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Still Golson: Kelly reconfirms quarterback plans

Sep 23, 2012, 5:12 PM EST

Notre Dame v Michigan State Getty Images

As he did last night, head coach Brian Kelly re-committed to Everett Golson as his starting quarterback, not quite closing the door on Tommy Rees, but holding firm to the plan of working through some growing pains with his young quarterback.

“Our goal is for him is to start it and finish it,” Kelly said on Sunday.

Still, Kelly spoke candidly about the rationale to pull Golson in the second quarter and ride Rees to the game’s finish.

“It was carelessness. There’s going to be jitters, and you can play through those,” Kelly said of Golson’s red zone interception. “I think it was a careless mistake, one that was uncharacteristic of how he had practiced and how he performed. I felt like I needed to make a decision for the best interest of our team in winning that game.”

The Irish will have two weeks of practice and film study to rid that carelessness from Golson’s repertoire, and the team will continue to work through the bumps in the road as the team tries to build an offense that can play more than just an occasional complementary role to the team’s defense.

“We need to get better, there’s no question,” Kelly said of the struggling offense. “But we’re 4‑0, and our guys are going to continue to get better.  We’ll be better in November than we are now, and if we continue with that mindset, we should be fine.”

Golson has completed 50 of 89 passes on the season, a 56% clip. With his two interceptions last night, he’s thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions. In his two relief appearances, Rees is 11 of 17 for 150 yards.

  1. bernhtp - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    I am flabbergasted by those that complain about Kelly’s offensive play calling and handling of Golson.

    1. 99.9% of those here wanted/demanded that Golson be named the starting QB. Kelly does this.
    2. Kelly keeps Golson in until his inexperience and/or poor performance threatens the game outcome. After pulling Golson, Kelly has always reaffirmed that he is committed to him and he will be the starting QB for the next game.
    3. Kelly/Martin keep the offense vanilla when it is clear that the ND defense will win the win absent offensive miscues. However, he has also been aggressive when needed, e.g., the go on fourth down late in the Michigan game (the hard count got the defensive offsides and the first down) and the big pass completion to Eifert to seal the game.

    Were Everett not dreadful (he really was bad) or the game not close, Kelly would have kept him in. Kelly has been brilliant. He is simultaneously developing a new QB and winning all of his games against a really tough schedule. Nonetheless, people here gripe. I don’t get it.

    • runners00 - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Thank you.

      Many of these folks are those who say that Dayne Crist was horribly mistreated last year when we went with Tommy Rees. Now, admittedly, Rees threw too many INTs at very critical moments last year but Crist? Ask Kansans how they feel about Crist right about now. He’s a senior transfer and someone who, with their head coach, essentially walked onto campus as the senior starting quarterback because of his connection with the new coach — and he’s losing. A lot.

      Yet, many of his biggest fans are folks on this board who were convinced that because he had this amazing arm, he would be an amazing college quarterback at Notre Dame. He was fine here and he’s probably okay at Kansas, too, but there is a lot more to winning than having an amazing quarterback. And, it takes a lot more than an amazing arm to be a great quarterback.

      Yes, Kelly is doing a good job of developing Golson while keeping Rees in play. And we’re winning. That should adequately satisfy the masses. As I’ve said before, I vividly recall losing 38-0 to Michigan a few years ago. I remember the USC blowouts, too. This year has been quite a nice ride so far. We’re not satisfied — we never are — but the coach is doing a great job so far. He’s winning with a new quarterback who has been replaced a couple of times as he struggles to find rhythm with this offense. But he’s winning.

      It’s nice to see.

      • nudeman - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        runners
        I am one of those of whom you speak. Thought Crist was THE answer.
        5 stars, big arm, pro style. Wow, was I wrong. Beat by Northern Illinois?

        At KU, he admittedly doesn’t have a great supporting cast, but he’s been awful.
        He’s actually got Ron Powlus Syndrome: Has gotten a little worse every year.

        I don’t know if the resurrection of Tommy is because he’s learned and matured, or if it’s just too small of a sample size to represent the real thing. Probably a little of both.

        I will gladly admit I was WAY wrong regarding him if this continues.
        I just can’t say with 100% confidence it will.

      • ndgoldandblue - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Nude,
        I was with you on the Rees thing. I just wasn’t as adamant about it as you were. One thing I’ve noticed, though, about Tommy this year (in limited minutes, I concede) is that the guy just owns the huddle/line of scrimmage. I commented on that to my wife on Saturday. Everything pre-snap is great and appears to be light years better than last year. He looks like a confident leader out there. Granted, that is something that comes with time, but I’d like to see Golson get to that point. Hopefully, it doesn’t take 2 years to get there. Man, if only Tommy had just a little more zip on his throws and a little more speed in those legs, I would say ride with Rees.

