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Spring Practice: Your A to Z guide

Mar 26, 2010, 11:01 AM EDT

The Brian Kelly era of Notre Dame football hits the practice field today for the very first time. After months of offseason evaluations, recruiting, community commitments and press obligations, it’s time for the former Cincinnati coach to being doing the thing that got him the Notre Dame job in the first place.

The Irish kick off Spring Practice today with their first workout at 3:30 ET. Here’s an A to Z guide to get you up to speed.

A is for Attitude Adjustment. The Irish football team is in desperate need for one, and Kelly has put it at the top of his list of talking points. “I’m tired of hearing about the next NFL player coming out of Notre Dame, quite frankly,” Kelly quipped earlier in the week. The message? Get back to the roots of Irish football, and remember what made this program special.

B is for Bob Diaco. The new defensive coordinator is tasked with the hardest job in the program: to turn around a defense that failed. Diaco has already proven himself a passionate, articulate, energetic coach. But he’s also a wildcard with a fraction of the track record previous defensive coordinators Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta had. For the Irish to succeed, Diaco will have to transform an underachieving crew into a unit capable of big things. No small task.

C is for Camp Kelly. Every coaching staff has something like this, and Camp Kelly is designed to build team chemistry through the tried and true practice of working people out until they leave their lunch in the garbage can. Some of the best team-building activities have little to do with football, and these workouts will bring the team closer together. (Hopefully not just at the trashcan.)

D is for Dayne Crist. The future is now for Crist, who takes the reins of the Irish football program while still recovering from a torn ACL suffered against Washington State last year. Crist was as highly touted as they come, and he’s wowed people with his unique blend of size, speed, and arm strength. Now its up to the Southern California native to run Kelly’s spread attack, something he’ll be able to do in Spring Practice after being medically cleared by the team doctors.

E is for Edge players. Kelly claimed there are five players competing for two roles on the edge of the defense, and former inside linebacker Brian Smith is one of them. Smith will be joined by Darius Fleming, Kerry Neal, Steve Filer, and Dan Fox, all completely interchangeable in the new system. It was interesting that Kelly made it clear that Smith is strictly an outside backer, moving him inside only in an emergency. Only two guys will emerge as starters, making this one of the most interesting battles on the roster.

F is for Fourth Quarter. The Irish need to become a team of closers, and Notre Dame’s inability to close teams out physically in the fourth quarter was the demise of Weis regime. The strength and conditioning staff has already made that the mission of the offseason, and players have either shed or redistributed weight in the short time since Kelly and his staff arrived in South Bend.  

G is for Ground Game. While the emphasis of Kelly’s spread attack is throwing the ball, he’s also put together a far more prolific running attack at Cincinnati than Weis did at Notre Dame. With Armando Allen, Robert Hughes, Jonas Gray, and Cierre Wood all hoping to get reps in the backfield, there’s no reason that the Irish offense won’t have a capable ground game, something that plagued the Irish the past few years.   

H is for Harrison Smith. There was no player that drew more criticism than Harrison Smith, an athlete that wowed Irish coaches with his raw skills and frustrated fans with his inconsistent play. Moved back to a safety position after spending his sophomore season as a undersized linebacker, Smith struggled to adapt to his new job, and eventually went back down into the box. There’s no contingency plan for Smith. “If he can’t play safety, he can’t play,” Kelly said. 

I is for Inside Linebackers. With the shift of Brian Smith outside, Manti Te’o is set to anchor one of the middle linebacker positions. Who fills the other role on the inside is anyone’s guess, and while the candidates are numerous, their playing time is not. Carlo Calabrese, Anthony McDonald, David Posluszny, and Steve Paskorz are all candidates for the spot next to Te’o.  

J is for Johnson, Ethan. Irish fans are still waiting for the heralded recruit to become the player many expected when stepping onto campus. Johnson has the athleticism and size needed to be a force as a defensive end, but he’s disappeared far too often on the football field for a guy of his stature. Coming into his junior season, Ethan needs to become the force many expected the past two seasons.

K is for Kapron Lewis-Moore. KLM was mentioned specifically by Kelly in his opening comments today as one of the leaders in the offseason workouts. He’ll be leaned on heavily with Ethan Johnson to provide stability at defensive end, where he’s got the size and frame to be a force at the point of attack.  

L is for Longo Beach. There’s no more highly-anticipated torture chamber than the ballyhooed Longo Beach, strength coach Paul Longo’s summer creation devised to whip his football players into shape. Longo trucks in sand pits that maximize core strength while lowering the impact of the high intensity workouts. 

M is for Michael Floyd. While he’s dazzled many of us with his play, Kelly was very candid when he said Floyd had a lot of work to do. Off the field, Floyd’s embarrassing citation for underage drinking and a fight got him into the news. But Kelly praised Michael’s offseason training, and his ability to transform his body. “He’s lost a lot of weight, he’s down to 216 to 217, down from about the
230 range he was at when we got here.” Floyd lost the weight to better fit the fast-paced tempo of the new Irish offense. 

N is for Now. As Kelly said in his opening remarks, “We don’t have five years to put this thing together. We’ve got to do it right away.” That is music to the ears of Irish fans, who have endured a 15-21 stretch over the past three seasons after consecutive BCS appearances. 

O is for Offensive tackle. With the move of Lane Clelland to defensive end, that leaves three scholarship tackles left on the roster. But Kelly didn’t seem overly concerned, citing the spread as reason to believe that he’ll be able to cross-train guards and tackles more freely. Expect guys like Trevor Robinson and Matt Romine to be beneficiaries of the change, as they’re a more athletic breed of tackle that could flourish in the new system. 
 
