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Candor not helping the Kelly narrative

Oct 25, 2010, 2:35 PM EDT


After the first eight games of his inaugural season, Brian Kelly has won exactly as many games as he has lost, which has quite a few members of the Irish faithful weary. Kelly has failed to win the close games that got Charlie Weis removed after his fifth season, and even worse, has openly conceded he hasn’t had answers for two opponents’ schematical game plans.

Last minute losses to Michigan and Michigan State aside, Kelly’s inability to counter Stanford’s drop-eight coverage kept the Irish offense from mounting any sort of challenge against the Cardinal. On Saturday, the Irish coaching staff had no answer to Navy’s veer-option, a tweak the Irish defense was simply unable to counter when trying to stop the Midshipmen’s attack. Two different sides of the ball, two different games, and Kelly’s stated plainly after both losses that the coaching staff didn’t have the players prepared for what the opponents did.

If we learned anything from the Charlie Weis era, it’s that a coaches’ narrative is often written in the opening days of his tenure. For Weis, that included the dreaded quote where he promised Irish fans something they yearned to hear, that Notre Dame would now have a “decided schematic advantage” over their opponents. That was far from the only quote from his opening press conference that came back to haunt him in the end, as Weis’ hubris and a ego went from perceived assumption to assumed fact, and the final three seasons of his tenure at Notre Dame became exercises in completing the narrative of failure for sportswriters and message-boarders alike, with Charlie Weis receiving a proper comeuppance in the end.

The first months of Brian Kelly’s tenure weren’t remembered for preposterous proclamations, rather for a man that worked tirelessly reuniting a fractured fanbase. From the opening days of Kelly’s time at Notre Dame, he hit the road visiting alumni groups and donors, working to heal the psyche of a fanbase that’s long assumed the university’s adminstation has failed it repeatedly since Lou Holtz left South Bend. Amidst those 180-some-odd visits, Kelly was also tasked with assembling a coaching staff, implementing a new spread offense with an inexperienced quarterback recovering from major knee surgery, and putting together a defense hamstrung by depth issues and saddled with a roster filled with players that had just put together one of the worst defenses in the school’s history.

Even though Notre Dame just hired the National Coach of the Year, Kelly’s hiring was hardly universally approved. Whether it was the rumored chase of Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, or Kelly’s small school Grand Valley State upbringing and D-I resume that includes the dim lights of places like Central Michigan and Cincinnati, the naysayers looked at Kelly not as an offensive innovator and proven winner, but as a guy that had never done it on a stage close to the one he was stepping onto at Notre Dame.

With the last two Notre Dame coaches sprinting out of the gates, Irish fans have become reliant on a new coaching staff bringing immediate results, as if the breath of fresh air was all that was needed. Now that Kelly has shown that there will be no easy solution during his first season, the narrative many of his detractors formed early is starting to take shape: Kelly’s an overwhelmed coach not ready for a spot like Notre Dame.

Supporting those claims is Kelly’s willingness to fall on the sword for the losses against Stanford and Navy. His candor after both of those games, when he admitted that the opposition confused his players by showing a look they hadn’t seen during film study was something fans and press aren’t used to hearing from coaches that never concede strategic defeat. It’s ammo for those that believe Kelly’s overwhelmed, but it’s also likely a sign that he’s comfortable enough in his own skin that he realizes his team’s psyche is much more fragile than a 20-year veteran head coach.

Kelly and his regime received quite a bit of heat for closing the doors to media during practice sessions, when he was unhappy with information making it into the media that could hurt the progress of the team. In this case, Kelly’s post-game candor — a reporter’s best friend — is something that’s hurting his perception among a segment of the Irish faithful, many of whom already have their minds made up.

After eight games, it’s far too early to write any story on the fate of Notre Dame football under coach Brian Kelly, regardless of performances against Stanford and Navy in Year One. That said, Kelly understands that won’t be the case forever.

“Let’s put it this way,” Kelly said Sunday. “If we play like we played defensively, there won’t be a year five or six for me.”

  1. bigirishfan - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    We have obviously taken a giant step backward with Kelly.

    His teams look unprepared. He is routinely outcoatched on game day.

    Of course, God is still upset at all the pedophile priests molesting children, so our record isn’t likely to improve any time soon.

    • bryanwtx - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

      And ND’s streak against Navy was the direct result of the US Military’s performance in Vietnam, right?

      • dbldmr - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:12 PM

        No…win streak started in 1964, we were still coasting from WWII.

