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  • Meltdown 2013

    Looking around here from time to time today and things haven't gotten much better since Saturday night.

    Thought maybe we could combine the angst.

    Is ND melting down? Is the fanbase melting down? Is IE melting down? Should we?

    Feel free to vent whatever...this is a safe place. (But please remember still subject to all IE rules, regulations, and moderator supervision and approval...so not uncensored safe but...whatever)
    Last edited by Whiskeyjack; 11-12-2013, 01:32 PM. Reason: Request
    Fan since Vagas Ferguson and Jerome Heavens!

  • #2


    EVERYBODY PANIC

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    • #3
      IMO far from a meltdown, but I think people are starting to ask some tougher questions.
      Maybe it's far too soon to tell.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Redbar View Post
        IMO far from a meltdown, but I think people are starting to ask some tougher questions.
        Exactly. Year Four of the BK Era and things have backslid badly. People are naturally asking questions relating to how things have taken such a turn. This is FAR from a meltdown, just a natural reaction to seeing ND not making improvements from game to game and season to season....and whether or not our recruiting will be hurt by it, as shown by how little depth we have along the DL, etc.

        Eric Hansen has a great article about this very thing.

        Notre Dame football analysis: Amid the white noise, sustained success is the real issue - South Bend Tribune: Football

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        • #5
          If you think this place is melting down check out II place is a god damn chemical zone. This place is church compared to over there

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          • #6
            Originally posted by connor_in View Post
            Looking around here from time to time today and things haven't gotten much better since Saturday night.

            Thought maybe we could combine the angst.

            Is ND melting down? Is the fanbase melting down? Is IE melting down? Should we?

            Feel free to vent whatever...this is a safe place. (But please remember still subject to all IE rules, regulations, and moderator supervision and approval...so not uncensored safe but...whatever)
            It's 2013! You think you can see the future?
            60% of the time, it works every time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Meltdown 2014

              Man, in cfb you only go as far as your qb takes you. It's a qb-centric sport, and unfortunately ND was forced to play with the backup this season. It's out of BK's control. We all wanted to believe Rees would be able to battle through these games, but the reality is that he was going to have some rough spots, and he did unfortunately. It's hard to pin that or any injuries on BK. He has had a strangely unique qb situation since arriving at ND and when he finally groomed "his guy" for the next 3 years, it all fell apart. I'm looking forward to getting young guys some game experience the remainder of this season and a strong 2014 with a qb who can run the offense. As much as most of us hoped for great things this year - in reality, it was only going to be a bandaid season until Golson came back. It's like we're all mad for something we expected to happen anyway. There isn't a top 10 team who doesn't have a stud qb. You can't win 10+ games with an average qb. It just doesn't happen anywhere.

              I'm a Packer fan and compare this to the loss of Rodgers. It completely changes the team when you're playing with the backup - defense is on the field longer and gives up points, there are more three and outs and turnovers, etc. Just so many things to overcome.

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              • #8
                Meltdown? How many times does someone have to be reminded it ain't easy to be us? What is this, the amateur fan club?
                Last edited by BobD; 11-12-2013, 08:39 AM.

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                • #9
                  I think we all predicted an 8-4 or 9-3 season when EG got suspended, so yes not the season you want following a National Championship appearance but it is what it is. The coaches are a hell of a lot smarter than me, this coach staff took ND to a National championship which no other coach since 1988 has done. Not happy with the outcome of the season but i still believe this staff has what it takes to get ND back

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                  • #10
                    Ton of injuries , loss of a once in generation player , A system quarterback that's in the wrong system and some head scratching play calling on both sides of ball . Other than the play calling I think we performed like I expected us too .
                    One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.
                    Knute Rockne

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BobD View Post
                      Meltdown? How many times does someone have to be reminded it ain't easy to be us? What is this, the amateur fan club?
                      No, it ain't easy to be Bama. Or other teams consistantly at the top.

                      We haven't won jack and the rest of the country no longer respects us. It's getting EASIER to be us. Nobody cares anymore about classroom performance. Haven't won a decent bowl game since 1993!!

