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UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 22, 2008
Q. David, Coach Weis talked about your availability this weekend yesterday. What is going on with your back? Is it structural or just kind of these spasms?
DAVID GRIMES: It's just recurring back spasms. Something I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Q. Nothing you've ever -- this is all new to you?
DAVID GRIMES: Yeah, this is all new.
Q. How do you deal with it? What kind of treatment do you go through?
DAVID GRIMES: I do a lot of stretching. Try to keep loose as much as I can, heat and ice. That's pretty much it.
Q. Is there any way to tell how things go --
DAVID GRIMES: Pretty much cross your fingers I guess. Pretty much day-to-day. Some days it feels great and other days not so great.
Q. What kind of a different weapon does Kyle Rudolph present as a receiver when he is split out wide?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: When he is split out, he's pretty much like a receiver. He's a great athlete and runs great routes and catches the ball real well.
So you know, when we flex him out, he's pretty much just like another receiver out there on the field.
Q. Not all receivers are like 6-6, 250; does that make him a different target for you?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, it's just like different types of receivers. You have small receivers, big receivers and you've got a guy that's 6-6, like (250) pounds or whatever he is, and he's a big target to be able to throw to and he's got great hands.
Q. Did you guys get plenty of rest and relaxation during your break? Can you guys share a little of what you did on your time off?
DAVID GRIMES: I stuck around here for the most part. Caught up on some sleep, woke up late, went to bed early. That's about it for me.
Q. Did you go all the way home?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: No, I actually went down to the University of Tennessee to see my sister with a couple of guys on the team and we just hung out down there, relaxed, went to the Tennessee game for the first half and then came back and watched the rest of the game on TV. So just hung out.
Q. Wondering last week, in practice you were not throwing; how important is it for you to pick a spot not only during the season, but throughout the year to just let your arm rest?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You know, it's good. The coaches do a real good job of when I get time off from throwing.
I thought last week was a about time to get off because during the season, you really don't have that much time, too much downtime. So you know, you've just got to keep going and throwing.
Q. What has it been like for you, waiting that extra week to get back on the field following what was a very disappointing start?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, for myself and speaking for the rest of the team, I think we are real anxious to get back on the field. We still have that sour taste in our mouth and we just want to play again.
Q. Coach Weis said yesterday that he could continue to expand things with you and give you more and more. What is the next step in your evolution in terms of what you can run offensively?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: To tell you the truth, I don't know the answer to that question. We are putting in some different things this week for the game, and you know, we'll see what happens down the road.
Q. Could you talk about Duval Kamara's play against North Carolina?.
DAVID GRIMES: I thought he played very well, it was a confidence booster for him and this team. He played great and this team expects a lot out of us.
Q. Did that game help boost his confidence?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I guess you can say that. He played real good against North Carolina, and I think his confidence was a little down early on in the season. But as you saw, his confidence is back and he's doing what we expect him to do now.
Q. What can be done to get better production in the red zone?
DAVID GRIMES: The name of the game is scoring points, and when you get down there, you have to put points on the board. It's about minimizing on our mistakes and capitalizing on the defense's mistakes.
Q. Jimmy, what do you think can be done better in the red zone?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think it's the same thing. We've just got to be careful with the ball. You only get down there a few times, and when you get down there, you have to put up points on the board. Coach Haywood always said we want to put six on the board, not three.
We just have to be careful and get in the end zone.
Q. Is it tougher to run your offense in the red zone because there is a lot less room to work with on the field?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, the field just shortens down and you don't have that much room to move through a deep ball or stuff like that, so you've got to go to different plays that are -- to beat certain coverages, and when offenses get down in the red zone, the defense plays cover seven, which has got seven guys across the goal line. So you know, makes it a little bit harder.
Q. Do you guys feel like your offense needs to add more staple plays you can go to in the red zone that can work at a high percentage?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I don't think so. I think we've got a good amount of plays that I feel confident in, the offensive line in and the rest of the skill guys feel confident in. So I think we have quite a bit of plays that we can go to.