P is for Position Changes. While Lane Clelland, Theo Riddick, and Steve Paskorz are the three players switching positions for Spring Practice, Kelly made it clear that player evaluation happens every day. There’s no reason to think that there couldn’t be a few more shifts before the spring session is over.

Q is for Quarterbacks. While Dayne Crist is certainly getting the first chance to win the job, Kelly is relying on Nate Montana to provide competition, while Tommy Rees learns the role. One thing Kelly made certain. “This is a quarterback driven offense. I’ve got a library, I just need to know what they can handle first.” Kelly will install as much as Crist and Montana are able to absorb. 

R is for Return to Roots. When asked what he’d like to accomplish this spring, Kelly remarked that he’d like to “Get the fight back in the Fighting Irish.” That means going outside in the snow at 5 a.m. for a surprise workout, and not necessarily taking advantage of all the amenities that the Irish have at their disposal with the first-rate facilities at The Gug.  

S is for Stopping the Run. No defense can succeed without stopping the run, and Kelly has made it known that it’s the first order of business for Bob Diaco’s troops. The 3-4 alignment should help, and Ian Williams will be the guy at the point of attack. Last year’s defense struggled because they had no way to stop a running game. 

T is for Tackling. The Irish stunk up the joint when it came to tackling. Whether it was a lack of practice time, a lack of will, or a combination of both, the defense missed way too many tackles last year, and it’ll likely be a big point of emphasis for Spring Practice. Going back to the basics and Football 101 should be a big part of Spring Practice.

U is for Up Tempo. Kelly equated the difference in the Irish offense from the previous one to the difference between a half court set in basketball to a run-and-gun attack. Everything will be up-tempo this spring, from the two hour practices to the 24 five-minute segments that each session breaks down into. 

V is for Volume. Work Volume is one of the most important facets of Spring for Kelly. What can this team handle? Volume is also for sheer volume, as Kelly’s emphasized the need for players to trim down. “Change in cargo load. Too much cargo, it needed to be lowered. It’s absolutely crucial to what we do. We’ve got to have guys that can run.”

W is for Wide Receiver. The battle on the perimeter is the Spring’s best. No longer will the Irish be playing a majority of two-wide sets, they’ll be an opportunity for three, four, and five receivers on the field, who they’ll be is anyone’s guess.

X is for X receiver. Golden Tate is gone from the X spot, and the job will likely be filled by senior Duval Kamara, who at one time was considered the next big thing among Irish wide receivers. But expect John Goodman, Shaq Evans, and Deion Walker to get a shot at winning this wide open battle to play opposite Michael Floyd, and Theo Riddick, Roby Toma, and Tai-ler Jones to fight for time in the slot. 

Y is for Youth Movement. With the exception of Manti Te’o, the bottom of this roster has yet to step up and provide a difference maker. At times of transition, the Irish football program hasn’t struggled with its veteran players, but its been the underclassmen below them that failed to keep things going. Weis was doomed by his inability to get the youngest members of his roster ready to play, something that Brian Kelly and his staff pride themselves on.

Z is for Zibby. The Notre Dame defense is in desperate need of a tough guy leader like Tommy Zbikowski, the last blue-collar leader who seemed to leave it all out there on the football field. Zibby may have had some limitations as a football player, but toughness was never one of them. For the Irish defense to get back their swagger, they’ll need to channel their inner-Zibby. 

  1. mikeford - Mar 26, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Great piece you put together here Keith! I haven’t been this excited for spring practice in some time and I’m praying for everyone to have a healthy and informative one. GO IRISH!!!!!!

  2. andrew - Mar 26, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Awesome job Keith! Counting down the days to the start of the season. Can you try and breakdown the Freshman for us? Who do you look at to make an impact this season?

  3. TLNDMA - Mar 26, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Keith, nice piece. A comment on “A”, I don’t know if these players needed an “attitude adjustment” as much as they needed a “leadership adjustment”. Kelly’s commitment to details seems to be the difference. If ND wins this year the proof will be in the pudding.