                      ND is the LEAST of other teams worries.


                      Finally, a board where I can be angry in peace.

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                      • #12
                        Im not melting down because of the quarterback play. And this is NOT meant to be a bash Rees post. Frankly, the guy has given everything he has. At times he can be very good, very accurate and make smart decisions. But at other times, he hasn't improved from the guy who threw an awful interception against Tulsa in his freshman season. That's the issue, he just has too many limitations.

                        Look at the teams at the top, they are all getting top QB play. Rees cost us 2 games this season. He's also played well in spots. But he is an 8-4 type QB, and will never be any better.

                        If they go 8-4 next year, then maybe I'll panic.
                        "The greatest loss is lost opportunity" -Lou Holtz

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                          No, it ain't easy to be Bama. Or other teams consistantly at the top.
                          The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                          Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                          Originally posted by koonja
                          I'm making peace with Woolly in 2017.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PADOMERNUT View Post
                            Im not melting down because of the quarterback play. And this is NOT meant to be a bash Rees post. Frankly, the guy has given everything he has. At times he can be very good, very accurate and make smart decisions. But at other times, he hasn't improved from the guy who threw an awful interception against Tulsa in his freshman season. That's the issue, he just has too many limitations.

                            Look at the teams at the top, they are all getting top QB play. Rees cost us 2 games this season. He's also played well in spots. But he is an 8-4 type QB, and will never be any better.

                            If they go 8-4 next year, then maybe I'll panic.
                            I HATE to say it because I really like Rees, but I agree. Some games, like ASU or MSU or Purdue, Tommy will be the guy who does what it takes to win, even against a good team. Other games, like in all of our 3 losses, especially OU and Pitt (scUM was partially on Tommy but more on the defense), he will beat himself with turnovers. That's just Tommy. I really hoped he would be better than that this year, but he is what he is.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by woolybug25 View Post
                              The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                              Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                              EXACTLY we were put behind the 8 ball several times because of what BK inherited(terrible qb choices) and also losing a dynamic qb this year
                              usc, texas, florida come to mind
                              EMPTY SPACE WAITING FOR THE NEXT HOT TAKE

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                                No, it ain't easy to be Bama. Or other teams consistantly at the top.

                                We haven't won jack and the rest of the country no longer respects us. It's getting EASIER to be us. Nobody cares anymore about classroom performance. Haven't won a decent bowl game since 1993!!

                                ND is the LEAST of other teams worries.


                                Finally, a board where I can be angry in peace.
                                You clearly have a different idea of what it means to be "easy." ;)
                                I know what you are saying, though.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Emcee77 View Post
                                  I HATE to say it because I really like Rees, but I agree. Some games, like ASU or MSU or Purdue, Tommy will be the guy who does what it takes to win, even against a good team. Other games, like in all of our 3 losses, especially OU and Pitt (scUM was partially on Tommy but more on the defense), he will beat himself with turnovers. That's just Tommy. I really hoped he would be better than that this year, but he is what he is.
                                  I like him too. Its not like he doesn't care or isn't trying. But he just has limitations. He picked the wrong time to have the worst quarter of his career against Pitt, and that's why we are even having this conversation.

                                  I truly believe if Golson were here, we'd be at least 9-1, and everyone would be happy. I don't blame BK either, this is the hand he was dealt. When Golson got kicked out of school, our fate for this season was sealed. Everyone needs to relax.
                                  "The greatest loss is lost opportunity" -Lou Holtz

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                                  • #18

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                                    • #19
                                      IMO, most people's pre-season expectations were not met. Including my own.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by philipm31 View Post
                                        I wish Hansen and others would actually ASK the "unanswered questions" he puts in the article. Those guys (the journalists) lose their cajones when they're actually in the ROOM with BK, which is why a lot of the questions will stay unanswered.

                                        Originally posted by rikkitikki08 View Post
                                        I think we all predicted an 8-4 or 9-3 season when EG got suspended.
                                        I think that's part of the problem. I don't want a Notre Dame team where we have to accept a maybe-barely top-25 finish just because our QB1 got suspended. "Next man in," right? Tommy is our best option right now, and that's a big problem. Also, Tommy Rees didn't give up 41 to Michigan, 24 to Purdue, 34 to ASU, 34 to Navy (!), and 28 to Pitt (!), our defense did.

