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Faced with adversity, Kelly turns offense over to Martin

Jan 9, 2012, 3:44 PM EDT

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For the first two years of Brian Kelly’s tenure at Notre Dame, Charley Molnar was the offensive coordinator. That much, just about everybody knows. What we don’t know, is what kind of say Molnar had in actually, well — coordinating the offense.

As it tends to happen, many are speculating about Molnar’s departure from Notre Dame for the head coaching position at UMass. Logic dictates that just about any lifetime assistant coach would jump for the opportunity to run his own program, and after a career traversing the college football world, Molnar certainly fits the mold of a guy ready for his shot. Of course, rumblings coming from around the dome also could have you believe that Molnar was out of South Bend whether it was with a new job or not, something Tim Prister of IrishIllustrated.com wrote earlier this week.

As Lou Somogyi of Blue & Gold Illustrated notes, second year shake-ups are nothing new for Irish coaching staffs. Charlie Weis dropped Rick Minter for Corwin Brown. Bob Davie dropped Jim Colletto for Kevin Rogers. And Lou Holtz had the biggest turnover of any recent Irish coach, with outside linebackers coach Barry Alvarez taking over coordinator duties for Foge Fazio, Chuck Heater brought in to run the secondary, and Joe Yonto moved out at offensive line to bring in Joe Moore. So before Irish fans believe that the sky is falling, consider that Kelly knows what he has on his staff better than anyone, and promoting from within is one of the reasons there’s a statue of Barry Alvarez in Madison, and the path to the Rose Bowl know goes through Camp Randall.

That’s not to assume that Chuck Martin is the second coming of Alvarez, but the fact that Kelly turned to Martin after pledging to fix the offense after a disheartening loss to Florida State carries some weight. If you spend any time around the coaching staff, it won’t take you long to notice Martin, who carries himself like a second head coach and has the chops to prove it. When Martin joined the staff after leaving Grand Valley, those who knew him were surprised that he came without being tagged a coordinator, instead coaching the secondary and coordinating the team’s recruiting efforts. Two seasons later, Martin is getting that chance, moving to the offensive side of the ball and advancing his coaching resume at the same time.

Of course, what Martin’s tenure as offensive coordinator means still remains to be seen. As Molnar also did, Martin will coach quarterbacks, working day to day with a new position group after working with the secondary for his first two seasons. Almost immediately, we’ve seen Martin’s fingerprints on recruiting, with the Irish chasing quarterback Devin Fuller, an elite five-star athlete that’s been promised a chance to work at quarterback after previously being offered as a defensive back. (How good of an athlete is Fuller? Consider this Irish Sports Daily report that has him already working with the first unit wide receivers at the Army All-American bowl, after playing wideout for the first time in his life upon arriving in San Antonio.) Martin has also been instrumental in reaffirming the commitments of recruits Will Mahone and Taylor Decker, after both Tim Hinton and Ed Warinner, two coaches instrumental in their respective recruitment, joined Urban Meyer’s Ohio State staff.

Looking back at Martin’s recent Grand Valley team’s, you get an idea of how he likes to power an offense. Continuing with the system Kelly put in place, Martin evolved his spread attack into one that moved mostly by ground, with his last four teams running the ball at least sixty percent of the time.

2006: 538 runs, 355 passes (60.2%/39.8%)
2007: 541 runs, 329 passes (62.2%/37.8%)
2008: 464 runs, 280 passes (62.4%/37.6%)
2009: 599 runs, 397 passes (60%/40%)

To put that into context, here’s the run/pass splits for the Irish over the past two seasons.

2010: 414 runs, 481 passes (46.3%/53.7%)
2011: 433 runs, 473 passes (47.8%/52.2%)

Of course, the first question every Irish fan should be asking is what quarterback will be taking snaps next year, and what role  the quarterback will play in the running game. Recruiting a guy like Fuller gives you an idea that Martin likes to run the quarterback as well, and a deeper look at the numbers confirms that. Here’s a breakdown of quarterback carries from the four-year span at Grand Valley we just looked at.

