FOOTBALL: Hoyte, Quinn new captains
Bobby Griffin | Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Irish coach Charlie Weis named Brady Quinn and Brandon Hoyte the 2005 Notre Dame football captains Tuesday, a system different from the one the Irish were accustomed to in previous years.
Under former coach Tyrone Willingham, captains were named on a game-by-game basis. This season, Quinn will be the Irish offensive captain and Hoyte will be the defensive captain for the entire year – positions voted on by the Notre Dame players.
In addition, there will be a rotating special teams captain. Whoever stands out the most to the Notre Dame coaching staff in a given game will be the special teams captain for the following week.
“When you first come in here, especially when you come in here new – but it’s true every year – I think it’s really important to understand that on Saturdays coaches aren’t out on the field,” Weis said.
“It really comes down to players calling the situation on the field and going ahead and executing. I think that it’s really important to me personally that we have our leaders of our team who have risen to the position of leaders on our team kind of take some of that responsibility on their own shoulders.”
Brandon Hoyte was honored to receive the captain position, expressing how much it means to him personally.
“First and foremost, it’s just a privilege,” Hoyte said. “It’s something that every kid who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame wishes that he can achieve, and I’m just very fortunate to be put in this situation.”
Quinn echoed Hoyte’s sentiments.
“I don’t think there is a bigger honor [than] when your peers, people around you, are able to put you in a position where you are in a leadership role,” Quinn said. “It’s truly an honor, and I’m just thankful for the guys on our team.”
Weis also introduced another new institution, which he referred to as a leadership committee. Notre Dame players selected these individuals on a position-by-position basis.
Each position will have a representative on the leadership committee in order to avoid on and off-field feuds.
“Basically the way I explain it to the team is that sometimes there is gripe that they are afraid to come to me with,” Weis said.
“It gives our players an opportunity to handle a lot of those things themselves, and when an issue becomes big enough they can come through the leadership committee, through the captains, and get to me, and get those things taken care of.”
On the offensive side, Quinn will double up his duties representing the quarterbacks as well as the entire offense.
Rashon Powers-Neal will represent the running backs, Rhema McKnight the receivers, Anthony Fasano the tight ends and Dan Stevenson the offensive line.
On defense, Victor Abiamiri will represent the defensive line, Corey Mays the linebackers and Tom Zbikowski the defensive secondary.
Kicker D.J. Fitzpatrick will represent special teams.
* Coach Weis told an interesting story after practice Tuesday about an important lesson he learned from Phil Simms while coaching the New York Giants in the 1991 season.
The Giants were coming off a Super Bowl victory, and there was a quarterback controversy between Phil Simms, the Giants poster boy of the 1980’s, and Jeff Hostetler, the backup quarterback who filled in for an injured Simms and won the Super Bowl.
The Giants were struggling early in the year, and Weis approached Simms, asking him to step up and be a team leader despite losing the job to his one-time back up.
“[Simms] said, ‘Charlie, let me teach you a lesson. You can’t lead when you’re not playing.’ And I thought that was a valuable lesson that he had told me,” Weis said. “Very few people can assume that responsibility.”
* After practice Tuesday, coach Weis took a shot at wide receiver Maurice Stovall, making fun of himself in the process.
“Lose 20 pounds,” Weis said to Stovall. “I want to be the only fat guy here.”