                                        With Everett Golson, we only managed to score more than 30 points three times last season, so this notion (not necessarily from you, but others) that he would have been able to run up the score like the 2007 Patriots baffles me.

                                        Originally posted by rikkitikki08 View Post
                                        The coaches are a hell of a lot smarter than me.
                                        Using that theory, we all might as well quit talking about sports all together. LeBron James is a hell of a lot better at basketball than me, but I'm still going to say "LeBron sucked last night" if he shoots 2-of-15 for 5 points. Most baseball fans could never in a million years get a base hit in the Major Leagues, but Pete Kozma stinks and they'll continue to say so. Just because the coaches are generally smarter or better at coaching than the average fan, doesn't mean the fan can't discuss and disagree with what they're doing. That's the whole point of sites like IE.

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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by PADOMERNUT View Post
                                          I like him too. Its not like he doesn't care or isn't trying. But he just has limitations. He picked the wrong time to have the worst quarter of his career against Pitt, and that's why we are even having this conversation.

                                          I truly believe if Golson were here, we'd be at least 9-1, and everyone would be happy. I don't blame BK either, this is the hand he was dealt. When Golson got kicked out of school, our fate for this season was sealed. Everyone needs to relax.
                                          The problem happens when Rees is asked to do too much. Yeah, as a D1 QB you should be able to put your team on your shoulders a win some games, but he's been asked to do it a few too many times this season. We should have minimized the pressure we've had to put on Rees by focusing on the run game this season, play action passes, and screens/draws when the defense has been aggressive. Instead we've been going 5 wide sets when we get down a score or two, dictating what we're running from the start, and abandoning the run too early.

                                          Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                                          We haven't won jack and the rest of the country no longer respects us. It's getting EASIER to be us. Nobody cares anymore about classroom performance. Haven't won a decent bowl game since 1993!!
                                          This is true, unfortunately. We've come up with goose eggs in the BCS era. I would argue that the '93 team was one of the last nasty teams we really had. That '93 team could go toe to toe with anyone, anytime, anywhere. We had a couple decent runs in 2012, 2005-2006, and 2002, but those teams were smoke and mirrors at times with deficiencies one place or another, not really nasty imo. The 2012 team was probably the toughest, but still pretty weak offensively against tougher competition and the defense imploded in the final game.

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                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Irishnuke View Post
                                            It's 2013! You think you can see the future?
                                            Whew! I was worried that I'd lost an entire year rather than a few hours after knocking myself out after the USC game.

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                                            • #23
                                              <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/CoachBrianKelly">@CoachBrianKelly</a>&#39;s press conference has been moved to 2 pm and will not be streamed live. We will be live tweeting it <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=&#37;23GoIrish&amp;src=hash">#GoIrish</a></p>&mdash; Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) <a href="https://twitter.com/NDFootball/statuses/400307961584947200">November 12, 2013</a></blockquote>
                                              <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
                                              Oh yeah, I ain't allowed to say "goddamn" no more.--D-Bob

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                                              • #24
                                                I don't know if it's a full on meltdown yet, but I can see it from here. :)

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                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by woolybug25 View Post
                                                  The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                                                  Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                                                  How about Florida State from 2001-2009, with all of their advantages and sub-division wins?

                                                  7-6 records in 06, 07, and 09. Sustained winning is hard.

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                                                  • #26
                                                    Originally posted by ulukinatme View Post
                                                    The problem happens when Rees is asked to do too much. Yeah, as a D1 QB you should be able to put your team on your shoulders a win some games, but he's been asked to do it a few too many times this season. We should have minimized the pressure we've had to put on Rees by focusing on the run game this season, play action passes, and screens/draws when the defense has been aggressive. Instead we've been going 5 wide sets when we get down a score or two, dictating what we're running from the start, and abandoning the run too early.



