Jul 11, 2013, 7:39 AM EDT
Entering his second season as offensive coordinator, Chuck Martin has been thrown another curveball. With the departure of Everett Golson, Martin has to lean on another quarterback and likely chuck a large portion of his playbook into storage for a year.
But after reading portions of Martin’s interview with Blue & Gold Illustrated, excerpted from Blue & Gold’s 2013 Football Preview, it appears that any quarterbacking by committee is out the window, with this being Tommy Rees’ offense to run.
While others have talked about using Andrew Hendrix in goal line situations and getting Malik Zaire’s athleticism onto the field, Martin will lean on his veteran quarterback.
Here’s what Martin said about Zaire and Hendrix and their ability to help early:
“It’s way too early to even guess with Malik. He’s a high school senior and knows about this much of our offense [displaying a pinch between his thumb and finger]. He wants an evaluation. I told him, ‘I’ll give you an evaluation when you’ve been here long enough to be comfortable to get an evaluation.’ There are going to be situations that are going to come in a game that he’s never even seen in practice.
“At the end of fall camp I might be able to give you a little better answer with Andrew. As the third quarterback last year, he hasn’t had any reps with us in a long time once last fall came. We need to get his mind set and get him focused back on being a guy that can go into the game, compete at a very high level and help us win games.”
Obviously, Martin has said plenty of nice things about Zaire as well, citing his uncanny ability to pick up the Irish offense quickly, but asking any true freshman to walk in and contribute for a team with BCS aspirations is a tall task. And while there are still Irish fans that believe Hendrix has the skillset and natural ability to be a dangerous weapon in the offensive attack, Hendrix enters his senior season with just as many question marks as he had as a freshman.
Still, it’s certainly not doom and gloom for Martin, a guy who never seems to lose optimism. He hinted at the ability to do more in the passing game this season than last, and Rees certainly has shown a proficiency for being an accurate passer and good pre-snap, which will give the Irish some more options than they had last season. (Yes, he’ll need to improve on the turnovers he made in 2011.)
“We can definitely develop in some areas,” Martin told Blue & Gold. “You’re in the second year with this offensive staff intact and the kids kind of get what’s going on, so there’s going to be some growth. There were some things we would have liked to do last year; we just couldn’t do them, or weren’t ready to do them.”
Jul 7, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT
Camp counselor or participant? Those watching Malik Zaire at The Opening were struggling to figure that out.
Jul 7, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT
One of the most important pieces of the offseason came when Sheldon Day decided to return to South Bend for his senior season. Day made the choice after a well-chronicled re-recruitment, with Notre Dame’s coaching staff and athletic director Jack Swarbrick laying out for Day the benefits of returning, including a school-supplied insurance policy.
Jul 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
As it does annually, Notre Dame’s game with Navy is a terrifying proposition. While the Irish haven’t lost to Ken Niumatalolo’s team since 2010, the Midshipmen have pushed the Irish to the max—and the Navy hangover is beginning to be a thing. The Washington Post’s Gene Wang joins us for an offseason update.
Jul 3, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Anonymous long-snappers are the best kind of long snappers. And for the better part of two seasons, Scott Daly was exactly that. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at a man who is no longer anonymous.
Jul 2, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT
Notre Dame’s 2016 recruiting class added a big commitment from Florida offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux today. One of the country’s top interior linemen chose Notre Dame in a online video done in collaboration with Bleacher Report.
Jul 2, 2015, 11:11 AM EDT
Great football players come in all shapes and sizes. Incoming freshman Shaun Crawford will likely prove that. The diminutive cornerback comes to South Bend looking to make a big impact.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
When you look at Notre Dame’s 2015 schedule, it’s hard to skip past the Irish’s trip to Clemson. Returning to Death Valley for the first time since Joe Montana led a comeback victory in 1977, Brian Kelly’s squad will take on Dabo Swinney’s impressive team, the makings of a football game with College Football Playoff implications. Shakin’ the Southland’s Brian Lewis gets us up to speed.
Jul 1, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
While Jerry Tillery stole the headlines, fellow classmate Te’von Coney more than held his own this spring. The linebacker may have entered a packed depth chart at linebacker, but he solidified his place as a key cog in the future plans of Notre Dame’s defense.
Jun 30, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Hailing from the same high school that brought the Irish Malik Zaire, incoming freshman Nick Coleman looks to infuse the same type of unlikely toughness to the secondary that Zaire brings to the quarterback position. Irish A-to-Z rolls on.
Jun 30, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Irish A-to-Z continues with Amir Carlisle. The winding on-field journey for the fifth year senior ends in 2015.
Jun 29, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Florida safety Spencer Perry committed to Notre Dame on Monday, a week after visiting campus for the Irish Invasion camp. The move followed Perry’s de-commitment from in-state power Florida, taking the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from a Gator pledge to a member of Notre Dame’s rapidly growing 2016 recruiting class.
Jun 29, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
One of the last members of Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class was one of the first people to make an impact on the field. Defensive tackle Daniel Cage is next in Irish A-to-Z.
Jun 29, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT
News broke Monday morning that running back Greg Bryant will be suspended for the first four games of the season. As first-reported by Irish 247, Bryant will miss a quarter of the regular season based on the dreaded-and-ambiguous “violation of team rules,” thinning a running back depth chart that was already down to just Bryant, returning starter Tarean Folston and converted wide receiver C.J. Prosise.
Jun 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Like the rest of his classmates along the offensive line, Jimmy Byrne spent 2014 learning the ropes and hitting the weight room. Redshirt off, Irish A-to-Z continues with the Ohio native.
Jun 26, 2015, 10:28 PM EDT
Texas tight end Brock Wright has committed to Notre Dame, adding another elite recruit to the Irish tight end pipeline. Wright is a 2017 prospect who camped in South Bend last week for Irish Invasion.
Jun 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
With KeiVarae Russell suspended and Cody Riggs hurt, Devin Butler got his chance to be a starting cornerback. It wasn’t necessarily a positive experience. We look ahead to an important season for the junior defensive back.
Jun 26, 2015, 11:07 AM EDT
After a difficult three-game stretch to start Notre Dame’s season, the Irish will welcome UMass to South Bend, a game that was originally intended to match up former Irish offensive coordinator Charley Molnar with his previous employer.
Jun 25, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT
An Irish Illustrated report says that Notre Dame might add a piece to the 2016 recruiting class, with touted offensive lineman and one-time Ohio State commit Mirko Jurkovic Jr. in the crosshairs.
Jun 25, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT
Greg Bryant has yet to play up to the 5-star status he entered South Bend possessing. Now for the good news: He’s got three more seasons to try.
Jun 24, 2015, 4:44 PM EDT
Chris Brown enters his senior season in South Bend, still looking to build on a magical start. Irish A-to-Z rolls along, knowing that we’ve got a long way to go before the start of the season.