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Charlie Weis Conference Call Transcript

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CW: How are you doing? Go ahead.

Q: On the sideline altercation when you got knocked down, were you shocked and how are you feeling?

CW: I was actually mad at my second and third quarterbacks for allowing that to happen. I let them know that yesterday. I didn't understand why they had rain ponchos on and their hands were in their pockets, rather than taking care of their offensive coordinator and conditioning coach. Actually it was an uneventful thing and I was happy to be able to pop right back up.

Q: You have no fear or anything; you are not afraid of being on that sideline?

CW: Oh, not at all. It's not a factor. The head coach and I had long conversations before we did it. I wouldn't be down there if those thoughts even were entering in my mind.

Q: But those guys are supposed to help you out a little bit?

CW: I tell you what, they're useless. (Damon) Huard and (Rohan) Davey just in case. H-U-A…..

Q: You seem to be striking fear into the other sideline. How do you manage to put in so many things (plays) but yet your guys keep them all straight?

CW: Well first of all let me answer that in two parts. When you're putting in a whole offensive scheme, which started three years ago, {inaudible} of ingredients. First of all, you need to have good assistant coaches to be able to do that. I've known Dante (Scarnecchia) for a long time. He's the foundation of our offensive line. Jeff Davidson and Ivan Fears, Brian Daboll and even Nick Caserio our quality control guy, those guys do such a good job implementing this stuff that we do, that besides brainstorming between those guys and the head coach and myself, there's a lot of carryover from week to week. Sometimes what looks like an awful lot of stuff that we're putting in, there's an inventory of things that we carry with us. There's things that we might put in during a game that isn't even part of the game plan if we feel that we can exploit somebody. Just {inaudible} the players and the coaches {inaudible} there on the sideline can go right and put something in and let's go after them. So the first part is the coaches. The second part is the players being able to understand the system starting with the quarterback. Who in a short period of time, his greatest strength is his retention of the system and knowing how to apply it on the field. I think that starting with him and right through the lineman and the skill guys. There's no time that we can't get something done on the sideline if we don't have it right, 'ok we can fix it and get it straightened out', that allows you to make plays on the field.

Q: Coach have you ever had a quarterback who has retained things so easily and applied them so efficiently?

CW: Not one that was as young as he is. I've dealt with a lot of experienced guys that through their time experienced a lot of things. But I think that this is the first time I've been with a guy that is this young, that picked it up this quickly.

Q: The players really seem to look forward to getting the game plan. Can you talk about that?

CW: That's because we make sure there is newness each week. When they come in, there's never a stagnant game plan. We're about halfway or a third of the way through the first and second down game plan. There's already things that they're going to be shocked when they come in, yet a lone you guys being shocked. They're going to come in and say 'oh that's pretty cool'. Because one of the things with players, I think that if you're stagnant with game plans, they're going to think that the coaches will let them down and didn't spend their time preparing especially for a new opponent like Kansas City. I think that they look forward to see, not only who we're going against but how we're going to try to attack them.

Q: In fairness, it sounds simple but you see teams that can't do that, they can't assimilate that much stuff.

CW: Therein goes the credit to the players. I talked about the coaches before. We think that we have a group of mentally sharp players. The sharper your players are mentally, forget about physical attributes, the sharper they are mentally the easier it is to do things like that.

Q: Could you talk about what you see as the obvious difference in the firepower that you have at this point of the season versus where you were early last season when Charles Johnson was your third receiver?

CW: No disrespect to Charles, Terry (Glenn) and those other guys that were in and out throughout the year. There's two things that have happened, well actually make that four things. One is the development of the offensive line and a lot of times the big guys are the last guys to get mentioned. But the cohesiveness of the group we have now makes it a lot easier. There's the development of the quarterback. Which last year, at this time Drew (Bledsoe) had just got hurt in the second game and boom we're throwing in a guy with relatively no experience. Three is, who is going to play at running back? Last year at this time, Antowain (Smith) was just trying to get time. Now he's our lead dog and now there's a cohesiveness between he and the offensive linemen of what runs we can run. Last but not least is the firepower at tight end and wide receiver that we've added to the group. Once again, no disrespect to Rod (Rutledge) and Jermaine (Wiggins) at tight end and to the other guys at wide receiver but you know we've brought in some very skilled players at those positions. It allows me personally both the freedom and the appreciation to be able to find ways to attack a defense more because you can't just worry about one or two guys like they were last year because you worry about Troy Brown and then a little bit about David Patten and then they said to hell with everybody else.

Q: Have you been able to do, in terms of workload in the film-room, have you pretty much put in the same amount of workload that you did last year or the year before?

CW: That's my life. I'm back to full speed. The offensive staff and the head coach really bailed me out; very early on I struggled a little bit with my endurance. So my days were shortened to about 14 hour days. So I think we're back to normal now.

Q: Is there a danger at all of sometimes trying to do too much, I mean do you ever look at yourself and say do I really need this one extra shift for instance?

CW: One extra shift? You mean offensively?

Q: Yeah, well we haven't seen it happen but almost like getting too smart.

