Monday, August 07, 2006


Lots of Notre Dame stuff today...

1) RB Travis Thomas switching to linebacker

Thomas, though, hasn't given up the idea of running the ball. He wants to start as a linebacker and still carry the ball as a tailback.

"That's absolutely the vision," he said. "It's something I've been working toward all this summer. Playing offense is the love of my life. I love running the ball."

Weis said he will evaluate the move after about a week.

"I'm interested just like you to see what this project looks like," Weis said.

2) Easy bein' green by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports

“National championship,” said quarterback Brady Quinn, the school’s Heisman Trophy candidate. “That’s the only thing we are thinking about.”

Notre Dame is bold and back in every conceivable way, not just as a team capable of winning it all but also as a program that has shed its woe-is-me skin and is full of the swagger missing since Lou Holtz was stomping the South Bend sidelines.

And college football is better for it. College football always is better when Notre Dame is Notre Dame.

This rebirth is the work of Weis, the second-year coach who overnight didn’t just turn the Notre Dame offense into a potent, powerful force but who also restored the appropriate arrogance that makes people either love, hate, love to hate or hate to love the Irish.

“I think that good or bad, we are judged … like we almost have an attitude, like we are holier than thou, which we certainly are not,” said Weis, who returns 16 starters from a team that went 9-3 last season.

3) Of Weis and Men: Demanding ND Coach Returns Fight to Irish by Lenn Robbins, NY Post

For the first time since the Lou Holtz era, Notre Dame also has a coach that affords no middle ground. Trenton-born Charlie Weis is a Jersey guy to the core, which means he's brutally honest, unflinchingly confident and as abrasive as sandpaper on sunburned skin.

"I try use the analogy that growing up being a Yankees fan I always found nationally, wherever you went, people had an opinion on the Yankees," said Weis. "You know they either liked them or they disliked them.

"I think that's very similar in its own vein to what we have to deal with. We're just trying to do things right. I would like to think people respect us for the way we run the program. Whether you like us or not is not really relevant."

So much for popularity contests. When asked prior to spring football who would back-up quarterback Brady Quinn, Weis said the job was up for grabs with Demetrius Jones, Zach Frazer and Evan Sharpley doing the reaching. Many coaches would coddle players vying for such a key position. Not Weis.

"Come August, I don't have time to worry about it," he said. "And I'm not here to make friends."

Weis has made admirers, if not friends, after one season in South Bend. He took over a team with a predictable offense, soft personnel and all the confidence of a squirrel stranded without a tree.

Notre Dame went 9-3, including a thrilling loss to USC in the best college football game of the season. That has propelled the Irish to the Top 10 in most preseason polls. Many coaches would be scrambling to restrain such expectations. Not Weis.

He told his players in the spring that their No.1 objective was to raise expectations. That message hadn't changed as Notre Dame begins spring practice today.

"We don't hide from anything here," said defensive coordinator Rick Minter. "Not under Charlie. You can't be afraid to face great challenges."

Notre Dame players felt Weis' wrath when they didn't meet the challenge. After an uninspired 34-10 win over Syracuse, Weis told his players about life on the Jersey shore. "He said, 'You don't put one toe in the ocean to find out if it's cold,'" said defensive tackle Derek Landri. "'You jump in with two feet.' The guy is nasty."

Other blogs reporting: Da Fighting Irish of ND, The Nittany Line,

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