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Will Kelly's offense be his liability?

Dec 18, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT

When Jack Swarbrick set out to search for Charlie Weis’ replacement, he hinted that the coach he was looking for would have — among other things — a strong defensive background.

I think we can all say that Brian Kelly’s defensive background wasn’t what got him the job at Notre Dame. You can even make the argument that what did get Kelly the job — his offensive acumen — could be one of his largest liabilities.

Kelly is the new coach at Notre Dame because Charlie Weis failed to post a winning season in his final three seasons. Yet for all Weis’ deficiencies as a head coach, he attracted elite offensive talent to Notre Dame. Those top skill players came to play for a coach that coordinated a Super Bowl winning offense, and gave offensive players the ability to showcase their skills playing in prototype NFL offense.

Many say what got Kelly the job at Notre Dame was his ability to win without elite players. Yet for Kelly to succeed at Notre Dame, he’ll not only have to adjust to playing a schedule without the likes of Southeast Missouri State or Eastern Kentucky on it, but also build a talent base that’s capable of beating BCS level teams from game one of the season.

For Kelly to do that, he’ll not only have to use the traditional selling points that bring recruits to Notre Dame, but also find something to replace the trump card Weis held with an NFL ready offense.

Kelly’s spread offense is prolific, but shares many of the same traits as the versions run by a handful of other coaches. Chris Brown, the proprietor of the website Smart Football and the writer of this detailed breakdown of Kelly’s offensive system, had this to say about Kelly’s fit at Notre Dame:

“This might be heresy, but schematically I don’t find Kelly that
interesting. Now he’s a spread guy (which plays to my preferences), and
he’s been doing it a long time (so he has a pedigree), but I think much
of the talk about Kelly as an “offensive genius” is misplaced. He runs
a very simple, and even at times simplistic, spread offense. That’s the
bad news.”

Simple isn’t bad. Brown goes on to compare Kelly to Lou Holtz, which is a career arc that I think many Irish fans would be happy with. What Weis’ five years in South Bend did was make people forget that Notre Dame struggled to play great offense in the years following Lou Holtz. Bob Davie had to fire Jim Colleto before finding an offensive identity with Kevin Rogers, and Ty Willingham struggled to do anything offensively with Bill Diedrick. Looking back at the modern era of Notre Dame football, you’d be hard pressed to say that Notre Dame ever won because of its offensive firepower. With Weis, he may not have won the way we thought he could, but it was the defensive deficiencies that cost him his job, not his ability to put up points.

When Weis and his staff went into the living rooms of Jimmy Clausen, Dayne Crist, and Michael Floyd, they left with signatures in large part because the recruits were convinced that Charlie Weis was the man that would prepare them best for the NFL. That advantage is gone with Brian Kelly’s offense, and in the years to come we’ll have to hear if Dayne Crist or the next Irish quarterback can successful adapt from the spread offense to a drop-back style system.

If we’ve learned anything about Brian Kelly, it’s that he’s won football games wherever he goes. And if he’s as good a coach as his record shows, he won’t need trump cards like Super Bowl rings to win.  Kelly himself has said that his Cincinnati team wasn’t built to beat BCS
caliber teams for 12 game seasons.

At Notre Dame, it’ll have to be, or
he’ll eventually find himself on a hot seat as well.

  1. Jake - Dec 18, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    The issue with C.W. was that he had a problem relating to and understanding college football players. He came in underestimating what it took to succeed at the college level. He made us all feel that it was going to be a cake walk, that 12-0 was nearly assured. However, his experience was with seasoned pro’s who play for the money. It’s really apples and oranges. Very few on the college level will ever play pro ball. You can’t expect a few players who are there only to further their NFL aspirations to carry the game. A college coach has to relate to and motivate all his players.
    I think this is Kelly’s strong suit and his trump card.

  2. TLNDMA - Dec 18, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    A look at Kelly’s record vs. Weis’s record, against Big East teams, the last few years should put this debate to rest for now. Charlie’s teams stats in some of his years at ND were terrific, yet it always seemed that they should have scored more. In other years(2007) the offense was horrible. The worst in ND history. There is no excuse for that complete failure.
    If ND wins under Kelly, I don’t think there will be any qualms with recruits, about their NFL chances, due to the spread offense. My guess is Kelly will be more willing to adapt to his players abilities, than Weis ever even considered.

