave up last year.
There were a number of times last year where people were putting in multiple wide receivers and didn't run the ball. Okay, so we got mismatched a little bit and Harrison Smith seems to be the guy that can answer a lot of those questions for you.

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