2006: 538 carries: 139 from QBs (25.8%)
2007: 541 carries: 117 from QBs (21.6%)
2008: 464 carries: 50 from QBs (10.7%)
2009: 599 carries: 66 from QBs (11.0%)

Adding more context to those numbers, Martin’s offense evolved as his quarterback changed. In 2006, Cullen Finnerty was the starter, throwing for 41 touchdown passes while also running 132 times for 8 touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards a carry as the team’s second leading ball carrier for a team that averaged 35.5 points a game. In 2007, Brad Iciek took over the quarterbacking position, and while he did run the ball, he was spelled by Central Florida transfer Marquel Neasman, who worked in primarily as a running quarterback. The quarterbacks still ran the ball over 20 percent of the time for an offense that averaged 7.1 yards a play and put up 38.2 points a game.

Digging deeper, a quick look at Brian Kelly’s last two teams at Cincinnati shows similarities to Martin when he’s playing a mobile quarterback. Obviously, Kelly wasn’t responsible for the depth chart he inherited, and didn’t have a running quarterback until Andrew Hendrix emerged late this season. Here’s a look at the percentage of quarterback rushes as a percentage of overall carries, including the leading QB ball carrier (minimum 10 carries).

2008: 347 rushing, 100 from QBs (28.8%) – Collaros 6.0 ypc
2009: 444 rushing, 111 from QBs (25.0%) – Collaros 4.8 ypc
2010: 414 rushes, 73 rushes (17.6%) – Crist 1.4 ypc
2011: 433 rushes, 61 rushes (14.1%) – Hendrix 6.5 ypc

Kelly and Martin have two quarterbacks on campus, Hendrix and rising sophomore Everett Golson, that’ll immediately solve the quarterback running game problem. Of course, one of those two will need to win the starting job before we can see if the Irish will break out a rushing attack, though you’d have to expect it with no clear No. 1 wide receiver behind tight end Tyler Eifert, and Tommy Rees seeming to stagnate down the stretch.

Maybe more important than just about any schematic change to the offense is having Martin’s confidence and moxie on the offensive side of the ball. Martin’s edge, quick humor, and style are polar opposites of defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. With both coaches on the defensive side of the ball, you had two very different styles of teaching the same thing, while Diaco’s heightened intensity and earnestness the opposite side of the dial from where Martin lives. Perhaps Martin’s fearlessness, his ability to motivate and coach hard (without turning purple and upping the decibels) will be good for an offense that needs a little swagger after getting mighty vanilla as the season played out. Martin’s confidence — both in his abilities and his players — will be a godsend for a unit that didn’t hold up its end of the bargain down the stretch.

Two summers ago, I spent time with Kelly’s coaching staff, and got an up-close look at how the staff interacted. Still in the infancy of their time together, it was clear there was a corp group of guys that formed a quick bond. It’s amazing that the three coaches that seemed the most detached, are the first three coaches out the door. Charley Molnar had worked for Kelly since 2006, but you got the feeling he didn’t fit completely with the rest of the group. The same can be said for Tim Hinton, who Kelly inherited from Mark Dantonio at Cincinnati, and Ed Warinner, who was a stranger to everyone, coming over from Kansas after pursuing a job on Kelly’s staff. It didn’t take long to identify Martin as a leader among the assistant coaches, even if his title didn’t say it after ascending to the D-I level.

Of course, none of that matters until we see what the offense looks like this coming spring, and learn more about how much input Martin will have in a system where the head coach will likely continue to call the plays. But facing his first bit of macro-level adversity, Kelly turned to Martin to help right the ship. How it works out, only time will tell. But the decision means quite a bit.

 

  1. dickasman - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Don’t we have some more coaching hire announcement?

  2. seanb20124 - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    So who does Martin like as QB1 next year?

    • dickasman - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Given his penchant for “running QB’s”, I would imagine Golson has the edge over Hendrix.

      • jimbasil - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        dick… that makes very little sense. You, like the rest of us, have not seen Golson in a college game. You’ve seen AH and he clearly can run this offense. He’s mobile which makes him already a better choice than Rees, and he has a bigger arm to stretch the field vertically which also puts him in a better spot than Rees. But with Golson you have zilch. He’s an unknown – a wish and hope, but that is all. It is difficult to understand everyone’s love for the unknown.

