I have written several blogs about Coach Charlie Weis of
Notre Dame. My lack of respect grows the longer I watch this terrible season for
the Irish unfold. (You know things are desperate in
and they are only a slight favorite by all the betting odds!) I am not alone in my strong response to Coach Weis. Consider this recent article by Jonathan Chait, a senior editor at The New Republic, posted at Slate.com. I think he is right on target myself.
Weiss will likely survive this one very bad season. But if there is not real improvement next year, and that includes beating a few ranked or credible teams, he will very likely be gone. Remember, his record against ranked teams is very bad regardless of what he does this season. The school will very likely buy out his long-term contract at the end of next year, a contract they never should have given in the first place. Then they can find a much better and happier fit by securing a really proven head coach with some class and talent both. The irony is that when Weis did win at Notre Dame, his only major head coaching job ever, he did it mostly with Tyrone Willingham’s recruits.
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You couldn’t be more wrong about the Irish or about Charlie Weis (Weiss?).
First, everyone closely associated with the program has been dreading the 2007 campaign. The present Junior and Senior classes represent the dregs of the Willingham recruiting debacle. Together they comprise only a handful of players who have increasingly been beaten out for playing time by underclassmen.
Second, while Notre Dame should always have an experienced offensive line composed of physically developed, technically skilled upperclassmen, there simply isn’t such a full slate this year.
Where the offensive line is deficient, the running game suffers and a true freshman quarterback (Claussen was in high school this time last year) couldn’t possibly read the defense (center Dan Stevenson did this through game five), feel the blitz, and get off his reads with no time in the pocket.
Where the offense goes three and out consistently, an otherwise competent defense gets tired in the fourth quarter and remember, we have the same recruiting deficiencies on our defensive line too.
And as far as Weis winning with Willingham’s talent is concerned, Brady Quinn was developed into the marvel he was by Weis (who also developed Tom Brady and even Vinnie Testeverde into winning QB’s). And it turns out that Chauncey (Willingham’s AKA) didn’t even recruit Quinn seriously.
At the end of the day Willingham was a terrible Saturday coach and the worst recruiter ever. His last two classes combined were not top 25 material and Charlie is on his way to the number one class this year – and this despite the abyssmal display on the field. Mark my words, Charlie will have a better record than Chauncey by this years end.
Weis does need to adjust his coaching to college and needs to practice with pads in the Fall. He tends to out-scheme himself, but he will compete for the Sears Trophy in 2009 and Claussen will seriously contend for the Heisman before he graduates.
For all you get right, I can’t understand why you missed this one so badly. Perhaps it’s because your heart really belongs to baseball ;-).
And check this rejoinder to the Slate.com article.