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Football: Option prompts changes in practice

Mike Gilloon | Thursday, November 10, 2005

As one of the only teams in college football that runs the option offense, Navy is causing Irish coach Charlie Weis to shake up his practice routine.

“It’s been interesting because we’ve had to spend a lot of time coaching the show team here in the last few days, which is a little bit unusual,” Weis said.

Navy quarterback Lamar Owens has the option of handing off to his fullback, pitching to the running back or keeping the ball and turning the corner – an attack Weis has been trying to re-create in practice with his team this week.

“I know you put up cards and everyone tries to simulate the offense and defense of the opponents you’re going against, but we’ve spent some extra time and actually moved some bodies around to create a better picture so that our guys have a more realistic view of what we’re going against,” he said.

Weis and the Irish are going against a rushing offense rated No. 2 in the nation that averages 282.6 yards per game and 28 touchdowns on the season.

But while the Irish are worried about stopping the Midshipmen’s attack, Navy coach Paul Johnson is also interested in how the first-year Notre Dame coaching staff will try to stop his squad.

“I don’t expect they will play exactly the way the last staff did,” Johnson said. “We don’t play the way the last staff did. Nobody really does. They will have their own take on [the option].”

Notes:

u Notre Dame and adidas announced a new agreement Wednesday that ensures the athletic apparel maker will outfit all Irish varsity sports through the year 2014.

The deal is worth “in excess” of $60 million over the next ten years, according to a release by the Notre Dame athletic department.

“Quite simply, we couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with adidas – both what has gone before and what’s ahead,” Notre Dame athletic department director Kevin White said in the release.

Adidas began its relationship with the University in 1997 by supplying “footwear for all Notre Dame teams and apparel for many Irish teams.” Since 2001, almost all Irish athletic uniforms have been made by adidas.

u Irish senior linebacker and defensive captain Brandon Hoyte was announced Wednesday as a semifinalist for the Lott Trophy, which honors the “Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year” and is given out annually by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. The foundation, based in Newport Beach, Calif. uses the trophy to honor a player for both his performance both on and off the field.

Hoyte maintains a 3.35 grade point average while leading the Irish defense with 61 tackles on the season.

u Former Notre Dame athletic director Mike Wadsworth, who died in 2004, will be honored at a ceremony Saturday dedicating a plaque on the plaza north of Notre Dame Stadium. Wadsworth, who played football for the Irish from 1963-65, will be honored for his accomplishments during his tenure as athletic director from 1995-2000.