  4. robertg - Mar 27, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    1. if anyone is going to try to put the best positive spin on the one season on1y kelly era in notre dame football,without straying too far from reality,keith and his staff are certainly doing the very best that can be done at notre dame central. after all, that is their job currently at notre dame central. unlike the so called notre dame fan sites, keith and his staff do not charge notre dame fans for access to notre dame central nor do they delete any posts, whether or not they agree with them.
    2. with kelly and his staff, based on the evidence and empirical data, we see some similarities and many more differences differences from the much longer faust era.
    3. like kelly and his staff, faust also had a long successful high school coaching career at moeller high school, which played tougher schedules than kelly and his staff every have at gvsu, central michigan, and cincinnati and faust did so with real student athletes taking very serious high academic courses, unlike the full time football players which kelly and his staff had the use of at gvsu, central michigan, and cincinnati.
    4. while this 5 am camp kelly propaganda does sound very nice in theory,the camp kelly gargage, along with the very extended access times that kelly and his staff always had with their full time football players at gvsu, central michigan, and cincinnati, and got away with because they were flying below the ncaa rules and radar and because their full time football players at those schools had no real academic obligations, simply cannot work at notre dame unless, of course, notre dame’s genuine student athletes become full time football players with zero real academic obligations and career benefits, outside of football. from their college years at notre dame.
    5. problem no 1 are the already fully loaded time schedules of every notre dame student athlete who also plays football, which left them with barely enough hours to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep every night while charlie and his staff were on watch. when kelly and his staff try to squeeze more hours out of the days of notre dame’s student athletes who also play football, notre dame’s student athletes have to cut back their sleep or their study time or both, neither of which is possible if notre dame football is going to remain notre dame football giving every student athlete a genuine high quality and marketable notre dame education and the best possible preparation for a shot at an nfl career. there simply are no legally available extra hours available for kelly and his staff from notre dame’s student athletes.
    6.problem no. 2 are the numerous ncaa rules violations, just in the area of hours that coaches( we know, as does anyone who has gathered the evidence, that, at gvsu, central michigan, and cincinnati, because they were flying beneath the ncaa radar, kelly and his staff were able to get away with using their strength and conditioning trainer illegally as a stand in for themselves- football coaches) can spend with student athletes and how and when practices with coaches can be held and conducted, things which those, like us, who actually read and understand the ncaa rules and follow what the ncaa is currently doing now in these areas know that charlie and his staff spent the maximum amount of time permitted by current ncaa rules with notre dame’s student athletes and had nothing at all to do with what notre dame’s student athletes voluntarily decided to do during the offseason despite the fact that notre dame’s opponents were intentionally cheating and getting away with doing so.
    7. because of our big court wins over the ncaa( if anyone needs the online citations and sources which we have posted many times before), the ncaa has actually started to enforce the time limit and other rules. florida state and alabama have had to forfeit numerous football wins, including bowl wins, and big monetary payouts, along with many wins and national championships in many other sports.
    8.ironically, while the ncaa infractions committee is refining the sanctions against usc football and basketball and usc’s athletic department after the 2/19-2/21 2010 trial in tempe, arizona before the ncaa infractions committee does pubicly announce its sanctions against usc, after the alabama forfeits, the usc football program actually became, for a very short period of time, the college football program with the most wins in certain categories.
    9. as we have previously stated, we do not trust the ncaa or the conferences in their current formats and will make certain that dramatic changes are in place before the 2011 season begins.
    10. the ncaa sanctions against usc and the other schools are prospective only and places like usc just plug in kiffen and a set of new names and faces to cheat the same way, unless some people like us follow up with economic punishments in the civil courts so severe that the cheating cannot continue.
    11. however, we do find it interesting that certain individuals at the ncaa, in efforts to avoid personal liabilitiesc in the civil courts, are actually now taking action against the florida states, alabamas, and michigans of college football( note the similarities between camp kelly and camp rodriguez at michigan, which did get immediate attention and action from the ncaa infractions committee).
    12. kelly and his staff have never before had to operate at a high profile school like notre dame where the press and the ncaa are always right in their faces watching everything that they do very carefully.
    13. kelly and his staff have also never operated before at a school, such as notre dame, which provides genuine academic educations with real market values to every student athlete, including those who also play football.
    14.the faust era does not rank very high in notre dame football history. however,unlike kelly and his staff, faust and his staff really did, and still does, love and understand notre dame and notre dame football.
    15. in addition, unlike kelly and his staff, faust and his staff, like charlie and his staff, really could and did go out and recruit and win those recruiting battles all over the us against every other football program in the us.
    16. as we predicted, in our absence,( after all, we are busy doing our real work in the civil courts to drive the corruption out of college football at the ncaa, conference, and schools that cheat levels) notre dame central has become a very quiet internet backwater with 3 of the usual suspects, mike ford, andrew, and tlndma( internet front identities only, of course,) congratulating one another and proclaiming kelly and his staff to be genuises, just as they excoriated charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes for losses stolen from notre dame in 2008 and 2009.
    17. however, even tlndma is now hedging with “If ND wins this year the proof will be in the pudding.”
    18. well, what does this statement really mean? does it mean that, if ND does not go to a bcs game in 2010, kelly and his staff and those who ilegally hired them should be booted out pronto with yet another hate campaign out before we even get around to doing so ourselves at notre dame after we finish driving the corruption out at the ncaa, conference, and school levels?
    19. after all, charlie and his staff left behind much more talent and experience and depth at every position for kelly and his staff than charlie and his staff inherited at notre dame when they arrived in 2005 and took notre dame to 2 bcs games in a row, including that big 2005 win over usc which was stolen from notre dame by a crooked pac 10 officiating crew bought and paid for the usc boosters and the notre dame “losses” to michigan and usc in 2006,both orchestrated by crooked big head ref dennis lipski, who was insulated from all complaints by dave parry of the big 10. .
    20. it was after those dazzling notre dame seasons in 2005 and 2006 and the success of charlie and his staff on the recruiting trail during the 2007 rebuilding season( charlie and his staff brought in the nation’s no 1 ranked 2008 recruiting class during that disasterous on paper 2007 season on the field) on the field that notre dame’s opponents and the rest of college football became so terrified of charlie and his staff and notre dame football that they refined crooked officiating and took crooked officiating national through college football officiating llc( they have a website)- that idea came from swarbrick’s great buddy- jim delany, the big 10 commissioner, and dave parry, formerly the big 10 conference official in charge of football officiating hiring, training, assignments to games, promotions, quality control and discipline( there is none, except rewards for the crooks).
    21. in the meantime, we congratulate every student athlete on notre dame’s womens’s basketball team and coach mcgraw and her staff on their fine performance in the 2010 march madness and wish them luck in their sunday at 7:30pm edt sweet 16 game against oklahoma, available for free to att dsl customers worldwide at espn 360.
    22. with their talent, intelligence, and dedication, this notre dame womens’s basketball team could just bring notre dame her second national championship in basketball. the women also won it all in 2001.
    23. we also congratuate every student athlete on notre dame’s mens’s and womens’s fencing teams who are well within reach of their 8th national championship.
    24. in fencing, there is only one combined national championship for men and women. with the womens’s portion of the competition now over and the mens’ set to begin saturday.
    25. right now, the nd team is in second place in the us, only one point( one point awarded for each win in each weapon) behind, with the notre dame men being in an excellent position to vault the notre dame team into 1st place overall and into the team’s 8th national championship.
    26. while crooked officiating does exist in womens’s basketball, since womens’s basketball does not bring in large revenues to schools, the levels of crooked officiating do not come even close to those which have become standard in college football and in mens’s basketball.
    27. in college fencing, the 21st century high tech offficiating technologies have been in full operation for a few years and while honest high tech officiating certainly does not guarantee notre dame national championships, the chances that notre dame will get cheating out of wins or national championship in fencing are certainly very low.
    GO IRISH!!!

