|Next Irish quarterback? Weis isn't giving any clues|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 20 April 2007 21:23|
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -If someone has the inside track to taking over for Brady Quinn, Charlie Weis wasn't saying heading into Notre Dame's Blue-Gold game on Saturday.|
He won't be saying afterward, either.
Weis has done everything he could this spring to keep from giving any hint of which of the four Irish quarterbacks have done the most to impress coaches, laughing at some questions from reporters.
``If you're looking for me to slip, I'm not slipping,'' Weis said. ``You'll be trying a long time to get me to slip.''
Weis has gone so far as to use coin flips to determine which quarterbacks will start Saturday. Zach Frazer will start for the Gold team, with Evan Sharpley taking the even-numbered series. Jimmy Clausen will start for Blue and alternate possessions with Demetrius Jones.
The start by Clausen has been the most anticipated arrival at Notre Dame since Ron Powlus showed up on campus in 1993. A year ago Clausen held a news conference at the College Football Hall of Fame before the Blue-Gold game and said he was coming to Notre Dame ``to try to get four national championship rings.''
Weis hasn't allowed Clausen, who enrolled in January, to talk with reporters. He also has gone out of his way to make sure it doesn't look as though he is handing Clausen the job.
``The first thing is as a head coach is you don't create prima donnas. That's very, very important,'' Weis said. ``You just sit up an equal plan, very logistically laid out and let everyone know this is what the plan is going to be.''
Notre Dame coaches don't expect to pick the next starting quarterback until at least August. Weis said after being out on the road recruiting the first two weeks of May, the staff will get together and narrow the four quarterbacks to the top two.
The other three quarterbacks said they are pleased with their performance so far. Frazer said he's approaching practice as though he is the starter.
``I've got to think, 'I'm the guy.' I'm going to play every snap like it's the last play of the game and I've got to win the game,'' he said.
Jones said he won't take much satisfaction if he's in the final two.
``I didn't come here to be anybody's sidekick,'' Jones said. ``So if I'm named in the top two that would be just another stepping stone in my career.''
Sharpley, the only returner to ever take a snap at quarterback for the Irish, said he's just focusing on improving.
``There's always little things you can do to help your game. Whether it be working on your drop, your quick release, your knowledge of the offense, just any little things,'' he said. ``There are so many things you can focus on. That's something I'll get a chance to look at once the spring is over.''
While much of the focus Saturday will be on offense, Notre Dame fans also will be eager to see the new 3-4 defense. The Irish have struggled on defense the past two seasons and Weis hired former New York Jets assistant coach Corwin Brown as defensive coordinator to try to turn things around.
Weis said the Irish are making progress.
``We now have a lot fewer question marks at this stage than we did at the beginning of the spring,'' he said. ``Now we can zero in on some of the major problems, and there are some. But there's just a lot less problems now than when we got started.''
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