        I’d like to add, whoever kept Rees in at QB or even recommended he be the QB to lead this team needs to find a different position to coach. It was known last year he had no legs allowing Defenses to add another defender in the secondary and with very little arm strength to extend the field he made the offense work that much more and made it much more difficult to be successful. Even the running game (which was doing better than expected with Jonas and a more cohesive OLine) that was darn good was hampered by Rees’s inability to extend the field.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Jimbobs, I personally prefer Hendrix over Golson but Hendrix really didn’t show much other than cannon arm and he can run better than Rees.

        Did you guys watch the SEC championship game? Both QB’s are garbage. Defense and special teams wins championships.

  3. nudeman - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    This is a great post Keith.

    Despite the offensive meltdown in the FSU game, I had maintained that there was still a 50% chance that Rees would be the QB next year.

    Not now.

    I thought all along that BK had a blind spot re: Rees. Now if he truly lets Martin run the offense, those days are over.

    Re: Molnar, one thing sticks in my mind: In the 1st half vs. Stanford, ND had a 1st down at around the Stanford 5. From there epic confusion ensued: Delay of game, penalty, false start, etc, and finally a missed field goal. It was obvious that among other things there was trouble getting the plays in on time. I didn’t really see this as a problem all year, but it’s interesting that this game – and in some ways, that SERIES – would become Molnar’s last stand.

    • dickasman - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      don’t ever trust anybody w slicked back hair.

      • nddc21 - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM

        “Hey, we’re not all bad.”– Mike Brey

    • 9irish - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

      I saw that several times over the year, mass chaos and confusion. Switching Morton and Staubach back and forth didn’t help much either.

  4. dbldmr - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    …and both have an edge over anyone else we’ve seen.

  5. mkuswing - Jan 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Does anyone have any news on tee shepard. I have heard he did not enroll like he said he was. After Darby bolted this would be a huge blow to the class. Rivals has ND at # 18, that not good at all. I know you should not put to much weight on it but 5 teams we play next year are ranked higher!!!

    • dickasman - Jan 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      Oh Great…He’s prolly flipped to Cal or USC. These darn kids today….

    • nudeman - Jan 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      Sounds like it’s OK

      From Irish Illustrated Pete Sampson, Editor:

      Tee Shepard remains on schedule to enroll at Notre Dame next week with his paperwork complete for admission for the spring semester. Even with Darby, keeping Shepard was one of the biggest priorities in this class.

      • mkuswing - Jan 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        thanks nude I think I read that to, but it wasn’t very recent. I just read some other posts that aid otherwise. Ireally hope shumante can get his boy Yuri Wright on board!!!

    • dmac4real - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Hes coming early. Dont worry.

    • irishrule23 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      I have read similar posts, but I have no facts that support Shepard not enrolling at ND. Last I heard, he was heading to South Bend last Thursday to get the process started. The news has been pretty quiet since then, so maybe somebody is starting rumors or using old information. If anyone has a current update on Shepard’s enrollment status I would be interested as well. Thanks! Go Irish!

    • irishrule23 - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      I believe I just found the Tee Shepard update I was looking for. Thought the rest of you might be interested.

      Link:

      http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/ncfrecruiting/on-the-trail/post?id=4961&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fblog%2fncfrecruiting%2fon-the-trail%2fpost%3fid%3d4961

  6. cameronemclaughlin - Jan 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Wonderful post. I love the confidence I now have that Rees will not start next year.

    Please Tee, come to Notre Dame.

    • trbowman - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM

      Once you see an incredibly raw Golson or Hendrix, you may be pining for Rees to come back.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        LOLOLOL…You may be right but Golson and Hendrix have stronger arms and can run better. I for one will not be pining for Rees. Rees to me is an ideal back up QB.

  7. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Keith: Excellent statistical analysis! With regard to having a running QB, I hear that 60% of the time, it works every time. Lou won the NC with a mobile QB and a dominant defense. Sound familiar?

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:47 AM

      Oh by the way, very nice appearance on Power Hour! Love their show almost as much as your site Keith.

  8. trbowman - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Darby remembered committing to Notre Dame meant playing for Brian Kelly.

    Faced with this harsh reality, he promptly backed out.

    I can’t blame him.

    • ihatemistate - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      You are right, we will lost recruits because of Kelly. Alot of players won’t put up with him and they don’t have to.

  9. jimbasil - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Great Post Keith. Extremely well done and one of the best ever here. Thank you.

