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  • The Pathetic Obsession Continues

    by Mike Coffey

    No, I’m not talking about my Joyce Center rants. I’m talking about the obsession with Charlie Weis that our little friends at Bucknuts.com have, as evidenced by this quote in their latest article:

    Every move you make, every breath you take, every Twinkie you inhale…That’s right, Little Tuna, we’ll be watching you. As Charlie Weis outs himself, this year, to the rest of the world as 1) Mortal 2) Obnoxious and 3) Unbelievably arrogant, we will take every opportunity to let you in on the case slowly being built to take off the emperor’s clothes (1). Such an opportunity presents itself again this week as Charlie turns loose…”

    Bucky Bucky Bucky Bucky Bucky. Chaz really has you worked into a nice little snit, donnee? You’d think he was a Michigan coach. Here’s a guy who doesn’t coach a team on your schedule (yet), doesn’t coach a team in your conference, yet you’re covering him almost as much as you cover your own guys.

    The decaf’s in the red carafe, my friends.

    The reasoning behind the obsession is, of course, obvious: Recruits read the Bucknuts site. They figure if they emphasize the “negatives” around Charlie Weis enough, Cheaty McSweatervest and the Columbus couch-burning teargas experience will look better by comparison.

    I could put a paragraph in here examining the basis behind a hypothesis that Bucknuts is doing so under orders from McSweatervest or one of his plausible-deniability-creating minions, but I won’t. This is Ohio State, after all — they don’t break rules there.

    Instead, I’ll offer a suggestion. Below are quotes from NFL coaches, owners, players, GM’s, and media creatures, none of whom are associated with Notre Dame, about Charlie Weis’ coaching acumen. Instead of the pathetic attempts to pillory Charlie Weis, maybe Bucknuts.com should come up with quotes from those kind of non-tOSU people in praise of the Sweater. Otherwise, their criticisms smack of the high school girls bathroom.

    We’re waiting, ladies.

    (BTW, all kudos and props to poster Igor Stravinski for collecting these and bringing them to my attention)

    Redskins DC Gregg Williams on the 2006 hiring of Al Saunders with unsolicited side comments on Charlie Weis.

    “I’m very excited about (the hiring of) Al Saunders…I think he’s the best offensive coordinator in (NFL) football, I’m happy I don’t have to against him except in practice…I thought Charlie Weis was in that same way, got rid of him – he’s now in college football, don’t have to go against those two guys anymore.”

    Bill Belichick, Patriots Head Coach:

    “Charlie is a very smart person,” Belichick said during the week before the Super Bowl. “He really understands what defenses are doing and how to attack them. He’s an outstanding play-caller and has a great sense of timing of when to call certain plays. It’s one thing to put together a game plan, and it’s another to call the plays at the right time, when they match up the way you want to match up. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

    “He’s very good at making adjustments during a game. He sees when some of the things that we thought were good now don’t look that good and we need to shift to something else. He is decisive and smart. He can pull the trigger. He’s not afraid to make tough decisions or to make calls in critical situations. He knows what he wants to do and he does it with a lot of confidence, and I think that gets conveyed to the people who are executing it.”

    “A lot of times teams will show certain tendencies on film or certain statistical tendencies, but that often changes based on the score or weather conditions or whatever,” Belichick said. “Some play-callers are late to adjust to those changes, but Charlie was very good at anticipating what was going to happen and staying ahead of the curve.”

    “From the beginning he could keep a lot of balls in the air,” says Belichick. “He’s a really smart guy — you could see that from Day One.”

    “My first impressions of him were that he was smart, he was a multi-task person. He could process a lot of things at the same time. When I left the next year to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, I made a point to keep an eye on him and maintain contact with him. I thought he had a chance to be special.”

    Tom Brady, QB Patriots

    “Charlie is a great coach,” Tom Brady says. “He’s very cerebral and is a great motivator. He really enjoys coaching and is fun to be around.”

    “He sets the tone for every meeting, every practice, and he has since the day he got here. He has a very authoritative personality. He likes to take charge. He likes to take command. His word carries a lot of weight, so when he makes a point, everybody listens. He makes sure that everybody understands what he’s trying to get across. He is very good at what he does. He has proven that, and he’s very capable.”

    “Where do I start? He’s always been the guy that I go back to. He’s always the guy that I have so much trust in because he always seems to be right.”

    Zach Thomas, LB Miami Dolphins

    “Don’t even try to type him. It’s a waste of time. He’ll never repeat tendencies.”

    “I think Charlie Weis is one of the best; he has great schemes,” Thomas said. “You can’t let your guys up front go. You just have to be patient. When Charlie was with the Jets, it was so tough to watch and practice because they will run the same plays but they would do them from so many different formations. You don’t get tendencies.”

    “They throw you off with everything they do and they try to get you thinking and guessing,” Thomas said. “That’s the one week I try not to over-study. It’s not going to help. It’s ridiculous, but over-studying is only going to throw you off.”

    Mike Vrabel, DL Patriots

    “I’ve heard [Miami linebacker] Zach Thomas say that numerous times,” said New England linebacker Mike Vrabel. “Zach watches a lot of film. He’s one of those guys who is at it until 9 o’clock every night, hoping to get an edge. He’s told me countless times he can’t do that with a Charlie Weis offense. He knows whatever he’s watching is something he won’t see again.”

    Christian Fauria, TE Patriots:

    “Charlie is just a great play-caller,” Fauria said. “In his own special way, he makes sense. When Bill [Belichick] says something, he backs it up with information. Charlie is similar. It’s never the same cookie-cutter offense. He’s always challenging us.”

