If you’re looking for a good place to catch some extended video from the Blue-Gold Game, head over to UND.com where there’s plenty of good stuff. But, if you’re looking for say… five minutes and 36 seconds of highlights, well — you’ve come to the right place.
After watching this, you’ve got to feel good about a few things:
* Michael Floyd on a reverse and getting up the seam.
* Dayne Crist and Kyle Rudolph in sync already.
* Big plays in the run game by Armando Allen, Cierre Wood, Jonas Gray, and Robert Hughes.
* T.J. Jones putting his head down and running over Darrin Walls.
* The play of Nate Montana and Mike Ragone, two important reserves.
* Manti Te’o. When’s the last time the Irish have had a linebacker this good?
* Steve Filer, who was all over the field.
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows this weekend, and if I’m David Ruffer or Nick Tausch, I’m not feeling too good about what I put on tape this weekend. I also think Zeke Motta stuck out a few times for being in the wrong place or missing a tackle, and that’s never good thing when you’re a safety. As for the battle along the offensive line, I wonder who will grade out better, senior Dan Wenger or rising junior Braxston Cave? While everyone seemed to be happy with the play of the interior defensive linemen, when they’re going against their own centers and guards, there’s a good news/bad news feel to all of it.
* On the NFL Draft front, Notre Dame followed up Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate’s second round selections with Sam Young and Eric Olsen being chosen in the sixth round. Young will go to Dallas, where they are thin on offensive tackles. Olsen will head to Denver, where he’ll join Ryan Harris as he competes to play one of the interior positions on the offensive line. IT’s staggering that Young, who was looked at as one of the elite offensive line prospects coming out of high school fell to the sixth round, especially considering he started every game of his career at tackle for the Irish. There isn’t much good to say about the development of the offensive line under Charlie Weis, and Young might be the poster child of that futility.
No other Irish players were drafted, but both Kyle McCarthy and Paul Duncan were signed by the Broncos as undrafted free agents. Kyle will be competing for a place in the secondary with former running mate David Bruton. The New England Patriots also signed Sergio Brown to a free agent contract. It’s interesting that two teams with direct ties to Charlie Weis — Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels — took fliers on Notre Dame players while the Chiefs, Weis’ actual employer, didn’t.
* I’ll be the first to eat crow on the draft placement of both Clausen and Tate. I expected a team in the bottom of the first round to take a shot on Tate, thinking he’d be a Percy Harvin type weapon for them. As for Clausen, I’m not shocked that he slid down the draft board, but I am shocked that he slid as far as he did. For Tate, I think it’s important that he got selected by a team lacking a true weapon on the outside, and taken by a coach that saw first-hand what he can do with the football in his hands.
For Jimmy (and his family), hopefully this is the slap in the face that may or may not have been needed. Clausen seemed to be a guy that couldn’t get past the terrible first impression that he made on all of us. It’s amazing how many people really dislike this kid, even if they’ve only seen him with a helmet on playing football. The whispers about Jimmy — whether they’re true or not — seemed to dictate reality, and it caused his draft stock to plummet.
An interesting thought, but I’m shocked that nobody mentioned that Clausen was the one elite quarterback from last season that played his way through his final injury-plagued season, captaining a sinking ship with a badly hurt foot, while Sam Bradford — the quarterback with the A+ intangibles — shut it down with a shoulder injury and sat idly as a team with four first rounders, three of the top four picks in the draft, went on to lose five games.
* Fun fact: If you’re looking for your favorite rookie jerseys, new Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen will wear #2. (I wonder if it’s to remind him what round he went in?) New Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate will wear #81.