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Practice Report: Day Ten update

Apr 12, 2012, 12:10 PM EDT

John Goodman

As our friends at take us around the positional groupings, no unit (at least offensively) has more question marks than the outside wide receivers. Now coached by Mike Denbrock, who spent his first two seasons under Brian Kelly coaching tight ends, and his last run at Notre Dame coaching tight ends and offensive tackles, the receivers are desperately looking for a competent replacement for the Irish’s all-time leading receiver Michael Floyd.

After an impressive run finding big-bodied prolific wideouts, this could be the weakest the position has been since the Ty Willingham era. (It really has been a great run for Irish WRs. In 2005, both Jeff Samardzija and Maurice Stovall went for over 1,100 yards and 10 TDs. Samardzija and Rhema McKnight scored 12 and 15 TDs respectively in 2006. In the woeful 2007 campaign, Duval Kamara still set freshman records in two categories, Floyd broke them in 2008, while Golden Tate went for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Tate had a super-human season in 2009, while Floyd’s injury truncated season might have been even more statistically impressive.)

The usual suspects have been rounded up. John Goodman has been given a fifth chance to make good, and early reports are very promising this spring. TJ Jones, now a junior, should also be ready to take a step forward. Davaris Daniels, who redshirted last season, is probably the most physically gifted of the group, but what the Irish will get out of his depends on No. 16 himself. Daniel Smith and Luke Massa will compete for time as well.

As usual, here are some thoughts and observations after watching practice report No. 10:

  • 0:11 — Getting lazy on us, Jack Nolan? I swear I’ve spotted that sweatshirt before…
  • 0:21 — Louis Nix has been absolutely hilarious on Twitter lately. Whether its making Stephon Tuitt try and eat a spoonful of salt, or highlighting his mug in the past two team pictures, this kid is a real treat to follow. Perhaps Brian Kelly would like a little bit more business out of him, which explains why he’s been running with the No. 2 defensive line while Kona Schwenke is taking snaps as the No. 1 nose tackle.
  • 0:24 — And there’s Aaron Lynch, coincidentally when Jack Nolan says, “And EVERYBODY came back with a lot of enthusiasm for today’s tenth practice.” Nice shimmy there, Aaron.
  • 1:10 — Denbrock calls the talent at wide receiver “raw and under-developed.” That seems fair, and he’s acknowledged the “crutch” that was Michael Floyd.
  • 1:31 — We’ve seen this throw before but it doesn’t get any worse. A perfect moon ball by Everett Golson, who hits John Goodman for a long touchdown. It’d have been great to see Goodman go and get the ball, and shrug off defenders like that against Florida State. (Cue the Lo Wood doesn’t play for Florida State jokes…)
  • 1:44 — Denbrock calls John Goodman consistent. That’d be great.
  • 2:12 — It doesn’t mean he’ll contribute next season, but Luke Massa looks like a wide receiver. Not a converted quarterback playing wide receiver.
  • 2:20 — Denbrock talks about Danny Smith’s confidence. It’d be good to see the South Bend native make a mark on the offense.
  • 3:05 — I’m excited to see what Denbrock’s impact will be as “passing game coordinator.” It very well could be a promotion in title only, but Denbrock has shown himself to be a very savvy coach, and between Denbrock and Chuck Martin, this could be fun.
  • 3:48 — First two people Denbrock calls out is Tate Nichols and Jordan Prestwood. Once and O-Line coach, always an O-Line coach.
  • 4:14 — Great exchange with Ben Koyack. It also sounds like Kelly wasn’t kidding around with the communal aspect of special teams. It sounds like Denbrock will have a hand in kickoff return.
  • 4:45 — The art of wide receiver blocking. The joy of spring football.
  • 5:40 — Denbrock coaches up Andre Smith, a preferred walk-on that’s seen a lot of camera time this spring. Not that it means he’ll play, but the North Broward Prep looks the part at 6-2, 190.
  • 6:25 — Easy for you to say, coach…
  • 6:50 — That’s a nice route by Davaris Daniels. Looks explosive.
  • 7:04 — That’s a catch by Daniels, but not such great coverage by Josh Atkinson.
  • 7:18 — “We’re just getting jammed all over the field,” Denbrock says. That’s what Irish fans are all worried about too, Coach.
  • 8:04 — Nice coverage by Bennett Jackson on Danny Smith’s dig route.
  • 8:24 — “All day long!” Denbrock shouts after Daniels makes a play. That’s a best case scenario for Irish fans.
  • 8:44 — That’s a great throw by Golson and nice catch by Luke Massa in a tight spot.
  • 9:00 — Luke Massa doing work, then making Denbrock chuckle.
  • 9:30 — Think Brian Kelly is getting the idea with coaching clinic invites. Don’t think Rick Neuheisel or Tim Murphy are going to steal staff members.
  • 9:43 — That’s a bullet there by Golson. Could work with that…



  1. ccad05 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Golson it is!!! But I guess we won’t know for sure until mid august.

