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BK visits Dan Patrick

Nov 8, 2012, 3:20 PM EDT


A few weeks ago, Brian Kelly went on with Colin Cowherd, the ESPN radio personality, and went head-to-head with a guy that’s been fairly skeptical of the Irish revival. Yesterday, Kelly went on with Dan Patrick and discussed the 9-0 Irish, hitting some good topics along the way.

Probably the most interesting was Kelly’s vote in the Coaches’ Poll. Notre Dame’s head coach has the Irish ranked No. 2 in the country, behind Alabama, but ahead of Oregon and Kansas State, with Georgia rounding out the top five. But Kelly also acknowledged the ridiculousness of having head coaches — guys that spend a 100 hours a week prepping their own team, and obviously hold severe bias — having a hand in determining the national championship.

“I can tell you this. I take my vote serious,” Kelly said of the Coaches’ Poll. “There could be a better way to have some former coaches or athletic directors, or those that can watch more games that have a better sense and feel. Quite frankly, I don’t have a chance to see all these other teams play, I try to do it off of statistics and information given to me. I take it serious. I’m not saying other coaches don’t, but maybe there is another alternative.”

Here’s the interview in its entirety.


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  1. ibleedirish - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    BK just flat out “gets it”. That guy is one great interview, so well spoken, and a great ambassador for ND. Coach of the year imo.

    • 9irish - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      I watched his show from Legends last night, he was even better…off-the-cuff. He is definitely comfortable in his role now, and it shows.

  2. yogihilt - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Interesting i-view… but a little disappointed he did not mention T’eo once… his spotlight player, and a chance to push him for Heisman. Rest was some coach-speak, and also some honest reflections on season, and possibilities in near future. Well done.

  3. 808raiderinparadise - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    BK ran circles around Dan Patrick 😉

  4. yllibnosredna - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Here’s the interview that B. Kelly should have done two weeks ago. Maybe BK doesn’t have a choice in the matter, but it’s so much more refreshing to see an unbiased, objective sports journalist like Dan Patrick field this dialogue as opposed to a blowhard like Cowherd…(And now for a serious change of subject):

    Look, let’s be honest, there is not too much to complain about being 9-0 (likely 11-0) and very much in the thick of the national title hunt. And there are plenty of things that, unfortunately, cannot be controlled like other coaches’ and media perception of Notre Dame (which ultimately could affect our shot at a national title), players being sick, untimely injuries (knock on wood, we’ve been fairly fortunate thus far). And overall, this coaching staff has done a tremendous job top to bottom throughout this season and deserves ample credit and all the accolades heaped in their direction for their work….

    BUT when you look at an area that consistently has been mostly critically poor and average at best, it is without a doubt, special teams play. We’re not proclaiming breaking news by declaring that special teams play and special teams organization is flat out unacceptable across the board. I have to acknowledge that there’s only so much we know and I hate to throw anybody under the bus here, but is it not a stretch to say that Scott Booker may be in WAY over his head here? I’m not saying they should can the guy or that he’s not a talented coach, but he is clearly very young, appears not to have very much significant coaching experience (He was a coaching intern at this time last year), and yet he’s in charge of not only coordinating special teams but he’s also the tight ends coach. Some of his gaffes are starting to show up on the field: A) Brown/Jackson DESPERADO situation during the second OT against Pitt [Sorry, but that’s on the coaches, and by coaches I mean Booker]. B) Failing to get Niklas in on time on a critical third down play during the second half of the Oklahoma game. [May not have appeared to have been that big of a deal, but you have to imagine it was a significant oversight otherwise BK wouldn’t have unleashed on the poor guy like he was no different than one of his players making a bone-headed decision].

    And this justification for dismal special teams play due to personnel loss, insufficient time to focus upon in practice, etc. is just horse s..t. Where is the “next-man-in-philosophy” on the special teams unit? Don’t understand why a guy like Dan McCarthy (a fifth year senior with a boat load of athleticism) can’t be coached up to being a special teams dynamo. Why can’t McDaniel play a bigger role–That kid’s a special teams gunner if I’ve ever seen one. And whatever happened to Chris Salvi on kick returns? And for the love of God, HOW is our punt return team so bad at providing any semblance of a block during returns? Why are we not even attempting to return the ball? This has been a completely wasted freshman year for Davonte Neal. I don’t buy that “It’s still important for him to see the field” argument as reason not to red-shirt the kid. If he’s not provided consistent opportunities to return punts, then he can see that same field from the sidelines! And if it’s so important for him to see the field, then put the kid in on a couple of special offensive packages. Let him return kicks next to Atkinson.

