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Charlie Weis Press Conf. Transcript - 8/28/2003

Q: Who's your back-up quarterback?

CW: Ha ha ha ha. That's why we have a head coach and that's why we have assistant coaches. That's any easy one.

Q: What have you seen from the two of them this year?

CW: Talking about Ro [Davey] right now first of all?

Q: Yeah, talking about Rohan…

CW: Obviously he has made great strides from where he was last year at this time. I think it is a combination of being involved in this system for a year, having a year where he was in a non-pressure situation last year and he could just go ahead and grow mentally and physically. Then we went and added John [Hufnagel] in the off season, who can worry just about technique and get those things to continue to progress along with the mental aspect. I think he's made great strides.

Q: Tom [Brady] said you gave him ten things to work on. What did you give him this camp and how has he done so far?

CW: Tommy? There is a number of things…when the season ends, we take each player and Bill [Belichick] has us critically evaluate each player to give them their focal point issues. I'll give you an example: one issue around here especially with the media types is Brady being able to throw the long ball. Now, him throwing has never been an issue. Completing it is more important to me than throwing it, because everyone says 'throw the long ball.' Obviously the guy has no problem throwing the ball as far as he needs to throw it; one of our issues was being able to throw the long ball and being able to turn it into completions. I think that so far in the preseason you are starting to see a little production of that, i.e. in the Philadelphia game, he threw three deep balls, two for completions and one for a defensive pass interference. And one of those deep balls was the touchdown he threw on [Troy] Vincent as well. I think that's starting to pay off a little bit. And that was one of the ten things: that we would like to be able to complete some deep balls, not just throw them.

Q:Q: How does John Hufnagel affect your relationship with the quarterbacks?

CW: It's funny because I had this conversation with somebody in the organization the other day. We always talk about a trickle down affect. Well this has been more of a trickle up affect. By him being here, it elevates me to do some things better than I have done in the past, which elevates Bill [Belichick] to be able to do some things better than we've done in the past. I think that by having John there to be with the quarterbacks all the time allows me to be a better offensive coordinator and allows Bill to be a better head coach.

Q: With defense being an obvious priority in the offseason, you guys didn't bring up the offensive linemen, you didn't bring up the running backs, and you have had a lot of injuries on the offensive line. With the exception of Daniel Graham, can you make a case to anybody or the fans, why this offense should be better than it was last year?

CW: Well let's…why don't we start with coaching? Okay. I think last year, I could have done a lot of things for us to be better. It's easy to sit there and point fingers at personnel, but I have always lived under the adage, 'You coach the players you are given, and you coach them as hard as you can coach them.' I think that rather than look for excuses for why you are not doing better offensively at any phase of the game, you better start pointing the finger at yourself and figure out what you can do better to give your players a better chance at winning.

Q: What did you do wrong?

CW: It's not wrong, it's what you'll do different.

Q: So what would you do different?

CW: Well, there is several things that you'll see when we start playing.

Q: The other media topic, not by me but…the topic is the size of the receivers. Is there any great benefit to having one big receiver?

CW: I think a lot of times you underestimate the fact that a couple of our receivers are big receivers. You are always looking for a 6'3'' receiver, but take a look at David Givens next time you see him. We're talking about one rocked up unit now, we're not talking about a little receiver. We are talking about a guy who looks like a strong safety playing wide receiver. Take a look at his arms. I'm always making fun of him, how he does curls before he goes out at night time, so everyone can see how big his arms are. And Bethel Johnson. We are talking…he's just a tad under 6 feet and he's 200 pounds. To me, a 6-foot, 200-pound receiver is a big receiver. You don't need to be 6'4'' to be a big receiver.

Q: Is this going to be a tough decision on the wide receivers?

CW: I would like to keep seven. Why don't you ask Bill [Belichick] that question, let him worry about it. What are you picking your fantasy football team now?

Q: Do you have a lot of versatility now in terms of your running backs? [Kevin] Faulk, [Fred] McCrary, [Larry] Centers, [Antowain] Smith.

CW: One thing you have got to be careful of in those four that you just talked about is you don't want to get pigeon-holed and stereo-typical. People do a lot of scouting and self-scouting on you, and it can't be, 'Here comes Antowain and Fred. It's a run or a play-action pass.' 'Here comes Larry. Okay, it's a pass or a draw.' We're like you too, believe it or not. We spend a lot of time evaluating our own personnel and our own groupings. We look at it the way a fan would as far as researching how the opponent's defensive coordinator would look at the people we put on the field. So I think it's really important from a coaching aspect, you keep track of that to make sure you aren't too predictable.

Q: You guys last year had a situation where you fell behind early, what can you reexamine to try to get on top early?

CW: I think one of the things that happens in a situation like that is I can sit there and say, 'Well we're down two scores, so you have to throw every down.' And then people say, 'Well why don't you run the ball more?' The thing is if you are more consistent, you don't get yourself into those situations. Regardless of how the special teams or defense plays, I think the biggest problem we had on the offensive side of the ball last year was the lack of consistency. I think that's the number one thing that we need to do to be better offensively with the players we have is to be more consistent on offense.

Q: Does that personally make it impossible?

CW: No, you just put more pressure on ourselves. Put more pressure on the coaching staff. Put more pressure on the players to make sure that you try to do the things the way you are being told to. A lot of time it might be running a hitch-route at six yards that somebody is running at five and somebody is running at seven and that timing doesn't just work out. I think it's really important to try to do what they are being told to do. And I think it gives you a lot better chance to be successful.

Q: How do you think [Bill] Parcells will do in Dallas?

CW: Well, I came in at the end when you were talking with Romeo [Crennel] about it. The guy's track record has proven that when he goes in somewhere, usually it doesn't take long for them to figure it out. He's tough. He puts a lot of pressure on the players. He puts a lot of pressure on the coaches. One of my closest friends is there as the offensive coordinator, and despite what they say about the offense, I have a lot of faith in Maurice Carthon. I can tell you that right now. Their defense has done pretty well in the last few years. Just go by history and that's all you can go by. You can go by proven track records. It's tough to imagine that in a short period of time, however long that may be, that they won't be competitive in a hurry.

Q: Are you satisfied with where you are at right now health wise?

CW: Yeah, I think the biggest problem with the surgery last year, other than the fact that I should have died and that it put a lot of pressure on my family, I think the biggest thing is I got a lot more gas in my tank this year than I did last year. I still have a bum right foot. I still wear a brace. I still hobble around. But that has nothing to do with the gas in my tank and I've got plenty of it. I'm ready to go.

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