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Weekend leftovers: Blue-Gold, Draft, Recruiting, etc.

Apr 26, 2010, 3:14 PM EDT

If you’re looking for a good place to catch some extended video from the Blue-Gold Game, head over to UND.com where there’s plenty of good stuff. But, if you’re looking for say… five minutes and 36 seconds of highlights, well — you’ve come to the right place.

After watching this, you’ve got to feel good about a few things:
* Michael Floyd on a reverse and getting up the seam.
* Dayne Crist and Kyle Rudolph in sync already.
* Big plays in the run game by Armando Allen, Cierre Wood, Jonas Gray, and Robert Hughes.
* T.J. Jones putting his head down and running over Darrin Walls.
* The play of Nate Montana and Mike Ragone, two important reserves.
* Manti Te’o. When’s the last time the Irish have had a linebacker this good?
* Steve Filer, who was all over the field.

Not everything was sunshine and rainbows this weekend, and if I’m David Ruffer or Nick Tausch, I’m not feeling too good about what I put on tape this weekend. I also think Zeke Motta stuck out a few times for being in the wrong place or missing a tackle, and that’s never good thing when you’re a safety. As for the battle along the offensive line, I wonder who will grade out better, senior Dan Wenger or rising junior Braxston Cave? While everyone seemed to be happy with the play of the interior defensive linemen, when they’re going against their own centers and guards, there’s a good news/bad news feel to all of it.

* On the NFL Draft front, Notre Dame followed up Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate’s second round selections with Sam Young and Eric Olsen being chosen in the sixth round. Young will go to Dallas, where they are thin on offensive tackles. Olsen will head to Denver, where he’ll join Ryan Harris as he competes to play one of the interior positions on the offensive line. IT’s staggering that Young, who was looked at as one of the elite offensive line prospects coming out of high school fell to the sixth round, especially considering he started every game of his career at tackle for the Irish. There isn’t much good to say about the development of the offensive line under Charlie Weis, and Young might be the poster child of that futility.

No other Irish players were drafted, but both Kyle McCarthy and Paul Duncan were signed by the Broncos as undrafted free agents. Kyle will be competing for a place in the secondary with former running mate David Bruton. The New England Patriots also signed Sergio Brown to a free agent contract. It’s interesting that two teams with direct ties to Charlie Weis — Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels — took fliers on Notre Dame players while the Chiefs, Weis’ actual employer, didn’t.

* I’ll be the first to eat crow on the draft placement of both Clausen and Tate. I expected a team in the bottom of the first round to take a shot on Tate, thinking he’d be a Percy Harvin type weapon for them. As for Clausen, I’m not shocked that he slid down the draft board, but I am shocked that he slid as far as he did. For Tate, I think it’s important that he got selected by a team lacking a true weapon on the outside, and taken by a coach that saw first-hand what he can do with the football in his hands.

For Jimmy (and his family), hopefully this is the slap in the face that may or may not have been needed. Clausen seemed to be a guy that couldn’t get past the terrible first impression that he made on all of us. It’s amazing how many people really dislike this kid, even if they’ve only seen him with a helmet on playing football. The whispers about Jimmy — whether they’re true or not — seemed to dictate reality, and it caused his draft stock to plummet.

An interesting thought, but I’m shocked that nobody mentioned that Clausen was the one elite quarterback from last season that played his way through his final injury-plagued season, captaining a sinking ship with a badly hurt foot, while Sam Bradford — the quarterback with the A+ intangibles — shut it down with a shoulder injury and sat idly as a team with four first rounders, three of the top four picks in the draft, went on to lose five games.

* Fun fact: If you’re looking for your favorite rookie jerseys, new Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen will wear #2. (I wonder if it’s to remind him what round he went in?) New Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate will wear #81. 

  1. TLNDMA - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Cincy qb Tony Pike went to Carolina in the draft also. Just thought it was a little ironic that Kelly’s last qb will be in camp with Clausen.

  2. IndyTom - Apr 26, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Is there any better video of the B-G game? The und.com video was too zoomed in to see formations of the new offense. Not that I’m going to break down game film, but I would at least like to know what receivers lined up where. Thanks

  3. E-Man - Apr 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    I heard that more talent scouts were concerned with Jimmy already being at his ceiling, and therefore not expected to excel in the NFL. If scouts and GMs were really swayed by a whisper campagin about his “character issues” (wouldn’t Roethlisberger want to have “stuck up” as his character issue now) versus game film it marks a real bad precedent for the NFL draft.