    I realize these are the same complaints that have been echoing throughout the fan base all season, and every fan/armchair coach sitting on his couch and screaming at his TV thinks he knows the answers, BUT how can this be acceptable? And why is a guy with little to no previous special teams coaching experience not only coordinating this unit but is also tasked with coaching the tight ends as well? Once again, I’m not saying that Booker’s not an asset, but it seems fairly logical to surmise that the guy either needs to be exclusively designated to coach one group or if he’s going to continue to do both, he needs a TON of help with this special teams unit, because it’s nothing short of a disaster at this point.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Agree that special teams play has been the most glaring inconsistency of the whole program this year and you didn’t even mention the kicking game. Brindza has been leaving some points on the field as of late, points that matter in a close game. Didn’t Holtz go to the soccer team to find Reggie Ho? Maybe it’s time to start thinking out of the box a little here.

  5. padomer6675 - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    He’s green, yes but there r guys out in the field. It’s just they get run right by n that could be because we aren’t putting as much talent on the field in special teams (per the coaches due to injuries n lack of depth). They have Neal returning them because he’s reliable n without much blocking, he’s the only one that may be able to do something with it if he gets a little space. I can tell u that Neal himself would rather be on punt returns then watching. So he gets his feet wet this year n next year is ready to contribute even more. I think he should get more touches but there’s only one ball n so many plays. Just a thought. Go Irish!

  6. yllibnosredna - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I didn’t mention Brindza because, and I may be wrong here, I’m not sure his mishaps are the result of/or can be improved by coaching. In addition, Brindza has missed some key field goals (Stanford, BYU, Pitt) and 1 PAT (Pitt), but he’s also made some critical field goals (4th quarter Oklahoma, 4th quarter Stanford, OT Pitt). My point is, in comparison to the rest of the special teams problems, at 17/23–for a near 75% accuracy rate–Brindza’s field goal kicking, especially as a first year field goal/PAT kicker–is not that alarming. It’s not great, but it could be a lot worse. And I think the shorter kick-offs last week were an anomaly. But yes, Brindza does need to improve on consistency and become more clutch, esp on field goals under 40 yards, and I think he will. But if he does not, might want to consider granting a fifth year to Tausch.

    However, Davonte Neal’s having ABSOLUTELY NO SPACE NOR ANY POSSIBILITY of returning the ball on 95% of punts can absolutely be attributed to either poor coaching on technique/scheme or a coaching decision to simply NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO SET UP A PUNT RETURN OUT OF FEAR OF NEAL TURNING THE BALL OVER (which would likely be more on Kelly than Booker). Either way, it’s unacceptable.

    Padomer, I don’t think guys just blowing by you on a punt return happens due to a lack of talent. Physically, ND has guys that can match up in blocking schemes against their opponent on special teams returns. I think this (guys just blowing by you) happens as a result of BAD blocking technique, lack of effort or focus, or a collective belief that blocking on punt returns is not that important because your coach is more concerned with ball security than aggressively attempting to gain some ground on a return. No matter how you slice it, better coaching in this area can and would resolve this problem. Also, I completely agree that Neal definitely wants to be on the field (even if he’s largely just fair catching) and that he’s deserving of being on the field as he’s very explosive, but if they’re only gonna put him out there on punt returns, AND YET THEY DO CONSISTENTLY NEXT TO NOTHING TO GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING, his presence on the field is being wasted. What is he LEARNING (that he didn’t learn in H.S.) by just fair catching as 5/6 gunners are within a 5 yard radius of him 2 seconds before he even catches the ball? Deion Sanders from 1988 couldn’t do anything in that situation. So why not either change it and take some risks or just put Goodman back there again?

    And I haven’t even mentioned the lack of space that Atkinson has had on kickoff returns. It’s not like they’re fair-catching and trying to stress ball security on kick-offs at the expense of breaking open a big gain. They undoubtedly want big returns but are not getting it due to piss poor blocking. I think those blocking problems on kick-off return are directly related to the same blocking issues on punt return. Dude, you have GA III on kick return and Davonte Neal on punt return, and neither of these speedsters have a return longer than 30 or 12 yards respectively! I don’t care if you’ve got your first string out there blocking, you’ve got 85 damn players on your roster, get someone out there who can knock the hell out of someone.

  7. drdannddad - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    It is a little crazy to ask coaches to rank the teams. They just don’t have the time or opportunity to see other teams plays. It’s a poor system, and needs an overhaul. I’m sure some of them either don’t take it as seriously as they should, and/or they have others complete the rankings form for them. Either way, it’s not a good system.

  8. joeschu - Nov 9, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Gee… these special teams rants get tiresome. Now I know how people felt about some of us harping on the QB situation.

    BK has said – many times, that with this defense, his biggest concern is sudden change and giving teams a short field. He has said that safely catching the punt and playing safe vs. the fake are more important than return yards. Neal is back there because he catches them well. Personally, I’d have put Goodman back there and saved a year with Neal, but oh well.

    The Irish are executing the special teams plan they’ve laid out: don’t lose games on special teams.

    If you want to find something to rant about with BK try the QB carousel or Cierre Wood’s touches.

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