Nov. 17, 2009
BRIAN HARDIN: At this time we’ll start with questions about Pittsburgh.
Q. Charlie, just wanted to clear up a couple of personnel things. The punters – (Eric) Maust, (Ben) Turk — are you going to have an open competition?
COACH WEIS: Oh I’d say that is far from decided. I think that we’ve had such inconsistency over the last few weeks, I’d have to say that Turk would have just as good a chance punting this week as Eric would.
Q. Why did Turk not make the trip? Was he hurt?
COACH WEIS: No, he had the flu. And he was at the time where he was still a little bit contagious, too. Sometimes when these guys are on the down side of the flu, when they’re not contagious anymore they go ahead and travel and get them their own room. But he was at the height of being sick on Friday, so that’s why he didn’t travel.
Q. You got a pretty big field goal out of David Ruffer. Is Nick (Tausch) back healthy?
COACH WEIS: He is going able to kick tomorrow. Normally we kick field goals on Tuesday, so I just pushed that field goals to Wednesday. Then we’ll see what it looks like. Because that came out of left field for me, too, with Nick. So we’ll kick them both tomorrow, and obviously, if Tausch can kick, he’ll end up kicking. If he can’t, you know, we’ll go the other way.
Q. What was your read on the team as they were coming home?
COACH WEIS: Coming home was very quiet. It was very quiet. They got home very late. I’d say that’s about as quiet as the plane’s ever been. There was a lot of sleeping going on. And we’ve done a number of things since then.
We got a much later start on Sunday than we normally do. And on Sunday I talked to the team first, then after I talked to the team, I talked to the 33 guys who are fourth or fifth year players. I talked to them collectively as a group about the last game here at Notre Dame Stadium. And then yesterday I talked to the captains and the leadership committee. So it’s been involvement from when we got home on Sunday right through last night.
So I think today the players are really, from what I understand from everyone, really looking forward to just getting back out on the field.
Q. Last thing from me on Pittsburgh. What ran through your mind on the way home?
COACH WEIS: There were a couple things that ran through my mind. The fact that you are down three scores a couple times and here in the second half. I think that these guys have shown a resiliency to fight back regardless of where they are in games. And to fight back after Golden’s punt return to be down five points and get the ball with over three minutes to go in the game with a couple time outs with the way the game had gone, to have an opportunity to win the game. I was proud of the way they scrambled.
Now, on the flip side of that, we’ve just put ourselves in that position too many times this year. Where it’s coming down to that last drive one way or another. And we’ve had eight of them this year that have come down to the end of the game. And we won four of them, and we lost four. And the odds would tell you would end up playing out if that’s where you are in each game.
Q. The fumble that was originally called an incompletion — go back to what you saw on the tape.
COACH WEIS: I watched it a whole bunch of times and I really think that if they would have called the play a fumble on the field, I could see them not having enough information to overrule it. But the fact that they called the play incomplete on, an incomplete pass on the field, I believe the same thing. I believe that there was no evidence to change the call that’s on the field.
My only gripe — and it hasn’t just been in our games. I can go back to the USC game and Kyle’s (Rudolph) catch/non catch to tie the game up at the end of the game. You know, as much as I would have loved the replay official to overrule the call, the fact that the call on the field was an incomplete pass, the replay official said there wasn’t enough information to change the call. I think that that was the same situation that was in this game.
So, therefore, I think the call should have stayed just what they called it. They should have called an incomplete pass.
Q. Did you send plays in this week and was that one of them?
COACH WEIS: I sent plays in, and that was one of them. But, you know, I’m not going to talk about what Terry McAulay and the BIG EAST said. They’re very fair in telling us when they believe they’re right or when they’re wrong. So I’ll just say it from my perspective. I think just based off of the information that I saw, because they called it on the field an incomplete pass, I think it should have stayed that way.