                                                    This is true, unfortunately. We've come up with goose eggs in the BCS era. I would argue that the '93 team was one of the last nasty teams we really had. That '93 team could go toe to toe with anyone, anytime, anywhere. We had a couple decent runs in 2012, 2005-2006, and 2002, but those teams were smoke and mirrors at times with deficiencies one place or another, not really nasty imo. The 2012 team was probably the toughest, but still pretty weak offensively against tougher competition and the defense imploded in the final game.

                                                    LOVED that team.


                                                    And I'm not saying we haven't had some good years here and there...but we're way behind the curve. Everyone uses that dumbass quote "we get everyone's best shot"...in trying to explain our losses. No. Not anymore. Why the hell would any team give a team that hasn't won **** since 88' or a decent bowl game since 93', that kinda respect??

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                                                    • #27
                                                      Originally posted by IrishJayhawk View Post
                                                      How about Florida State from 2001-2009, with all of their advantages and sub-division wins?

                                                      7-6 records in 06, 07, and 09. Sustained winning is hard.
                                                      But...they climb out of it. We seem to be stuck in a lull.

                                                      If this is the premier university and program...why the hell can't we climb out of mediocrity?

                                                      Bama is a perfect example...a few bad years, now won 3 out of the last 4 and probably gonna win their 4th (un-fvcking-believable, BTW)

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                                                      • #28
                                                        Originally posted by woolybug25 View Post
                                                        The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                                                        Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                                                        This is the debatable part

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                                                        • #29
                                                          Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                                                          But...they climb out of it. We seem to be stuck in a lull.

                                                          If this is the premier university and program...why the hell can't we climb out of mediocrity?

                                                          Bama is a perfect example...a few bad years, now won 3 out of the last 4 and probably gonna win their 4th (un-fvcking-believable, BTW)
                                                          Uhh... we went to the NC game last year

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                                                          • #30
                                                            Originally posted by DillonHall View Post
                                                            Uhh... we went to the NC game last year
                                                            And got stomped. So the question is, was that team from last year the outlier and ND is just average or was that NDs future and this season is the outlier? I would tend to think that last year was outlier.

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                                                            • #31
                                                              Originally posted by woolybug25 View Post
                                                              The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                                                              Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                                                              Just stop dude...

                                                              You're making way too much sense.

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                                                              • #32
                                                                Originally posted by phork View Post
                                                                And got stomped. So the question is, was that team from last year the outlier and ND is just average or was that NDs future and this season is the outlier? I would tend to think that last year was outlier.
                                                                The team is different every year, so there's no point trying to look for general trends. We were 12-0 last year in the regular season. No need to overanalyze that.

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                                                                • #33
                                                                  I understand people arguing for both sides of this. I think the only way we can really tell if the program is headed in the right direction is after next season. If we have another mediocre year than I will side with the people who believe Kelly is possibly not the answer but until then I am going to stay positive.

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                                                                  • #34
                                                                    Listening to Pitt sports radio Friday night would answer your question, Pat. I was a little taken back by how jacked up they were for the game.

                                                                    It's a big deal to play ND. They brought in 70 recruits for that game, not because we are a two loss barely top 25 team coming to town. Because we are N, freaking, D.

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                                                                    • #35
                                                                      Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                                                                      LOVED that team.


                                                                      And I'm not saying we haven't had some good years here and there...but we're way behind the curve. Everyone uses that dumbass quote "we get everyone's best shot"...in trying to explain our losses. No. Not anymore. Why the hell would any team give a team that hasn't won **** since 88' or a decent bowl game since 93', that kinda respect??
                                                                      Because of the media attention put on ND even when we are bad. Put it this way ND doesn't sneak up on anybody. I follow Northwestern pretty closely and I think the little bit of attention they got earlier this year really worked against them. They probably would have beat Ohio State in past years getting 3 turnovers early and surprising OSU when they thought they could just show up and get a W. But with College Gameday there and all the hype OSU wasn't as shocked and was able to regroup.

                                                                      Even when ND is bad teams know that it is a showcase for their program. So they get up for the ND game no matter what.