  2. nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    An interview with Chuck Martin on the QBs:
    1) Politically correctness rules; says he’s “ecstatic” about their progress. Seriously.
    2) Personally I don’t buy that. Please send Chuck some sodium pentathol
    3) Raves about Tommy. Keith will love him for that
    4) I hope Chuck is just being nice there.

    “We start with the world problems, so we’ve been working on hunger, poverty, inflation,” said Martin last week, gathering momentum like a standup comedian.

    “This is Notre Dame now. It’s a little bigger picture than just football. We’re more well rounded than that. Uh, what was the question?”

    Comedy routine complete, Martin turned his attention to more pressing matters, or at least more pertinent to the matter at hand, which, of course, is building a better, more mistake-free quarterback.
    Tommy Rees remains Notre Dame’s most likely option at quarterback, but he must cut down on crucial turnovers.
    No one needs a crash course more than junior Tommy Rees, who in two years as the starter has thrown 32 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions. Fourteen of those interceptions came in 13 games last season.

    That’s not an unusually high interception total for a sophomore. But throw in a handful of fumbles lost, mix in the poor timing of some of those mistakes, and add a restless, outspoken fan base to the equation. Factor in a powerful, energetic junior alternative, a dynamic run-pass sophomore, and the most highly touted pro-style freshman in the country.

    Whether it’s Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson or Gunner Kiel, the sense of urgency to get the quarterback problems solved at Notre Dame ranks right up there for some with hunger, poverty and inflation – times two.

    Charged with helping strike a balance between eliminating mistakes and increasing the big-play quotient is the glib Martin, whose comedic bits may make the ride to improvement a bit more palatable.

    “You weigh who makes the most positive things happen versus the negative things,” said Martin of the factors that will determine a winner at quarterback. “No one has a sliding scale as to what it is. It’s just a constant evaluation because you can’t play the guy who never turns it over who never makes a play, either. There’s a balance, and obviously you’re going to err on the side of the turnovers being more disastrous than the good throw is good.

    “But we say it all the time. I say it 60 times a day and the kids are sick of hearing it: We don’t decide who plays; you decide who plays. We don’t decide who you throw the ball to; you decide. We’re giving everybody a chance to run the route. If you’ve run the route right, and you catch the ball, we may like Johnny better than Steve, but we’re going to play Steve because he runs the route right.

    “It’s the same deal with the quarterbacks. Every day we’re evaluating, ‘Hey, he made these positive things happen, which are awesome.’ Now you have to weigh it against how many disastrous things happened because we lived through those six, seven plays (last year) that can change the whole complexion of the year.”

    Like the five turnovers, including one inside the South Florida five-yard line, in the 23-20 loss to the Bulls.

    Like the five turnovers, including a fumble inside the red zone, in the 35-31 loss to Michigan.

    Like the 80-yard fumble return for a touchdown by USC late in the third quarter that turned a potential tie game into a 14-point deficit and an eventual 31-17 loss to the Trojans.

    Like the three turnovers, 309 yards total offense and 21-0 halftime deficit in the loss to Stanford.

    Like the three turnovers and 280 yards total offense in the Champs Sports Bowl loss to Florida State.

    The pursuit for perfection may be an impossible quest. But it’s the way Martin and the Irish offense are looking at it this spring.

    “If all the positions don’t make mistakes – unrealistic, I get it – but that’s the goal and that’s the sense of urgency we’re striving for,” Martin said. “It doesn’t matter who we put in at X, he’s going to be able to play X the way it’s supposed to be played. So now who’s the best X?

    “Talent shouldn’t make a difference on whether you execute our offense. If you’re less talented, you still should be able to execute our offense. Maybe you don’t make as many plays because you have less athleticism, but that’s the point we’re grinding too, and I think the kids are getting that we’re not going to be a mistake-riddled offense. It doesn’t matter what level of football, (mistakes) cause losing.”

    The most mistake-prone of all has been Rees. For better or worse, he still appears to maintain the lead role at quarterback, at least until one of the other quarterbacks steps forward and takes the position away from him.