    • bean23 - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM

      @bigirishfan: you should be ashamed to call yourself an “irish fan” if every comment of yours is going to prattle on about “pedophile priests.” It was out of line once, but at this point it’s a schtick. Get lost, troll.

      • borromini - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:15 PM

        bean…he’s not an Irish fan…this is the same bonehead who went under the name “irishfan” on the old site before the upgrade required registration. I’m just hoping KA’s staff is able to ban this tool based on the IP address so we don’t have to hear from him again.

    • Keith Arnold - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:47 PM

      @bigirishfan… Your priest comments have run their course. There are plenty of message boards where you can write garbage like this, so keep them there.

    • eoeleven2675 - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:31 AM

      I will admit Kelly was not my first choice but of the options that presented themselves he was a good choice. Obviously the sample we have to work with while disappointing is not enough to render final judgement. I will say the following things I believe to be true…

      The spread offense is not a viable option long term at Notre Dame and if it is all Kelly has he is right there will not be a 5th year for him. The weather has not even truned bad yet and it does not work. Adjusting the offensive playbook to include more of what Weis did and less of the CRAP we have been seeing for 8 weeks would be an immediate upgrade. Ego is the only reason to have thrown out the only part that worked under the previous coach. There should have been an emphasis on the defense this year (and probably next) and then a gradual move to a different offense once the D was locked down. Trying to recreate everything all in one off season will work at smaller schools I suppose but not Notre Dame.

      The 3/4 defense will never beat the veer without superior machinations from the coaching staff. The defense is suspect versus the veer which is why Miami brought it back to the NFL to battle against the AFC 3/4 teams. With in game adjustments and zone run blitzing it can work but the Irish DCord did not make those, any of those.

      Kelly has to show us he (and his staff whom he obviously puts a lot on) can make in game adjustments in all facets of the game. So far it has been a poor showing of the coaching staff’s ability to react to the game in front of them.

      • irishharp - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:42 PM

        Yeah, he needs to take his balmy weather only offense back to Grand Valley, Central Michigan or Cincinnati.

        I agree that a coach should grab bag and run some other offense that the players may know to achieve short term success (like our last three coaches) rather than install an offense that is the reason you were hired, are familar with and can build a program around in the long term.

        Yup, this staff just can’t make adjustments.

  2. terryb101 - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    he will be ok. just give him time, and let him get his style of players in the system..granted , his short sightedness in certain situtations makes you only hope that these are just oversights that will be corrected in the future,, espically the michigan state game, that was bad, the only thing the defense had to look for was a fake, heck let em kick the ball but just be alert for a fake, and they didnt do that, and it cost them a game…our record wont improve because we have a new coach with a different system than the players we have are suitable for..not the retarted reason you (bigirishfan) gave…

  3. mikecoffeyndn - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Keith, as one of those you’ve accused of “already having his mind made up”, I don’t think you’re being consistent here. You’re asking fans to blindly have faith in a coaching staff that, in 25 percent of their games at ND so far, have been, in your (and their) words, completely unable to prepare their charges for what the opponent did to them. How does that reconcile with “hiring the National Coach of the Year” and Kelly being an “offensive innovator and proven winner”?

    This situation has been pushed beyond “no easy solution”. It’s one thing to lose to a top-15 team like Stanford. It’s another to be completely dominated on both sides of the ball and befuddled by something as basic as the opponent putting eight men into coverage — certainly something an “offensive innovator” must have seen at some point in his career. It’s one thing to not be able to completely shut down a unique offense like Navy’s. It’s another to once again be dominated and not be able to react to a small wrinkle thrown into an option offense — it’s not like Navy suddenly implemented the run-and-shoot.

    You criticize the people who pointed out the (quite accurate) holes in Brian Kelly’s resume and refuse to acknowledge even the remotest possibility that these problems are those holes being thrown into sharp relief. Then you apparently attempt to explain the lack of progress by saying Kelly had to spend so much time healing the psyche of the fanbase. If that truly is the case, Kelly wasted his time — win the games, and the psyche heals itself.

    I’m not one of those people who wanted “instant results”. What I wanted (and, I suspect, most of the people you’d lump in with me wanted) was basic competence. Toughness. Focus. All the things that Charlie Weis-led teams lacked and we were told Brian Kelly’s 20 years of experience would allow him to provide. If we were seeing those things, the losses would be easier to take and I’d be much more willing to give him the blind faith he’s asking for. But we’re not. All we’re getting is assurances of what we’ll see in “year 2, year 3…” Forgive me if that sounds a little too “schematic advantage-y” for my taste.

