Oct. 25, 2006

Irish head coach Charlie Weis talks about Notre Dame’s senior all-star candidate tight end John Carlson…

Q. John Carlson, you’ve talked about what a weapon he is in the middle of the field and that he’s really good on the vertical routes. What do you want to see out of him for the rest of the season? Where his improvement going to come from?

COACH Charlie Weis: I like his fiery nature because he’s competitive. Anytime he misses a block or anytime he doesn’t run a route right, he’s a perfectionist, he’s a smart kid with a real high motor. I think he’s getting better with experience. I think the experience of playing is what’s helping him the most because it seems like every week, things that you didn’t – like that catch that he made down the middle of the field, I don’t know last year if he makes that play because that was not a perfect throw and catch; the ball is a little high. But he just plucks it because now he has a lot more confidence. It wasn’t that he doesn’t have good hands, but now he’s playing with more confidence. I think the more he plays, the more confident he’s going to become.

Q. Could you talk about the play of Carlson today (vs. UCLA) and the way he played his first half?

COACH Charlie Weis: What he did, he was catching the ball, not only was he making a couple big catches but they all seemed to be in traffic. You know it’s one thing when the tight end is running wide down the mid of the field and he makes a play, but that’s not what they were today, even the first one, that fourth and one where we were expecting on a play action, he makes an adjustment, we are expecting on the play action the way their safeties are so stout in the run game; on fourth and one I’m expecting safeties to go ahead and take the cheese and complying up there can and they didn’t. He crosses his face and that was a boom, boom type of play right there that we end up hitting the first down right there. The catches he made were all in traffic. That’s big time.

Q. You talked about being impressed with Carlson. What has he done throughout the off season during practice to get where he was last night?

COACH WEIS: He always had great stamina, strength. He’s a very good athlete. The thing is, you have to learn how to be the starter. Sometimes people are presumptuous and think that’s an easy thing to do. But, you know, Anthony was the starter. John didn’t have the responsibility of being the go to guy when teams were worried about your wide receivers. We have a couple of frontline wide receivers that are going to get a lot of attention. Well, if they’re getting a lot of attention, the two guys the easiest two guys to get the ball to are the tight end and the back. In the whole off season, he’s worked hard with Brady, caught a zillion balls. I think that’s starting to pay off.

Q. When we interview him, he seems really quiet, opposite of (Anthony) Fasano personality. Is he like that in practice?

COACH WEIS: He’s very quiet. He’s one of the smartest guys we have on the team. But he also, I’d like you to know, does have a temper. Despite the image he’d like for you to see. It might be one word, but when he drops a ball or misses a block or makes a mistake, his blood pressure does rise. He’s not as calm and even tempered as you may think.