    As it relates to Rees, Martin is heartened by the story of Cullen Finnerty, the starting quarterback at Grand Valley State via the University of Toledo from 2003-06. In ’06, Finnerty, a redshirt freshman, led Kelly’s Lakers to the Division II national championship.

    A year later, Kelly was at Central Michigan, Martin was the new head coach, and Finnerty was a struggling sophomore.

    “I became the heir apparent, and there was a stretch during his sophomore year when (Finnerty) threw nine interceptions and we lost back-to-back games,” Martin recalled. “The whole world was calling for his head.

    “Was it his fault? No, but he was a major part of it. We never point the finger at one guy, but when a kid throws nine picks, he has to take his share of the blame. The whole world wanted him out of there. We had to coach that out of him or we were going to keep losing. He had the ability and he cared and he was smart and it wasn’t translating to the field.”

    Andrew Hendrix saw action in five games last season, completing less than half his passes but averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
    Martin’s memory skews the statistics a bit. After throwing 22 touchdown passes and six interceptions as a freshman, Finnerty did struggle by comparison as a sophomore. But the nine interceptions in two games Martin remembers actually was seven, although five of those came in the second straight loss – a 35-14 setback at the hands of No. 18 Northwood.

    Finnerty would go on to throw just 10 interceptions on the season. He also finished 51-4 as a starter with a 110-to-31 touchdown-to-interception ratio and three Division II national titles before sipping a cup of coffee with the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.

    But the point is well taken. Rees has a chance to be significantly improved if he wins the quarterback derby based upon his past experiences and the added emphasis on protecting the football in 2012.

    “No doubt,” said Martin when asked if Rees can make the same transformation Finnerty made. “Any kid, any young player, can continue to improve in his game and should.

    “I’ve never seen a sophomore that cared that wasn’t a much better player his junior and senior year. So I expect him to be way more consistent than he was his first two years.”

    Has the transformation from mistake-prone youngster to wise veteran begun for Rees?

    “It’s starting to,” Martin said. “Everybody wants to rule him out. But we’re going to play the best guy that gives us the best chance to win. We don’t know who that guy is yet. If we did, we’d declare it. It would be better for the football team to declare it and rally around one guy. It’s still going to be a while.

    “But I’m ecstatic (with the quarterbacks’ progress). I don’t know if I’ve felt that way every day, but we’re way ahead of where I thought we would be nine days in as far as kids really grasping and buying into what we’re trying to sell. Again, the goal is to eliminate all the mistakes so then just the playmakers play.”

    It starts with the quarterback, just as it did for Martin eight years ago.

    • runners00 - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      It’s gotta be the freshman. He’s got the arm. I’m not sure of the mobility but the arm is a thing of beauty.

  3. domer77blowsgoats - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Nude – can you just post the link next time instead of 3 screens worth of scrolling?

    • nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I would do that but it’s from Rivals and if you’re not a subscriber you won’t be able to open.

      • dmac4real - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        I read that already, and Im definitely not a subscriber.

      • nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        Sometimes if a story has been up a couple days it’s open to all.
        Maybe the case with this one.

  4. gtizzo - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Tommy threw 22 ints his sophomore season, did you know Drew Brees threw 20 his sophomore year at Purdue? Peyton Manning threw 28 int his first year in the NFL. Brett Favre is the all time leader in touchdown passes…and Interceptions! The point- Young QBs throw int, it happens time to move on.

    • andy44teg - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:47 PM


      I thought your comment was a little off so i had to do some research. Did you know that Drew Brees threw 39 TD’s and almost 4,000 yards his soph year, as well?? So let’s do a side by side comparo- Tommy Rees’ soph year: 269 for 411 comp/att, 2,871 yds, 20 TD’s and 14 Int’s
      Drew Brees’ soph year: 361 for 569 comp/att, 3,983 yds, 39 TD’s and 20 Int’s. If Tommy threw 2:1 TD to INT ratio i don’t think anyone would be griping about his play nor would the ND coaches be debating on who will be the starter this year. I don’t think anyone here is just talking about his Int’s. It’s his lack for the big play, mobility, acurate arm passed 10 yards, things like that that have many of us wanting to “move on” to the next guy. THE POINT- that was a very bad comparison on your part.

      • nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        The vocal minority who support TR is “interesting”

        My guess is many or most do so because the anti Rees crowd is so vocal and they think they need to stick up for him. That’s nice, but in doing so they say dumb things and make preposterous comparisons that omit half the facts, like the Brees comparison. 39TDs? ooops

        Brees was and is so far athletically superior to Rees, that the comparison doesn’t work from any level, whether it’s statistics or subjective

      • andy44teg - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        I don’t know if any of you remember Brees (it wasn’t THAT long ago) but watching him slice and dice opposing college defenses, anyone with half a football brain could just tell he was something special. AND he did it with much lesser talent around him, while the defense knew he was going to pass EVERY SINGLE TIME….almost anyways…

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        That’s actually a great comparison.

        To be fair, Purdue ran the ball about 3 times a game for negative yards, helping out those passing statistics.

        Also, he faced five ranked teams that year and lost to all of them but KSU in the Alamo Bowl.

        How did he fair against those five ranked opponents? I’m glad you asked…

        10 TD, 13 INT’s

        So, i’d say the comparison is spot on!

      • andy44teg - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        That’s still better than Rees’ 5 TD’s and 7 INT’s against the 5 ranked opponents he faced last year.

      • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        I am amazed at the lengths people will go to support TR. One of my favorites is the Keith’s notion that since he’s going into year 3 and since many QBs improve markedly in year 3, so will Tommy.

        I couldn’t disagree more. He’s still the same weak armed, immobile, “throw it into triple coverage” guy that he was just a little over 3 months ago vs. FSU.

  5. fnc111 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:53 PM


    TR doesn’t have the talent those players have that you just mentioned. Watch the USC, Stanford, FSU games over again and then look at NDs schedule this year and you will start to have a panic attack knowing ND is forced to start TR again.

    Tommy didn’t just suddenly get a stronger arm. He will be the same talent level for all four years at ND. He can still cut down on the TO’s for sure now that he is a veteran but in order for the turnovers to stop I believe they don’t let him throw some of the passes he struggles with. That’s where Golson will probably come in every so often and run some Tebowing offense or they run trick plays with the great athletes Amir Carlisle and George Atkinson. I think CBKs goal this year is to find a way to start the season 3-1 then go through the gauntlet of Miami, Oklahoma, BYU, Stanfird, and USC and hopefully come out 8-4. I think ND fans would be pumped if that could happen considering the team doesn’t have any corners, receivers and has average qb’s.

    • nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      If he’s trying to find a way to go 8-4 then I’m very disappointed.

      With that defensive front and the speed and talent on offense, he should be setting his sights higher than that. That said, they need a QB who can put pressure on the defense; not just try to be a game manager.

      • dmac4real - Apr 12, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        USC, Oklahoma have obviously superior talent than us. UofM most likely does (we could beat them but its going to be tougher than other years) and stanford and MSU have equal talent to us. 8-4 seems about right to me.

      • nudeman - Apr 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        * UM: Should have beat them last year; and almost did in spite of Rees and an atrocious approach to D on last UM drive. Have them in SB this year. Should be win.

        * Stanford: Totally outclassed last year, thanks again to a HS-like QB performance from Rees; but Luck is gone, and this one is in SB too. Should win.

        MSU: Not sure who they have playing QB this year. I’d think ND will be favored but this could be a trap game.

        OK & USC: Two biggest question marks on schedule. But OK loses their QB from 2011. Unfortunately USC doesn’t. Not out of the question they could win one of these. But probably not both.

      • cameronemclaughlin - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        I’m pretty sure Landry Jones is playing another year at UO. Also unfortunate.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM

        Yep, Landry Jones is back. The Oklahoma game is gonna be a b!tch. I’d bet on beating USC before i bet on beating OU. But i think all of us “experts” here on the boards will know how those games will play out by the time October rolls around.

        • nudeman - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

          My mistake. Thought he had declared for the draft.

  6. getsome99 - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    I see we haven’t moved on from the Rees criticism. It’s actually getting pretty old. Bigger issues were the 2 fumbles at the goal line and lack of focus and discipline. The penalties that forced 3rd and long were brutal. Drive killing penalties that also affected the momentum of the game. Cut down the stupid mistakes and the stats get better. When you go from 3rd and 2 to 3rd and 7 or 3rd and 12, then you’re putting too much pressure on a young QB. When I say Rees played admirably, it’s because he didn’t get enough support from his teammates. It’s easy to put it all on the QB, but like I’ve stated before, the two teams who played in the BCS Championship didn’t have stellar QB’s. Bottom line is Rees has been ND’s best option at QB the past 2 years. Crist was a 5 star bust and Clausen didn’t exactly win a lot of games. Rees has some bad moments against Mich, but he did lead them to a game winning TD drive with 30 seconds left and the defense blew it. The defense gave up 4 TD’s in the 4th Qtr and we’re blaming the QB? Watch the film a little closer (away from the ball) in 3 of the 4 losses and you’ll see it was more than just the QB. 10 wins puts ND in a BCS game. They could have a should have won these 3 games if my for the mental lapses. Stanford was just flat out better and were led by an all world QB who will be drafted #1 in this year’s draft.

