Coaches prefer location over view

Published 5:47 am Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hobbled by a knee injury, Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis never considered coaching from the press box the way Joe Paterno has twice this season.

‘‘Not the job I do. He’s (Paterno) a lot less involved with the whole operation,’’ Weis said during his Sunday news conference. ‘‘As a matter of fact, I’ve seen plenty of times with him not wearing a headset. I’d like to think I’m more involved with the operation, because his coaches have been with him a long, long time.

‘‘Those guys have been around with him forever. They’re all on the same page. So I think it’s a little different with what I’m doing and what he’s doing.’’

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Weis and other coaches said that while the view from on high is much better, being on the sideline would make it hard to lead the team.

‘‘I can’t even imagine it,’’ Florida’s Urban Meyer said.

Paterno was in the press box for Penn State’s 20-6 victory against Purdue on Saturday because a lingering hip problem made it too uncomfortable for the 81-year-old coach to stand on the sideline. He also spent the second half of the Temple game last month coaching from the press box.

‘‘I’ve never really thought about it that much,’’ North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. ‘‘I like being on the sidelines, kind of judging the emotions, the sideline adjustments, monitoring the game and things that’s going on.

‘‘But I’ve been in the box as a coordinator and clearly you do see the game better. But I don’t know if you can be as impactful as a head coach as maybe you can from the sideline, but I’ve never done it so I can’t say that unequivocally.’’

Weis was faced with at least the possibility of having to be off the sideline during a game when he tore two ligaments in his knee while being bowled over by a player during the Michigan game last month. He has put off surgery and has been wearing a brace.

‘‘I’m not trying to micromanage or anything. But I think I want to make sure I’m involved with some of the things that happen,’’ Weis said. ‘‘Some of them are getting on the players on the sideline if deemed appropriate. I think being down there it’s a lot easier to do,’’ he said.

‘‘I always like to look at people’s faces when I’m talking to them because usually you get a lot more out of them.’’

Miami coach Randy Shannon said if he were nursing an injury the way Weis is, he would be inclined to get away from the field.

‘‘If I was like Charlie, getting surgery or something like that, I wouldn’t be downstairs because you’re going to get injured,’’ Shannon said. ‘‘There’s so many things coming at you, cords on the ground, it’s a way of getting hurt even worse.’’