SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Charlie Weis will do some serious self-evaluation after this season. Then the Notre Dame coach will let his old coaching buddies on the New England Patriots put their two cents in.
``I think that those guys would have no problem telling me what things I did right and what things I did wrong,'' Weis said Sunday. ``I think those resources, those people, because we're close enough and have a very close relationship won't be afraid of saying to me, 'What the heck are you doing?' And that's what I want. I want somebody to be able to tell me, to say it like that. And I know that those guys would do that.''
It also helps the Patriots staff know Weis' system so well.
Before being named Notre Dame coach in December 2004,Weis was offensive coordinator for Patriots coach Bill Belichick for five seasons, helping New England win three Super Bowls in four years. He also worked with Belichick under Bill Parcells for three years with the New York Jets.
The Irish also use the same 3-4 defense as New England, so the Patriots staff can evaluate offense, defense and the coaching.
``When you're 2-9, you have to start with you,'' Weis said.
A year ago at this time, the Irish were ranked No. 6 and Weis had a 19-4 record over two seasons giving him a winning percentage of 82.6, slightly better than Ara Parseghian's after two seasons (82.5) and Frank Leahy's (80) and not far behind Knute Rockne's (86.6).
Now Weis is 21-15, the same record Tyrone Willingham had when he was fired three years ago and the same winning percentage (58.3) Bob Davie had when he was fired six years ago.
Most people expected the Irish to struggle this season after losing Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight, Darius Walker and three starting offensive linemen.
No one expected Notre Dame to have one of the worst seasons in school history.
Biggest surprise has been how much the Irish have struggled offensively. They have been last in the nation in total offense all season, averaging 235 yards, 16 yards a game less than winless Florida International.
Weis has been heavily criticized for the job he's done, and justifiably so, he said.
``What do I expect sitting there at 2-9, everyone to say how great a job you're doing? I mean, you're 2-9. Obviously you can do things better,'' he said.
So after the Irish play at Stanford on Saturday, then Weis recruits for three weeks, he plans to return to campus and on Dec. 17 begin going over what went wrong. He will start with spring practice, through preseason practice and then week by week through the season.
``You're talking about a whole understanding of how the team got to where it was to where it is to where you want it to go,'' he said.
The first task, Weis said, is to define the problems.
``I'm not even worrying about fixing them yet. I want to first identify what they are, and then after identifying where they are, then you can share the blame after you've done that,'' he said.
Everything from schemes to personnel to how things are taught will be looked at, Weis said.
First, though, there is the matter of finishing the season. The message to players this week, after ending a six-game losing streak with a 28-7 win over Duke, is simple.
``We've got to be moving the program forward,'' Weis said.
It's something the Irish haven't been doing too well this season.
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