  5. borromini - Mar 27, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Nice piece…only comment…Corwin Brown hardly has any more significant experience than Diaco.

  6. jeffreyallan1 - Mar 27, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    robertg…you make me want to root for USC.

  7. irishfan1123 - Mar 27, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Everything you need to know about Robertg can be explained in a post he made about the 2007 ND/UCLA game, in which he claims the reason that ND accumulated only 140 yards of offense was that it was Charlie’s master plan and didn’t want to give too much away to future opponents.
    *
    First, Robertg, Notre Dame fan sites have to be able to pay employees that work for them, and as such some feel the need to charge to be able to read them. Nobody forces these people to subscribe to them, and if people do not like the content, they can cancel their subscriptions. But please don’t use the same tired line of you being the reason for declining membership. As probably even you are aware, there is near 10% unemployment. It is far more likely that people have to trim the fat in these hard times, and memberships to Notre Dame fan sites probably aren’t as high as food and shelter on the priority list.
    *
    Brian Kelly seems to be well aware of time constraints of Notre Dame student athletes. I believe Charlie Weis’ practice times were 3 hours, Brian Kelly wants 2 hours to practice. He wants to get the players in, get things done, and get them out so they can spend time on other things, especially academics.
    *
    So far, Brian Kelly has demonstrated, through his words and actions, that he understands Notre Dame pretty well. Robertg claims that Kelly doesn’t know Notre Dame because he’s never been/coached here before, but using that logic, Robertg doesn’t understand Notre Dame either because he’s never been a student at ND (according to previous posts).
    *
    Nothing Kelly does will ever be good enough for Robertg. If a player he recruits is athletic, we won’t be strong enough academically for Robertg, and vise-versa. Take for instance, the recruitment of Nix and Carrico.
    *
    When Nix was recruited, Robertg said that he wasn’t academically strong, and that the era of athletes with no academic obligations had started at Notre Dame, despite the fact that Weis had to have been recruiting Nix before he got fired, because everyone knows how important it is to build a strong relationship with recruits of his caliber, usually starting junior year. If Weis was still the coach, Robertg would have had no problem with Nix.
    *
    Now with Carrico, Robertg has said that he is not athletic enough even though he has strong academics. He has already proclaimed him a failure before Carrico has played a down of Notre Dame Football. And of course, everyone knows that there is no possible way for Carrico to get bigger, faster, or stronger. Athletes do weightlifting and conditioning just for show.
    *
    Robertg has also scorned the recruits Kelly has gotten so far (the one just signed and Carrico) because they haven’t had offers from other big name programs (Alabama, LSU, Texas, USC, etc.). Afterall, if other elite schools don’t recruit them, why should ND? Except, well, there was a running back who didn’t have offers from elite programs, just schools like Toledo. Pitt decided to offer him a scholarship, and all he ended up doing was rush for 1800 yards, 150 of those coming against Notre Dame’s 4-5 star athletes that Robertg has praised so much. Now, am I saying that the players Kelly signed are going to end up like Dion Lewis? They probably won’t have that kind of production, but if they can become solid contributors (or even just contributors), and they genuinely love Notre Dame and work hard on and off the football field, then why not have them?
    *
    But since Robertg is so critical, perhaps he can provide a list of acceptable recruits for Notre Dame to go after. Afterall, he has lots of “experts” that watch and analyze film for him (by his own words), surely they can come up with an approved list of players with the high athletics and academics that he so desires.

  8. irishfan1123 - Mar 27, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Sorry for the Robertg like post above, but I felt it needed to be said. Now back to the article…
    *
    I think my favorite letter is tackling, as I’ve expressed before in previous posts. They absolutely need to tackle better. It may have been said here or on another blog, but it seems as though the defense was more concerned about trying to strip the ball rather than getting the guy on the ground. As a result, the ball carrier kept running for 10-20 more yards before he was finally brought down. This happened numerous times against Pitt and USC. They seemed to miss a step, where you’re supposed to stop the guy, hold him up, AND THEN go for the ball. Our guys seemed to skip the first steps and go right for the ball. The first guy there should wrap up and make sure he doesn’t go anywhere, then the second and third guys there can make a play to try and strip the ball.
    *