  10. runners00 - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Was that not nice to see a power offense win last night? I don’t like Alabama but, man, that is a smash-mouth football squad down there. There is no secret to their success. They make you stop the run. On virtually every play, their offensive line was penetrating LSU’s defensive front. They make you defend short passes. They make you cheat up and then go over the top. And then on defense, they were ridiculous.

    The spread has its merits but there is nothing like power football. Nothing.

    • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Agree
      But it’s hard to have a power running game when you have a 185 lb running back, or whatever Cierre is

      Richardson can knock you into next week with his raw power and speed

    • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Their offense didnt impress me much. Its their defense that stood out.

      • runners00 - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Alabama played very well on both sides of the ball. Most importantly, they did not turn the ball over. But they also had some decent runs from scrimmage and they had some strong pass plays that opened up LSU a bit. I though LSU, if it had a bright spot, played very well defensively for most of the game. Their Q turned over the ball at inopportune times.

        The question on everyone’s mind is how would Oklahoma State have done?

        This one-month-plus-off crap is unreal. Nobody is in synch. The game lasts an eternity. It’s absurd. And, if there is no time for a playoff, how does every other division one sport make the time for a playoff? It’s just nuts. It’s the conferences, which insist on keeping virtually all the revenue these kids bring in. Get rid of championship games and have a playoff starting in late November. Play a couple of games then, break for exams for three weeks until about December 26 and play a couple of additional games. It’s doable.

        And it’s necessary.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        I agree with that month off crap…..its a completely a new season. the 2 teams that are chosen for the bowl games are not the same 2 teams when the season ended after 6 weeks.

        I think at most they should have a week off then play but also that means also having to have playoffs and neither will happen in my life time anyways…

      • 9irish - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        If I were an LSU fan, I would not be happy with even having to play that game. You beat them once, now you have to do it again.
        Not quite as bad as 1993….the final #2 team with one loss (ND) beat the #1 team (FSU) ….still a travesty.

    • trentnd - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Alabama’s defense dictated the flow of this game. LSU didn’t cross mid-field until the 4th quarter. The Tigers had to change their game plan and did not look comfortable from the beginning of the game. The ‘Bama offense would have just needed a field goal to win this game. Goes to show how good football teams put points on the board and how costly turnovers in the red zone can be…

    • 1historian - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Football is a smash mouth game and those that play it better than anyone win games and championships. It is not a contact sport, it is a sport of collision, it is a sport of domination, and the baddest m-f usually wins.

  11. ndfan4ever - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Anyone watch the NC game last night? ND can win without a running QB just like Bama. Tommy Rees is a good QB and is still young. Hendrix is going to be good too but is still learning and very raw. Golson no one knows we haven’t seen him yet and you can’t go into next year with a QB that has never taking a snap no way. ND needs to get some good rb and run the ball and not with the QB. This will open up the passing game. Kelly needs to be a more disaplined play caller and stop putting QB in bad situation with bad play calls. 1st and gaol from the 3 and you call a play to MF over the middle ito coverage? Why not throw a fad to the corner when you have one on one coverage. Why not run the ball first. Bad call bad result. Kelly needs to let his ego go and call non bone head plays. We can win with Rees.. Remember you are talking about a kid not a pro QB cut him some slack.

    • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      This might be the worst comment I’ve ever read.
      Tops dickasman’s “rape some females” post fro yesterday.

      “Tommy Rees is a good QB” No he isn’t

      “Why not throw a fad(sic) to the corner …” Because Rees couldn’t throw a fad. Or a fade.

      “We can win with Rees”. Technically correct; they can beat Navy, AF and Maryland with him.

      I”m guessing you don’t get NBC or cable.

      • bb90grad - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        ..or Spell Check. Of course Commodore Vic 20’s don’t have software support anymore.

      • ihatemistate - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:21 PM

        That was too funny, and true.

    • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/la-sp-0110-usc-football-20120110,0,2582286.story

      Kyle Prater transferring…can we get this guy too?

      • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Seriously?

        Story in Chi Sun Times says he has caught one pass in his USC “career”

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Yeah, that’s behind Robert Woods and who da hell ever else they had over there. Prater would be easily #1 receiver on irish depth chart.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Nude,

        may I wallow in a minute of bad pub for USC?

      • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        Wallow away my man
        Nothing like a story about USC having problems

        Having said that, I saw a headline to a story in the Trip (or somewhere) saying they’re the team to beat next year.
        Not sure when the penalties are going to take their full effect
        I think they lose 10 scholarships/yr for 3 years, right?

        F%^% USC

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-praters-plan-northwestern-or-wisconsin-20120110,0,4833453.story

        Dam, I’d love to have this kid on our team…

      • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        And I’d love to be 6’5″
        That’s not gonna’ happen either

      • onecrna - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        USC only released him if he agreed not to sign with any PAC12 team or Notre Dame

  12. gpatton90 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Run / Pass statistics, IMO, need to be dictated by the abilities of the athletes. 60/40 split may be preferable one year, but not the next. In ND’s case, it seems like next year this would be perfect. We have a solid offensive line, a good running game, which could be great depending on how Riddick adjusts back to the offensive side of the ball and how quickly the new guys can contribute, and a running quarterback (Hendrix / Golson). Either of them will need time to develop as a passer during the season, and we’ll be developing a new set of receivers as well, so run the ball and take the pressure off of the quarterback as he develops.

    We’ll also have one of the best defensive front sevens in the country, so if Diaco will let them loose, and we can find a way to get average production from the secondary, we should be in a position where the defense can keep the team in every game. This could really set us up nicely for 2013, where the quarterback should be adjusted and able to deliver more from the air, and the secondary should have developed.

    Of course, all of this is meaningless if Tommy is back at starting quarterback. Kelly needs to look long term and if that means some mistakes next year as we break in Hendrix / Golson, so be it. I won’t complain. I just believe Rees has hit his ceiling and we need to move on.

    • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Your comment reminds me we haven’t heard much from the “Tommy is 8-0 as a starter” group anymore.

      I am with you and others who have expressed their potential disgust some how Tommy Rees is the starter next year. You made an excellent point: If it proves that Golson and/or Hendrix are no better, so be it.

      I can’t take another year – or another game – watching them play a guy who we absolutely know with 100% certainty can’t get it done.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        LOL…btw, kyle prater was #1 or #2 or top 5 at least ranked WR when he went to USC. This guys basically mike floyd jr, maybe faster. I guess he’s considering Northwestern or Wisconsin. I guess kids homesick….Why can’t ND coaches at least make a call?

  13. nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Keith,
    I have of late been reading posts on the Four Horsemen Lounge and am impressed that the Editor Pete Sampson stays engaged on threads he starts. If someone asks him to clarify something he’s written or elaborate, he frequently does so. Not 100% of the time, but frequently.

    I don’t know what your workload is like, don’t know if you read every comment or have time to stay engaged. But many times I’ve seen followers ask you to clarify or elaborate and it’s rare that you re-engage.

    It would be nice to see more from you on individual threads if that’s possible. People here follow you closely, and are fervent in their love of ND football, but none of us are close to the program. You are.

    Thoughts?

    • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Nude, this is freebie site. Pete prolly makes the big bucks from moron fans like you paying for every ounce of ND info.

      • Keith Arnold - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Nude,
        2012 New Year’s resolution was to spend less time trolling the comments. As hard as Ive tried, I still think some of the people that come on here don’t actually want to have a discussion, but would rather just make loud noises and sweeping declarations. That’s not my thing, and it actually wears on me a lot, almost as much as the negativity on the liveblog.

        That said, I’m always scanning the comments for questions and email back just about everyone that sends me a question.

        To recap what I’ve seen here:

        * no Kyle Prater. Was a huge recruit, has had bad injury problems and I’ve seen whispers that academics are a concern.

        * think you’ll be hearing something on an OL coach sooner than later.

        * yes, I think watching SEC football is boring too.

        * it’s good to see Nude and Dickasman co-existing.

      • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Ahem….Dick Asman walks in the door from working another loooooooooong haaaaaaarrrrrrrrd day at the office. Opens door and enters the house and only hears Kyle Prater part, turns right around and exits the room. Sounds as if I had walked in on my parents having sax!

  14. 1historian - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    IMO Kelly is just about decided that Golson will start next year. When August 31 gets here Golson will have been through 2 spring practices, 2 fall practices and 1 season on the sidelines watching. By August he will have been through 18 months of weight training and the like, he was the QB for the scout team last season, and to me most significant – he is the only QB recruit of Kelly’s tenure here.

