Crist Among Stars Of Bye Week.
The bye week offered a chance for Notre Dame coaches to examine their own tendancies in an effort to avoid being predictable in the second half. Banged up starters got valuable time off while healthy regulars went back to the basics, participating in two practices devoted almost fully to fundamentals. Weis gave his players a four-day weekend, allowing them to take a break from the mental grind of the season.
Being idle also gave younger players a chance get some valuable reps in practice. There's little opportunity for freshman quarterback Dayne Crist, for example, to get practice snaps because starter Jimmy Clausen gets the vast majority of the reps and backup Evan Sharpley gets what few are left. Crist threw so much in practice during the bye week, however, that Weis joked that his arm was probably sore.
What other young players most impressed Weis?
"Both the young wide receivers, meaning John (Goodman) and Deion (Walker), have made significant strides from when they first got here, to the point where if I had to play them in a game, I believe they would do just fine," he said. "I would not have said that at the beginning of the year."
Weis also singled out 6-foot-4, 257-pound freshman defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore.
"He's a very athletic guy who athletically we could get on the field right now. But is he going to be as good or better than the guys that are already out there playing? It's not a question of whether he'd be good enough to play. The question is do we gain anything from that being the case?"
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