  9. robertg - Mar 27, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    1. anyone who has read our posts certainly knows that rooting for usc or any other school that cheats is the last thing we would ever do.
    2. we announced right here at notre dame central, long before the flights to the nfl actually took place, that petey and his staff would be forced to flee usc for the nfl because we had finally forced the ncaa to take impose some very serious sanctions against petey and mikey and usc.
    3. our announcement was met with the usual baseless vicious personal attacks from stephen of troy and his usc fans who used to pollute notre dame central.
    4. of course, when what we had announced actually happened way ahead of our schedule, sot and his friends disappeared from notre dame central and have not been heard from again.
    5. while college football is currently so full of corruption at the ncaa, conference, and schools that cheat levels that schools like notre dame which play college football by the rules simply cannot succeed until these systemic problems are fixed by us in the civil courts, charlie and his staff had exactly the right formula for notre dame to succeed until they were stabbed in the backs by purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins.
    6. anyone who really wants to know why we are doing what we are doing need only go back and read the original knight commission report which was authored by bobby knight and theordore hesburgh and others years ago and predicted that, unless certain steps were taken, college football and mens’college basketball, the big revenue producing college sports, would turn into exactly the type of nationwide corrupt enterprises that they now have become.
    7. when charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes who also play football had the type of success that they did in 2005 and 2006 and on the recruiting trails against the schools that cheat, the schools that cheat justifiably got extremely nervous, along with the ncaa and the conferences and the other persons and entities.
    8. after all, charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes were actually playing by the rules and still winning on the field and in the recruiting wars nationwide and in the classroom and with extremely high character.
    9. their solution was to take crooked officiating to a completely new level and make crooked officiating nationwide and protect and reward the crooked officials through the conferences and through college football officiating llc(look at their website), a coverup operation jointly owned and run by the ncaa and by the power conference.
    10. notre dame’s 2007 season was not a problem for these civil racketeers who currently control college football and mens’s college basketball since they knew that charlie and his staff, because of void recruiting years in the years before charlie and his staff arrived, would have to field a team of true freshmen and, with minor exceptions, little or no experience at the college level.
    11. while the 2007 season paper record was terrible on paper, despite that record, charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes brought to notre dame notre dame’s 1st no 1 ranked recruiting class since the holtz era- the recruiting class of 2008, who will be juniors for the 2010 season.
    12. charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes accomplished all of this with complete honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame’s extremely high academic and character standards.
    13. the proprietors of crooked college football enteerprises then knew that, if their racketeering enterprises were going to survive, they would have to arrange for charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes to be cheated out of many wins and find a few rotten apples within notre dame to blame those losses on charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes and get rid of charlie and his staff before they brought in more no 1 ranked recruiting classes and the national championships that go along with that type of recruiting and student athlete development.
    14. those racketeers found those very rotten apples in the persons of purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, eric hansen and his associates at the south bend tribune, and the proprietors of irish illustrated and those other so called notre dame fan sites.
    15. instead of having notre dame stand up, as an institution, and demand that the crooked officiating and rules enforcement be changed immediately, as father hesburgh certainly would have done, purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins, acting on their own and illegally, just kept quiet while all of the cheating was going on, sabotaged the no 1 recruiting classes that charlie and his staff had lined up for 2009 and 2010 and illegally fired charlie and his staff.
    16. we see no reason for any despair. notre dame football has dealt with crises before and with traitors within notre dame.
    17. yes, 2010 will be a very unpleasant season for notre dame football.
    18. we are going to skip college football completely for the 2010 season although we certainly wish every notre dame student athlete the very best.
    19. as we promised, we will have the corruption in college football cleaned up before the 2011 season begins and purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly and his staff driven away from notre dame forever, along with the south bend tribune, irish illustrated, and the proprietors of these so called notre dame fan sites, who have been conning notre dame fans out of millions for decades.
    20. how do we know that we can do all of this in the civil courts before the 2011 season begins?
    21. we have succeeded in similar national litigation projects in many other areas of human endeavor and we have the experience and the resources, along with massive amounts of evidence already collected and still pouring in from sources all over the.
    22. as was true with every one of our other national litigation projects, we now know exactly who runs and controls crooked college football enterprises and how to take them out in the civil courts with extreme economic violence.
    23. notre dame football and college football have very bright futures starting with the 2011 season.
    24. every person who loves notre dame has to determine how to deal with the 2010 season on his or her own.
    25. of course, very few people will believe us until we get the job done, as was the case with our very accurate statement about forcing pete carroll and his staff to flee usc for the nfl.
    26. however, forcing petey and his staff to flee usc for the nfl was not a matter that was determined by some popular vote online or elsewhere.
    27. we made that happen by bringing the right pressures in the right places, just as we stated right here at notre dame central that we we would do.
    28. we have every confidence that every notre dame student athlete who also plays football will do his very best during the 2010 season.
    29. we will not be watching any games( except to collect more evidence) or cheering for any college football team in 2010 and we despise the schools that cheat to win, such as usc, and every person who nruns those programs, as they all have already found out.
    30. until we clean up college football and drive those few rotten apples away from notre dame before the 2011 season, college football is simply too hopelessly corrupt to merit any emotional investment by us.
    31. compared to the problems at places like usc and at the ncaa and the conferences, the problems to be solved with notre dame football are relativell minor- just a few very rotten apples to be driven away and punished economically and the reslife system to be brought out of the inquisition era into the 21st century and operated with real due process of law.
    GO IRISH!!

  10. irishfan1123 - Mar 28, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Once again, what is more plausible:
    *
    that there was a grand conspiracy to oust Charlie Weis because Notre Dame was “too good” in 2005 & 2006, that included people within Notre Dame (jenkins, the President of ND who is a Holy Cross priest and has a strong interest in seeing ND succeed, and Purcell, who donates millions to ND, enough to have an arena named after him, also somehow has a vested interest in seeing ND fail?) and those who run fan sites (why would you run a fan site if you didn’t want Notre Dame to succeed? How would your revenue and memberships go up if Notre Dame played poorly?). These theories seem to be solely presented by a man who posts online and makes threats to sue those who disagree with him
    *
    Or is it more plausible that Charlie Weis just didn’t have what it takes to be a head coach and didn’t teach the lessons/fundamentals needed for college ball, instead opting for his “schematic advantage”? This theory of complicated schemes and lacking fundamentals can be seen in simply observing play from the past 3 years of ND football, which whole games can be seen on NBC sports, or you can look at various Youtube videos from opposing teams’ fans of their teams dominating ours, at least when it came to defense.
    *
    Apparently Youtube and observation are the enemies of Robertg.
    *
    PS. Robertg boasts about ousting carroll from usc, and while he got that one right (at least about carroll going to the NFL), he was also dead wrong about USC sanctions being announced on 2/23 (you can check numerous previous posts). He was predicting this for about 3-4 months, choosing this date since it was the day right after USC’s hearing. Although, anyone involved with the investigations would have known that any sanctions would be announced 4-6 weeks after the hearing. He says that it was delayed because USC brought “extra documents and evidence,” but it seems as though the 4-6 week deliberation period is standard for the NCAA.

