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October 4, 2008

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS: Fire away.

Q. Let's start with Jimmy's day, what he was able to bring to the table today.
COACH WEIS: I tell you what, we're starting to see it, especially the last couple weeks, his evolution, how things are heading in the right direction. You know, he's come a long way from that kid, you know, that we were playing last year in the Penn State game. Makes a lot of big plays. Very accurate.
The fact that he came through another game with three touchdowns without an interception on a day when Stanford got down, they were just bringing it, you know. They mixed in a little bit of zone, but they were bringing double safety blitzes. They were just dialling it up there at the end.
I think that he really stood tall.

Q. Because of that, what Stanford was trying to do up front, is the lack of running game at different times, including right there at the end, is it less disturbing or are you still a little bit bothered by that?
COACH WEIS: I think when they're going to bring that many guys in the box, which it now becomes six, seven, eight, nine, you know, the numbers get bigger and bigger, dependent on what the formation is, I think you still have to run the ball inside and try to move the pocket, you know, go ahead and get three or four yards, try to get first downs.
But in addition to that you can't be afraid, if they want to do that, you know, try to ice the game by throwing the ball.

Q. The two field goals looked somewhat inconsequential at the end. Looked like it made the game a little bit more nervous. What are your alternatives there?
COACH WEIS: I didn't think they were inconsequential, even when the first one was missed. I thought it gave us a chance to go up three scores at the time. You're up 14, it gives you a chance to go up 17 right then. You know, I thought about it. I thought about it the second one, whether or not to kick it or just to go ahead and go for it.
But I figured -- you know, I got to find out. Now that we saw that happen, we'll review the bidding here in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Q. Five sacks today after just one through the first four games. What was different?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think, first of all, they had a little motivation, they had a little help. And I'm being honest with you. I think that, you know, you saw our players' rare emotion before a game. You never see our guys, you know, fired up before a game. I mean, I've never seen it since I've been here.
But I think they had a little extra motivation and I think that, you know, we kept bringing it. But a lot of those were defensive linemen in the backfield type of things. And I think, you know, the defense as far as pass-rush had a pretty nice day.

Q. Stanford was the team running some exotic blitzes. Your guys were just beating guys one-on-one up front?
COACH WEIS: I thought there were just several times where there was just penetration inside by our defensive linemen that ended up making a play. That's a good thing, you know, when that's the way you end up getting them.

Q. Do you need that pressure up front moving forward? How much does that free up some of the more exotic, bringing some linebackers, safeties?
COACH WEIS: Well, we bring plenty of linebackers and safeties. What that actually frees up is you'll be able to mix in playing a little bit of coverage because now instead of having to bring heat all the time, if you can get to them with four, it gives you the opportunity to play some more zone coverage or something where you can actually drop seven and go ahead and play extra guys in coverage. When teams get used to you bringing it and bringing it and bringing it, they know that somewhere there's going to be a soft part of the coverage, it's just whether or not the quarterback can get there or not.

Q. The decision to fake the punt, was that something you've wanted to do for a while or did you feel you needed to do it to possess the football?
COACH WEIS: No. That was in for this game versus a specific look. We thought we'd have to do it in minus territory because we didn't think that they would give us the look if we were in plus territory. They'd be playing safe. I certainly don't want to do it back on our own 10 yard line because if it doesn't work, you put yourself in a bind.
So fortunately it came up exactly where you practiced it, with the exact same look that you practiced it. So it worked out.

Q. Talk about the reason given on the false starts against Clausen.
COACH WEIS: I had a real tough time with that one, to tell you the truth. What the referee said to me is that -- I guess they had complained about, you know, us using a double cadence, giving a semblance of a snap. So no one ever said anything to me. So I guess they must have got him in the tunnel or somewhere at halftime. They came back in the second half, and the first play out of the box, exact same procedure we ran every play the first half. He called a penalty.
I called him over and said, How can you call a penalty on that? He said, I warned the quarterback. I said, The last time I checked, I'm the head coach. If you want to warn somebody, you warn me. I'll talk to the quarterback and you talk to me. That's exactly what I said. We left it fair enough.
I don't necessarily disagree what the call is. I disagree with the mannerism in which it was handled because we did the same operation for 30 minutes and I had no knowledge that he was about ready to call a false start penalty for the quarterback giving a hard count and us not snapping the ball.

