Q&A with Charlie Weis - 9/17

Posted Sep 17, 2010


Q: When you look at the Cleveland defense what are some of the things you have to consider as you’re planning for this team?


WEIS: “The first thing is there is a lot of familiarity with both coaching staffs. We worked together for a long time, Eric (Mangini) and Rob (Ryan) in my case, we’ve known each other for a long time. It’s going to really come down to us having to execute because we kind of know them and they kind of know us.”

Q: You said in training camp that your first job was to fix the quarterback. How is that coming?

WEIS: “Well, we’re 1-0. One thing that people forget sometimes is this is all about winning football games and every game is its own separate entity. We got through the San Diego game, did what we had to do to win the game and this is a whole different set of encyclopedias. Every game is different. We’re a game-plan oriented team so right now the quarterback is 1-0 and we’ll take it.”

Q: Is that the same evaluation for all the players – we won, so it was a great performance?

WEIS: “It’s not about a great performance, the bottom line is winning. That’s what everyone wants, that’s what every coach wants, that’s what every player wants, that’s what every fan wants. The number one priority is to win the game. The best part about it is after you win a game it’s very easy to give constructive criticism to the players because they’re much more open to it because they’re feeling good that they won. So it’s actually been a very good teaching week because you can be an even bigger stickler for mistakes to raise because they’re already feeling pretty good that they won the game.”

Q: When you look at the Browns are they a team you can run on?

WEIS: “We have to go into every game thinking that we can run the ball. You can’t take a shot at the Browns because the Browns play pretty salty defense. In every game we go into we have to feel that we can run the football.”

Q: How comfortable are you in this environment, as a member of this team; is this a place where you’re comfortable?

WEIS: “It’s nice to be able to just be a football coach. One thing that people don’t understand is when you’re a head coach, you wear so many hats. Like look at it, I talk to you guys one time in a month, he’s got to talk to you almost every day and that’s one of the tasks that comes with being the head football coach. When you’re an offensive coordinator you get to sit there and just coach football – you’re dealing with half the team but more importantly you’re getting to just spend all your time on Xs and Os and Jimmys and Joes and not having to worry about the other distractions.”

Q: Does that suit your personality more, what you think you’re good at?

WEIS: “This is just the job I’m currently in. I’d like to think that I could do anything but right now this is the job I’m in and I really feel comfortable doing it.”

Q: Do you prefer a two-back system splitting the carries or does it depend on the personnel or does it depend on the guys?

WEIS: “You have to be fortunate. You know Todd’s M.O. and we really believe it, that you take your team and everyone are front-line players and fortunately for us we have talent at the position and when you have talent at the position you’re going to want to try and get them out there.”

Q: You and QB Matt Cassel working, that’s been a progressive thing, but he’s given you a lot of credit. Do you feel like he’s becoming an extension of you because you two have worked together so much in the off-season and now he can do what needs to be done and you’re inside his head?

WEIS: “Probably the biggest statement I can make, because doesn’t just work with me, he works with Todd (Haley) – we have a little round robin with everyone, but the fact that the players voted him a captain is a major step from where he was a year ago until now. This isn’t even talking about me, the fact that his peers now look at him in a leadership role kind of answers that question because I’ll let you know that that’s what they think. They think that he’s an extension of the coaching staff and that’s more important than anything that I think.”

Q: Where was the last team that you were where the starting quarterback wasn’t a captain?

WEIS: “I’ve had teams at Notre Dame where the starting quarterback wasn’t a captain but usually in college they’re young. It might have been QB Tommy (Brady) earning his way to be a captain after he took over for QB Drew Bledsoe. Eventually, if you have a good football team the quarterback has to be one of the team leaders.”

Q: You and Romeo (Crennel) seem to have pretty different personalities. You seem a little more fiery and he seems a little more laid back…

WEIS: “That’s myth. That’s a myth. I mean on game day I’m pretty calm and he’s pretty fiery.”

Q: How do you guys make it work, because it seems like you guys kind of criss-cross on that personality thing?

WEIS: “I think that we’ve had a very similar upbringing and you have to be yourself. I think that we see things pretty close to eye-to-eye.”

Q: How come you feel you’re calmer on game day? That seems like the time when it’s chaotic as anything and you’d be going nuts?

WEIS: “If the players feel that you lose your composure then they’re certainly going to lose theirs.”

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