  3. MCan2 - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    “My guess is Kelly will be more willing to adapt to his players abilities, than Weis ever even considered.”
    You hit it on the head with this quote. The only part I was hesitant about with Kelly was the spread offense, I like the idea of the pro-style offense and the recruits it garners. There are not that many teams who run a pro-style offense and it is a selling point to some qb’s and wr’s who are looking to the future. Pro-style offense teaches qb’s to work under center and makes wr’s learn how to run good routes. But if Kelly is able to use the weapons that are already at ND we should not have any problems winning now instead of the Michigan fiasco. As long as he wins at ND and keeps the traditions (academic, winning, and no police blotters) I will support him with any offensive system he wants to run.

  4. Art Vandelay - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    We are more than a few months away from the first play Kelly will ever call and already an article about whether the offense will be his downfall? I think its about time we had a simplistic offense rather than the reportedly 6″ thick playbook of Weis. Obviously, there were more than a few occasions when our O line didn’t understand their blocking scheme or assignment. I think there was even a time or two when Armando brought down Tate in the backfield on the wildcat. Maybe if we simplify that aspect of the game Armando will be able to pick up 3 yds when its 3rd and 2, instead of it being a coin toss or having to rely on some gadget play. I swear, every time I saw Weis run some kind of trick play, it just reinforced my impression of him that he thought we couldn’t go toe to toe with our opponent. Maybe the blockers will now know who to block for a change. Let’s give the guy a chance at least. If he sucks, then we can run him out of town too, but I’m hoping he can light it up. GO IRISH.

  5. Kenan20 - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Florida, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Boise State & so forth all run spreads or NON-prostyle offenses. They don’t seem to have trouble recruiting OR garnering wins. As a matter of fact, Boise State BEAT Oklahoma when it had the vaunted Adrian Peterson! Kelly’s simplified spread? Fine with me! Point being, the other team has to STOP whatever offense is on the field – PERIOD. If Kelly coaches our players as he has coached others at the previous stops, then WOW! we are going to win regardless of what “type” of offense because OUR players will finally be READY to play when the whistle sounds! Bring it on Coach Kelly!

  6. Kevin52 - Dec 19, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Well I must say I wasnt at all thrilled at first with the kelly hire. I like his passion for ND. But i was really hoping we’d actually get a coach that was more def oriented. But he’s now our guy so I will support him and root him on and wish the best. I just hope he remembers the defense needs studs too!

  7. robertg - Dec 19, 2009 at 6:30 AM

    1. according to eric hansen of the south bend tribune, the designated and usually reliable source for leaks from swarbrick, kelly is thinking of bringing in, s defensive coordinator at notre dame, chuck martin, the current head coach at grand valley state university, who was the defensive coordinator at gvsu when kelly was the head coach at gvsu before kelly moved on to central michigan and then cincinnati, kelly’s only experiences getting hired by swarbrick.
    2. it appears that kelly has a history with tony alford, the only assistant who is staying with bryant young on hold. alford was the running backs coach at louisville while kelly was at cincinnati.
    3. with notre dame’s current verbal commits for 2010, alford is involved with only 2.
    4. the rest of notre dame’s 2010 verbals and their families and high school coaches verbally committed to charlie and his assistants who have all left notre dame and many, while they love notre dame and they loved charlie and his staff, are now in holding patterns with quite a few making visits to other schools.
    5. notre dame did get its 1st verbal commit due to kelly from wr/safety austin collinsworth of kentucky whom kelly had recruited for cincinnati.
    6. austin is rated with 3 stars by both rivals and scout, is unranked at his position by rivals and at no. 98 by scout.
    7. austin’s father cris collinsworth was a star wr at florida and in the nfl at 6’5″ with excellent speed.
    8. austin is about 6′ even, 180 lbs, and was timed at 4.66 and 4.7 in the 40 yard dash.
    9. austin is probably a fine intelligent young man, but could not even get an offer from charlie or his staff and other schools have not been clogging up austin’s telephone.
    10. the rest of kelly’s staff? probably from cincinnati after the sugar bowl.
    11. kelly’s history with defenses in college football? not good at all.
    GO IRISH!!!