Q. They put extra guys in the box. You're trying to run clock. Do you just have to throw the football in order to possess it and run the clock?
COACH WEIS: Well, it depends on if we're trying to score or if you're trying to run out the clock like that. Even though we didn't score our last drive before the end of the game, you know, I'm not talking about the one where we ended up down and close, okay, we changed field position. I think that was almost as critical, that we change field position, be it pass or run. We threw the ball on the first play, we ran it on the second play.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH WEIS: Well, we tried doing that. The problem is, whether you come up with negative plays or come up with second and nine, you know, now you're putting your offense in a bind because now you're taking yourself out of your comfort zone. You get three yards, you get four yards, you can go ahead and run it again, okay?
But we're putting ourselves in a little bit of a bind on a couple of those plays. That's why we decided we'd go to the quick passing game, to use that as sort of like an outside run.

Q. Kuntz' day today, talk about what he did, the interception, two sacks.
COACH WEIS: Yeah, I'm going to have to hear him all week (laughter). But I think what he did, more than anything else, he also had a tip ball, I think. He also had the one tip ball over there, too. Tip ball, interception, some sacks. But I think that he was more juiced than he normally is for this game. He was more motivated. Not that he isn't always motivated, but I think he was really ready to go. I think our team emotionally was really ready to go early in the game. And I thought that's how the game went early in the game. I think in the fourth quarter we were kind of holding on. Stanford, give them credit, they gained some momentum. Next thing you know, it's a game.
But I thought he played hard the whole game, was disruptive for four quarters.

Q. Any Turkovich update?
COACH WEIS: I saw him hobbling around in there. I also saw Olsen going at halftime. Thought he was done. He ended up playing the second half. So we'll just have to wait and see. I don't know if it's an ankle. I don't know exactly what it is.

Q. Not to take anything away from Stanford, but when you miss the 46- or 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, you're still up, did you feel like some of the emotion or intensity went out of the game?
COACH WEIS: No. I think that when we missed both the field goals, there's a little -- it's a little deflating. I think the first one, which was shorter, was more deflating, to tell you the truth, because you're there and you end up after a turnover coming up, I think it was after a turnover, because I know we had three turnovers in the first half, but we ended up getting no points. I think that's something we definitely have to address because, you know, it's putting in a disadvantageous position.

Q. Team was fired up about those Marinelli comments. What did you think about the situation?
COACH WEIS: He's not my player, so I prefer not to talk about somebody who's not my player. I think that any time you put yourself in that situation, you know, you get exposed to potential ramifications of firing up another team.
Personally I don't know the kid. I don't know the context in which he said it. I know what he said. But it's not right for me to judge this young man. He's not my guy. So I'd be out of line to do so.

Q. Do you think that had something to do with the chippiness during the game?
COACH WEIS: It might have contributed a little bit to it, you know.

Q. Building on that, you said your guys had more emotion at the start of the game than you'd ever seen. They get off to maybe their best start we've seen this year. Is there a correlation to that? Would you like to see them get more fired up more frequently?
COACH WEIS: Just as long as the emotion's controlled. You know, end of the game was potentially a serious situation - potentially. Here it's why it's potentially. Honestly, they're trying to play one of the grab-bag plays to try to score from your end of the field. Change in lateral and all that other stuff, it's the only chance you have. We end up getting the ball. You go get tackled, it's a little rough. It's the end of the game. Both teams are trying to win. Both teams are scrambling out there trying to make a play.
Why it's potentially dangerous is 'cause the only time in the game that everyone can legally come on the field is when the clock runs out. That's why it's potentially dangerous. If there's just 22 guys out there, usually whatever happens can be taken care of. But when all of a sudden there's 200, you know, I'm just happy it ended up ending the way it did.

Q. Kyle Rudolph had his best game so far. Talk about him a little.
COACH WEIS: He's another guy who's just -- he's on the rise. Have to wait and watch the tape. But I know in the passing game, he's somebody -- you want to worry about those outside receivers a whole bunch, start worrying about Michael and Golden. Now have you David in the slot. You have Kyle over there, too. Somewhere along the line, something's got to give.

Q. What did you see in that little skirmish?
COACH WEIS: I just saw -- you know, you knew that it was the last play of the game. It isn't like everyone's going to step up and shake hands. It wasn't like one of those situations right there. So you knew something -- there was going to be some pushing around. I didn't really see what happened.
I'm sure we're partially at fault. I'm sure they're partially at fault. No matter what, there's always two sides to a story, which I didn't even get a chance to see.
I know one thing, I was not going in there. I've already taken my hits for the team, okay (laughter)?

