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Monday, November 9, 2009
Weis calls for accountability from Irish


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The hull of the S.S. Charlie Weis has been breached. And the Notre Dame coach says it's time to batten down the hatches.

The Fighting Irish's season and Weis' job security are teetering after Saturday's upset loss to Navy. The BCS hopes have gone to Davy Jones' locker. How does the team respond with not much to play for besides the Gator Bowl?
 
 Matt Cashore/US Presswire
 Charlie Weis says he will be emphasizing "accountability and dependability" this week.


Weis says this week is all about "accountability and dependability." That's what he planned to emphasize in Sunday's film session.

"I think that there's going to be plenty of evidence of guys understanding who was at fault for what situations," he said. "As you know, after a loss, I'm not big on giving up players, ever. That's not my way.

"But I think when they watch the tape, there's going to be plenty of evidence. Don't sit there and point the finger at anyone other than yourself because here's what happened on the play."

Weis did call out one player on Sunday, in response to defensive lineman Ian Williams' comment on Saturday night that the Irish were "out-schemed" on defense. The coach noted that senior safety and team captain Kyle McCarthy told the media that players were put in the right positions but failed to execute.

"So there's a reason why one guy is a captain and one guy is not," Weis said.

But how much accountability should the coaching staff take? This, after all, was the second loss to Navy in three years under Weis after the Midshipmen went nearly a half-century without beating the Irish.

Though Weis said he always holds himself accountable first, he didn't think he had a bad game plan on offense. Notre Dame never punted and got into the red zone six times but came away with just two scores on those trips, missing two field goals and coughing the ball up twice.

The defense, which allowed Navy to run right through it all day, nevertheless only gave up 21 offensive points, which the Irish offense should have been able to overcome.

"I think that we have some dynamic players on our team, but it still comes down to situational football," Weis said. "Even the best players need to execute when it's that time."

Weis is calling on his team to play sharper in those situations this week at No. 12 Pitt. If the Fighting Irish don't come home with a victory, the S.S. Charlie Weis will likely have taken on too much water to stay afloat.