  8. robertg - Dec 19, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    1. you raise another issue. who actually decided that charlie and his staff should be fired and kelly hired?
    2. based on the available facts, purcell, as the trustee in charlie of all athletics, swarbrick, whom purcell brought into notre dame as ad, and jenkins, and a few other shadowy figures in the current notre dame administration.
    3 the members of the notre dame community who include families like ours who have made large donations to notre dame in the past and influenced many others to do the same and were planning to continue doing so in the future certainly have standing in the civil courts to pursue such issues and we certainly will.
    4. weknow that notre dame’s student athletes who also play football voted overwhelmingly in favor of keepping charlie and his staff on, as did notre dame’s 2010 verbals and their families and high school coaches, including quite a few key verbals who were heavy leans towards notre dame before charlie and his staff were fired and kelly hired, but have now committed to other schools.
    5. how is it that a small number of people who have no real knowledge of college football were able to pull off these firings and hirings without getting the permissions of anyone else in the notre dame community?
    6. this is a systemic problem that exists at notre dame and at many other schools.
    7. obviously, such decisions should be left in the hands of notre dame alums who excelled as student athletes playing football at notre dame, in the nfl, and in their personal and business lives who have kept up with college football and systemic problems such as corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings and bcs systems.
    8. can such permanent changes be required at notre dame? they certainly can and will be.
    GO IRISH!!!

  9. robertg - Dec 19, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    1. along with decision making power for the members of the notre dame community over all appointments to all positions and committees within notre dame, including significant changes in reslife, must come full transparency to and accountability to every member of the notre dame community.
    2. it was that very lack of transparency and accountability within the roman catholic church which forced us to make systemic changes for the benefit of that institution.
    3. the roman catholic church is, by no means, perfect today, but it is significantly improved.
    GO IRISH!!!

  10. StephenOfTroy - Dec 19, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    I’m with Art, TLNDMA (gasp!) and Kevin52.
    It’s way too early to be picking on Kelly for his offense. We don’t know for sure what his offense will be. Now that he’s coaching at a new school with new players (and coaching with an as-yet-unnamed offensive coordinator), he might surprise us, or at least add a wrinkle or two.
    I think it would be difficult to imagine Kelly being LESS able to adapt to his players than Weis was, so I have to agree with TLNDMA.
    And even though I think he’s a liar with no integrity, Kelly is the coach of my 2nd favorite team, and I want ND to win all but one of the games on its schedule, so I’m hoping Kelly does well.
    Simple is indeed good. Green Bay didn’t win all those titles in the 60’s by running trick plays. Sweep right, sweep left. You know it’s coming. Try and stop it. If you get 11 guys who each commit to doing the hard work necessary to win, you can win if your playbook is only 6 pages, let alone 6″, thick.
    Oh, and I was more than a bit disappointed to see a post from robertg that was more or less about football and nothing else (#7). But then he kept posting. And I got to read more silliness about shadowy figures, civil courts, corrupt officiating, and the Catholic church. God’s in His Heaven, and all’s right with the world!

  11. The Bammer - Dec 19, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    Kelly is going to be a legend my friends. LEGEND. Put it in writing. Sign, seal and deliver it, BAMMER STYLE!!!!. He ain’t no scoby doo! There are two things that I am certain in life: 1) Nobody knows the ladies like me and 2) Nobody knows football like Kelly. GO IRISH!!!!

