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.”
Aug 29, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT
That took long enough, didn’t it? After far too long, football is back. With a preseason camp that the Irish survived mostly healthy, the biggest hits came off the field. As an academic investigation claimed its fifth player Thursday, let’s run through the Pregame Six Pack to get you ready for Saturday’s kickoff.
Aug 28, 2014, 7:42 PM EDT
The look of Notre Dame’s defensive line changed drastically when senior Ishaq Williams was suspended indefinitely for his role in the academic dishonesty case now pending at the university level. Irish A-to-Z takes a closer look at the one-time five-star recruit.
Aug 28, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT
It appears that Notre Dame’s internal investigation surrounding academic dishonesty charges is nearing a close. But before it gets there, one additional player will be held out of practice and from competition this Saturday.
Aug 28, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT
Busy prepping for her debut as NBC’s sideline reporter for Notre Dame football, NBC Sports Group’s Kathryn Tappen was nice enough to catch up with me before the season begins.
Aug 28, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
With Notre Dame on a roll at tight end, freshman Nic Weishar enters “Tight End U” trying to make a name for himself. Irish A-to-Z looks at the Chicagoland tight end.
Aug 28, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
As most hard-core recruiting fans notice Brian VanGorder’s willingness to break the mold when it comes to recruiting, freshman cornerback Nick Watkins looks the part of a perfect prototype. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at the newest blue-chipper in the secondary.
Aug 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Brian Kelly appeared on the Dan Patrick show this morning and shed some light on the academic investigation that’s holding out DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams.
Aug 27, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT
Entering his fifth year in Notre Dame’s football program, grad student Justin Utupo is still looking to find a role in the Irish defense. Irish A-to-Z continues with the reserve defensive lineman.
Aug 27, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
After being buried on the safety depth chart, junior John Turner became one of the talks of spring practice when he moved from forgotten man to a potential starter at outside linebacker. Irish A-to-Z looks at the unlikely outside linebacker.
Aug 27, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
The season is finally here. Got questions before the opener? Drop them in the comments or over on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Aug 27, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Notre Dame opens the 2014 season with a visit from Rice on Saturday afternoon. While on paper, a matchup with the Conference USA squad looks like it could be a good way to get the rust off, taking the Owls lightly would be a large mistake. The Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte gets us ready for Rice.
Aug 26, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Brian Kelly announced his captains for the 2014 season, naming safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and running back Cam McDaniel his four leaders for the upcoming season.
Aug 26, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT
After enrolling early this winter, Andrew Trumbetti has forced his way into the starting lineup. Irish A-to-Z looks at the freshman defensive end slated to start against Rice.
Aug 26, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
When Brian Kelly leads Notre Dame out of the tunnel to open the 2014 season on Saturday afternoon, he’ll be leading his youngest and most inexperienced team into battle on the new artificial surface of Notre Dame Stadium. He’ll also be short three key starters, still left in limbo as an academic investigation and Honor Code ruling continues.
Aug 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
If there’s one coach counting on freshman Drue Tranquill to find the football field, it’s head coach Brian Kelly. Irish A-to-Z looks at the freshman safety who earned his scholarship thanks to Kelly’s evaluation of his high school film.
Aug 25, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT
After watching Zack Martin quietly spend four years dominating along the Irish offensive line, junior Ronnie Stanley steps in at left tackle. Irish A-to-Z looks at Notre Dame’s new starting left tackle.
Aug 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Don’t look now, but the Irish might have another elite tight end in the making. That’s the expectation for sophomore Durham Smythe, our next entry in the Irish A-to-Z series.
Aug 24, 2014, 9:34 AM EDT
We are about to get an idea of how good sophomore Jaylon Smith can truly be. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at Notre Dame’s star linebacker.
Aug 23, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
Notre Dame awarded scholarships to veteran walk-ons Connor Cavalaris, Charlie Fiessinger and Tyler Plantz. The trio will get a free year of education during the 2014-15 school year, awarded for their hard work.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
A blue-chip recruit who immediately contributed on the 2012 defense, junior Elijah Shumate is still looking to find his fit in the Irish defense. Irish A-to-Z takes a closer look at the New Jersey native.