Q. David, can you just talk about how frustrating this is for you, as a senior and missing time again due to your back?
DAVID GRIMES: It definitely is frustrating being that it is my last year, and where we were last year, and how well we're playing this year.
I mean, it is frustrating you always try to keep a positive attitude and just try to have a positive impact on this team?
Q. Are you hurting now as you're talking to us?
DAVID GRIMES: I'm fine.
Q. Is it something that just comes out of nowhere at any point?
DAVID GRIMES: Football is a taxing game, especially on the body. It's pretty much when I'm on the field and doing things, acrobatic movements and stuff like that. But right now, I'm fine.
Q. Going up against an 0-6 team, how do you make sure your teammates and guys don't go in there maybe looking ahead and staying concentrated at the task at hand and winning?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Well, if you look at their team, with BYU, I think they were in the Top-10 until they lost, and they almost beat a Stanford team that we played, that played a good game against us.
We just have to stay focused on each and every game. We can't take anyone lightly and we just have to be focused on what we do best and just go out there and play hard.
Q. How much does it help, knowing what they are feeling, what happened last year and knowing how much you had that urgency last year wanting to win a game and you know they want to get that monkey off their back?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, they obviously want to win. That's why they are going out each and every game working hard in practice and trying to get better and win that first game. We just have to stay focused and get better and get ready to go for Saturday.
Q. Obviously you guys are trying to get the monkey off your back in terms of a road win; talk about the urgency to finally get that first road win.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, we definitely need to get a win on the road. I think we need to get a win and we are ready to get a win and we are focused and just get ready to go for Saturday.
Q. Can you talk about the urgency of getting a win on the road, obviously there are plenty of road games ahead, and you have to get some confidence on the road.
DAVID GRIMES: As a team, we realize not all of our games are going to be played at home and guys just have to focus in more and concentrate more when we are on the road to get the task done.
Q. Last year you guys did not do a lot of shotgun snaps. How much has going to shotgun helped you this year?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's helped out a little bit. I think on certain situations like third downs, I would rather be in the gun. It's just a little bit easier to be able to read the defense and see where they are coming from, and most of the times on third downs, they are blitzing, so it's a lot easier for me to just be back there ready and than have to take a drop and read a defense like that.
Q. How much do you think that's helped in the evolution in the offense?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think it's just given us another dimension. The offense, last year we did a little bit, but not as much as we are doing right now.
Q. David, you verbally committed to Coach Willingham; correct?
DAVID GRIMES: Correct.
Q. Can you describe what that experience was like, what you went through emotionally when you found out he would not be here?
DAVID GRIMES: Actually I believe I decommitted after they fired him and Notre Dame didn't have a coach.
But once Coach Weis took the position, I committed right back. It was a tough experience, but it's probably the nature of the business.
Q. After he was fired, did you then have any conversations with Coach Willingham?
DAVID GRIMES: No, I didn't.
Q. And Coach Weis, did he have to convince to you stay on board?
DAVID GRIMES: He called me. We talked, and then I came down in a visit and that went well, so I decided to commit back.
Q. So you really wanted to come here?
DAVID GRIMES: Pretty much.
Q. Has your path ever crossed with Coach Willingham?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: When I was getting recruited and stuff like that, I went down to Washington and met Coach Willingham and I liked the school down there. But ultimately I came here.
Q. Yesterday Coach Weis mentioned the improvements from year one to year two for all you young guys being one of the keys to a turnaround this season. How much have you noticed that's been true for you?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Last year was a big learning process for myself. Coming into this year, I had that first year behind my back and the learning experience, and the way the season went last year, I learned a lot about myself and about this team and it's helped us a lot this year.
Q. You mentioned visiting Washington. Do you remember when that was, and were you ever serious about Washington at all, and was that one of the many schools -- I know you tend to visit a lot of schools when you're going through the early recruiting process.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: To be honest, I think it was during their spring practice. I know I went with my dad and watched one of the practices I think. I think it might have been a spring game or something like that.
I was just taking trips all around the country and just looking at different schools. Yeah, I was interested and just like I was a bunch of other schools in the country.
End of FastScripts