Q. And what about the chop block on (Dan) Wenger? Was that legit?
COACH WEIS: I think they could have called that. You know, what happened, it was a three-step drop play and Danny was going to cut him. The reason a chop block is called isn’t because of what Wenger did. It’s because Eric Olsen’s guy dropped, so they went into rushing only a couple guys, so he was looking for something to do. So he turned to the right and there was this guy. And as he turned to the right and put his hands up, that’s when Dan cut the guy. So it wasn’t a high low situation. But the fact there was an engagement between the two players, that’s why they called the play.
Q. Trevor Robinson, was he re-injured?
COACH WEIS: No. What happened is his ankle was sore, and he just felt as the game went on, I’d say he probably played about 20 snaps in the game, and just felt that he didn’t feel strong enough to push off on it. So it wasn’t like he was re-injured, he just didn’t feel it was strong enough, so that’s when we made the change and put Wenger in there.
Q. And what about Robert Hughes, his availability?
COACH WEIS: Robert was available. Robert and Theo (Riddick) didn’t get much time the way this game ended up going.
Q. I know you were scheduled to get back very late. It seems to be a big deal on the media side here that you canceled the press conference Sunday night. Was that something —
COACH WEIS: Well, I wasn’t at the Patriots-Colts game, in case you are wondering. No, it was a late night here. It was a late, late start. I mean it was unusually late getting back here and we were scrambling. And we needed Sunday to get things back this order to be ready to go on Monday.
I will say, Tim, I actually had some people ask me if I was going to Indianapolis for a football game. I said, `You got to be kidding me?’ But we’ll go from there.
BRIAN HARDIN: We’ll move on to UConn preview.
COACH WEIS: This is the first time we’ve played UConn. We can talk about having hard luck and tough losses and losing four games by 18 points. You know, UConn’s had it even tougher than us. They’ve lost 5 games by a total of 15 points.
Coach (Randy) Edsall has been there for 11 years and, you know, his offensive coordinator is Joe Moorhead. This is his first year as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at UConn.
Last week they were off, but the week before versus Cincinnati they lit up the scoreboard and scored 45 points, had a couple hundred yards rushing, another 260 passing. For the year they’re averaging 30 points a game that. Puts them in every game. You know, Zach Frazer is now the starting quarterback. And, obviously, Zach started off with us and, you know, I’m happy for him to see him playing. You know, we’ll try to beat him this week, but I’m happy to see him playing.
They have two frontline running backs both (Jordan) Todman and (Andre) Dixon, seems like they split time between the two of them. Todman was the one who had the big numbers and really got them back into the Cincinnati game. He had 26 carries for 162 yards, but he had 4 touchdowns in the game with a long of 46. But they play both of those guys a lot. They’re interchangeable.
Just like at fullback they play (Anthony) Sherman and (Anthony) Davis. Sherman is a captain he is a little more athletic. Where Davis is a bigger blocker type.
They also play two guys at tight end — both (Ryan) Griffin and (John) Delahunt.
At wide receiver (Marcus) Easley is their X. He is their top wide receiver in catches. He’s got good size. He is 6’2″, 216. He’s got good speed.
They play two kids name Moore in the slot. They’re not related, from what I understand. I had to check and see because one is from Massachusetts and one is from New Jersey.
At Z they play (Brad) Kanuch. He is their most experienced guy with 35 starts. He does a nice job of catching the ball and runs good routes.
They’re really big up front. (Dan) Ryan is their left tackle. He is a really big body. (Erik) Kuraczea is at left guard. He is another big wide guy who is physical. (Moe) Petrus had been a freshman all American at left guard last year, and they moved him in to center. (Zach) Hurd, he started for 22 games. He is 6’7″, 315 guy. And the right tackle is (Mike) Hicks. He is their most experienced lineman with 44 starts.
Over on defense they have two guys that kind of run the defense. Coach Hughes is their assistant head coach for defense and coaches their defensive line, and Coach Orlando is their defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach.
Giving up a little over 23 points a game and 366 yards. They’ve recovered 7 fumbles and have 11 interceptions.