  12. robertg - Dec 20, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    1.while we love notre dame, there is no future at notre dame for kelly.
    2.mark axelrod in his 12/19/2009 article ” The politics of notre dame football,or, desperately seeking princeton” hit some bulleyes with a good part of the systemic problems with notre dame football.
    3.” Everyone talks about the notre dame football tradition as if they’ve been above canning coaches for the sake of canning coaches, but history records that notre dame doesn’t have a whole lot of patience with coaches- something brian kelly might want to consider…. That really doesn’t sound like they’ve raised the bar for dealing ethically with coaches. Touchdown Jesus wouldn’t be happy.”
    4. with the rest of axelrod’s article, we do not agree.
    5. however, these pattern of canning notre dame coaches and their staffs for all the wrong reasons and in vicious manners which are totally inconsistent with notre dame’s core values of honesty, integrity, and loyalty and then bringing in some completely unqualified coach like kelly as the messiah replacement only to be subjected to another round of vicious attacks from certain so called notre dame fan websites and other media shills who pocket tons of money during every recycling process sure has not brought back notre dame football, nor will such atrocious patterns of conduct by a few shadowy figures in the notre dame administration whose dealings are currently not transparent or accountable to the notre dame community ever do so.
    6. that is why the solution for notre dame football lies in cutting the cancers out of the notre dame administration and installing safeguards in all decision making processes at notre dame to make certain that disgraceful firing and hiring decisions such as the most recent one never happen again.
    7. dial back to 2004. tyrone had already realized that he could not bring notre dame’s recruiting network back from the dead or deal with notre dame’s alums and donors since tyrone had not gone to school at notre dame, had an offer to be the head coach at washington and was more than enough of a gentleman to resign with dignity had be been given the opportunity.
    8. who made the decision not to give tyrone the opportunity to make that decision? was not the notre dame community. it was purcell and jenkins over the strong objections of notre dame’s outgoing president and notre dame’s ad kevin white who quit and left for duke when the same vicious media vultures began to their vicious attacks on charlie and his staff and their families and on notre dame’s student athletes.
    10. by some quirk of fate, i personnally got a front row seat in the prccess that followed the vicious firing of tyrone.
    11. because of the vicious manner in which tyrone was fired by purcell and jenkins, not by the notre dame community, notre dame had to pay several million dollars to tyrone for every year tyrone coached at washington.
    12. in other words, notre dame paid for tyrone to coach at washington.
    13. did those funds come out of the pockets of purcell and jenkins? of course not. notre dame’s donors paid the full costs for the atrocious conduct of purcell and jenkins and a few spoiled brat alums, along with the vicious media shills and the industry of so called notre dame fan sites.
    14. on the recruiting front, the vicious media shills had a real field day.
    15. notre dame should never be trusted by recruits and their families and high school coaches no matter what new coach they bring in.
    16. the messasge, quite correctly, hit home with recruits and their families and high school coaches all over the us.
    17. at this point, the notre dame trustees actually got together and decided that notre dame should drop bcs level football and join the ivy league since, as they saw the situation, playing bcs football and keeping up notrte dame’s high character and academic standards were incompatible.
    18. that is what urban meyer told purcell and jenkins when they took a private jet of a notre dame alum to salt lake city,utah and discussed the notre dame job with urban meyer.
    19. urban was willing to consider the notre dame job, but only if notre dame could match what florida offerred to meyer, a separate dumbed down school within notre dame for full time football players, along with a look the other way policy when it came to character.
    20. there is a recent example. one of florida’s key defensive players was arrested for drunk driving about 3 weeks ago. he was found passed out at the steering wheel of his car at an intersection by the local police. fortunately, no one was injured or died as a result of this incident.
    21. urban had a talk with florida’s president and ad and they all decided that this football player should be forgiven and allowed to play in the sugar bowl against kelly’s cincinnati team.
    22. we certainly do not like the inquisition manner in which notre dame’s reslife’s system operates. anyone accused of anything is presumed guilty, even if they prevail in the courts and immediately exiled for a semerster or expelled.
    23. there is a transparent and just system for such matters available for notre dame and we will made certain that such a system gets installed and that reslife is put back in the inquisition era where it has always belonged.
    24. then,in 2004, some key notre dame alums stepped foward, each of whom had excelled as student athletes playing football at notre dame, in the nfl, and in their business and personal lives.
    25. they put up the money so that notre dame football could take one more shot at competing at the bcs level without lowering notre dame’s academic and character standards and they chose charlie weis to give notre dame football that last chance.
    26. charlie had great success at the highest levels in the nfl and charlie knows and loves notre dame more than anyone can ever imagine.
    27. charlie found a very thin green line of talent at notre dame and produced 2 bcs appearances in his 1st 2 years at a time when notre dame lacked talent at many positions and had zero depth at any position.
    28. discounting notre dame’s 2005 win over usc, which was stolen from notre dame by dishonest pac 10 officials and notre dame’s 2006 win over michigan which was stolen by dennis lipski and a crooked big 10 officiating crew, charlie and his staff and notre dame’s very thin green line of student athletes really finished the 2005 and 2006 seasons with one loss each, achievements which sent real shockwaves and terror into the minds and herats of the proprietors of crooked college football and sports enterprises.
    29. there are 4 things that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes did not understand when charlie took on the notre dame job.
    30. we will start with recruiting, one of the many areas of the business of college football about which we have learned a great deal in the process of collecting evidence for our court projects.
    31. because of his obligations with winning yet another superbowl for the patriots and the timing of purcell’s and jenkins’ vicious firing of tyrone, charlie’s involvement in recruiting for the 2005 recruiting cycle was extremely limited.
