It’s Clausen

We were told (through multiple sources) that Clausen wouldn’t be ready until Michigan, so this is only a surprise in that Clausen was cleared a week early. It’s clear from Charlie’s press conference that Clausen had the starting job at the end of spring and would have likely had the starting job if he didn’t have surgery.

Q. The decision about Jimmy, was that an easy one, or how much deliberation did you have?

COACH Charlie Weis: At the end of the spring, he was the leader of the competition at the end of the spring. And then, you know, after the spring, he had that spur taken off and then he rehabbed his way to, you know, just as we had felt, that he was going to be ready to throw full speed by September 1. But he wasn’t ready to do everything on a daily basis, you know, until September 1.

So we got kind of got in that gray area where we really couldn’t consider him as the starter for the opening game.

Q. Would it be fair to say if he was healthy the whole time, would he have started last week then?

COACH Charlie Weis: That’s potentially the case. Still you don’t know how they are going to show up in training camp because depth charts change from the end of training camp to the start of the season. So I don’t know the answer to that question because, you know, could have been Demetrius; could have been Evan. All depends how things go in training camp. But in training camp, he didn’t do enough. He didn’t/couldn’t do enough to really be in contention for that first team.

Q. In terms of Jimmy, you said at the end of spring, he was your No. 1. What was it in the spring that you saw in him that led you to that conclusion, and also this fall?

COACH Charlie Weis: Well, it wasn’t from the fall. What I said is at the end of the spring, because, and really in the fall, I think that Demetrius and Evan, you know, were doing more than he was doing. So he really was a distant third until he got ready where he could throw the ball. I’m not going to play a quarterback that can’t do everything, so I didn’t.

I think what we felt, at the end of spring, we took every throw by every player, and running the operation and everything we do, as we evaluated as a staff, the nudge would have gone to him at that time.

But that’s only part of the process. You know, that’s spring. That’s why you go to training camp and depth charts change in training camp.

Q. What are the things that you’ve seen that you’ve been pleased with that pushes him to No. 1?

COACH Charlie Weis: The same things that we saw in the spring. You know, managing the team, his arm’s back to full go, managing the team; I think he gives us the best chance of winning.

Now working back to the Georgia Tech game: Weis thought Jones gave us a better chance to win that game over Sharpley and changed the game plan to play to Jones’s strengths. Didn’t work out, but I’m not sure you can fault Weis’s thinking going into the game. You can fault the ‘execution.’ IrishinScranton broke down the sacks in painful bites.

Speaking of Clausen, below are Clausen’s first practices.


17 Responses to “It’s Clausen”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s the thing that the media does not understand. The reason Willingham got canned was NOT because of his record but rather his absolute ineptitude in the recruiting process. Right now, Notre Dame is paying the price for Willingham’s piss poor job with top high school prospects. As a senior last year, I noticed that there was a swagger on campus with the football players that I hadn’t seen before… and it seemed like the abundance of confidence was from the seniors and freshman. The talent ‘hole’ between those two classes last year was staggering (and OBVIOUS), and it should be no surprise that we are struggling (even as bad as we did on Saturday). Weiss is not a magician. He knows that to have the best chance of winning, great athletes with game experience must be on the field, and that is why he spends so much time recruiting! Thank God for Weiss… we have the great athletes (Just think of Willingham was still there… There would be no hope). Now we just need them to get bigger, stronger, faster, and more experienced! Its best to just be optimistic about the future of ND football… for those as passionate about Irish football as me, it will do wonders for your health.

  2. edward Says:

    Anonymous has ir right…give these guys time, and we’ll be pleasantly surprised. All that said, Saturday was pathetic. Attribute that to the coaches EXPECTING the players to show rather than demanding it…the “kinder, gentler Weis” of this Spring. Now, by Michigan, we’ll see if this team has character. If they do, they’ll show up.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I’m a big Notre Dame fan, but I can even see this is going to be a weak season. However, giving Weis another year to work with Clausen and other recruits, I know we’ll have a great year. Maybe we can even get a National Championship out of it.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’m a big Notre Dame fan, but I can even see this is going to be a weak season. However, giving Weis another year to work with Clausen and other recruits, I know we’ll have a great year. Maybe we can even get a National Championship out of it.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    no doubt we are lacking talent in the upper class but there are a bunch of schools doing quite well with fresh and soph players playing big roles. i am not asking for a magician but charlie should have enough to work with to keep the team from getting killed by 30 at home.

