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Weis: We didn’t come here to be competitive

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, January 2, 2007

NEW ORLEANS – In between posing for pictures with Sugar Bowl suits and answering questions about his team’s recent children’s hospital visit, Charlie Weis reminded everyone Tuesday morning that Notre Dame isn’t in New Orleans for public relations. The Irish intend to win.

“Time out here,” said a visibly annoyed Weis in response to a reporter questioning how he felt Notre Dame could be “competitive” in Wednesday night’s game against LSU. “We didn’t come here to be competitive. We came to win the game.”

About a touchdown underdog in Las Vegas, the perceived lack of speed on the Irish sidelines was a topic of conversation during back-to-back press conferences with Weis and the Tigers’ Les Miles.

Miles echoed earlier statements he’s made this week, complimenting Notre Dame on both sides of the ball and anticipating a difficult game.

Weis wasn’t quite so diplomatic. After several questions from reporters implying that Notre Dame doesn’t have the talent to match up with the Tigers, he said he had plenty of motivational material for the Irish.

“The bulletin board is full,” he said with a smirk. “But the bottom line is when you go out there and kick it off you are going to be knocking each other in the mouth and that motivation stuff doesn’t last very long.”

A Very Brady Phone Call

Irish quarterback Brady Quinn discussed in interviews this week several recent phone conversations he’s had with New England Patriots quarterback and Weis protégé Tom Brady.

“I set [the phone calls] up,” Weis said. “I think Tommy is someone Brady will always be able to turn to as a person for advice. I can think of a lot worse people for Brady Quinn to be going to than Tommy Brady.”

‘Our team really needs to win this game’

Calling Notre Dame’s senior class a “special group,” Weis said the Sugar Bowl is a must-win game.

“Our team really needs to win this game,” he said. “Not just wants to win this game, needs to win this game. My only need to win this game is not only for the whole University … but we need to win this for the guys walking out the door. … I’ve only been in college a couple of years, but I can’t imagine a group of guys I like more than this team right here.”

Odds and ends

Notre Dame and LSU will each hold closed practices today in New Orleans. Sugar Bowl coverage is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST on FOX with kickoff at approximately 7:30.