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                                                                      • #36
                                                                        Originally posted by DillonHall View Post
                                                                        Uhh... we went to the NC game last year
                                                                        ^This

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                                                                        • #37
                                                                          If Zaire is not ready for if/when Golson gets knocked out of a game next year I will have a beef with BK. Other than that, if offense or defense generally struggles, I will focus on the coordinators and if we need to make a change there. I just see way too many improvements in the way BK manages the overall program to think he deserves any less than five more years at this juncture. Anything less is destructive to future hiring.

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                                                                          • #38
                                                                            Originally posted by woolybug25 View Post
                                                                            The same Bama that spent '97-'06 getting hammered by everyone, firing coaches, embarrassing scandals, NCAA violations and a 38-48 record over that decade? Is that the type of consistency you are talking about on top?

                                                                            Some of you dudes have a warped view of how college football has actually worked over history. The "teams on top" are never there forever. We went through a major slump and now have a great trajectory. We will be a damn good team next year, but this year we were riddled with injuries, defections and bad luck. No reason to step out onto a ledge.
                                                                            Thanks for remembering that football was around before Saban's "process" took hold! I remember my buddies that are bama fans, crying when Louisiana Monroe beat them. THen crying again when Utah spanked them in a BCS bowl. Reps to you sir.
                                                                            GOD BLESS AMERICA

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                                                                            • #39
                                                                              Originally posted by irishpat183 View Post
                                                                              Why the hell would any team give a team that hasn't won **** since 88' or a decent bowl game since 93', that kinda respect??
                                                                              Texas Longhorns - In Photos: 2012 College Football Team Valuations - Forbes

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                                                                              • #40
                                                                                Picture Oregon without Mariota and half their already less than stellar defense hobbled.

                                                                                Hell, A&M is 8-2 WITH Manziel and a healthy roster lol.

                                                                                How long did it take Jimbo to solidify some depth and develop dominant play at FSU?? With little to no academic standards and the best talent in the country in his backyard he is only now in the hunt. Plus, would they even be there without Winston?

                                                                                Bama is really the only team I could see possibly salvaging a NC hunt through this **** storm.

                                                                                Would Diaco be on a pedestal right now if Darby and Tee were protecting the boundary and field? With EV providing depth and Nix, Day, Kona, Grace, Shu, Ishaq all healthy? The transfers and last minute drops happen to every program but when coupled with a serious injury list it becomes less a problem of schematics and more about athleticism.

                                                                                Look at Saban's record at MSU.. Obviously schemes don't work anywhere.

                                                                                Golson was playing in the blue and gold game! The switch to Tommy running the O came awfully late.

                                                                                A QB who can extend not only plays but drives with his legs is a HUGE advantage.. A physical and mental advantage over the opponent. It weighs heavily on a defense when they lose 3rd n 8 to a scrambling QB..especially when the coverage was on point.

                                                                                Tommy simply does not offer what this offense needs. He is not a bad QB, just inconsistent and in the wrong offense. Golson's departure was devastating..... BUT, you have to move on and coach better.

                                                                                There are certainly questions to be asked.

                                                                                Why are the injuries mounting? Is it playing service academies back to back? Strength and conditioning? Does Luongo need to be fired? see kuenja Bad luck? Bad form?

                                                                                As Lax has stated.. Is Chuck Martin really the long term answer to OC? Is Kelly.... too loyal? I mean, did Folston have a bad week of practice after Navy? Because I thought I saw some elite natural talent displayed that night.

                                                                                Farley curse: I'll take a scarecrow at this point. Who is letting him continue to take these angles and attempt arm tackles?

                                                                                Where is the urgency? I want to see players holding each other accountable. I saw Nix laying into Sheldon for trying to punch a live ball instead of running it into the endzone for 7 but where are the other leaders??

                                                                                Special Teams is the Bermuda Triangle of ND Football.. don't even try to understand it.

                                                                                I want a little more Tyson in this team. Maybe not "eat your children" or bite your ear off Tyson but a dash of irritability, anger and focus between whistles wouldn't hurt.

