Sep 18, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT
It’s that time of week where we fly at 35,000 feet and get our weekly status report on the Irish Blogger Gathering. This week, I’m quizzing the godfather of the IBG, The Subway Domer. I asked him to sort out the running back situation, the Irish problems on defense, and hand out his letter grades at the quarter-turn of the season.
As usual, play along in the comments. And if you feel like seeing the other entries into the IBG, check out the usual suspects here:
1) The running back situation feels like a mess. How would you distribute carries if you were the head coach?
That’s a tricky question for me to answer. I don’t have the luxury of being at practice each day to monitor the progress of the 5 running backs. So, to be honest, I have no idea how I would distribute the carries. I will say this; McDaniel, Atkinson, and Carlilse are not “the guy.” They are the “guy that comes in for the guy.” There’s nothing wrong with that, and those players are actually quite valuable, and that’s just who they are. I believe that Folston and Bryant are those lead backs. They are “the guy.” The problem is, is that they are still only freshmen, and they still may not be ready for that role as of yet.
To answer the question… yeah right.
2) With the Irish defense not looking like it’s dominant self, we’re starting to hear people talk about unmeasurable things like effort, heart, and energy — all the things that make me want to bang my head on a wall.
You’re Coach Bob Diaco. What do you do to whip this defense into shape?
I think you just have to get down to the basics. Preach, practice, and conjure up fundamentals daily. I also think we need to dial down the number of blitzes. They haven’t had the best effect, and it’s putting the secondary and the linebackers in space in bad positions.
I think the effort is there. I think the heart is there. The biggest issue with these intangibles is finding that emotional focus and having that focus directed by a real leader. The Irish had that in bunches last year, but that isn’t the case this year. There’s nothing a coach can really do about it; that’s for the players to figure out.
3) We’re 1/4 of the way done with the season. Let’s get a Subway Domer report card:
Brian Kelly: B
Chuck Martin: C
Bob Diaco: C