This are front line guy, Lindsey Witten is second in the country at sacks at ten and a half. Opposite of them they’re playing a young guy, Jesse Joseph who is very athletic and got some fast twitch. Inside they play (Kendall) Reyes and (Twyon) Martin. They both have, you know, good size and they’re disruptive.
At linebacker, this is probably their most experienced group. You know, their captain, (Scott) Lutrus, he’s been in and out of the line up this year because of recurring shoulder stinger problems, but he is back and playing. Greg Lloyd’s in the middle. He is a big, physical guy. And Lawrence Wilson is their wheel. He is a third year starter. He leads the team in tackles. He runs around really well and has good lateral quickness.
From the secondary, obviously, we all know about the loss of Howard and how it affected their team. And, you know, our well wishes go out to his family and to the UConn family. I know that Armando (Allen) was friendly with Howard. And I know that somebody requested him, Armando today, and I’m sure he’ll give you more information from their time in Miami.
Ray Wilson and (Dwayne) Gratz have had to pick up the slack since that unfortunate incident. And (Robert) McClain is their starting corner and their captain in the secondary, but he comes down and he plays their nickel back when they go to nickel. And (Robert) Vaughn and Junior handle the safeties.
Coach Johnson has the special teams. He’s also their outside linebacker coach and they have very telling stats. They’re averaging 11 yards a punt return, but they’re only giving up 4.8 a punt return, so they’re gaining some head in yardage. (David) Teggart is their place kicker. (Desi) Cullen handles their kickoffs, their punting and their holding. (Derek) Chard is their long snapper and short snapper. I mentioned Todman before. Todman and Teggart are the kick returners and McClain, the corner I mentioned who also plays nickel, he handles their punt returns.
Q. Just to clarify, so the decision Sunday had nothing to do with you being tired of answering big picture questions, decision not to meet the media?
COACH WEIS: Tired. But had nothing to do with questions, no. It had to do with we got back late and we were way far behind.
Q. And you’ve told us before you’re in here, you get to avoid a lot of that. But the players obviously are going to be on campus all week hearing questions and all that. What do you say to them, what do you tell the seniors and leadership to, you know, try to — the tone to set this week?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think that they’ve been able to witness the last home game over the last couple of years going total different directions. You know, it’s one thing when you win your last home game and you get to run around and take a lap and high-five the fans when you are going around that whole lap. It’s really fun to watch that. Conversely, there’s the feeling they had last year when you sing the alma mater then go moping up the tunnel into the locker room. They’ve been able to experience both ends of those.
And I think that what they want to do be doing is taking that lap where they go around to be able to thank the fans for their support over the time here.
They have visual evidence of the difference between the two on their last game here.
Q. So there’s no message about avoiding whatever negative things are going on in the media, just focus on winning one for the seniors?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think the seniors want to win one for themselves, first of all. I think everyone else has an ethical responsibility to try to do all they can to make sure they go out the right way. Because they’ve seen the high and low, Tom, on that last home game and totally different atmosphere and mood for those guys when they come back in the locker room. Believe it or not, winning or losing, the guys are very emotional in the locker room after the game.
I mean, whether they’ve won or lost you should see, it’s quite something. I can’t tell you how many guys I have to go to that are just sitting there in tears after this game. Because sometimes people forget, this is it. This is the last one. Four years here and a couple guys five years here, there’s a lot of things that run through their minds when they get into that locker room after the game.
Q. You brought up Syracuse right after the game on Saturday; is that a concern? Did something go wrong last year as far as the team wasn’t emotionally in the right place?
COACH WEIS: Well I think that you are up 11 points. It wasn’t the only game this happened last year, as you all know. But you got into a game and you are up 11 points, and I think that we didn’t finish the game off, which was one of our problems last year, different than this year, is that when we had decisive leads in three games last year, we let them get away from us. I think I would expect this year’s team to handle that totally different.
Q. This year problems have been different. You’ve done really well late. Why does it take to the fourth quarter for the team to really get moving?
