Notre Dame coach Weis looks to get involved in more play calling

Updated: November 10, 2008, 1:33 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Coach Charlie Weis plans to take a more active role with the Notre Dame offense following a 17-0 loss to Boston College.

He's not yet sure exactly what the role will be, although he strongly hinted he could get more involved in play calling -- a role he gave up before the season in an effort to become more of a coach to the entire team.

"I'm trying to do this head coach thing where you kind of delegate. But I think that when there's a problem and it's an area where you believe that you can be part of the answer, I think you'd better go help," he said Sunday evening.

Weis was hired as the coach of Notre Dame based on his reputation as the play-caller for the New England Patriots after he helped to lead them to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.

The Irish struggled mightily on offense in the loss to the Eagles on Saturday night. The Irish offense was called for holding on the second play of the first drive, again for holding on the first play of the third drive, then Jimmy Clausen threw two interceptions on the next three possessions.

Overall, the Irish offense looked inept. The running game managed just 66 yards on 21 carries and Clausen completed 26 of 46 passes for 226 yards and four interceptions, double his previous game-high. Part of the reason for Clausen's bad play was he wasn't feeling well, Weis said.

Weis planned to meet with his offensive staff Sunday night to discuss what role he will take with the offense, saying if he is going to be more active calling plays and game planning it would change what he would be doing Monday.

Weis said he wouldn't base his decision solely on the Irish being shut out against Boston College, but also Notre Dame managing just 146 yards total offense and one touchdown in the second half and four overtimes in losing to Pittsburgh a week earlier.

The two straight losses leave the Irish (5-4) a victory shy of being bowl eligible heading into Saturday's game at Baltimore against Navy (6-3), a team that lost an NCAA-record 43 straight to Notre Dame before winning 46-44 in three overtimes last year.

That game, along with Notre Dame finishing 3-9 last season, had many fans questioning whether Weis was the right coach for the Irish. The loss to BC revived that talk about Weis, who has a career record of 27-19, a .587 winning percentage. That's only slightly better than the .583 winning percentage his two predecessors, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie, both at .583, had when they were fired -- Davie after five seasons and Willingham after three.

Weis said following the loss to BC that he knew there would be fans critical of the job he is doing.

"I'm the head coach so ultimately criticism always comes this way," he said.

Weis was reminded Sunday about how when he was introduced as the new Notre Dame coach on Dec. 13, 2004, that he talked about how he believed because of his play-calling ability he would have a schematic advantage over opponents.

"It comes down to X's and O's. To be honest with you, when it gets to that point, I think that's when we have the greatest advantage," he said. "I think when it comes down to X's and O's, if it comes down to everything being equal and it's X's and O's, I have to believe we're going to win most of the time. I have to believe that."

When asked about the quote on Sunday, Weis responded: "That was four years ago. It was from here to eternity."

Weis was then asked whether he regretted saying it and whether he still believed it.

"I think that as you evolve into the world of college football, there's many learning experiences you go through. Many. And I'd be remiss to not say that," he said. "That being said, as the pieces of the puzzle keep on coming together, there comes a time when all those pieces of the puzzle seem to fit and mesh just right, and when that happens, I'll let you know."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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