    • Keith Arnold - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:16 PM

      Mike – Good points, so I’ll try to respond to all of them.

      What a coach says in a press conference and what’s actually true are two very different things. Not having your QB prepared for a drop-8 scenario or your defense ready for the veer are two very large check marks against any coach. That said, I’d be shocked if Kelly wasn’t intentionally taking the brunt of the criticism on purpose, when it’s really a Crist development issue or a growing pains/rebuilding issue… two things no coach ever wants to concede. (See Jimmy Clausen’s struggles in the 2nd half of ’08 or the entire ’07 season.) You can’t pin all of this on coaches just like you can’t blame all of this on players. The guys on defense are the same ones that were historically bad in ’09. Dayne Crist is the same guy that threw 10 total passes before shredding his ACL and sitting out the rest of last season. It’s just not reasonable to think all is going to get corrected in 8 games and a system change, especially with the depth issues at critical positions.

      Re: Coaching search — Other than three or four of the very top coaches in college football, I don’t know a resume that would’ve had some people happy during the coaching search. Include me in the group who was lukewarm to the hiring, but outside of the Stoops of it, there wasn’t a coach that was looking to leave their current job that was a better candidate. (Saban or Meyer weren’t viable options in my semi-informed opinion.)

      As for the winning games cures all argument — CW did pretty well those first two years and it took about 1/4 of the 2007 season to have a vocal minority calling for his job and by the end of 2008, Jack Swarbrick was accosted for bringing back CW in 2009. Ty had a pretty good run that first season also — and it didn’t take long for that to turn ugly.

      I’ll be the first to say I’m disappointed in 4-4. I really thought the Irish would win more games. But a lot of the arguments made in decrying Kelly’s job thus far are based on those Derek Jeter-like intangibles of focus, fundamentals, and toughness. When you’re winning, it’s easy to see those things. But when you’re getting run out of the gym by Navy, well — everything to the core might as well be rotten.

      Blind faith is a little much for any Notre Dame fan, I can (justifiably) understand that. It’s just that there are far too many people — seemingly logical, intelligent people — who really think you should pull the plug on a head coach after 8 games of his inaugural season. That’s just stupid for about 1,000 different reasons.

      Looking to the future is hardly something that has anyone excited (especially someone who has to cover the team daily this year), but I do think Kelly’s earned a little bit of a grace period before the vultures start circling…

  4. Tim's Neighbor - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    I agree that 8 games is WAY too soon to close the book on a coach Especially with a new QB, system, etc. I’m just not buying that we know everything there is to know about the Kelly Era. I figure we learned our lesson when we judged Weis on his first year. Let’s see how they respond to this loss. I’m vrey interested in that. And perhaps we beat SC and/or Utah. I think that’d make for a nice season. Not ideal, but nice.

  5. dbldmr - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Saturday was a kick in the teeth. That having been said, I’m going to sit back and watch this team’s development in 2010 and 2011. Everyone fell in love with Ty Willingham after his first season and Charlie Weis after his. Neither of those hires turned out very well. I was disappointed in the team’s performance against Navy, and I’ll take Brian Kelly at his word that he was outcoached. Okay…let’s see where things go from here. If he has to stand up week after week and say that he was outcoached then the solution is obvious.

    On the other hand if, as I believe, Kelly has the ability to coach at this level the team’s performance should begin to reflect it. The defense on Saturday looked befuddled, but the offense didn’t exactly dazzle either. There were too many throws to well-covered receivers. That might be attributable to coaching, but I think it is equally as likely that the qb lost his confidence and let the game get too fast for him. Rather than looking for open receivers it seemed at times that Crist picked a receiver in the huddle and threw to him irrespective of the coverage. This is where the coaching will have to make a difference. If Crist is to be the guy he has the opportunity to learn from the Navy game and come out this week and take command of the offense.

    Teams have leaders and it’s time for those leaders to step forward. Certainly that includes the coaches, but it also includes those wearing the helmets and pads.

  6. ndnaz - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    The reason for Coach Kelly’s “candor” is that he’s trying not to throw his defensive players under the bus, like they probably should be. This same set of players has by and large been stinking it up for several years now. The reason we’re getting thumped this year is the same reason we got thumped last year: we have too many bad players on the defensive side of the ball. Scheme all you want. You can’t scheme away bad players making bad plays.
    Not to absolve the offense completely, but injuries have mitigated some of the obvious deficiencies on that side of the ball.