COACH WEIS: That’s a fair question, Tom, but I think it’s bit rhetorical, because if I had that answer, we would have answered it a long time ago.
But I can tell you that the same question you are posing to me was the same question I posed to them in the locker room after the game. And we’ve tried about every mode. We’ve tried no huddle. We’ve tried blitzing on every down. We’ve tried not blitzing. We tried change of personnel. I mean, you keep on fighting to try to find the answer, and we’ll try to do that again this week.
Q. Seems like one of the problems the second half of the season, you never got to the 5.5 yards you wanted but the first have of the season were you much more productive than you have been in the second half running game. Have you put your finger on what’s the struggle there is?
COACH WEIS: Just the last two games have been different circumstances. We got down 14-0 against Navy, and the game’s shortened and you are getting less possessions. And if you don’t change field position in a hurry, before you know it the game’s going to be over. So that’s really what was the issue with that one.
Even in this game, okay, especially with a couple of tweaks I made at halftime, I felt that we had the answers to go ahead and run the ball. And Armando came out in the third quarter and we started to get some production. But now all of a sudden you find yourself down three scores. Things start to change here in a hurry. And it kind of changes the complexion.
I’d always like to come out and run it 40 times a game because it usually means that good things happen. But the last two games there’s kind of been some extenuating circumstances.
Q. Can you just talk about what Sam Young has meant? You know, he is starting every game now, for four seasons and what he’s meant to the program and how he’s progressed?
COACH WEIS: I think that he’s gone through the full gamut of emotions and through the experience, through injuries, through peaks and valleys. But the one thing, he has come to work every day the same way. He’s been the model of consistency. Just wanting to get better. And he hasn’t always played great, and sometimes he has, sometimes he hasn’t, but what he’s always done is he’s worked his butt off every single day since he’s been here. And that is the number one thing you ask of a player. To come here ready to go to work and do all he can to get better. And Sam, from the day he showed up, right till the day he leaves, I don’t think that that has ever changed.
Q. Charlie, two weeks ago we were sitting here — I know it was more media-driven than I’m sure the players and coaches — but we were projecting BCS and looking at different scenarios and whatnot. Obviously, the climate has changed. How disappointing it to be sitting here at 6-4 when two weeks ago everything was cruising along pretty well?
COACH WEIS: Well, it’s obviously very disappointing. We were very disappointed to lose the Navy game at home. And we were very disappointed to lose to Pittsburgh. And the team is disappointed that some of their aspirations have gone by the wayside. But, you know, they have two tough opponents with two games to go with a lot of football ahead of us with some things, some caveats still out there based off what they do in these last two games.
So I think that the first thing and only thing they can do is just worry about UConn. I think that they can’t worry about what happens in December and January. I think you got to worry about what happens this Saturday. And I think that first things first, let’s just take all of our energy and just worry about, you know, what we can do to beat UConn.
Q. As a coaching staff, when you met, what did you talk about as far as making sure to keep all the guys together and keep them moving in the right direction?
COACH WEIS: Well, I gave them the game plan. See, by the time I see those guys I have a game plan for how we’re going to handle it. There was a pecking order way we did things. I told them how we’re going watch tape. And I told them what we were going to do and what we weren’t going do. And I told them how I wanted the players to be addressed. And I told them how I was going to talk to them and who I was going to talk to and when. Like who I was going to talk to on Sunday and who I was going to talk to on Monday.
I’ll give you a little one. For example, when I met with the captains and the leadership committee yesterday what we’re going do is every day this week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at the end of practice, a few of those guys are going to talk to the team every day. Because at this stage I think it’s more important for the younger guys to hear the players’ view of what their experience has meant to them. So I don’t know who is going to speak today, but I know at the end of practice a few of those guys will kick it off today. And these are the type of things you do to, you know, kind of pull everything back together.
Q. Stat that’s jumped out at me is 3-9 in the last 12 November games; how would you explain that? Is there any tangible reason?