  11. robertg - Mar 28, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    1. charlie and his staff left behind fine lists of recruits, with extensive background information, for 2010, 2011, and 2012, along with fine realtionships with the recruits and their families and high school coaches.
    2. kelly and his staff have pursued each recruit on those lists with very little success.
    3.while we never speak with any recruit or with their families or high school coaches until after loi day, we are personnally familiar with a number of the 2009(purcell,swarbrick, and jenkins deliberately created the impression, until after the usc game in 2008, that charlie and his staff were not going to be back for the 2009 season, leaving many recruits no real options but to choose other schools) and 2010 recruits who ended up choosing other schools after charlie and his staff were illegally fired and with their families and high school coaches.
    4. their reasons for choosing schools other than notre dame are simple enough. they do not trust kelly and his staff or purcell, swarbrick, or jenkins or any of the vicious media that masquerades as notre dame fan sites.
    5. these problems will no longer exist at notre dame before the 2011 season begins.
    6. in the meantime, a few student athletes will choose notre dame because they love notre dame the institution, despite their distrust of kelly and his staff and the other rotten apples.
    7. we did not create the recruiting and other current problems with notre dame football.
    8. we are fixing those problems at the systemic levels in the civil courts.
    9. during the 2007 season, which produced terrible results on the field and which coincided with the 2008 recruiting cycle and notre dame’s 1st no 1 ranked recruiting class since the lou holtz era, former notre dame ad kevin white stepped, throughout that difficult season, up to confirm that notre dame was committed to charlie and his staff for the long term.
    10. constant harassment from purcell and jenkins caused kevin white to quit notre dame in disgust and take the ag job at duke.
    11. perhaps you would like to attend some of the many depositions that we will be taking all over the us.
    12. purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins are not stupid men. they certainly understood the disasterous effects on notre dame recruiting that stabbing charlie and his staff in the backs were bound to have and they did what they have done anyway to promote their own personal agendas( with swarbrick, that personal agenda is to be picked as the next head of the ncaa).
    GO IRISH!!!

  12. Mark Rolfes - Mar 28, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    Robertg – who the hell is “we”?

  13. robertg - Mar 28, 2010 at 6:34 AM

    1. with respect to the so called notre dame fan sites that charge naieve notre dame fans, based on our sources, the proprietors of those sites have done a lot more than make a living, both from subscription access fees and from books, publications and other notre dame memorabilia.
    2. they have been hauling in vast sums from notre dame fans theoretically for what they claim to be reliable inside information about notre dame football.
    3. however, with minor exceptions, the information which these sites supply is completely unreliable and often fraudulent.
    4. these sites are used to getting in their largest revenues right after they have orchestrated a vicious hate mongering campaign against a notre dame coach and his staff and their families and against notre dame’s student athletes.
    5. apparently, quite a few notre dame fans, like us, are simply not buying into kelly and his staff and revenues at these so called notre dame fan sites have been reduced, not increased with the illegal firing of charlie and his staff.
    6. of course, everyone deserves an opportunity to make an honest living, but no one deserves to haul in vast sums of money by conning notre dame fans over the internet( wire fraud for civil rico purposes) and through the us mails( mail fraud for civil rico purposes).
    7. do any of the proprietors of these so called notre dame fan sites know anything about college football or notre dame football? NO.
    8. tim prister of irish illustrated claims to be an expert because he has been writing about notre dame football for many years.
    9. in reality, prister actually is a notre dame alum, but he played basketball, not football.
    10. the backgrounds of the other experts at these so called notre dame fan sites are similarly devoid of any real recent experience either with notre dame football or with college football.
    11. my very extended family and i were at the rose bowl for the 2007 notre dame/ucla game.
    12. despite the fact that notre dame was going through a very tough 2007 season because of the failures in recruiting during recruiting cycles when charlie was not at notre dame, the rose bowl was just chock full of notre dame fans, like us, who came to show charlie and his staff and notre dame’s very talented, but very inexperienced 2007 football team that we supported them throughout the bad years on paper, just as in seasons when notre dame is playing for the national championship.
    14. around halftime of that game, an announcement came over the loudspeakers at the rose bowl that stanford had upset usc’s crooked full time football players.
    15. the game was halted while notre dame and ucla fans let out huge cheers together and hugged one another.
    16. while notre dame was a huge underdog in that 2007 notre dame/ ucla dame, charlie and his staff and notre dame’s talented but very inexperienced 2007 team won that game.
    17. given the vicious garbage that the so called notre dame websites had been publishing about charlie and his staff and their families and about individual notre dame student athletes, charlie and his staff and the 2007 notre dame team were actually stunned to find that many loyal notre dame fans actually out at the rosebowl, so far from notre dame.
    18. our presence and loud support realy did help charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes win that game fair and square.
    19. if i did indeed post any such statement about that game- give us the factual reference and context, it would have been in response to some comment from some idiot who wanted to focus on the negatives.
    20. we already know what persons and entities outside of notre dame were responsible for getting charlie and his staff illegally fired.
    21. inside notre dame, the responsible parties are only purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins, along with the grand inquisitors at reslife and the proprietors of the so called notre dame fan sites.
    22. in the civil courts, the only opinions that matter are those of honest judges and juries who have seen and heard the evidence.
    23. now, please describe exactly, with factual references, what kelly and his staff have done to prove that they understand or love notre dame or notre dame football.
    24. kelly and his staff have yet to coach even one game at notre dame.
    25. true, jenkins is a priest, but he certainly is not and honest priest based on his conduct based on the evidence and we have sued dishonest priest before and won. purcell and jenkins had cost notre dame millions before the charlie debacle when they insisted on humilating that fine gentleman, tyrone, in 2005 when tyrone would have resigned and taken the washington job.
    26. notre dame’s outgoing president, father molloy, was so outraged by the atrocious conduct of purcell and jenkins in the tyrone atrocity thyat father molloy gave a sppeech in new york in which he stated that he had never been ashamed of notre dame except for one occasion and that occasion was the decision of purcell and jenkins to get a power rushes by ignominiously firing tyrone, instead of letting tyrone resign in dignity and sign the washington contract
    27. in addition to the massive distrust of notre dame justifiably created by the tyrone atrocity all over the us, those genuises, purcell and jenkins ended up footing notre dame with the task of paying tyrone’s full salary while tyrone was coaching at washington.
    28 that atrocity also cost notre dame dearly on the recruiting trails, impediments that charlie and his staff spent endless hours earning respect back for the notre dame football program on the recruiting trails when their hard work paid off with the nation’s no 1 recruiting class in 2008.
    29. yes, we are costing the proprietors of the so called notre dame fan sites a great deal of funds.
    30. no, we were not wrong about the usc sanctions. the trial did take place before the ncaa infractions committee in tempe arizona from 2/19 through 2/21 2010.
    31. since petey and mikey and many others showed up with more breams of perjured testimony and fabricated documents and since the reggie bush/lloyd lake civil trial is now moving right along, the ncaa infractions committee is simply reviewing the additional testimony and documents and materials from the lake/ bush civil action and refining their list of sanctions to be imposed on the crooked usc football and basketball programs and athletic department.
    32. while these ncaa sanctions will be severe, with many forfeitures of games and titles and sustantial monetary penalties, with very minor exceptions, these sanctions will affect only past, not future seasons.
    33. we have never trusted the ncaa and fortunately, we are taking the appropriate actions in the civil courts to impose monetary and other sanctions on usc and the other schools that intentionally cheat to make certain that things like this never happen again.
    34. while there is some room for discussions, the only decisions that really matter will be made by honest judges and juries all over the us.
    35. we simply do not buy into the kelly and his staff are notre dame’s coaches by the illegal proclamations of purcell, swarbrick, and jenkins.
    36. and yes, the proprietors of these so called notre dame fan sites do profit the most when they can convince enough naieve notre dame fans that something is wrong with notre dame football and that, for access fess paid by hundreds of thousands of naieve notre dame fans and other revenues, these self proclaimed experts will tell their victims what is wrong- they always blame the coaches and then provide naieve notre dame fans with their usuial solutions- fire the coach and bring in the next victims.
    36. at these times, these so called notre dame fan sites will be publishing and selling all sorts of books and pamplets detailing how they saved notre dame football, got the last coach fired, and hired a real genious, such as kelly and his staff, only to turn on the next victims very aqujickly and viciuously as soon as the losses start coming in.
    GO IRISH!!
    GO IRISH!!!