CW: Actually, I learned this from Vinny Testaverde to tell you the truth. I throw things out at the end of the week, rather than add things in. When we feel like it's too much and/or the players just don't have a good grasp of what we're doing we just throw it out. We have enough other things to do than trying to create a monster but trying to outthink ourself. So we put in the plan and when we see something that looks like it's too much we throw it.

Q: The fourth down play with Brady, all of a sudden you shift and spread the field, and Tom goes for the most basic play in football and runs ahead for two yards.

CW: We've been practicing that play for a month. What that now does is it forces you to come in with another venue to be able to pick up a situation when that same situation occurs, assuming that the other guys are smart enough to have seen you do that and be ready for that the next time that situation occurs.

Q: I can't imagine trying to prepare for you guys.

CW: I think that it's pretty tough to prepare for us offensively and throw in the fact that with that other side of the ball is doing, the tough part when you get ready to play the Patriots is that we're sound in all three faculties, whether it's Brad (Seely) or Romeo (Crennel) and his staff. I tell you what, coaching offense used to be a sidebar here, {inaudible}, and you know what we won the Super Bowl that way and I think that now if we can just carry our end of the load, I think that it provides another faculty. Now it makes us a three dimensional team instead of a two dimensional team and I think that's going to present some problems.

Q: Give us an idea of about how much autonomy you have in terms for coming up with a game plan. For instance like the Pittsburgh game plan.

CW: I think my input is significant. At no time will I ever say that I'm a sole person on this because I consult the head coach, the offensive staff, I mean we all work together. The bottom line was, in a situation like that we came up with that four and a half wide receiver set, when you include Cam (Cleeland) like a fifth wide, when I came up with the package – presented it to Bill (Belichick) to make sure it was ok by him, and then we kind of put a time clock on when we wanted to use it in a game. So we kind of went into it about exactly when we said we were going to go into it. It's been a little bit uncanny this year that Bill and I, like any coordinator and head coach sometimes picking on different wave lengths, about every time we go in and say 'hey should we use this right about now', I mean it's been almost right on the same time clock when we want to go into something that we want to implement into a game.

Q: Did you ever stop and think about your situation over the summer and say 'gee I almost wasn't here to enjoy this'?

CW: My wife has very often said to me when I complain about something, you know she is a New York/New Jersey girl, she says often 'you should just feel fortunate that you are here at all'. So that kind of puts perspective on things when anytime I want to whine about something, whether it's personal or professional, that's her answer and it kind of slaps me in the face and brings me back to reality to think about how close I was to not being around at all. Although I told her I have plenty of life insurance so she would have been ok.

Q: What does a workday consist of for you?

CW: During the week there aren't too many football coaches that aren't in by 6:00 a.m. and working 11 or 12 hours, I mean I can tell you right now Dante Scarnecchia will not leave here until well after 12:00 (midnight) and at 4:30 tomorrow morning his truck will be pulled into the lot already. He's about the last one to leave and about the first one to come and that's not to prove a point. He's been in the league longer than anyone. It's because that's what he feels he needs to do to be here to get his work done. There's a little juggling on that, but that's basically it. Usually you try your best to get five hours sleep a day. So you struggle to be able to do that.

Q: At what point in your career did you realize that your image might determine your advancement as a coach?

CW: The sad part about it is I've been heavy for a long time. In reality, the images for a prospective head coaching job runs through your mind but not as much as your father dying at 56 of a second heart attack. So keeping things its proper perspective, I believe in genetics. When my father died, he had his first heart attack at 51 and died at 56 and I've got two kids a nine year old and a seven year old. My daughter is developmentally delayed and has a lot of problems and I just don't want to hang my wife out to dry. I know that it was perceived that was the main reason for me having this operation done. The main reason was to try to hang around for a while and be a good provider for my wife and my kids.

Q: When you're looking at film at the defense, what exactly are you looking at as far as the way to attack it?

CW: Well you look at two things. You look at schemes and you look at personnel. For example the defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Greg Robinson has been known for a great number years that he's been in the league, he throws a lot of schemes at you. So we've spent extra time here in the last 24-48 hours, even before the Jet game for most of the coaches, but certainly since the Jet game for everybody else, studying the schemes that he's done. He'll throw different things at us that he hasn't even done in the preseason and regular season. The other thing that you have to be ready for every week is to attack, you have to determine where the strengths and weaknesses of their personnel are and in this league this is a personnel oriented league and you better attack the weak guys and stay away from the good guys.

Q: Coaches, just because they are the way they are, are always looking for improvement. What would you like to see out of your offense as far as improvement?

CW: I'd like to think our offense, as well as our whole team, will make sure that they don't let you guys get to their head and think that they're so good. Having two good games to start off the year and not pay attention to detail, I mean we've made a great number of mental mistakes in the first couple of games that are very correctable. I think that mental mistakes are a pet peeve of mine. I mean if somebody makes a physical mistake, I mean Troy Brown fumbled that ball going into the end zone the other day, it's tough for me to think that Troy Brown was trying to do anything other than to score a touchdown there. But I think that if we can mentally stay focused and just continue to make plays physically, I think we can be a pretty good football team.

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