Sep 24, 2009, 8:30 AM EDT
Let’s be honest: Notre Dame fans are madly in love with Frank Verducci.
The honeymoon is in full bloom. The once downtrodden offensive line has made leaps and bounds this year under the first year offensive line coach and running game coordinator. I have suspect that if Verducci credited the line’s outstanding play to a gluten-free diet, that Irish fans would clean out the kitchen cabinets.
Today, a throng of media surrounded everybody’s favorite offensive line coach, searching for an explanation to the phenomenal improvement. To nobody’s surprise, Verducci filled us up with coach-speak, resisting any thought that three games signified a trend.
“In all honesty, it’s a week-to-week deal,” Verducci said. “The expiration date for being a good offensive line is September 26th and we’re going to have to go out and renew it.”
Verducci spoke of his experience in the NFL (some of the same things Coach Weis spoke about during his press conference Tuesday), and thought his years coaching have been one of his most valuable assets.
“Experience isn’t valued enough,” Verducci said. “I’ve told these kids, they’re getting me at my best. The whole experience of being in the NFL for 10 years, it’s obviously made me a better coach.”
As the kudos continue to roll in for the new offensive line coach, it’ll be interesting to see if Verducci’s reputation will help in this very important recruiting year for offensive linemen. Last weekend, blue-chip offensive tackle prospect Matt James made an unofficial visit to watch the Irish beat the Spartans. James told IrishSportsDaily.com that he liked what he saw.
“I wanted to see how the offensive line looked under Coach Verducci, and you can tell they’ve really developed,” James said.
Verducci’s master stroke could still be yet to come this fall. With all-everything recruit Seantrel Henderson and blue-chipper Brandon Linder visiting for the USC game, and many other important linemen still looking at the Irish, Verducci’s on-field work with the resurgent offensive line could be a big reason why Weis and his staff make another large recruiting haul.