All the Right Moves

No matter what you think of Charlie, you have to give him credit for self-awareness and a willingness re-examine his role and make hard decisions. For example, the DCE in me loves the move of Ryan and Richardson to defensive end. Ryan just didn’t have the speed to make a difference at linebacker. He’ll now have a chance to bulk up and use relative speed to his advantage. It may be another year before he has the size to be truly effective at DE. Ryan could be one of those guys who emerges in his final year. Of course, NDNation readers wanted to DCE Ryan last year. Here’s Charlie from this press conference:

Also, you’ll notice Morrice Richardson and John Ryan for that matter, even though he’s not practicing, you’ll notice both these guys are now on their way to 260 and rising. They both are in the high 250s and we have moved them in the off-season from outside linebacker positions to defensive end positions and one of their biggest tasks in the off-season to continue getting bigger, slowly, methodically where we are not trying to gain too much weight too fast; to try to get them closer to the 260 to 270 range by the time we kick off in September, which is what our goal with both these players as they have been transitioned to having their hand up to having their hand down on a full-time basis.

Many an NDNation reader had commented that Sam Young was a better right tackle than left, but Weis revealed that Young played last year with a bum right wrist necessitating putting Young at the left tackle spot. This year he’s moving to right tackle:

The other thing with Sam, for over a year now we have dealt with a right wrist problem from his freshman year, and that’s the main reason why we moved him last year from the right side to the left side it he couldn’t block. He couldn’t punch anyone with his right hand coming off the edge on the right side. So therefore, we had to move him over to the left side. Well, now, that wrist is recovered which will answer one of your questions, which is why you see Sam Young over right tackles because he’s got his right wrist back and that’s where we project him to be.

Of course, nothing was more heartening that listening to Weis describe the need to get back to fundamentals, which hopefully means that the “we’re going to out scheme everybody” philosophy is taking a back seat to good ole fashion blocking and tackling. Depth and experience on the offensive line are a welcome change. If you remember, last year we had to have the same offensive linemen play for both teams in the Blue-Gold game. That was an obvious sign we were in for a rough year. We were so short on bodies, we couldn’t even field a two-deep:

We have never been able to line up too deep and with guys that are actually contenders for the starters… well, we are going to spend, first of all, the offensive line, one of the areas that we’ve identified is we are going to spend a lot more time with them away from the group emphasizing fundamentals and techniques that we felt that needed one of the greatest areas of improvement, and you can’t really improve unless you allocate the time. So that’s one of the things we are going to do.

Objectives going into the spring. The obvious objective that everyone could see is we need to improve fundamentally and technically across the board. There’s one position that’s exempt from that which is, you know, once again, not to be redundant but just stating the obvious.

Paddy Mullen has moved to nose tackle (because he seemingly ate his way out of defensive end?) Looks like he’s about to give birth to Paddy Jr. on Irish Eyes. Didn’t he arrive with 4.7 speed?

You’ll see a couple of guys that are in phenomenal shape as we go into this off-season. Now I can’t say that for everyone but citing a couple examples, it would be very clear and obvious to everyone.

Weis is at least working on special teams. I offer without comment:

Obviously with Michael (Haywood) and the offensive staff, me being more hands off on the offense, although I obviously still stay involved, but being more hands-off the operation of the offense will generally be a change. On special teams, probably the question that everyone was asked the most was about Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech. Due to scheduling conflicts he wasn’t able to have us there and we are going on April 1. So next Tuesday is the day that we will be spending time, both myself and (special teams coordinator) Brian (Polian) will be with Coach Beamer and his staff on Tuesday.

If anyone doesn’t get why Weis is more beloved than his predecessors, despite his lack of tact at times, you can find it here:

Honorary coaches for the spring game. Did something a little bit different this year. I have a representative from the last six decades as honorary coaches, so we have one from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s.

From Pass Right, to the Navy Salute, Weis gets what Notre Dame means and it appears he’s also getting a handle on the transition from on the job training to experienced head coach. Weis made a decisive move in replacing Minter with Brown and now Tenuta, he’s changed his offense, he’s changed his relationship philosophy and now he seems to be making all the right moves.

Time may yet prove him wrong, but after two BCS games, back to back top recruiting classes and a willingness to make soul searching decisions… it’s obvious he’s committed to doing everything within his power to make Notre Dame an elite team again.

Anyone would have reservations after last season (and I still have many,) but given what he had to work with and the changes he’s made, he deserves the benefit of the doubt even from fans who have seemingly made up their minds.

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One Response to “All the Right Moves”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, It is apparent that Charlie is learning from past mistakes..However, my big question is whether these changes will help us block and tackle better..

    If we are going to show much improvement, we have to make huge strides in controlling the line of scrimmage..on both sides of the ball..
    TC’69

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