COACH WEIS: Like I said, we’re just worrying about what is dialed up next. I’m not going back and reflecting about anything right now. I’m just worrying about our team getting ready for practice on Tuesday, to get ready to play UConn on Saturday. I think when the season’s over, that’s when you go back and analyze this season and go back track to previous years.
Q. Charlie, follow up on Tom’s question about Young. Can you talk about your — you got a lot of seniors in your offensive line, just what they’ve been through and just coming out kind of the front end of that this year?
COACH WEIS: Well, Sam’s a little bit different only because he’s played every game. He’s been a little different experience than Eric (Olsen), than Paul (Duncan). Paul’s obviously been around here for five years, so his deal’s a little different perspective than Sam’s, you know. And then Stewy (Chris Stewart) and Danny (Wenger), they’ve been around here this whole time, too. So there’s a lot of guy that’s have been around here for a long time and will be going over the peaks and valleys.
But I’ve been very, very pleased with the work ethic of the group. It hasn’t always gone the way we want football wise, but I’m not going to have any reservations when those guys leave about the experience they’ve — the effort they’ve given while they’ve been here.
Q. Was there, you know, you mentioned after the previous game that Jimmy was kind of hard on himself about the fumble in that game. Did you have to kind of get into his head a little bit and make sure he maybe didn’t go overboard and too hard on himself after the Pittsburgh game?
COACH WEIS: I just wanted to make sure he didn’t feel that he has the responsibility, he has to take the responsibility when we lose a game.
You know, it’s amazing when you complete 65 percent of your passes and now it’s considered a bad game. You know, when you throw for 280 or whatever he threw for is considered a bad game now.
I just wanted to let him know that he can be critical of himself all he wants, but he’s one of the main reasons why we’re in all these games. He’s right at the top of the list.
Q. When you look at Zach Frazer on film, what do you see different from when he left here; where has he progressed?
COACH WEIS: I think the one thing — because he hasn’t played that much this year. He had been the starter, then lost the starting job, then injury got him back in. But the one thing he did, for example, in the Cincinnati game when he was truly the starter for the whole game is he did a nice job of managing the team. They ran the ball a whole bunch in the game.
He still has that live arm where he can sling it all over the place, but instead of trying to be a hero, he’s doing a better job of running the team. You could see he’s grown up.
Q. A defensive question here. Last year even though the record didn’t reflect it, the defense really improved over the last six games last year statistically. I would imagine you had hoped and you thought that this defense would do the same and yet it’s still pretty similar to where it was at the halfway point. Can you get a handle on why it hasn’t moved the needle in the right direction?
COACH WEIS: What bothered me most about this past game, because there were so many good things that happened on defense, okay, like 3 of 12 on third down. 25 percent on third down, that’s winning football. But when you give up six explosives in a game, that really came down to six explosives in the game, two 50-yard runs. But when you give up six explosives in the game, it kind of takes all the good things away.
Because it really comes down to giving up those big plays. No matter how well you play in the game — and I can give you stats saying, well, the rest of the runs were only averaging three yards a run, but guess what, those two 50-yarders, they count there.
And I think one of the big points of emphasis this week, like it is every week, is about minimizing explosives. Because I think that was the difference between having a good performance and a not so good performance.
Q. Charlie, one dreaded big-picture question from me. To your knowledge, has a decision been made with regards to 2010 for your future?
COACH WEIS: Oh, no. I don’t think that any decision has been made because I probably would know. And I don’t know. So with that being said, it’s full speed ahead. That’s full speed ahead with UConn, then full speed ahead to Stanford and full speed ahead to going on the road recruiting and that is exactly the way we’re approaching it.
Q. You mentioned Sam. He is part of the 2006 group that was really the first big recruiting haul you guys brought in. I haven’t gone back to see what you said at the time, but what did you hope that class would give you, and what do you think has given you over the past years?
