Nov. 17, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – There is a tremendous amount of pride on this football team and coaching staff. Things are not as bas as they seem. This week is like any other week, our short-term objective is to try and win a game.
Obviously, this objective is a lot more complex right now because of some of the difficulties we have. Like I said, our short-term goal is simple, win a game, but that task has become more difficult than we initially thought because Boston College and Stanford are both a lot better than everyone expected. When you add the injuries we have, this is a big challenge. What motivates you to win is the challenge, and we definitely have that this weekend.
We entered November with the idea that the seniors need to lead this football team. This is their legacy, their last memory of this place. I have tried to instill that in our football team that these seniors have to carry this team.
The fact is, our seniors have done an outstanding job leading this team, but their tanks are on empty just as much as the rest of the team. Our seniors are doing well, just look at the performances of Deke, A’Jani, Deveron, Jarious, Lamont and Bobby.
However, it becomes more difficult to perform with the injuries and the lack of depth we have. They have to play so much. The injuries are a major issue right now and the motivation to win must come from within, from the seniors. I feel pretty good about that part of it because we have some great seniors.
It has not been a lack of motivation, but a lack of execution. The team has heard all the motivational speeches and pep talks, and they don’t need that anymore. From the motivation standpoint, everyday is like a game. The motivation must come from within.
We can certainly sense the pressure and the criticism from the outside, but what makes you frustrated and angry is all the time you put into it and then you don’t see the results you want. People cannot comprehend how much time we spend together working on being a successful football team and all the effort that goes into that.
This Saturday we will find out how bad this football team wants to win and how much they would like to go to a bowl game. We have to do it. It is a big challenge and I know we are up to it. It is just a matter of getting it done.