Q&A with Charlie Weis 12/3

Posted Dec 3, 2010

Q: Why are you guys running the ball so much more effectively with RB Jamaal Charles rather than Thomas Jones?


WEIS: “I think that we have run it effectively with both guys. Jamaal has made a bunch of big plays, one of the leaders in the league in longer runs but I think we have run the ball effectively with both guys.”

Q: Do you feel if Charles got the ball more times per game that his yards per carry number would dip?

WEIS: “No, he had 22 carries and Thomas had 20 carries. The productivity of a running back is related to how fresh they are and I think that one of the advantages that we have right now is that we are in December now and we have two guys that are both getting a bunch of carries and the wear and tear that happens to a lot of guys hasn’t shown the same.”

Q: Do you take some satisfaction in the fact that QB Matt Cassel won the AFC Offensive Player of the Month award?

WEIS: “No, it is a team thing. His production is totally related to everyone from Todd (Haley) on down. The offensive lineman, the wide receivers and everyone else right there so we don’t look at that as an individual award, we look at that as something that is going right with the team. When your quarterback gets an award like that it means that there are a lot of parts around him that are doing something right.”

Q: If and when WR Dexter McCluster plays, can you talk about how he adds to the offense even when he doesn’t touch the ball?

WEIS: “Anytime you can add what was one of your front line players back into the mix, I think that there are a lot of guys that have held the floor nicely in his absence. Just like we got Tony (Moeaki) back last week, he had been gone for a little bit. When Dexter comes back and gets into the action, anytime you can get one of your frontline players back into the mix it gives you more weapons and more opportunities to spread the field. I think the more you do that, the better off you are going to be.”

Q: Can you put some perspective on what WR Dwayne Bowe has been able to accomplish?

WEIS: “It is a process first of all. This process started before I got here. As we got through last year and got into the spring I know that he had made a lot of headway leading into this year. His confidence more than anything else, he has just become so confident and I think that he is confident and the quarterback is confident in him so there is chemistry there and I think that the award you mentioned earlier, a lot of that has to do with 82 catching all those touchdown passes. More than anything else, besides him working his butt off in practice and trying to get better, he has a very good work ethic and I think that when that pays off on the field it is a win-win for everybody.”

Q: Is there a difference between on-field confidence and off-field confidence? Can you expand on that a little bit?

WEIS: “It just means that when you are making plays, it is all about making plays. We had this conversation way earlier in the year about making plays and he is making plays. At any position, if you start making plays you are expected to go out and make more of them. I think that in any player, regardless of experience and what position they play, when they start making some plays that are good ones they get a pretty good taste of it and they just want to make more of them.”

Q: What was Denver able to do early in the last game to shut down the offense?

WEIS: I remember it a little differently. I remember third and six and us throwing a pass to Jamaal and him moving into their territory and us having a false start penalty. That is what I remember and then I remember on the next series WR Chris Chambers running wide open for a touchdown down the right sideline and us coming up a little short on him. I think there was a little blitzkrieg of how the game went. It wasn’t just their defense; it was just how the whole game went. They got it rocking and rolling on offense and we weren’t matching them in the point production and the game got out of hand and out of reach pretty quickly.”

Q: You guys have been shuffling people on the offensive line but you are still getting the production. How come?

WEIS: “We talked about that chemistry before and I think that group has very good chemistry. There has been some moving parts and there has been some tweaking with guys banged up and us having to shuffle around. The bottom line is that the seven or eight guys that Bill Muir has been around have been able to keep that chemistry. We haven’t dropped off a bit when somebody else has had to step in.”

Q: With Cassel and Bowe becoming such a threat, do you anticipate the running game becoming even more productive in the final games here?

WEIS: “It still comes down to how you produce but I think that when teams view you as one dimensional, which teams might of viewed us early in the year as a team that could just run the ball and weren’t going to get much production in the passing game. I think that there is more decision making that has to take place in the game planning by the defensive coordinators and defensive staffs to say, ‘ok, are we just going to sell out and load up the box?’ And then, ‘how are we going to stop this 82?’ I think what we have to do every game is be ready to adjust within the game and not wait too long to figure out what they are doing to make sure we adjust accordingly. We don’t care whether we are running it or throwing it, we just want to move the ball and score touchdowns, that is what we want to do.”

Q: A couple weeks ago it seemed like they were in the midst of a switch defensively from a 3-4 to a 4-3. Where are they now?

WEIS: “They are settled in. As I said to you before that Denver game last time, they were going back and forth and they have settled down. Their identity has started to establish itself so it is a lot more clear now.”

Q: What does it say about RB Jamaal Charles who has been putting up big numbers and not so many TDs and not complaining?

WEIS: “I think that Jamaal is unselfish. All he wants to do is get out there and play the game. He likes to play the game and I think that the one thing Jamaal will say to you, and I am not going to speak for Jamaal, you have to ask him, is that he feels good. Very seldom does a running back get to December and feel good, they don’t usually feel fresh at this time. I think that the plan that Todd had, along with Maurice Carthon is now paying some positive dividends with those two running backs as far as the utilization and where we are going.”

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