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Old 01-31-2014, 03:00 PM   #771 (permalink)
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I keep telling you guys that today teams that play 3-4 play 4-3 about half the time. The down and difference will dictate which one.
I like the base 3-4 because of how defenses are evolving, and we have a lot of talented Lbs but we will be in the 4-3 a lot as well
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:44 PM   #772 (permalink)
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:27 PM   #773 (permalink)
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Notre Dame: A source tells CoachingSearch that South Florida coordinator of recruiting operations Leah Knight is interviewing for a similar position at Notre Dame.

assuming jr's role or someone being promoted and her taking their spot
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:31 PM   #774 (permalink)
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Notre Dame: A source tells CoachingSearch that South Florida coordinator of recruiting operations Leah Knight is interviewing for a similar position at Notre Dame.

assuming jr's role or someone being promoted and her taking their spot
I believe that Diaco took the on campus recruiting coord with him to UCONN so she may be interviewing for that position as well.

Of note, she previously worked on the Bama recruiting support staff.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:34 PM   #775 (permalink)
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I believe that Diaco took the on campus recruiting coord with him to UCONN so she may be interviewing for that position as well.

Of note, she previously worked on the Bama recruiting support staff.
and she aint to shabby looking
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:44 PM   #776 (permalink)
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After a couple of decades of inconsistent performance, the Notre Dame program looks to be on a steady upward trend. Under Brian Kelly's leadership, the Fighting Irish have made it to four consecutive bowl games for the first time since 1995, and if they win nine games this upcoming season, they will have posted 30 wins over a three-year period for the first time since 1993. These achievements are part of why the school recently announced a $400 million stadium upgrade that the university's president called, "the most ambitious building project in the 172-year history of Notre Dame."

Despite losing one of the top passers in team history (Tommy Rees), a tight end (Troy Niklas) and wide receiver (TJ Jones) whose touchdown prowess put them near the top of the Notre Dame single-season historical charts at their respective positions, the departure of six starters on defense (including two of the top 10 sack leaders in team history in Stephon Tuitt and Prince Shembo) and the recent suspension of DaVaris Daniels, their leading returning receiver, there are many reasons to believe this program's upward trajectory will continue in 2014 and beyond.

Offensive outlook

The program's continued rise starts with the return of quarterback Everett Golson. Golson has shown some elite skills in the past, including the ability -- despite his poor off-field decision-making -- to post an extremely low percentage in the bad decision rate (BDR) metric that gauges a quarterback's penchant for making mental errors that lead to a turnover opportunity for the opposing team.

The passing game also features some quality returning targets. Daniels, who should return for the summer semester barring any additional off-field issues, had a markedly superior yards per attempt (YPA) mark with Golson under center in 2012 (11.3 YPA on 39 targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information) than he did with other quarterbacks in 2013 (6.7 YPA on 111 targets) and thus could see a return to his former ways. Ben Koyack, a Mackey Award candidate (best tight end in college football) prior to the 2013 season, posted an 11.4 YPA on 17 targets last year and thus could fill Niklas' shoes (9.4 YPA on 53 targets). The Irish also bring in several top recruits in the class of 2014, including four-star TE Tyler Luatua and four-star WR Corey Holmes.

Notre Dame's rushing attack had more than a few issues breaking off long gains last year, as the Fighting Irish had only 53 rushes of 10 or more yards (tied for 95th in the Football Bowl Subdivision) and just 11 rushes of 20 or more yards (tied for 98th in the FBS).

This might make it look as if the Blue and Gold ball carriers weren't getting the job done, but the Irish running backs actually fared much better in the area of fewest plays that ended up gaining zero or negative yards, as only 20.9 percent of their rushing attempts were stuffed at the line or worse (ranked 34th in the FBS). Notre Dame ball carriers also did an above-average job in the area of rushes that gained 5 or more yards (40.7 percent, tied for 42nd). They weren't breaking off the big runs, but they were moving the ball forward.

[+] EnlargeGolson
AP Photo/Joe Raymond
Everett Golson is set to return under center for Notre Dame in 2014.
A closer look at the game tape explains these rushing numbers. The Fighting Irish blocking wall had a multitude of run-blocking issues ranging from an inability to complete combination blocks (where one lineman helps with a double-team and then releases to the second level to block another defender) to not properly accounting for all of the defenders in the box to mental gaffes that left opposing players unblocked. The running backs were quite adept at finding gaps in the defensive wall even when these mistakes occurred, but their adaptability had limited upside. They often turned bad plays into decent gains but couldn't turn them into breakaways.

However, those blocking issues didn't show up in pass defense (the Fighting Irish allowed only eight sacks in the entire 2013 season), so this may just be a matter of concentrating more on developing the team's run-blocking skills. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has a history of developing strong run-blocking groups (the 2012 Irish ran for 200 or more yards in seven games and did not display anywhere near the volume of run-blocking issues seen in 2013), and with fifth-year senior right guard Christian Lombard coming back (he was recently given another year of eligibility), Hiestand will have three returning starters to work with. This group also will benefit from the fact that left tackle Steve Elmer, who isn't counted among the returning starters, racked up six games of starting experience at right guard last year, so he won't be starting from scratch. Also add to that three four-star OL recruits from the class of 2014.

Defensive outlook

The Irish have a bit more rebuilding to do on the defensive side of the ball because of the aforementioned loss of six starters, but it isn't as if this unit lacks for talent. Notre Dame signed its share of skilled defensive players over the past three years when it finished fourth in the ESPN recruiting rankings in 2013, ninth in 2012 and ninth in 2011. The Irish are also on pace for another strong recruiting class in 2014, as they currently sit 11th in the ESPN rankings.

This talent collection allows Notre Dame to bring back two of its top four tackles-for-loss defenders (Sheldon Day and Jaylon Smith) along with projected defensive line starters Jarron Jones (a four-star offensive line recruit in 2012) and Isaac Rochell (the No. 13 ranked defensive end recruit in 2013). Plus, the Irish's 2014 recruiting haul includes three four-star defensive lineman, including 10th-ranked DE Andrew Trumbetti.

With safety Austin Collinsworth joining Lombard in the group of four Notre Dame players to be given a fifth year of eligibility, the Fighting Irish also return three secondary starters to the lineup. That is a good sign for a defense that ranked 31st in the nation in Adjusted Total QBR (a metric that adjusts Raw QBR by schedule strength) from October through the end of the season (39.4) despite having matchups against the strong passing games of Arizona State, USC, Pittsburgh, BYU and Stanford.

The defense also will benefit from the fact that three of their first four games (Rice, Purdue and Syracuse) are against teams that don't have powerful offenses. That should give new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder some time to get this talented platoon to jell.

In addition, the Irish special teams bring back Kyle Brindza, one of the most prolific kickers in program history whose talents were key to Notre Dame's Pinstripe Bowl victory over Rutgers.

Given the team's strong base of returning starters, emerging players and some encouraging trends to build on from 2013, Notre Dame is well-positioned to continue its upward trajectory. Moreover, all taken together, these factors should help Kelly once again navigate this team into Top 25 contention for much, if not all, of the 2014 campaign.

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Old 02-05-2014, 04:07 PM   #777 (permalink)
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