    32. charlie and his staff hit the recruiting trails for the 2006 recruiting cycle with dedication and energy which no one else will ever match.
    33. charlie and his staff visited high school coaches all over the us who had not seen anyone from notre dame since vinny cerratto handled notre dame recruiting for lou holtz.
    34. recruits and their families and their high school coaches liked and trusted charlie and his staff and they liked the core values for which notre dame should stand. with charlie’s contacts in the nfl, they liked their shots at the nfl and, if that did not work out, armed with highly marketable notre dame educations.
    35.however, in the 2006 and 2007 recruiting cycles, charlie and his staff had to answer a key question. if recruits and their familes and high school coaches trusted charlie and his staff, how could they trust notre dame’s administration not to stab in the back charlie and his staff and their own sons just as the notre dame administration had done with every single prior coach starting with the firing of lou holtz.
    36. after all, recruits and their families and their high school coaches could see the virtually empty recruiting classes of 2004 and 2005 and knew that there were bound to be some very ugly seasons.
    37. so, while charlie and his staff did accomplish miracles on the recruiting trails in the 2006 and 2007 recruiting cycles, they and notre dame lost key recruits who simply did not believe that the notre dame administration could be trusted.
    38. during the 2008 recruiting cycle,which coincided with a terrible 2007 on the field season and vicious media attacks fed by eric hansen of the south bend tribune, charlie and his staff finally turned the tide and reeled in notre dame 1st no 1 recruiting class in decades and with honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame’s academic and character standards.
    39. charlie and his staff had established relationships of trust with recruits and their families and with high school coaches all over the us.
    40. in addition, as soon as the media shills started in with their vicious attacks during the 2007 season, former notre dame ad kevin white took the legs out from under thye media shills by announcing that charlue and his staff would be at notre dame for the long haul.
    41. when the notre dame administation, including purcell and jenkins rtefused to back up kevin white by banning these vicious media shills such as eric hansen and his crew from the south bend tribune and brian hamilton from the chicago tribune, kevin white quit in disgust and left for duke, leaving the door open for purcell to bring in his flunkey swarbrick as notre dame’s ad.
    42. we watched the 2009 recruiting cyle very closely. when the viciouis media shills began their attacks, purcell and jenkins and swarbrick did nothing to protect charlie and his staff and their families and notre dame’s student athjletes and their families.
    43. swarbrick just stood around and did nothing to protect charlie and his staff and their families. by the time swarbrick announced. after the last game of the 2008 season, that swarbrick had decided that charlie and his staff would be back for one more year, charlie and his staff had already lost key recruits at key positions to other schools, with all of the future consequences for future notre dame seasons that purcell and swarbrick and jenkins certainly knew that this would mean for notre dame’s future football seasons.
    44. for the 2010 recruiting cycle, the recruiting disasters for notre dame have already been devastating and are only going to get worse.
    45. just focusing on one key high school, perennial power st. thomas acquinas in fort lauderdale, florida, whose coach has been around for a very long time, charlie and his staff had established bonds of trust and had great shots at numbers of key student athletes for notre dame.
    46. as a direct result of the misconduct of purcell and swarbrick and jenkins, the number of notre dame verbal commits from st. thomas acquinas high school is one, with the one verbal commit very likely to switch to another school.
    47. the second factor that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes did not understand were the depths into which dishonest officiating would descend when dave parry of college football officiating llc(they have a website and are jointly owned and operated by the ncaa and the 6 power conferences)started operating in 2007 across conference lines and on a national basis and specifically targeting charlie and his staff and notre dame since notre dame is the last great threat to the monopoly of crooked college football and sports enterprises.
    48. how did we 1st learn about dave parry? we watched charlie’s press conference and printed out the transcript after the 2006 notre dame/ michigan game? charlie mentioned that he had sent film of many clearly erroneous officiating calls during that game to the big 10 official in charge of football officiating quality control and, when asked, charlie mentioned the name dave parry and his responses which were esentially- screw you..
    49. that is when we began the process of learning about the business of college football and collecting the evidence that we have, although we did not purchase the equipment and hire the experts to break down the game film and tv feeds and send our own film crews to games until the 2008 season.
    50. as was the case with the sexual predators and coverups within our own roman catholic church, we could smell that some things were rotten, but we had not yet collected the knowledge to understand the evidence or the evidence.
    51. well, in the case of crooked college football and sports enterprises and the systemic problems with notre dame’s current administration, we now have both the evidence and the knowledge to understand the evidence.
    52. as was the case with the roman catholic church, we are now moving foward to cut our the cancers and solve the problems.
    53. did we encounter a lot of hostility and disbelief and lack of understanding when we had to cut the cancers out of our own roman catholic church and install systems which were transparent to and accountable to the members of that church?
    54. we most certainly did.
    55. however, we refused to back down and our roman catholic church is a much better institution than it was with control over finances having ben shifted away from the clergy and to lay members of the church whose conduct is fully transparent to to members of the church and who are fully accountable to the members of the church.
    56. do any of us control any of those assets? no, we are not in the business on managing other people’s money and never will be.
    56. the vast bulk of the money and judgments which we obtained in the roman catholic church cases? we donated those funds back to the church after the transparent and accountable systems were in place.
    57. do we keep a close watch to catch anything that tries to go rotten again? we certainly do and we take immediate action.

