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Old 08-19-2005, 05:57 PM   #1
Irish Legend
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Exclamation Good Reading

Weis, offense, starting to look at Pitt
The practices during the early and middle stages of this week began to provide a glimpse into the kind of offensive versatility that made Charlie Weis so successful with the New England Patriots.
Weis has been watching closely as his quarterbacks spent a good chunk of the early part of practices working in skeleton drills with no defense. A few wrinkles continue be added each day to the offense but the drills seemed geared toward perfecting the same plays out of different formations.

Draws and screen passes have been strongly emphasized. Quarterback Brady Quinn has been sharp throwing to running backs Darius Walker and Rashon Powers-Neal with the first team. Each screen play ended with the ball in the hands of the same running backs on the same spot on the field, but the plays were run out of shotgun, under center, with motion, without motion, with roll out and with straight drop back.

There were at least half a dozen varieties of the same play as Weis tries to use the same deception factor and multiple looks that made the Patriots so tough to stop.

“It just makes it more difficult for the defenses to recognize what you are doing,” Quinn said of the multiple looks. “It also makes the offense simple in some ways when you can run the same play out of different formations, different sets.”

Quinn estimated about 80 percent of the playbook has been installed. Now, the emphasis is on perfecting execution, the system and its objectives.

Weis used some of the 2 1/2-hour practice Wednesday introducing for the first time a few preliminary strategies for the Pittsburgh game, mainly setting up scout teams and familiarizing his team with Pitt’s key personnel. Up to now, basic installation of the offense has monopolized all the practice time.

“As you know, I’m a personnel guy,” Weis said Wednesday after practice. “It’s always been (finding) who the good guys are and who the guys you think you can attack. We didn’t get into names too much with them but I think they got a general gist of how we do it.”

Wednesday was also highlighted by the team moving from to the practice fields at Cartier Field for the rest of the season. The move also relocating into their new digs at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Weis makes the players take their cleats off before entering the $22-million facility.

If practice is any indication, sophomore David Wolke has emerged as Quinn’s backup. Wolke takes nearly all the snaps with the second unit during drills. He typically works with Travis Thomas at tailback and Ashley McConnell at fullback.

Freshman Evan Sharpley also took a few snaps with the second team during the early part of practice but Quinn and Wolke got the bulk of the work.
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