COACH WEIS: Well I think with that class was the class that started to really set the foundation to create a foundation for success in the future. I think that was a great start right there. We took a whole bunch of guys and filled a whole bunch of holes. You know, we are finally at the point now where you got over 80 kids on scholarship. Back then it was in the 60s or the low-70s, then the mid-70s. You know, you just had so many opportunities for people to come in, probably play before they’re ready in a lot of cases. But that set the foundation.
Where now when we go through recruiting, you know, you don’t find the same number of holes because there’s a more logical, these guys are leaving, these guys are replacing, type of methodology, than we got to fill up these holes and those holes and everything else. I think it gave us a good foundation.
Q. Sort of on a different subject. I mean, I think the Graham run you could see four guys be in a position to make tackles. How would you assess your team’s tackling so far this year is it just sort of inconsistency that goes with everything else?
COACH WEIS: I wasn’t very fired up about that play. There were plenty of people in position to make a play. It’s one thing when you don’t make a tackle and you are not in position to make a play. But I think that it isn’t just the coaching staff that would have liked better. I mean, the players would have liked better, too.
I think that, you know, there’s been, you know, some people, some of the players have been pretty consistent, but there’s some error repeaters that it just needs to get fixed.
Q. It seems like every year during senior week you can tell us about a couple guys that the media and fans don’t really know about but are key to your team. Kevin Washington is a guy you talked about a year ago. Who are some of these guys this year?
COACH WEIS: I’d really have to reflect on that because I’ve been scrambling so much. There’s so many guys here that I’m so fond of, I really don’t want to single one out. I could take — I’ll give you a perfect example of a guy – now he is not a fourth-year player, he is a fifth-year player – but a guy like Mike Anello. Mike Anello, I will like and respect for my entire life.
Here’s a guy from Chicago, came in here a little rugrat wrestler, football player, everyone told him he couldn’t play football. He comes out, walks out on the team, ends up, you know, being a pain in the butt on the scout team, a real nuisance. One of those guys where every time you go around he is blowing up a play then you are getting mad because he is blowing up a play. Next thing you know you put him on the punt team, first time you put him out there, you know, he’s going against Michigan in the Big House. And we got our doors blown off that day, but the one guy making plays was Mike Anello.
Then he graduates last year, he has about 15 job offers. In this economy, might be the only one in mankind that had offers stacked and racked as far as what he wanted to do. But instead of taking one of those, he comes back to play his fifth year because he just wasn’t done.
And he’ll end up being in somebody’s camp this summer. Won’t get drafted. He’ll end up in somebody’s camp and he’ll be one of those pain in the butts to get rid of because he’ll be one of those guys on kickoff team and on punt teams that’s down there involved in every play. You are going want to look at him and cut him just by looking at him. Then about halfway through camp you are going to say what are we going do about this guy?
And he’s one of those guys that could have walked away and been making a bunch of money already and just wanted to come back here because he was totally unselfish. They’re the type of guys that really epitomize what Notre Dame football is all about. He is a perfect example.
Q. Being senior week, how much do you rely on the captains and, you know, especially the Scott Smith and (Kyle) McCarthy and (Eric) Olsen, you know, to avoid looking back at the last come couple years —
COACH WEIS: That’s what yesterday’s meeting was about. It was about that very subject. I said, `fellas, this is going be your week, it’s not going to be my week.’ I said, `I’ll coach football.’ I said, `When it comes to talking to the team I want the leaders of the team, the senior leaders of the team to be the ones that are expressing their voices this week.’
Q. Just about Eric Olsen in particular. It’s really a veteran offensive line with the exception of Robinson and seems like Olsen, Sam Young easily could have been captains. What’s it about Olsen in particular as a leader?
COACH WEIS: Any time you are a center you have an unfair advantage because you are the one making all the calls. You are making all the calls for the offensive line. So the center’s kind of the quarterback of the offensive line.
But Eric has worked hard in the springs the last couple years, been in great shape. He is a tough guy and people kind of gravitate to him. He has one of those personalities that people kind of gravitate to him. I think that’s why the team voted him as one of the co captains. He happens to be one of my personal favorites too. A little of that northeast bias.
