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Football: Charlie in charge

Bill Brink | Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One more week of the head honcho calling the plays. Irish coach Charlie Weis said in his Tuesday press conference he would hold onto the call sheet for the Syracuse game.

Weis said offensive coordinator Mike Haywood will miss practice for personal reasons, so Weis will retain play-calling duties.

“And with that being said, followed up by a short week next week, for the rest of the regular season I will be handling the play calling on offense,” Weis said.

Calling plays against Navy, Weis said, was comfortable for him. He felt he could tinker with the game plan at halftime and adjust any necessary problems.

“I think that probably the thing that was easiest thing for me to do is to come in at halftime and be able to whittle through the game plan and get back to what we needed to do to win the game,” Weis said. “And I think when you’re not involved in that whole process and all the play-calling, that’s a much more difficult test to do than when you’re actually involved in the play-calling.”

He said the offensive staff assisted him, but being involved with the game plan was the key for Weis’ halftime adjustments.

“I think that more than anything else the biggest comfort zone was being able to, because we were involved with the whole process, be able to tweak some things at halftime to kind of get it right,” Weis said.

Weis dismissed the notion that Syracuse could be a trap game – it is the last game for the seniors, and there are other reasons to play well.

“I think the last home game could hardly ever be put in that category,” Weis said. “It wouldn’t make a difference who you were playing. I think there’s still going to be a ton of reason to play well, a ton of reasons. But most importantly, because it’s the last one for those seniors.”

Weis did say, however, that he wanted to get past Syracuse because the team faces a short week with the players entering Thanksgiving break before they play USC on Nov. 29.

The knees of receiver Michael Floyd and linebacker Brian Smith, Weis said, are “too loose” to practice on. The two will have magnetic resonance imaging scans to determine the extent of the damage. In Floyd’s absence, Weis said, Duval Kamara, Robby Parris and David Grimes, who is now healthy, will have to step up.

“So if you look at that combination of guys, I think that with those four front line guys playing, I think that, hey, we’ll miss Michael,” Weis said. “Just like we’ll miss Brian. We’ll miss those guys, but I think I feel pretty confident that the players we’re putting in there will play well.”

Notes:

u In Brian Smith’s absence, linebacker Toryan Smith will continue to play. Steve Quinn and Scott Smith will also see playing time.