... while Weis airs out Brady, Irish

Pats offensive coordinator is Notre Dame coach, too

Super Bowl

February 03, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Focus, as much as the Philadelphia Eagles' defense, has become a mounting challenge for Charlie Weis during Super Bowl week.

The New England Patriots offensive coordinator was doing a delicate balancing act yesterday between preparing for the Eagles' zone blitzes and signing his first recruiting class at Notre Dame.

Named the Irish's coach 7 1/2 weeks ago, Weis has to wait a few more days before he devotes his entire attention to South Bend, Ind.

Until then, Weis will keep his Notre Dame cell phone in his left pocket and a Patriots one in his right.

"They're off right now, in case you're wondering," Weis joked with reporters.

Installing his typical creative game plan has become more difficult, considering the time demands of two jobs. He used his lunch break to check how he did on national signing day.

Weis' trademark has been orchestrating an offense that adapts week to week, attacking defenses with diverse formations from two tight ends to empty backfields. The playoffs have shown how quickly Weis can mix up strategies.

In the divisional game against Indianapolis, he called a run-heavy game that controlled the clock and took the ball out of the hands of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. A week later at the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, he opted for a bombs-away approach, going deep in the passing game to exploit the Steelers' secondary.

"We go out there and figure out `How can we beat this team?' not based on what our offense is but based on what our best chance of beating them is," tight end Christian Fauria said.

"If it makes sense for us to work toward a team's strengths, we'll do that. If it makes sense to work away from their strengths, we'll do that. Every week is a different game plan."

Weis has received the most credit in the development of quarterback Tom Brady.

"I think we're all going to realize how good we had it when he's gone," Brady said.

What has been tough for Weis is knowing these long days will be his last for a team he's been a part of since 2000.

"It's a bittersweet moment," Weis said. "I look at the players and the coaches, and I know a few days from now, I'm gone. It's not going to be easy. But I'll tell you this: It'll be a heck of a lot easier if we win the game."

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