    I think Coach DOES have big shoulders. I think he and his staff know exactly what kind of roster they were given, and he’s taking the hit to set a precedent for the kids who buy in to him for the future.

    By the way, take away that playclock fiasco that would have eliminated any field-goal attempt, and we beat the #5 team in the country on the road. The naysayers would have anointed Kelly as the second-coming of Ara Parseghian. As it is, if he does manage to get 7-5 or better out of this group of players, he might be the second coming, period…

  7. fightinmad35 - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    ndnaz, I agree that these defensive players have not performed. These are not freshman and sophomores. These guys have been around 4 or 5 years mostly. My question is how they stay on the field? How does Harrison Smith keep earning starts? I’d sit him and put Blanton back there. 3 corners on the field would be a great improvement. Where is our most athletic linebacker Steve Filer? All I saw him do was make plays in limited minutes last year and make me salivate at his potential but BK won’t put him on the field… At this point I think the coaches should give some new blood a chance and see what happens.. What happened to Prince Shembo this weekend? If what you have and what you’re doing isn’t working then DO SOMETHING ELSE.. Calabrese wouldn’t even be a starter if not for an injury to McDonald in preseason. I am starting to question the coaching staff’s eye for on field production. I am so frustrated with the lack of growth overall on this team. No player that wasn’t highly regarded coming to ND has emerged through the years as a factor. Floyd, Teo, Rudolph we already knew were All Americans.. Nobody else has obviously improved with exception of Theo.. Where is the growth, the coaching em up, the workout warrior with the iron will and motor that earns his way on field?? I would already be looking forward to next year but having seen the schedule I can’t even do that…

    • tlndma - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM

      Ian Williams, Zack Martin, Gary Gray, TJ Jones, Carlo Calabrese, have all performed well and improved.

  8. willmose - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    As few years ago, Larry Stallings took over as coach of Alabama. He lost his first four games and the alumni were all over him. Of course, he finished 7-4 and two years later won a national championship. The cream rises to top.

    Candor is a good thing. ND has not had a winning regular season in three years. This year they probably will.

    • hardcoredomer - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

      You really think they will have a winning season? I see USC and Utah as major stretches. Tulsa should be a win( but I wouldn’t bet the house on it). I think a 50/50 season really rests on the Army game.

      • txbeej - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM

        There’s a better chance of 4-8 than 7-5, that’s for sure.

    • tlndma - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:49 PM


    • bigirishfan - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:56 AM

      I think that it was Gene Stallings.

      And, BTW, Alabama ended up getting put on probation (almost got death penalty) for all the NCAA violations committed while he was coach.

      It’s a Devil’s Bargain…not worth it.

  9. grouchomarx4 - Oct 25, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Faust, Davies, O’Leary, Willingham, Weiss, Kelly. Last bowl win was 1/94. 1-3 against Navy in last 4 games. No bowls in the last 3 years. Yet you shun the conferences and negotiate your own television contract. Can you possibly see why the rest of the country thinks you’re just an overrated bunch of “used to be-s”? Swagger w/ no punch.

    • 1notredamefan - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:35 PM

      HUH?? Hawaii wasn’t a bowl game on 12/24/08?? We won that one!!

      • grouchomarx4 - Oct 25, 2010 at 11:30 PM

        Congratulations Big Fellas! You beat Hawaii.!!! Is that all you got to show for your vaunted program? One win over Don Ho U..I missed it because it was so insignificant. But if you need it to crow about a program that once had Rockne, The Gipper, Johnny Lujack, Hornung etc. etc. than , by all means, accept my apology. Weiss was supposed to be a great recruiter. What’s all that talent doing now? Your arrogance gives rise to all the criticism. Notre Dame can’t join a conference because Notre Dame is special.Notrer Dame needs its own television network because Notre Dame is special. You threw O’Leary under the bus because your special and can’t tolerate mistakes, no matter how innocent. You put Fat Charley out there as your symbol for greed and insolence. Stew in your own juices. You are an insignificant program.

    • irishharp - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:48 PM

      Why would we want to join a conference?

  10. hardcoredomer - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    To see the long-term results of implementing a spread offense into a pro or traditional style program, one need only look at ND’s second opponent of the season. The good news there is Rich Rodriguez will probably available at season’s end! Ha! Brian Kelly is a very bright man, and an excellent coach. He finds ways to crush opponents eventually. If anyone can put a successful spread at ND, it’s him. Going to Notre Dame is not like Going to GVSU, CMU or UC, but it ultimately is still football. The difference is the tradition, the fan base and their expectations.

