Oct. 7, 2006
COACH Charlie Weis: I know the Yankees are losing 4?0 so you don’t have to start with any wise cracks (laughter). Go ahead.
COACH Charlie Weis: I had a few guys that we could have gone either way on going into this game. Zibby I know will never tell me the truth when it comes to how he’s feeling coming off of that. I just didn’t feel that he had total straight back, even though he was pretty close, and I felt that I wanted to try while I could ?? try to do all I could to try to save him so we had two weeks before we played another game.
You could put a bunch of guys into that category. You could put him into that category, Travis was another one where he could have played the game, Ambrose is another one that could have played the game, Renkes, he could have played the game. There’s a lot of guys that could have played the game. But all those guys that were close, the only guy that wasn’t in that situation was Paul Duncan was sick, so it had nothing to do with an injury, he was just sick. That’s why he was in sweats. But all those guys were close to playing a game. I was just trying to bite my lip and see if I couldn’t buy some extra time, which fortunately worked out okay.
Q. Was it his shoulder or ??
COACH Charlie Weis: It was the remnants of ?? yeah, it was the strength that ?? he had lost some strength after that pop. It wasn’t the head, it was more the strength in his upper body. He was running around out there fine, it’s just that I told him, look, Zibby, if I ask you if you can go, you’ll say you can go and you’d be lying, so we’ll leave it at that and see if we can’t buy you some time.
Q. How would you evaluate their concentration, focus and their execution?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, I think that I was really pleased with that long, meticulous first drive that we had on offense, 17 plays, 91 yards or whatever it is. As a matter of fact, we had four drives in the game that were fairly long, 91, 68, 76 and 77 so it wasn’t like we had great field position in the game for some of these drives.
But then they came back and answered with a long drive of their own, and why that happened, the offense kind of I thought fell asleep a little bit because now we’re on the field for half of the first quarter, they’re on the field for the second half of the first quarter. By the time we get the ball back there was a little bit to go in the first quarter and I thought there was a lull in the action there for a while.
But to be honest with you, the defense after that first drive, for the rest of the game with the exception of the halfback pass, they played pretty darn well.
Q. Can you just go through your decision to play James Aldridge late?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, last week when that situation ?? the last game when that situation presented itself, we had a sloppy field, the kid is coming off a knee, you have a sloppy field, and the last thing I want to do is go pound him inside for a few runs, which is what we gave him today. We pounded him inside with a few runs, and have a sloppy field the first day out and the kid is a little bit scared the first time anyway.
So today I had an opportunity to get him a few carries. I’m certainly not going to throw the ball in that situation and I’m certainly not trying to score. I think that it’s important in his case to go ahead and get in coaching analogy, get his feet wet, get in there and get a couple reps where he gets tackled by the bad guys. I think that will only have positive residual effect.
Q. Victor Abiamiri, is there something that Stanford does that makes him so effective against them?
COACH Charlie Weis: I don’t know, we might just try to get him see a psychologist and see if we can put an S on all these helmets we’re going against because he turns into a pass rushing demon when we go against them.
Q. The defensive line as a whole really had a nice push all day. Could you evaluate their play?
COACH Charlie Weis: Same thing, we played a lot of four?man rush schemes. It wasn’t a big blitz day today, and I thought that they had sustained good pressure on them, on the quarterback, for most of the day.
Q. As far as Brady, he really spread it around nicely, very efficient. Where is he as far as improvement throughout the course of the season?
COACH Charlie Weis: That type of day, there aren’t that many quarterbacks that can play the game the way he plays the game. By play the game, I mean throw it to the open guy. Most quarterbacks want to lay up to a couple good guys they have and throw it over and over and over again. Well, this offense doesn’t really work that way. This offense is more read the coverage, run through the progression to try to get it to the right guys and we’re a couple balls and hands away from having a humongous day. There was a couple of balls that were really, really close to having a monster day. But I thought he was pretty well on today.
COACH Charlie Weis: That was phenomenal. I thought the ball was overthrown to tell you the truth when he threw it, and then he laid out and caught the ball, diving with one hand. Of course when he came to the sidelines, I said, “two hands, please.” (Laughter). I thought it was a heck of a catch.
