Friday, June 01, 2007

Weis Narrows Notre Dame Quarterback Field—Sort of ...

Although Coach Charlie Weis had declared after the Blue-Gold Game that he would whittle the Notre Dame starting quarterback derby down to a duo by May, he not only waited 'til the very end of Mary's month, but then barely narrowed it to a trio instead.

The odd man out of the quarterback race is Zach Frazer, which is no surprise considering he finished the Spring Game 0-4 with an interception. But that means the trinity of Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Jimmy Clausen are all still alive. "Evan ran the operation the best, Jimmy threw the ball the best, and Demetrius made the most plays," said Weis with diplomacy, not usually one of his strong points. Most Irish observers had bet on the rifle-armed reputation of Clausen and the scrambling ability of Jones as shoe-ins to make them the final two, and are now thinking that Demetrius' recent brush with the law muddied the waters, forcing Weis to keep Sharpley sharp a little bit longer at least until the coast is clear. But whether Weis' indecision was due to Jones' marijuana misdemeanor—since dropped—or the undistinguished play of all three during the Blue-Gold Spring Game will remain speculation probably until August, as Weis refused to answer questions at his recent press conference.

But one thing's for sure. Rarely does a team compete for a national title with two starting quarterbacks, and never have they done so with three. It's been years since Charlie has led a team without a quarterback named Brady (before Brady Quinn at ND, Coach had NFL MVP Tom Brady at New England) yet Weis' genius has always been offense, so my bet is the Irish "O" will be okay. My only concern is that, since the quarterback is the spiritual leader of the team (and the Fighting Irish ARE a spiritual team) that he not only be a "Notre Dame Man," but an "Our Lady Fan." So as the summer of decision looms, it's up to us Suffering Irish members to pray that both Weis' extra sessions in the office and trips to the Grotto will be rewarded.


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Tom O'Toole said...

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