    Will he commit rookie mistakes? Of course he will. But if not now – when?

    Next year’s team will be 5/8 Kelly recruits, and I think we are on the verge of something special, and I think it will start to show 3 or 4 games into next season.

    This team is a work in progress.

    • dickasman - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      that’s all fine and dandy but the kid still have to prove it on the play of field. Same with Hendrix. Whoever plays better on gameday gets the playing time, that’s it. I never understood anyone winning starting job in practice. What happens in spring and fall only matters til the gameday.

      • 1historian - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:57 PM

        How else do you win the job if not at practice? Has either Rees or Hendrix shown anything special on game day? Not to me. They both played last season because they were 2nd year players and I didn’t see anything from either one of them that impressed me.

        Golson was a 1st year player – he watched, he put on weight (he was around 175-180 when he got to ND) & he learned. Next season he will be a 2nd year player – give him a GOOD chance to see what he can do.

        I’m well aware that on most teams that aren’t doing too well the most popular guy in town is the 2nd string QB. It’s a little screwy but that’s the way it is.

        I think that at one point Joe Montana was about 5th or 6th string QB when he was @ ND – It’s the nature of the beast. Next guy in.

    • nudeman - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      I hope you’re right but I think if we’ve learned anything, it’s that:

      1) Kelly LOVES Tommy Rees for some reason unknown to the rest of humanity
      2) If left to his own, Kelly would just give the job to him because “he gives us the best chance to win”.
      3) #2 is pure BS

      We can only hope that Martin is making the QB decision.
      Because if it’s Kelly, I swear it will be Rees lining up behind center in Dublin.

      • ihatemistate - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        Nudeman, don’t think you’re right on the Kelly-Rees relationship anymore. I thought he had a man crush on Rees, and he outwardly treated Dane Crist terrible, but the tables turned on Tommy. He became the coach’s new whipping post, as we watched him unleash his fury every Saturday on Rees. Otherwise, you’re cracking me up with your comments!

  15. oldestguard - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Great read, Keith !

    With 10 less scholies – something had to give at USC, and we’re seeing those who were “advised” about their future playing time looking for greener pastures.

    Prater certainly was on our radar a few years ago, not sure now – but I’m sure Kelly has taken a close look.

    3 weeks to signing day….will it be as riveting as last year ?

    • 1historian - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:00 AM

      Of course it will – that’s why I check this site 6 or 7 times a day.

  16. papadec - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    oldg – maybe a redshirt year will help Prater recover from his injuries. Armstead, Carlisle & now Prater – I agree with you that maybe they were “advised” to look for playing time where a program had a place for them to heal. I’m sure ND isn’t the only program looking at & evaluating their injuries/potential. I see a bigger picture here, that recruits & their families should look at – the SI articles last year regarding programs that bring in more recruits than they have space for. Then they dump the excess players. Kids looking @ usc & other programs being hit for past violations should beware.

    • 1historian - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:06 AM

      Good comment, especially the last one about dumping excess players. Stats should be kept of that as closely as they are kept of graduation rates. Another interesting angle would be “Where are they now?” NC teams from 10-15 years back.

      And not only football – I keep coming back to that article about Greg Oden in S.I. 5 years back when he was a freshman at OSU – his 2 subjects were Sociology and The History of Rock and Roll.

      • dickasman - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        Yeah ND should keep a “where are they now” from the past 10-15 years of all the football players that have come through ND vs. other schools brochure as recruiting tool. Not in a negative recruiting way but rather presented as matters of the facts way.

    • oldestguard - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      you guys speak the truth…I hope these young kids do their homework and check the numbers.

      I admire the parents who take a very active role in the process and keep the big picture in it’s proper perspective.

  17. ihatemistate - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Yea it’s finally snowing in Michigan!! Five simple changes to Kelly to make: 1. Don’t juggle QB’s. 2. Use a huddle. 3. Don’t scream at the QB, ever. 4. Use a trick play once in awhile. 5. Get rid of the sparkly helmuts.

    • dickasman - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      I def. disagree with 2 and 3….5 is maybe. Here’s list of my 5

      1. JUST WIN BABY!
      2. JUST WIN BABY!
      3. JUST WIN BABY!
      4. JUST WIN BABY!
      5. JUST WIN BABY!

      Problems solved!

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