  6. ND Papa Says:

    They could play Joe Montana in his prime and he wouldn’t win with the O-line that played on Saturday.

    Good luck Jimmy — I hope the fans realize that your only hope if you pass is to get rid of the ball in 2 seconds to your primary– no time to see a secondary receivers. 9 sacks is an embarrassment and would never win a game.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Watching that video, someone has to do something with his mouth piece. One play, he didn’t even have it in. With the ND luck, it’ll be a penalty at PsU. At least he didn’t do like Rice, and line up under the guard his first play from scrimmage.

    good thing about Clausen is.. he’ll throw it away if need be, he has a good arm, and he has great pocket presence for a young guy. They’ll need positive yards on 1st down to take the pressure off, and he’s gonna have to ‘look off’ that 1st receiver. Hope he doesn’t get killed, because they’re gonna come after him. Good time to go to 4:30 mass this Sat.

    Wish the media guys would quit asking about the QB anyway, it’s just one position. Defense wins championships.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    amen brother. I am tired of hearing these talking heads talk about where Losingham was vs where weis is at the same point. There are things I do not care for in Weis (#1 talks too much), but he is a strong leader and as he has shown to be a relentless recruiter. Not sure he is the genius some make him out to be, but He is an ND guy, he works harder than anyone, and I hope he is with us a long time.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous, please spell the coach’s name with one “s”. I can understand non-fans doing that to anger us Irish fans, but if you were a student, wouldn’t you have picked that up? Sorry to pick.

    Go Irish!

  10. Mike Says:

    Amen and Hallelujah!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Hey anonymous, you’d gain more respect if you knew who the head coach actually was (Weis, not Weiss). You bring up a few valid points, but losing 33-3 is not acceptable in a home opener if you’re a top-tier program. There are a few more changes that need to be made before this team starts down the right path (I love Travis Thomas, but he’s not the best running back on the team). Blaming everything on Willingham is an excuse, not a reason. GT beat ND on execution, which goes back to coaching, not talent. The least talented O line in the world shouldn’t give up nine sacks. Weis is good, no doubt, but he shoulders some of the blame as he accepts after every defeat.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Weis won’t say it, but when you suffer in recruiting – regardless of who is to blame – for 2-3 years, its going to catch up to you. Tradition never graduates but talent does. And when you have a significant drop off in talent for any period of time, you will be forced into rebuilding years. Or at least parts of seasons. Keep in mind, as green as we are now, there’s a very good chance that we can gel and the young talent will assert itself on the field. It can happen anytime this season. Perhaps with some fire at the QB position – I don’t expect Clausen is going into the PSU game hoping to keep it respectable: he wants to WIN – the rest of the team will follow suit.

    We have to rebuild, no matter what anyone says. But that doesn’t mean it has to take a whole season…

  13. IrishGlory Says:

    I am really looking forward to watching Clausen this weekend against Penn State. For a freshman, he has tremendous poise and his talent is undeniable. I am realistic that this year will likely be a struggle for him and the team, but the benefits will be tremendous for his growth. Take a look at Matt Stafford of Georgia. He really struggled last year as a freshman, but he looks like a totally different guy this year. I think that is a very useful comparison.

  14. Anonymous Says:


  15. Anonymous Says:

    I hate to be that guy, but can people please learn to spell our coaches name correctly. WEIS!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    “I’m not going to play a quarterback that can’t do everything, so I didn’t.”

    It was obvious that DJ could not do everything and yet he started. The only issue I had was that it seemed that Weiss knew that DJ could not throw the ball; he must have known that GT was going to force him to throw…At least I hope he knew.

    Anyway it is over…let’s learn from it…onward and upward

    Go Irish!!!!!!!!!

    Charlie, I still love ya El Guapo

  17. Anonymous Says:

    i love the idea of starting Jimmy Clausen. i remember watching Brady Quinn’s first start against Purdue his freshman year. yeah, i know ND lost that game, but i remember the commentator saying something like, “The experience Brady Quinn is getting today, will make him a better quarterback.” i think the same can be said about Clausen. hopefully with Jimmy starting, it’ll open the door for other freshman, like Allen, Tate Hughes and Kamara.

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