    • irishbornraised - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:20 AM

      the two teams in the NC game had game managers, they weren’t stellar, but they didn’t turn the ball over a whole bunch

    • yllibnosredna - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      It appeared to me that Rees had the weapons he needed. Perhaps it’s on Kelly for not utilizing them enough against big-time competition (i.e. abandoning the run game against USC). Granted, both Wood and Gray had some bad, costly fumbles, and the critical penalties on the O-Line were indeed drive killers at times. But it’s hard to deny that Rees did not do much to shake the monikers “Turnover Machine” or Tommy “Turnover” Rees as the season wore on….Those were nicknames he earned early in the season when his productivity was higher. But as the season went on, his productivity waned and his bad decisions and turnovers remained a constant–incensing an already disgruntled fan base. (Moving on)

      For all of his underachievement in his first two years and despite reports of him being a selfish, arrogant douche-bag, Clausen was absolutely LIGHTS-OUT AWESOME his Junior year…”He” did indeed play well enough for ND to win every single game in ’09 and yet they lost half of them due to a very porous, poorly coached, and weak defense…hence Weis’ ouster. Had Clausen stayed his senior year, even in a new system, he would have likely thrived with his accuracy and unparalleled passing skills under center…He was a very, very good quarterback once he came into his own at ND.

      To finally issue some optimism, I’m gonna make a prediction–Goodman’s gonna be a real asset to this offense this season. I think we WILL see a J. Gray type turnaround so long as Kelly, this year, decides to use the RUN game to set up the PASS game…Goodman could become a Jeff Maehl type of weapon on the perimeter as defenses begin to lock in on the weapons we have in the backfield…And yes, I hope Golson or Hendrix is one of those weapons.

  7. NotreDan - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    I finally figured out nudies true identity. It’s Charlie Weis. This of course makes his handle all the more disgusting. I really wish he’d haul his jiggly caboose on over to rivals and park it.

    • 1historian - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Are you trying to be funny or are you trying to be nasty? I concede that nudie is occasionally a PITA (figure it out) but there’s really no point in being nasty.

      Goodness knows you aren’t funny.

  8. txbeej - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Unfortunately it sounds like Lynch is gone for reals this time.

    We can just about start shoving the Brian Kelly into the same pigeonhole that the Weis, Willingham, and Davie eras currently occupy.

  9. bernhtp - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Confirmed: Lynch is gone.

    • andy44teg - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:16 AM


      • txbeej - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Just par for the course with this coaching staff. Their failures and inadequacies are really starting to add up.

      • bernhtp - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        This is not a problem with the coaching staff unless you’re looking at the recruiting process taking a big chance on a kid that is not normally ND material (even in the football context).

        Some of the chances ND has taken recently have ultimately not worked out. Expect the bar to be raised some.

  10. yllibnosredna - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    This one hurts really, really bad…How can ND be so unfortunate when it comes to losing big-time players and recruits? I just don’t get it.

  11. yllibnosredna - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Murphy’s Law appears to reign supreme at ND.

  12. notthatconfused - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Wow, you guys act like there is only one guy on the field all Fall, with the last name of Lynch. I contend that he was never really the RKG for ND. He doesn’t want to be here, so we shouldn’t want to keep him. Hopefully he gets his anger issues worked out at his next stop. I wish it would have worked out for him to stay at ND, but it wasn’t the right fit. This is not a referendum on the coaching staff, they knew he wasn’t really the RKG, but decided to give him a chance to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, he’s proved them right.

    • yllibnosredna - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      I’m really not trying to be pessimistic here, but it’s not just the loss of Lynch that hurts so badly. It’s the loss of a handful of players (primarily on defense) whose talent level seems to represent the gap between ND and the big boys. Just a few months ago, we were anticipating Notre Dame having Darby, Shepard (two key cornerbacks that we needed), Greenberry, and had no reason to believe Lynch wouldn’t be part of the roster. Now we have none of these guys. Yes, we got Davonte Neal (who fills a position of need), but the way things are going, I’m not sure if he’ll stick with ND.