  14. robertg - Mar 28, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    1.the term we in our posts refers to 2 separate groups and it is simple for anyone to tell from the contexts which we our posts refer to. we have posted the distinction on many prior occasions at notre dame central, but, since some readers may have missed those posts, we will repeat that information again.
    2. the 1st we refers to my very extended family all over the world, each of whom loves notre dame and notre dame’s unique mission in the world and each of whom has, in the past, made very substantial donations to the univesity of notre dame.
    3. the other we refers to the skilled trial attorneys all over the us with whom i am working on this national litigation project to drive the corruption out of college football and college sports and replacing those systems with 21st century high tech honest systems which are fully transparent to and accountable to the public.
    GO IRISH !!!
    4. among the participating attorneys with whom i have work very successfully on many other national litigations, i am the only person among those attorneys who has any special attachment to notre dame.

  15. Jake - Mar 28, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Robertg has been pumping out the same rants for years and on numerous sites. Most have given him the boot for his constant threats to sue folks who call him out.
    He stated that he and his “team” would never allow Kelly to coach a down of football at ND. Now that has been moved up a year and the next tear will be the same.
    All of this is in his head. There are no armies of pricey lawyers feverishly working on his projects. There is no giant extended family, no teams of experts analyzing game films for him. There is nothing but what his mind conjures up.
    As far as the use of “we” remember the Roman Emperors referred to themselves as “we” as they imagined they were divine. The same probably applies here or he has a rat in his pocket.

  16. robertg - Mar 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    1. we stand partially corrected. charlie’s game plan at the 2007 notre dame/ucla game was to play very conservatively and to avoid making mistakes against a very experienced and very talented ucla secondary.
    2. that is exactly the game that the notre dame offense and defense
    played in that game to pull off the big upset.
    3. the ucla coaches extolled the game plan of charlie and his staff and its implementation by notre dame’s very talented, but very inexperienced, 2007 student athletes.
    4. the other aspect of the game plan was to let ucla make mistakes, which they did, and to turn those mistakes into points for notre dame.
    5. the game plan of charlie and his staff for that 2007 notre dame/ucla game was the perfect game plan for that game and it worked.
    6. the 140 yards in offense was, given the inexperience of that notre dame team, the actual game plan, not a coverup for the real game plan.
    7. ucla had superior student athletes that season and student athletes with infintely more college football game experience.
    8. charlie and his staff turned notre dame’s weaknesses into notre dame strengths and ucla mistakes into points for notre dame.
    GO IRISH!!!

  17. irishfan1123 - Mar 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Sorry everybody, I shouldn’t have encouraged him, but back to football.
    *
    I really hope Crist can stay healthy for this entire season. The times he was in last year I held my breath every time he ran, in the Purdue game and the Washington State game. Hopefully this year, every time he runs, he’ll try to get as many yards he can without being touched, and when the threat comes, he’ll go out of bounds. It’s pretty obvious that a healthy Crist is essential to success this year for ND.

