September 21, 2011

Minter doesn't want to talk about time with Weis

Rick Minter doesn't have much to say about his relationship with Charlie Weis.

"I'm not going to talk about anything in the past," Minter said. "We had a good working relationship for two years and that ended. He's moved on and I've moved on."

Weis has even less to say about their time together at Notre Dame.

"He worked for me for two years, he's a defensive coordinator and we won a bunch of games when he was there," Weis said.

Minter was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2005-06, in Weis' first two years as head coach there. After his second year, Minter was fired.

The Fighting Irish went 19-6 in those seasons and made it to BCS bowls in both seasons, but Minter's defense gave up nearly 24 points per game, including 41 points in a blowout loss to Louisiana State in the Sugar Bowl to end the season.

A lot has changed since then. Weis was fired in 2009 as the Irish failed to make another BCS bowl in his tenure, and Minter latched on as defensive coordinator at Marshall before eventually arriving at UK. Notre Dame went 16-21 in the three seasons after Minter was fired.

Both coaches have changed their schemes significantly as well. Weis returned to the NFL as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs for a year before taking the same job at Florida when Will Muschamp was hired as head coach. He installed a pro-style offense in Gainesville, albeit one that still has vestiges of the old Florida offense.

"The Florida offense right now is built with the tailbacks primarily," Minter said. "They're well-coached, they're well-schemed and they have some good players. They're built around the speed of their tailbacks and they use that speed quite well."

Senior quarterback John Brantley has experienced a revival under Weis. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes last year but is completing over 65 percent this season. His passer rating has jumped from 116.4 to 147.8 as well.

Minter spent two seasons as defensive coordinator at Marshall where he developed a new defensive scheme.

"He was a 4-3 guy when he was with me, and they're playing a 34 defense now, so that's quite a change from the defense they played," Weis said. "It's more of a Pittsburgh Steeler 34 and under defense, whereas for me he was more of a 4-man guy, so there's not a lot of similarities front-wise, but I think he together with coach (Steve) Brown, I think they have a good working relationship between the front-seven and the backend right there, and I think that they're giving up 12 points a game for a reason, they have a pretty good idea of what they want to do on defense."

Saturday will be the first time they've faced off against each other since Minter was let go in early 2007.

Even if neither of them are willing to talk about the past, the first-year coordinators could be seeing a lot of each other in the future.

"I understand because I've been in his shoes," Minter said in a story from in January 2007. "You have to make some hard decisions. Would I have let me go if I were in his shoes? No. But I think Charlie will be more comfortable with somebody from the Belichick-Parcells family. Charlie has brought in a young guy who doesn't have my experience. But he'll be more comfortable with him." reporter Kyle Maistri contributed to this story.

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