      I commend this coaching staff for doing everything they can to go after and keep these guys because Notre Dame does need them if they want to truly compete with the big boys (Alabama, LSU, USC, and soon to be FSU). You can only mold so many 3 star recruits into great players. AND the frustration stems from the real belief that ND is REALLY CLOSE to closing that gap in talent level with the elites of college football….but then…things like this continue to happen. It’s a crushing blow to the potential success of the football program.

    • nudeman - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      1) Agree. Impact of his loss is overrated. They actually have DL depth. Not saying they won’t miss him at all on the field; just not as much as most think

      2) Frankly I’m glad he’s gone. I wrote about 3 weeks ago – before he fought with Nichols, that I was sick of reading about his “I hate ND” tweets and FB posts, and being the guy ND coaches have recruits meet with to learn the “real story” on life in SB.

      3) No guarantee he makes it to the NFL. A guy as combustible as he appears to be will have trouble at any school and on any team.

      4) 50% of me says “good riddance” and 50% says “good luck; I hope you get in a better place and sort out your apparent demons; it CAN be done”

    • txbeej - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      The best part about Kelly getting canned in a couple of years will be the end of the “RKG” garbage.

      • yllibnosredna - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        Really don’t think firing Kelly any time soon is the answer…He was the best realistic option for the head coaching position back in ’09 and resoundingly, according to most college football pundits, a good hire.

        And in many ways, he’s done a good job. I think it’s fair to say he mismanaged the QB situation last year. He made a terrible play call against Tulsa in 2010. He’s questionably abandoned the run game at times against quality opponents. But he’s done some really good things as well–changed the face of the defense, recruited (or at least tried to recruit with all his energy and with all the drawbacks ND has for incoming recruits) the best possible and available athletes at positions of need, and he’s clearly very passionate and doggedly determined to win at Notre Dame regardless of the alleged hurdles–He’s made no excuses about Res. Life, stringent academics.

        That being said, there are some very difficult hurdles for Notre Dame to get the quantity and quality athletes across the field that are needed to elevate the status of the football program, and ND can only afford to miss out on so many of these kind of players before you start to see a drop-off, and the geographical setting of South Bend and the rigors of academia at ND only serve to make it more difficult for Notre Dame to secure a solid portion of these elite athletes….Kelly is clearly doing the best he can to overcome these hurdles while maintaining the integrity of the program. He’s probably going to need more time than many are willing to give him.

      • notthatconfused - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        Really? You don’t think ND should be recruiting kids with the character that fits in on campus? Interesting.

  13. somebadhatharry - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Keith, we won’t be needing that in depth bio on Lynch anymore, thanks though

  14. nudeman - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Anyone who thinks BK should be fired is nuts.

    I’ve been critical of him for a few things, most notably the mangling of the QBs.

    But to use a baseball analogy, recruiting borderline ND guys (Lynch, Tuitt, Ishaq, Tee, DBerry) is like going to the plate, 3 runs down in the 9th, 2 on base, 2 outs. He swung for the fences. And some of these guys might work out beautifully. Tuitt and Ishaq appear to be hanging in. Davonte Neal could be an ALL American if he hacks it academically. Tony Rice was a borderline ND guy. So was Chris Zorich.

    If he focuses only on just recruiting nice kids with high GPAs from Catholic schools, they will go nowhere.

    Last point: ND is NOT the only school to lose big time guys. Didn’t that 5 star WR just leave USC for Northwestern? Happens all the time.

    Deep breath everyone. Then a shot of Jameson and a beer and we’ll all be fine. I like the guys on this team. Lynch was NEVER 100% in.

  15. andy44teg - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    So let me get this straight
    Lynch first commits to ND, then switches to FSU, then switches back to ND, now he’s transferring. This kid has some major issues whether it be homesickness, girlfriend stuff, not liking campus, etc. I really really hope he gets his life figured out. He’s got way too much talent to let everything get pissed down his leg.

  16. getsome99 - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I’m starting to have doubts about Kelly. He already threw Weis under the bus regarding having to coach his recruits but can seem to get it together with his own recruits. We’ll see if he an coach up the guys he does have, but if he couldn’t do it with Weis’ players, by his own admission, then maybe we should not be so optimistic. Maybe should have made a run at Urban Meyer while he was still available. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel now?

  17. ndschwapp - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I want to know more about Andre Smith he looks like a sleeper

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