    Chris Mortensen, ESPN Analyst

    “Charlie Weis is a genius,” Mortensen said. “You hear that term a lot in football, but I mean he is really a genius. He may be the only true genius in the NFL. He scored a perfect 1,600 on the SAT. He’s got a 160 IQ. That comes in handy in football.”

    “There are a lot of people who can draw up Xs and Os. I remember Joe Gibbs telling me that there were a lot of coordinators who can come up with brilliant game plans during the week. The key is what happens after the kickoff. Can they manage a game? Who makes the in-game adjustment.”

    “Weis is brilliant at that. I’m not talking about what happens at halftime. I’m talking about making them between plays during the first, second and third quarter. Can they see what is happening on the field with the human element and then fix the problems. Charlie is great at that.”

    The Chicago Sun-Times, quoting an NFL personnel boss:

    An NFL personnel boss laughed Monday when asked if Charlie Weis will be able to recruit at Notre Dame. “Can he give away scholarships? Hey, the quarterbacks should be paying him,” the personnel boss said. “The guy is the best offensive coordinator in football, No. 1 at any level. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to play in the NFL?”

    Chris Landry – NFL Scout

    “I think he is an absolutely brilliant football mind
    and will give Notre Dame a game week preparation and game day coaching edge that it has not had in a very long time. If there is 6 win talent, he will win 7 or 8.”

    Bill Polian – Colts GM

    “Charlie has proven to be one of the outstanding offensive minds in football. His teams are exceptional in their use of personnel, exceptional in the way they attack defenses, exceptional in the concepts they use.”

    John Clayton, ESPN

    “Normally, coaches from the teams without Super Bowl rings spend parts of their offseason studying the schemes of the past champion. This offseason, time was certainly devoted to breaking down Bill Belichick’s complex, flexible defensive schemes. But maybe not as much time as was invested in dissecting the Patriots offense. Thanks to the brilliant schemes of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, the Patriots got the most out of what had been considered average talent. ”

    Chris Collinsworth, NFL analyst and former Bengals WR on the Patriots in the 2005 season (first without Weis)

    “The Patriots have been able to present an entirely different look each week on offense to every team that they play. It has been nearly impossible for teams to game plan against them for that reason. They may still be able to do it, but losing Weis is the blow that I don’t think they can overcome in the playoffs.”

    Peter King, Sports Illustrated

    “There’s no question Weis’s creativity and game-planning have been big factors in New England winning two of the last three Super Bowls. Just consider this: The Patriots rank fourth in the league in scoring, yet none of the 20 offensive players who dressed on Sunday were first-round draft picks.”

    Dan Pompei – Sporting News:

    “Notre Dame will be better off with Charlie Weis as it head coach than it would have been with Urban Meyer. Based on his work in New England, Weis should have one of the most prominent offenses in college football with the talent he’ll get at Notre Dame. And he will get talent. In my dealings with Weis, I’ve found him to be a natural salesman. His charm will serve him well in recruiting. His toughness will serve him well in motivating. This is an excellent hire.”

    Paul Zimmerman (Dr.Z), Sports Illustrated

    “The cerebral nature of the Patriots’ offense usually takes second billing to their defense, but it’s a very high-toned affair, very high indeed, and you get the feeling it can operate any phase of the game if it chooses to. Make that, if Weis chooses. And this is what I think — if the Patriots are going to be beaten, it will be because their defense is starting to show cracks.”

    “Here’s another thing about Weis’ system. You never know who the featured receiver will be, which package will be presented.”

    Oh, what the heck, here are some ND guys’ opinions

    Mike Haywood, ND Offensive Coordinator

    “His knowledge of offense is huge,” Haywood said. “The amount of information he has accumulated is incredible. When he looks at the (chalk) board and he draws a play, you say ‘what is that?’ But then when he explains it, it’s really quite simple.”

    Brady Quinn, ND QB

    “It’s tough to put into words what he knows. You see it when he comes to practice. He’s very intelligent and when he puts in an offense, he has a great way of teaching it.”

    Bill Lewis DB coach, former Miami Dolphins DB coach, NFL veteran coach, and former national championship defensive coordinator at Georgia.

    “I came here for two reasons: because of Coach Weis, and because it’s Notre Dame. I had competed against Charlie for nine years, 20 games with the AFC schedule twice a year and a couple times in the playoffs, and I just felt that he was the best offensive football coach that I had ever competed against … the best.”

    Shawn Wooden, former DB Miami Dolphins

    “His offense could be frustrating. One thing he does, he knows how to attack defenses. He knows your strong points and your weaknesses, and he doesn’t put his players in a position to be at a disadvantage. It’s a chess match out there, and one he wins most of the time.”

    “What Charlie was good at was that no matter who was in there for him, his offense was pretty big (complex), but it changed by his personnel. He was also able to adapt his game plan to what the defense was going to give up. Those two things are why he is so successful. He doesn’t lock into, ‘Well, we’re going to pound the ball inside, because that’s our philosophy.’ You have to be able to adapt as a head coach and an offensive coordinator, and I think that’s what Charlie does best.”

    David Givens

    ”He’s been a teacher and a coach of high school kids, and he’s got so much experience coaching young NFL players like myself,” Givens told the Boston Globe. ”There’s no doubt in my mind he would be an outstanding recruiter because he relates so well to young people. I can say this because I’ve played for Charlie and I’ve played for Notre Dame. They’re all things Charlie would do very well with.”

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