    For God’s sake build not your faith upon Tradition, ’tis as rotten as a rotten Post.
    -Nicholas Culpeper

  11. 00dutch - Oct 26, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    grouchomarx4 = conference shill … I get it … but why so unhappy? BYU is exploring independence, as are a handful of other universities … soon there will be a virtual smorgasbord of universities to spew irrational hatred upon …

    • grouchomarx4 - Oct 27, 2010 at 6:26 PM

      Then be independent.Don’t use the draw of the Big East for your other programs. And don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Doesn’t Notre Dame teach anything?

      • irishharp - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:50 PM

        It teaches you how to make a lot of money by playing by the rules set up by the conferences and having its own television contract. Try that one on for size.

  12. bigirishfan - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    I think it has come time to face facts…as difficult as that is.

    Our academic standards prevent us for competing for the best athletes.

    Our inability to recruit the best athletes means we get second rate coaching talent.

    Average Players + Average Coaches = Average Team.

    Plus, we don’t send any talent to the pros, which also hurts recruiting.

    It’s a vicious cycle.

    This is the new reality for us, unfortunately.

    We need to lower our standards.

    We should be satisfied with becoming bowl eligible.

    BCS Bowls, National Titles….all in our rearview mirror. Time to stop living in the past.

    • dbldmr - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM

      …but Stanford can recruit good players with the same (or higher) academic standards? Please.

      Notre Dame can recruit good players even with its high academic standards. Just accepting as fact that ND has to have a second rate program is ridiculous.

      I refuse to believe that Notre Dame should just roll over and I don’t believe anyone in the school’s athletic administration believes it either.

      Did we fold our tents when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!!!

  13. bigirishfan - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    We aren’t a very good team right now.

    Can you imagine what USC is going to do to us?

    Ugh…that’s going to be very, very painful!!!

    Maybe we should just forfeit and avoid the embarrasment.

  14. lepore20 - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    You people are ridiculous. What’s Coach Kelly supposed to say after a loss? ‘Well, it was a matter of their players just being more talented than the plugs Charlie recruited, and I didn’t have much of a chance’. Brian gave the politically correct answer by taking responsibility. Give the guy time! He is not only stuck with players that he didn’t recruit, he is stuck with players that don’t fit his mould/system. Imagine if Clausen and Tate didn’t go to the NFL! They would have excelled in Kelly’s offensive system and all you jokers would be comparing Kelly to Rockne. This guy took a joke of a program at Cinci, and brought them to two straight BCS games. What makes people think that he can’t do the same at Notre Dame, a school that is an easier draw and has many more assets? Go Irish!

  15. kmf84 - Oct 26, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Shades of all teams with offensive minded coaches. NO DEFENSE. See Texas Tech, Old BYU teams, yes even BK’s Cincy teams. If you score 35 every game but give up 42 every game it’s still a loss. Give him a chance to shore up the defense. Players want to go to ND so stop griping about that too.

  16. kmf84 - Oct 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    To bigirishfan. These names may not be familiar to you, but they are all currently on NFL rosters, most as starters or significant role players. Clausen, Tate, Zbikowski, Fasano, Young, Landri, Jansen, Ndukwe, Bruton, Harris, Olsen, Quinn, Grant, Black, Mays, Levoir, Tuck, Laws, Abiamiri, Battle, Carlson, J. Jones, Stovall, Faine. All played at ND in the last 10 years. Ranked 2nd in NFL with number of ex players on NFL rosters.

    • bigirishfan - Oct 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM

      Your not really going to take credit for Olsen are you? I think that he played at U of Miami. Did he ever play a down for us?

      Almost all of the other players that you named are marginal talents.

      How many were drafted? How many were free agents?

      How many have had successful NFL careers to this point?

      ND is getting average talent and fielding average teams.

      • irishharp - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:52 PM

        Olsen being the Irish center last year. Do you watch the games?

  17. kidmarc - Oct 26, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Wow! Only thing missing from this article was the string section. Violins please!

    Well I can think of two proclamations: 1. Entitlements comment 2. The Baseball Banquet Speech.


  18. footballace - Oct 26, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Us as fans might be a little overreacting. What did you expect from coach Kelly? Did you think in his first year he would come in and win a National Title? Look at the teams we have lost too. When we played Michigan with Robinson fully healthy they were a top 15 team. Michigan State is still undefeated and we lost to them in OT. Stanford is a top 10 team as well. So the teams we have lost to are not bad.