Q. (No microphone.)
COACH WEIS: No, I don’t think we’re searching for personnel at this time. I think we’re just trying to get the guys who are playing to play better; That’s our goal every week. But I don’t think that, you know, that evolution is where we’re going right now. I think we’re just trying to get the guys to play better.
I have to admit though there’s no difference in what we try to do every week. We always try to get them to play better.
Q. Charlie, both teams have gone through a lot of tough losses, you know, narrow losses, heartbreaking-type stuff, is there any key to keeping them on an even keel or keeping them focused week to week?
COACH WEIS: First of all I think Randy’s done a great job especially he’s had to deal with the circumstance that I haven’t had to deal with, with the death of one of the family. And I think that watching how the team has played all year but especially in light of that unfortunate tragedy, I think that watching UConn and watching Notre Dame to myself, there are a lot of parallels.
I like to think that the intestinal fortitude of the players and the guidance of the coaches in both programs put them in a position where they just keep on fighting through it, you know, right through the season.
Q. I’m sure you talked about Frazer a lot but can you just recall what you saw in high school and when he got on campus what kind of player he was and is it kind of odd facing him now?
COACH WEIS: Zach was interesting. You know, his junior year he was surrounded by a bunch of front line players and a lot of weapons. And they were really, really good his junior year. Then they lost a lot of players going into his senior year, and he was kind of like a one-man gang. He hung in there and hung tough. He came here and was a good player for us.
We went through a spring where things didn’t work out in the depth chart for him, and he decided it would be in his best interest to try to find another opportunity. And we handled things — it was a very cordial way we handled it. I’m glad to see him playing. I just hope he doesn’t play very well this week.
Q. Coach, the whole free world is talking about Bill Belichick’s fourth down call; what’s your take?
COACH WEIS: He took a lot of pressure off me. That’s my take. (Laughter.) I was only the story for a day instead of two days, you know.
Let me just say this, George. I’ve been in those meetings before, and I can promise you here’s what happened. That situation was discussed before the game. That didn’t happen just then. It was discussed with the team. It was discussed with the coaching staff.
At each game Bill is so meticulous in what he does I’m sure it was discussed with his coaching staff — if this situation presents itself, this is what we’re going to do. He doesn’t do things on a whim. When he did it, I’m sure it was with everyone’s knowledge and everyone’s agreement and it just didn’t work out.
But I’ve been on that headset plenty of times and the call did not surprise me in the least. What surprised me is when I went to bed it was 34-17. So the fact that the game ended how it did is what surprised me. Because I was a little caught off guard when I heard what the final was.
Q. So is it a call you would have made?
COACH WEIS: I’m not in that situation. So, you know, I wasn’t in that situation so I can’t say that. But I can promise you in a critical situation in New England, you know, the head coach is going to make the call and we’re going to be ready to go with whatever he says to do.
I can’t tell you what I’d do in the same situation, because, you know, I have not done all the due diligence that he did and I wasn’t playing against the Colts and Peyton Manning and all that other stuff so I couldn’t tell you.
Q. Charlie, if we’re switching to the NFL, have you talked to Brady (Quinn) at all? He’s got to be very frustrated. Where’s his head?
COACH WEIS: I talked to him several times before last night now. I haven’t talked to him yet today because it was a night game. But we make sure that he is going to stay out of the tank and stay ready to go and all that other stuff because it’s been a trying year. You know emotional highs and lows and you’re in, you’re out, you’re back in, you know. And the team’s not doing well. So, I mean — but we talk frequently.
As a matter of fact, the Bengals were staying at our hotel the other day (in Pittsburgh). So Nedu (Chinedum Ndukwe) came by and we were talking about that. You know that Nedu and Brady are really close. I just told Nedu to make sure he stays on Brady and make sure he looks after him, because I am concerned about him.
BRIAN HARDIN: Thanks, everyone.
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