  13. robertg - Dec 20, 2009 at 10:29 AM

    1. the 3rd and 4th things that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes did not understand are interrelated.
    2. there are the depths of depravity to which certain media shills would descend in attacking them and their families with eric hansen of the south bend tribune, as always, the most vicious of all, including articles viciously attacking charlie’s son and the complete failure of purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins to express any loyalty or support for any of them.
    3. does kelly offer any respect or contacts in the nfl? no. has kelly ever won a national championship or even come close? no.
    4. kelly’s bcs record? 0-1 to a very mediocre vtech team with a real massacre coming from florida.
    5. kelly’s relationships and levels of trust with the recruiting networks which charlie and his staff built up all over the us? zero
    6. the current level of trust of the current notre dame administration with recruits and their families and high school coaches all over the us? zero.
    7. chances that charlie and his staff would come back to notre dame after we make the needed systemic changes in college football and at notre dame and cut out the cancers? long shots, but not impossible.
    8. amounts that the university of notre dame will have to pay to get rid of the current cancers? zero. we will take care of those matters out of the pockets of the bad guys.
    9. futures of the university of notre dame and notre dame football? most excellent.
    GO IRISH!!!

  14. dabears - Dec 20, 2009 at 11:10 AM


  15. Jake - Dec 20, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    I’m with you. I’m speechless.

  16. ugetwutuask4 - Dec 20, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Kelly has proven he can win with lesser talent. And if he wins 8 to 10 games next year I know that success will have been a product of Charlies recruiting classes but for him to be successful past that means that he’ll need top level talent to win against the opponents we face. However first and foremost we need Bryant Young to remain on board with the coaching staff and we also need a very very good D-coordinator that will be able to recruit lots of D talent to South Bend. Because I think our D can be STOUT next year to win us some games if TEO comes back and we can develop our talent in the D backfield.