Q. Can you assess the play of the offensive line today? Correct me if I’m wrong, I think all five went most of the way?
COACH Charlie Weis: Except for those couple minutes at the end. We would have try to played Paul a little bit but we held Paul. Those guys played the whole way. I think in the first half they weren’t pressuring us very much, and then when we came out in the second half they pressured about two thirds of the time the rest of the game, and I think that we zoned that off pretty well and ended up having a decent day. I thought those guys, with the tight ends included in there, I thought they did a pretty good job blocking in the running game.
Q. Darius had over 150 yards with the running game. Now that you’ve kind of committed yourself to it the last couple weeks, closer than it was to where you want it to be?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, I’m always committed to it but I want it to work. I always like to call the game that way, where you’re heavy ?? more along the balance of 50/50, and I think it really puts more of a mental bind on the defense where you can get into not knowing whether it’s a run or a pass every time you go out there. I’d always like to call the game just the way the zones work out that way.
Q. Carlson in the backfield today, talk about that move.
COACH Charlie Weis: A little wrinkle. I think that sometimes your offense can get a little stagnant if you just use your main formations from different personnel groupings, so remember when you guys were asking me about where’s my fullback? There’s my fullback, so you’ve figured it out.
Q. You said that if you didn’t see what you wanted to see, it might be kind of an unpleasant bye week. How do you feel about this going into a bye week?
COACH Charlie Weis: I’m content with this game. First of all, with the offense, and when the defense goes out there and gives them a long drive and basically shuts them down the rest of the day, that’s a good thing. Offense I thought was fairly meticulous, a meticulous day. It’s not about scoring 50 points; it’s about how you feel about how you’re playing. You convert over half of the 3rd down opportunities, you run the ball for close to a couple hundred yards, you throw with no interceptions, throw three touchdown passes. You can sign me up for that most weeks.
Q. What would your evaluation be of the team now that you’ve completed six of the 12 games?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, we consider it just like wrapping up the first half of the year, so we break the season down into two seasons. Coincidentally the bye comes right in between those games.
I think that the players clearly understand, which is what our message was in the locker room, they clearly understand how much work we have to do as we get ready to go two weeks from now to go against UCLA. But I think they also feel good about themselves that they’ve rallied down the stretch first half.
The season is a long season. It wasn’t that long ago you’re walking off the field against Michigan having gotten stomped on, and I think they’ve really rallied nicely. I think that the confidence is starting to grow, and that bodes well for second season, which kicks off on the 21st.
Q. Could you talk about the defense overall, 226 yards?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, they’ve been very, very good on 3rd down, even when statistically we’ve had bad games, 3rd down has not been one of them. They’ve been getting on the field on 3rd down. I think that bodes well for the success of the defense as far as giving up points. I mean, really when it’s all said and done, you give up the double pass, but other than the double pass and the first drive, they came close to pitching a shutout.
Q. Can you talk about the call in the first half?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, let’s just put it on the play caller. Let’s say that the play caller screwed it up. We’ll just leave it at that.
Q. You had a conversation with Maurice Crum. How did he react to that?
COACH Charlie Weis: Well, I very bluntly said to him, look, the quarterback is running over the side. He’s throwing the ball 20 rows into the stands. He’s not trying to complete the pass, he’s just trying to throw the ball away. If you touch him, they’re calling a foul.
I don’t know how hard he hit him, I couldn’t tell from where I was. But the point is that’s just not smart. You think about it, you’re the official, the quarterback is just throwing the ball into the stands, the guy comes over and hits him, you’re going to call a personal foul, too. We’re getting off the field in that situation. I just wanted to let him know in no uncertain terms that that wasn’t okay.
I had a conversation with Victor, too. Victor was offsides twice during the game. I said to Victor, it’s one thing when you jump offsides when you’re trying to jump the count; it’s another thing when you line the ball up offsides twice. There’s some penalties that are lack of mental concentration, and I thought that in those cases they were penalties that were lack of mental concentration.