  18. oldirishfan - Mar 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Robertg needs to move out of his mommy and daddy’s basement and get a job.

  19. Keith Arnold - Mar 28, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    RobertG:
    There is no staff agenda here, there is no team, these are simply my opinions and words. If you agree or disagree with them, that’s what the comments are for. The comments AREN’T for your ridiculous rants and raves that nobody here — me included — enjoys or wants to read.
    Charlie Weis was fired because he went 16-21 over the last three seasons. There was no deep conspiracy at work. Brian Kelly will be the head football coach at Notre Dame until he chooses to retire, or proves that he can’t do the job successfully.
    I’ve let you post here, without restrictions, since this blog started last year. You’ve proven you can’t handle that. I’ve got no problem with people occasionally going off topic, but you do it every single time you write.
    Jack Swarbrick, Phil Purcell, other Notre Dame journalists, and the civil courts are not appropriate topics here. Consider this it.

  20. Tim - Mar 28, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Really?

  21. Sgt. Moon - Mar 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Can we sum it up with this?
    RobertG has no clue what he is talking about!

  22. Jake - Mar 28, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Thank you Keith!!!

  23. Sgt. Moon - Mar 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Irishfan, I agree, tackling was terrible. I think it was Brian Kelly’s fault. Or, it is illegal to tackle at ND.
    I am not sure. WE have to check with RobertGee I haven’t got a clue for the answer

  24. grandpashyena - Mar 28, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    Nice timely piece Keith. Since not many of us can be around Spring practice this keeps us informed.
    To all others except for one. Repeat after me. “Continue to ignore”.

  25. robertg - Mar 29, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    keith,
    1. the absence of any agenda and the completely open forum are exactly the things that make notre dame central so special.
    2. some people seem to be under the misimpression that their internet statements and declarations determine what is true and what is false in the real world.
    3. when we stated right here at notre dame central that we would force pete carroll and his staff to flee usc for the nfl, long before anyone else ever mentioned that issue, and exactly how we would accomplish that feat, posting that statement did not make the statemenmt true.
    4. the statement did not become true until petey and his staff actually did flee usc for the nfl way ahead of the schedule we had projected.
    5. with kelly and his staff, we still do not think that kelly and his staff should be allowed to coach even one game at notre dame.
    6. however, our time and resources are allocated 1st to cleaning the corruption out of college football at the ncaa, conference, and crooked football program levels.
    7. only after those tasks are done will we turn our attention to driving the few rotten apples away from notre dame.
    8.cleaning out the few rotten apples at notre dame simply is meaningless until after we clean the corruption out at the other levels of college football. thus, kelly and his staff get one season. observing that one season will certainly cause those now proclaiming kelly to be a genius and a savior to reconsider and there will be no serious comments about what kelly and his staff could have done if only they had been given a chance.
    9.our eta for getting all of these tasks done is before the 2011 season begins and we are moving along at full speed.
    10. in the meantime, anyone who buys into the kelly propaganda and pays the access fees to the so called notre dame fan sites will have the full 2010 season to watch what happens and to get fleeced.
    11 along with many other notre dame fans, we are skipping the 2010 football season, although we wish notre dame’s student athletes who also play football the very best.
    12. by the way, quite a number of usc fans got together right after we stated that petey and his staff would have to flee usc for the nfl before the 2010 season began and proclaimed, on the internet, that we knew nothing and should not be taken seriously.
    13. those posters apparently felt that their internet proclamations had made the world safe for petey and his staff.
    14. well, as we all now know, those internet proclamations were worthless.
    15. the things that happen in the real world are determined by decisions made by real judges and real juries in real courts based on the admissible evidence and expert and other witnesses.
    16. in the case of petey and his staff fleeing usc for the nfl, it was not our posts that made that happen.
    17. there were 2 things that caused petey to flee.
    18. the 1st was our big court win over the ncaa in october of 2009, the online citations for which we have posted here on many occasions and will again if anyone, in good faith, asks. that case marked the 1st time in history that the ncaa had been forced to disclose to the public every transcript and other document relating to any ncaa investigation of infractions at any school.
    19. although that case involved florida state, the basic principles of law are applicable in all 50 states and at the federal level.
    20. having spent millions in attorneys fees and costs only to lose the florida state disclosure case, the ncaa is now being whacked by us with similar cases all over the us, including the investigations of usc, and the ncaa just keeps losing.
    21. the ncaa public disclosure of all transcripts and documents relating to usc is a matter over which we and our allies have direct control and we based our original time projection for petey’s flight to the nfl on that case.
    22. the item which caused petey and his staff to flee usc for the nfl way ahead of schedule was a court item with which we are familiar and over which we have some influence, but which we do not control.
    23. that case is the lake vs reggie bush civil action. bush and his attorneys had filed and pursued a frivolous appeal from a trial court order the objective of which was to force the case to be determined in secret behind closed doors.
    24. after years of delaying tactics by bush and his attorneys, the california court of appeals in san diego rejected bush’s appeal and sent the case back, for a very public trial, in the san diego superior court.
    25. we provided the online citations for the court of appeals decisions right here, on many occasions.
    26. right now, that case is back in the san diego superior court for a very public jury trial.
    27. it was the very real prospect of being called as witnesses at that very public jury trial which caused petey and his staff to flee usc for the nfl way ahead of our projected schedule.
    28. similar things may happen to speed up the departures of purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly and his staff from notre dame before the beginning of the 2011 season.
    29.however, right now,like the lake vs bush case, we know of those things and the notre dame alums involved, but we do not control the timing.
    GO IRISH!!

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