  17. DomerHead - Dec 20, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    Why would you want to keep Weis!? We all know he brought in some decent recruiting classes and we saw some great offense at times but, do you ever stop to think about all the times where he would make some questionable play calls? Were you ever frustrated when he would call the obvious deep pass every first down we had at the opponents 40 yard line? I think Weis’ play calling became way too predictable and while the talent of Clausen, Tate, Floyd and Rudolph might have prevailed most of the time, it did not when we needed it to most. The thing I find most intriguing about Kelly compared to Weis is his fire and passion. I never saw Weis get in his players faces and really get them pumped to play. It always seemed like we would come out strong then fizzle out at some point. On top of all that I am tired of having to worry about us beating teams like Navy, Syracuse, San Diego State, Uconn. These should be given wins just by pride alone! I am excited to see something new on the field because I feel with Weis we all knew what to expect. He probably would have pulled off a 9-3 season next year. Go ND and go BK!
    P.S. Did you see him speak at the pep rally? Students have seemed to embrace the new hire thus far. We shall see what the results are next season…

  18. Rick Easy - Dec 20, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    I sometimes read the articles here and rush ahead to see what robertg has cooking up. Hilarious.

  19. bak - Dec 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    They don’t ask you how, they ask you how many? Who cares what kind of offense Kelly runs as long as it wins? So CW ran a pro-style offense. What did it get the Irish?

  20. bak - Dec 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    your tinfoil hat must have a damn good high speed connection to download that much nonsense from the mothership

  21. Avon Domer - Dec 21, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    With CW it was all about his pro-style offensive scheme and that was what he sold to the ND administration to get the job. Unfortunately, to consistently win college football games it takes less emphasis on scheme and more on player development, fundamentals, instilling a winning attitude, keeping players motivated, getting players to be physically and mentally tough, and getting players to execute on the field. Those were all weaknesses of CW’s teams.
    In contrast, throughout his nearly two decades as a head college coach, Kelly has always found ways to LEAD his teams to great successs, and that includes this year when he had 10 new starters on defense and had to play a number of quarterbacks due to injuries. For him to go undefeated under those circumstances is nothing short of amazing, and that’s the type of leadership ND has been lacking since Holtz left. BTW: Vince Lombardi is considered the greatest pro coach of all time. Does anybody remember the famed “Green Bay Sweep” either left or right? It was the cornerstone of his offense, it was simple and everyone knew it was coming and nobody could stop it. It’s all about developing players and getting them to execute. GO IRISH!!

  22. irish25 - Dec 21, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Weis is better from an X’s and O’s standpoint for sure..the problem at the college level is its not 22-35 year old men already coached up, its 18-21 yr old young men still learning the game. The atmosphere was one of a professional team, not a fun college team. That, and his not knowing as much about D as he does about the O, are his only downfalls…

  23. bak - Dec 21, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Exactly. Heck, Kelly could install the Veer and if it won 12 games I doubt we’d hear anybody say, “If only we ran more crossing routes”. Screw style points. And one last thing about CW – I didn’t like him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he gave it his best shot. He is a heck of an Offensive Coord. at the NFL level – that’s not in dispute. But maybe that’s where he belongs. I know he is not thought highly of on this forum, but Pete Carroll was not a success as a head coach at the NFL level, but at the College level the kids bought into what he was selling. I think even he recognizes this as I don’t think he’d have a hard time getting another NFL gig if he really wanted one. I wish CW the best in whatever he does next, but I just don’t think the college game is where he belongs.

  24. James - Dec 21, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Not what robertg has cooked up, but what length he goes to! This is a record for me! His stuff went way long!
    robertg, meet me at the starbucks off Vista Way and the 76 in Vista to discuss the evil conspiracies, tomorrow morning!

  25. James - Dec 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    How many think robertg should be televised?

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