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Student critics held accountable

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Nov. 18, ND students wrote a letter holding “Weis Accountable.” I am writing to hold these students accountable. Too many times people make uninformed criticisms. Now I’m not going to write and say that Weis has always made the best decisions, but some of the examples given in the students’ letter are simply wrong.

First, the Navy game was no debacle. Notre Dame won. The QB-read sneak on 3rd and 4 is not something that is on Weis. Jimmy Clausen made that call. Yes, it’s an option in an offense that puts a lot of decision-making on the QB’s head, but if Jimmy makes the wrong decision, you can’t blame Weis. That was on Jimmy.

The criticism put on Weis on using the Wildcat formation was that Tate isn’t a passer. The Wildcat isn’t designed to have a passing threat. Pitt ran it flawlessly against ND with a great runner that has no ability to throw. The point is to get the ball quickly into the hands of a running playmaker.

A second criticism that lacks substance. The students criticize our HC trying to get some second-string guys experience. I bet they’re the same people that said Weis was ‘classless’ two years ago when he kept the starters in to close out Navy. And probably the same people that last year said the reason we were struggling was because Weis never played the backups during the prior year. Folks, you can’t have it both ways. This was the right call – it’s up to the players to play. I will agree with the fourth and third call. The players have to go get those onside kicks. The team has practiced those plays, the players just didn’t execute and attack. The Letter was supposed to be about decision-making by Weis, and this point comes out of left field and is pretty much irrelevant. Players need to make plays. In general, Weis hasn’t been perfect. I agree that there have been decisions that made me scratch my head and wonder where the heck the guy is coming from (your Navy field-goal example in ’07 is one). But he’s a first-time HC, and he’s bound to make some mistakes. He’s shown that he’s willing to learn from those mistakes, and try to get better. Folks love to play armchair QB/critic, and it’s really easy to do so. Weis isn’t perfect, but he’s getting this team back on track, and it’s about time that the fans show a little patience. Year four in the Weis Era isn’t a typical Year four when you deal with something like we had in Year three. Plus, results are there. They may not be the prettiest results, but the Irish are a likely 7-5 and bowl-bound after a 3-9 year, with all five losses coming to Top 25 team. Really though, my point is this: if you’re going to criticize, let’s at least do so accurately.

John Tabis

alumn

class of 00

Nov. 13