Charlie Weis announced at his press conference on Tuesday that he will be calling the plays against Navy this week. He cited the reason for doing this was because Mike Haywood, the previous Offensive Coordinator, had to attend a funeral this week and would miss some practices.
When questioned if he would continue to call plays for the remainder of the season, he said he may because a death in the family can affect someone for a while.
What does this all mean? Weis will have the playbook back in his hands!
Charlie Weis, the offensive mastermind who won four Super Bowls as an offensive coordinator, felt there were some changes that had to be made in the offseason after his 3-9 season in his third season with the Irish. He brought in one of the best defensive minds in the game, Jon Tenuta, on staff and relinquished his play calling duties to running backs coach Mike Haywood.
Haywood is a good coach, but he's young and has very little experience calling plays. Weis made this move so that he could observe the team as a whole and help develop special teams. Weis has been able to greatly improve Notre Dame's special teams play despite not having a good foot on the roster.
Weis used his pro-style offense to propel the Irish from the gutter of college football to the national stage in his first two seasons. Last season the Irish were not able to execute his offense due to the worst offensive line in college football and a freshman quarterback.
Since the Irish of '08 have shown great improvements from last season, especially at the offensive end of the field, Weis has not been able to exercise his greatest talent as a coach, and that is calling plays. Saturday afternoon against Navy, Weis will have the opportunity to show off his offensive brilliance.
What does this change mean for Haywood? Well, many are suspicious if he is going to a funeral or looking for another job, as it is embarrassing to be demoted in the middle of a season.
However, Haywood has three good running backs, a highly touted quarterback who is showing drastic improvement from the past season, one of the best WR corps in the country, and a decent offensive line, yet cannot score one point against BC? He cannot get one touchdown in three overtimes against Pitt?
I do not think all of the blame is on Haywood, but week in and week out I watch some very questionable play calls and inconsistency on the offense, and that falls on the offensive coordinator.
My prediction: Weis takes over the play calling duties against Navy and will not look back. Weis will get great production from the offense against Navy and Syracuse. USC has the best defensive squad in the country, and it will be interesting to see how Weis attacks it.
Weis will win the first bowl game Notre Dame has won in over a decade, and Mike Haywood will take a job at another school next fall.
I do not think Weis will hire another offensive coordinator. I think he is there to stay this time. As an Irish fan, thank God!