  4. Sgt. Moon - Apr 26, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    I don’t get it. What are these so called character issues that are hounding Jimmy Clausen? Has he been arrested? Does he do drugs? Does he not attend his classes at school, or is he not a team player? Somebody please fill me in on the answer please.
    Is there any truth to the rumor that Todd McShay hates Notre Dame because they told him he was too little to be the mascot?

  5. Brandon - Apr 26, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    I’ve heard it all, I heard he has the smallest hands in the draft, so teams didn’t want him because of that. I heard he’s hit his ceiling, he’s stupid, he’s got crap for an arm, he’s not a leader – actually was CW who said that “He’s yet to make the team his.” – apparently…i never would of guessed that cw would say that, considering the ONLY chance he had of keeping his job was jimmy and tates performances….., i hear that b/s Gruden pulled on espn was another reason, he’s to arrogant, and cocky, and outspoken…..OBVIOUS reasons not to want this guy as your QB……who wants a qb who’s outspoken and confident….lol. He has character issues, because there was a few incidents where alcohol was involved with clausens name on it, the hummer limo, the black eye from the guy at the bar. then also, Todd McShay…….who made it VERY clear he had something against clausen.
    All of which, is just a bunch of over-analyzing, opinionated, non-factual people who were just to outspoken about clausen, when in reality, they didn’t know squat about him.
    As a ND fan, i watched this kid like a hawk, and YES, when he first came to ND, he was WAY to cocky about his HS success, but what happened……he got stuck behind the worst line i’ve ever seen….and got his tail whooped. and he hung in there, and got better, the next year, he grew and we saw his skill level increase, and leadership role start to take effect. then last year, what did we see? what I saw, was the most accurate, competitive, confident, and skilled qb I’ve personally ever seen play for ND.
    So all that b/s they want to talk about him, I feel good knowing that he’s gonna show each and every hater, and each and every team that should of taken him, WHY they were all wrong. He hasn’t hit his ceiling, he’s still developing, and growing, and on his way to a VERY successful leading role in the NFL…….
    For me personally…..i’m looking forward to watching him take the panthers to the playoffs. and also VERY excited to see coach kelly whip these youngn’s into tip-top shape for the start of the season.
    GO IRISH!!!

  6. sharkey - Apr 26, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Good post! I agree. Funny how fighting dogs to the death, drug abuse, steroid violations NFL rules infractions and other felonious activity can be overlooked and winked at, but not some 17yo kid driving up in a limo to say he’s playing for ND. How dare he!

  7. Sgt. Moon - Apr 26, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Brandon and Sharkey… That’s what I mean. He’s cocky, arrogant and confident. So what! Has the little kid Todd taken a look at the players from USC, Miami, Florida and Florida State? A lot of kids his age act this way. Even kids that don’t play football.
    This crap that McShay spits out is nonsense. If Clausen had sat out a few of the games when he had his toe injury, they never would have won six games. And if the defense didn’t take a nap during the fourth quarter they could have won 3 or 4 more games.
    Small hands? You know what part of Todd McShay’s body is small?
    …….. His brains!

  8. Brandon - Apr 27, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    The time WILL come this year, when Clausen will have his revenge, and show all these people what he’s really about. and all of us fans can throw our middle fingers up at the TV (specifically at Todd McGay) and say “I EFF’N TOLD YOU SO!!!!”
    Now on to my first love…….
    How about them Irish???
    The D still needs to work out some serious kinks….but i see the switch back to 3-4 style working wonders for some of these guys, and the linebacker position is looking a lot more on top of things, the secondary is still lacking, but hopefully these guys will put in the work, and manage the game better, and not give up the big plays like last year.
    On Offense……WOW……I’m crazy about the backfield…..those RB’s are looking amazing, we all know A.A. is solid, woods and gray looked like some studs out there, as well as Jones at receiver, not to mention the obvious returners on O. the QB’s looked a little rusty, but made some good throws that show some definite promise. all in all, im excited about this years group of kids. One thing we can all count on this year that we couldn’t last year…….is that our guys won’t be getting lazy in the 4th quarter. Kelly is making them boys WORK!!! and I couldn’t be happier about that.
    “Show me a good and gracious loser, and I’ll show you a failure.” – Knute Rockne

  9. Paul - Apr 27, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    I think the Panters got a real steal getting Jimmy so late in the draft – he will prove a lot of people wrong – a top QB

  10. mrrandolph - Apr 27, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    I live in Tennessee and saw his brother, Casey, guide the Vols to a career 34-10 record and arguably the second best QB in Tn history. And, he was not even drafted. The Pros just don’t like the Clausens.
    Coach Fox also said Monday that there is no open QB competition: Matt Moore will be the starter.

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