  2. yaketyyacc - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    bernhtp, it isnot gripping. the posters follow the old sicilian saying: only a friend will tell you, your face is dirty
    all of us like coach Kelly and Rees. All of us know that Golson has a way to go and is improving.
    our criticism is meant ONLY to be constructive, not destructive.
    sometimes, someone else sees what is right in front of us and we miss. remember the story of the man whose car stalled, and in all of his attempts, his wife kept saying, she noticed the license plate bolt was loose. after several pleading, he decided to tighten the bolt, just to shut her mouth. The car started.
    sutre, some of us are like the wife, a little knowedege is dangerous, like me.
    But, we all post in the hope that at the end of the season, our Notre Dame team will hold that glass trophy. At Notre Dame, hope springs eternal. Just ask Knute Rockne and Gus Dorias or the 1957 Notre Dame team that ended 11 years of no shutouts and a 47 game winning streak of Oklahoma ruinging their 50th birthday celebration of statehood, by losing to a Notre Dame that was picked to lose by a minimum of 40 points.
    some of us are arrogant, impolite and some offer good insight and valid choices. But, all of us love Notre Dame.

    • nudeman - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      I agree with yak and bern
      But the only thing I felt was really out of line was questioning the conservative play calling vs. MSU
      They were on the road, hostile atmosphere, their D was overwhelming MSU every series and by the mid 3rd qtr it was clear that if ND just didn’t start coughing it up, this one was theirs.
      Plus Turk was having a great nite punting
      So what were they supposed to do? Run a bunch of double reverses and throw into coverage?
      They were clearly winning the game by continually putting MSU back on their heels, then taking time off the clock when they got it back

      Worked for me.

    • bernhtp - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Yak: forget about about the style and focus on the substance. There are many that explicitly complain about the conservative playcalling and pulling out Golson and its (presumptive) negative effect on his confidence. My point is that Kelly’s strategy of carefully balancing the development of a new QB, an the use of an experienced-albeit-less-talented QB, and trusting a dominant defense in winning games has been as perfect as can be expected. He is achieving all of the important goals. All of the criticism is misguided. Thank God they aren’t calling the shots.

      • 9irish - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        I can’t believe how people are not only bitching about the game on here, but the way that they are attacking each OTHER! Give me a break, people. He is running the show just fine….they are winning

        Go Irish

      • nudeman - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        I kinda’ like the attacking of each other
        Spices things up.
        2 weeks until the next game; gotta’ get some controversy going and some haymakers flying

        Where’s dickasman?

      • 9irish - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Nude, well, yeah…you’re used to that! I just don’t like the “I know you are, but what am I?” routine. Little girls pulling pig tails thru the internet. We have a bunch of football coaches and grammar geniuses on here now, apparently.

        Go Irish

      • nudeman - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        9
        Yeah, but wtf? we got two weeks to kill
        There are going to be some potshots, so buckle up
        Only one guy here I find truly useless, so I’m cool with the other 182 posters

      • 9irish - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        yeah, I get it. It is going to be a long time. Just some “guests” passing thru on here causing trouble. I’m not all proper or anything…believe me.

  3. seadomer - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I think all Juniors (including Rees) and Seniors (Efiert, Te’o) who got the W over Michigan felt good to get the DR taste out of their systems.

    ND football … its good for you.

    • ndgoldandblue - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Here, here.

  4. bearcatirishfan - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    GOLSON has had two athletic td runs purdue and MSU

  5. bearcatirishfan - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    You’re loosing your edge nude, defending Rees, what’s next you and dickasman holding hands and signing Kum-by-ya?

    Johnny bench called

    • nudeman - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      LOFL.
      Dual threat “catcher”

      I have a great story on him, but not sure I should post it here.
      In fact, I’m sure I shouldn’t
      Figure a way to get me your personal info and I’ll tell you

      • dillonbigred - Sep 25, 2012 at 2:14 AM

        Is it the one about his wedding night?

    • 1historian - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      please – work on your spelling

      ‘Signing kum-by-ya’

      ?

  6. bearcatirishfan - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Not sure how to get personal email without hacking the system. Just change the name to jack armchair. Nobody will know.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      bearcat/nudeman

      If either of you have a personal blog associated with your username, you could post a comment on that blog and then the blog owner could delete the comment after they get your email address

  7. nd1975fla - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    I think that maybe the University sanctioned an exorcism on TR- not sure what other logical conclusion can be drawn from his turnaround (just an “Exorcist” -flavored joke….calm down). The turnover demon must have found a new home in D. Robinson.

    EG will get it eventually, and Notre Dame is lucky that they can call on a guy like TR periodically in the meantime, who I think has had something akin to a near-death experience between his scuffle with the Law and his very public suspension and demotion. I suspect he realizes he is lucky to have a second chance, and Michael Floyd’s brush with the possible end of his ND career last year can’t be lost on Tommy.

    I have high hopes that ND will develop an offensive game plan that will have EG throwing short bang-bang SAFE passes, which will force Miami to not sell out against the run. Two weeks to prepare- go Irish!

  8. 1historian - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    The last 2 years ND had some good players but was a mediocre team.
    This year’s team is a GOOD team. By no means is it a great team. It will take probably at least 2 more years, but we have turned the corner – the attitude is back. We should win 10 games, which means we will have to beat either Stanford, Oklahoma or USC and run the table on the rest of the schedule.

    Putting us in the top 10 is premature.

  9. allenmusic - Sep 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Start Rees!

  10. fitz79 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I’m liking Kelly’s quarterback strategy this year. It’s a concrete plan that makes sense. He’s not simply trying to force somebody, anybody into that position. Golson is gaining valuable experience. I think he’s the QB of the future. But we have Rees standing by at a moment’s notice to come in and take care of business if the situation demands.

  11. rcali - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    My main problem going into this year was the QB position and the Irish are not even close to having the right guy taking snaps yet.

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