Q. As far as Floyd goes, it seems like every game he's doing something more and more special. Where is he at right now?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think probably one of the most encouraging things is that corner he's going against is that PAC-10 champ, you know, at the hundred. He's running right by him more than once, okay?
It kind of shows you that not only is he a big receiver who can make some plays, but he obviously had some top-end speed because he's one of those deceptively fast guys. He reminds me a little bit of a Samardzija, to tell you the truth. When Samardzija was playing, everyone thought he was a tall guy, didn't think he could run fast. Next thing you know he was running by people. He reminds me of how he plays.

Q. Floyd, is that still a result of the coverage rolling towards Golden Tate or him making plays on his own?
COACH WEIS: It's a little bit of a combination of both of them. But certain guys are rolling up, the coverage is rolling to the right, rolling to the left. Most of our guys usually stay right and left. We usually don't go flip-flopping a whole bunch. So based off of where the strength of your formation is, how they rotate, all those other things, that puts you in a situation to tell you where the ball's supposed to be going.
It goes back to Jimmy again. Jimmy has a pretty good idea now where the ball's supposed to be going.

Q. Talk about McCarthy's play a little bit.
COACH WEIS: Every game, it's one safety or the other as one of the leading tacklers. Every time you turn around, because when you're bringing a lot of pressures with your linebackers, the guys who have to be there to make the tackles are the safeties. I have a lot of confidence in both our safeties.

Q. Defensively in the run game with them early, what kind of in-game adjustments were made? They were getting some pretty good yards in the first quarter.
COACH WEIS: Besides the shifting in motion they were doing, they also had a nice little package of unbalanced, okay, where they were getting to an unbalanced set and being able to run their lead runs, getting an extra blocker over there. So, you know, our defensive staff was working to make adjustments.
You can see in the third quarter they basically shut them down. I mean, there was nothing happening in the third quarter. Fourth quarter they start making a few plays, making some plays in both the run and pass game.
But I think they got a beat on what they needed to do to slow them down because in the first half we weren't slowing them down very much.

Q. You talked about the run game, not wanting to beat your head against the wall. (Indiscernible) third and fourth in yards.
COACH WEIS: I'm not too fired up about that, if that's what you're asking me.

Q. What do you need to do to get better there? You put a lot of emphasis on it.
COACH WEIS: We'll go and look at the tape. If you're asking me if I'm very happy about that? I'm very happy we won the game. Just like any coach who's always surly, the things that go through your mind are all those negative things that happened in the game. Trust me, those are a couple right at the top of my list.

Q. I don't remember the exact question and answer. I think it was Sunday someone asked you how you felt about a 3-1 start. You emphatically said you wanted to be 4-0, you weren't satisfied with 3-1. How satisfying is 4-1, coming out of this early stretch? Does this qualify as the kind of start you wanted to get off to with this team?
COACH WEIS: We're in good shape. Now that jury's going to be out towards what are we going to do, 'cause in the next five games, four of them are on the road now. So we started out the first five games, I think that's right, four of our next five games, and a bye, but four of our next five games are on the road. We're 4-0 at home and 0-1 on the road. You hit a crossroads now. Now you're going on the road for a couple of games, coming home for one, going on the road for a couple more games.
I think now the next major hurdle we have to jump is winning on the road. So that will be definitely the point of emphasis going into this week.

Q. Jimmy, his stats are obviously impressive. In the context of the fact you weren't able to run the ball as well as you'd like, does his stat line sparkle even more?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, because if he weren't having a good day, and he was getting some help now too, but if he weren't having a good day, our point production would have suffered dramatically. But he was having a good day.

Q. The seven receptions by Armando, is that the sign of a quarterback checking down?
COACH WEIS: It's a miracle, to be honest with you. I can't tell you how many times, and I've met with him at the beginning of the week and the end of the week, with Jimmy and Ron and myself, and I kept on saying checkdowns, checkdowns, checkdowns, checkdowns. So he throws the first touchdown to Armando. That's a checkdown. I couldn't wait till he got to the sideline. I just couldn't wait till he got there.
So, you know, a long time ago, when I was a very young coach in the NFL, Phil Simms said to me the difference in the NFL throwing for three thousand yards and four thousand yards is flair control. That means dumping the ball off to the guys involved in pickup when everyone drops out of there. I think it's a major step when a quarterback doesn't force balls down the field and is willing to throw to his flair control. I think that's a major step.
Thank you.

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