The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



ND FOOTBALL: Making some noise

Heather VanHoegarden | Wednesday, September 7, 2005

After Saturday’s 42-21 win over then-No. 23 Pittsburgh on the road, the Irish earned a spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. They are ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today poll.

However, Irish coach Charlie Weis isn’t getting caught up in the rankings after only one game and a matchup with No. 3 Michigan on the horizon for Saturday.

“We’ve played one game and we played fairly well, so it warrants some consideration,” Weis said. “I think it’s great for our players to get some respect for how they play, but it all comes down to how we play this week. We’ll see where we’re rated after we play Michigan. The only issue at hand is Michigan.”

Talking to Tommy

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr coached New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four years at Michigan from 1995-99. Weis coached Brady for four years as the offensive coordinator of the Patriots. However, although Brady told the Boston Herald Monday that he would be pulling for his alma mater, Weis is not concerned about his former protégé.

“I talked to Tommy multiple times last week and I think that right now he’s just worried about the Raiders,” Weis said of Brady, who plays in his season opener for the Patriots Thursday night. “I don’t think he’s spending a lot of time talking to anyone from Michigan or Notre Dame right now. He’s just concerned about beating the Raiders Thursday night. And I know Tommy, and I can promise you that’s what I’m doing.”

And Weis said that through Brady, he has gotten to know head coach Lloyd Carr.

“I have an affinity towards Michigan through my relationship with Tommy over my years with the Patriots and I’ve grown a great respect for Coach Carr and his staff,” Weis said.

Bowman speaks to Irish

NHL coach Scotty Bowman, who holds the NHL records for wins and winning percentage, spoke to the Irish Tuesday for about five minutes. He was in town to be the keynote speaker at Notre Dame hockey’s “Drop the Puck” dinner Tuesday night.

“It was a great experience,” running back Darius Walker said. “He’s a wonderful coach and his track record speaks for itself.”

Instant replay thoughts

Weis said Tuesday that after reviewing the game tape he didn’t have any big gripes with the use of instant reply, although he thought Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko’s fumble shouldn’t have been overturned via replay.

“I thought that most of the calls were right,” Weis said. “The only one that I thought was close, I thought the one play was a fumble. But I could be wrong – it was close. I thought instant replay for the most part was correct. I thought the officiating for the most part was right on. I have no complaints.”

Instant replay is different in college, as coaches do not have the ability to challenge a play as they do in the NFL.

“You take the pressure off the coaches [in college],” Weis said. “I’d like to see it where the pressure is on the coaches, rather than waiting for an official upstairs [to decide if a play is reviewed].”

Weis and Carr

The relationship between the two head coaches is one that dates back to when Weis was an assistant coach under Bill Parcells with the New York Giants and New York Jets.

“I have a lot of respect for the whole staff and their associate head coach Fred Jackson is a very close friend of mine. He’s a friend of mine come Sunday, enemy until then,” Weis said.

Carr invited Weis to speak at his spring coaching clinic a few years ago as well.

“I’ve known Charlie quite a while,” Carr said. “We had him in here, as a matter of fact, a couple years ago to speak at our [coaching] clinic. I like him, and I have a lot of respect for him.”