    Success takes time and people who want instant success should go buy one of those how to make a million dollars overnight programs. Let me know how that goes for you.

    Give Coach Kelly and his staff time. Have realistic expectations of how long its going to take to start winning some big games.

  19. irishfan2791 - Oct 26, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Brian Kelly himself said this offense is complex and advanced. The offense is doing just fine and they don’t even have the entire playbook put in yet. Injuries have greatly hampered the progress can be made. I read an earlier comment that the spread offense won’t work at Notre Dame….. that thought is a little ridiculous considering when Notre Dame gets back to its winning ways they will have the cream of the crop when it comes to recruiting. He will do better with linemen and skill players who can run his offense the way it should be. fast faster and fastest. this is how the system works speed it is disgned to keep the defense from being able to react and with the athletes that are at Notre Dame it will be nearly unstoppable. And yes the defense is a problem but the cabinet is bear there is no depth, if any and of those with skill we are young. But, have you seen the the recruiting class coming in it is filled with skilled linemen, both defensive and offensive, not to mention players in the secondary as well as more targets for Dayne Crist. No that I think about it the last Notre Dame coach to win a National Title (Lou Holtz) had a less than stellar first year. So cool your jets Irish faithful I know its been a long time since we’ve seen the a good year. Brian Kelly knows what he needs to do, he needs to win, but remember its going to take time. I think Brian Kelly will be here in five years, he won’t just be here, he’ll be doing a great job. GO IRISH!!!!

  20. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    I like that BK has shown some candor with the media and fan base. Certainly this is better than being arrogant and claiming a decided schematic advantage which was truly off-putting from the get-go. I’m also glad that we aren’t winning out as that would only lead to an early contract extension before we really see what we are getting, as in the case of Weis. I really think that the University has to give the football coach, whomever that may be, a free pass on 3 or 4 kids every recruiting cycle like Urban tried to negotiate. Somebody else recently made an excellent point, maybe here or another blog, that the University should see that as part of its overall mission: to help some disadvantaged kids get into a great school and thrive. I’m not just talking football players either. Do it across the board and stop being so damned elitist. Your reputation will not suffer one iota. As for BK I think its ridiculous to start calling for his head so soon. Give him his chance….we are stuck with him anyway for 3 or 4 more years so we might as well get behind him. I was never an advocate of his hiring and I think he’s made some terrific blunders (not going for the FG before the half vs Mich and not defending properly for a fake vs a freshman Mich St kicker trying to kick a 49 yarder for the TIE….to name 2 that really got under my skin) but its a learning curve so let him show us what he’s got for us and if it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out. We’ll just be 5 yrs older and blogging about who will take his place. At 50, I just worry that I won’t be around long enough to see a return to glory. Lastly, I think there are no excuses for the Navy game. They were thoroughly unprepared, despite statements to the contrary and that has to fall on the HC. I’m just glad to see he’s accepting the blame which is only right. I’ve read quotes like “That wasn’t your Dad’s Navy team.” I understand that, but they’re still Navy and they don’t get recruits like we do, nor do they send guys to the Pro’s like we do. Year in year out, we should be handing them their asses. Even the other 2 losses were by a total of 4 points. This year’s fiasco (hmmm….rhymes with Diaco) was a blowout on both sides of the ball………..unacceptable. Kelly’s job is to prepare for the veer or whatever other crap they may come up with and then to adjust in game when he sees what they’re up to. It’s his job to think about the FG vs Michigan, not to say that it never really entered his mind. It’s his job to protect the end zone and plan for a fake in a tie ballgame vs Mich St. I am no football genius but I know that much. I’d love to see the guy succeed and I hope his is a positive trajectory while here but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  21. domepiece1989 - Oct 27, 2010 at 11:32 AM


    Did we fold our tents when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!!!

    really.. your a freaken moron

    • dbldmr - Oct 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      Never watched Animal House, eh genius? By the way, your grammar is excellent. I believe the proper way for you to have written the last sentence is…

      …you’re a freaken (sp?) moron.

      Your acquaintance with English is as impressive as your knowledge of movies, dumbass.

  22. kmf84 - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    To say these guys are marginal talent is silly. Of the tens of thousands of young men who play college football roughly 1500 make NFL rosters. So the coaches, scouts, GMs, etc. must see something in these guys. Plus these guys are on active rosters not practice squads.

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