                                                                                Having EG back next year will undoubtedly revamp expectations and hopefully the offense as well. It's pretty simple. If we score more points Diaco's "bend but don't break" will look serviceable again. Personally I think if you can't effectively blitz out of the 3-4 you need a switch..

                                                                                This is what a lot of us expected, even with a healthy roster, but it's always harder to witness than predict.

                                                                                Finish out the season strong, crush whatever extra practices and bowl game you get and get back to the drawing board.

                                                                                Let's just hope Kelly keeps doing what's best for the future of the program and making the tough decisions when they need to be made.

                                                                                Hope for a healthy roster, a crop of new leaders and an improved Everett.

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                                                                                • #41
                                                                                  I think the defense not picking up where it left off from the middle of '10 to 2012 was the most disappointing for me. I knew it would be a long season offensively but I was sort of shocked even watching the Temple game how the D was letting up big chunks of yardage. I've really come to appreciate the value of good saftey play this season.

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                                                                                  • #42
                                                                                    here is a piece from the turning points website

                                                                                    After an offseason from hell—one that included the Manti Te’o saga, Brian Kelly flirting with the NFL, the transfers of Eddie Vanderdoes and Davonte Neal, and the suspension of Everett Golson—who among us expected the 2013 Fighting Irish to capture a BCS berth?

                                                                                    I know I didn’t. Before fall camp began, I expected 8-4. Sure, I got more optimistic in the weeks that followed. It was the pre-season. Who doesn’t get optimistic? I began thinking, if everything fell just right, 10-2 was possible. Well, it hasn’t. Injuries have plagued the defensive side of the ball and turnovers have been the difference in each of Notre Dame’s three losses.

                                                                                    Where does that leave us? Pretty much where most of us initially thought we’d be.

                                                                                    Why, then, are we so disappointed?

                                                                                    I thought a lot about that as I drove home from Pittsburgh Sunday. I came up with two reasons: 1) As Irish fans, even when our heads tell us to lower expectations our hearts are incapable of it. 2) This team just doesn’t look quite right.

                                                                                    Coming off the Pitt loss, we’re all focusing on the second reason. Understandably. Losing that game was unacceptable. It was the worst Notre Dame loss since Tulsa. But I have tried my best to take a step back and look at the big picture. After doing so, my determination is this: don’t panic. Changes need to be made, but not wholesale ones. The program is on solid ground.

                                                                                    Let’s start with offensive personnel.

                                                                                    Tommy Rees has performed better than I anticipated. He’s demonstrated poise and pluck. He’s made some plays despite his well-documented physical limitations. But he’s also made decisions that have resulted in catastrophic turnovers. We expect more from a bright senior quarterback. And we should. Much of the offensive struggles can be attributed to quarterback play. Rees is just not equipped to run Kelly’s offense. Golson is. And Malik Zaire should be. There will be no more excuses at this position come January.

                                                                                    The skill positions are loaded. T.J. Jones has developed into a receiver that will play on Sundays. Davaris Daniels, Corey Robinson and Will Fuller assure the receiver cupboard won’t be bare next year. Tarean Folston is a stud and should be the featured back. Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson III have proven that they can contribute, as well. Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack are strong tight ends—and Niklas may prove to be elite.

                                                                                    I think the offensive line is a strength. The staff has recruited very well here. They have excelled at pass protection, keeping an immobile quarterback largely upright. Run blocking has been a concern. I honestly don’t know enough about the X’s and O’s of football to definitely explain why. My hunch is that it’s due to Rees’ limitations. His lack of arm strength allows the defense to constrict the field and load the box. And his lack of mobility takes the read option—a threat designed to keep defenses honest—off the table.

                                                                                    With Golson at quarterback, Notre Dame will be a juggernaut offensively in 2014. I’m confident of that.

                                                                                    The defense is my biggest concern.

                                                                                    Injuries have severely damaged the defensive front—which was supposed to be this team’s strength. But that doesn’t completely justify an anemic pass rush. It doesn’t excuse poor tackling. And it certainly doesn’t explain an inability to make plays on the ball in the secondary.

                                                                                    We are seeing next to no aggression from the defense. The defensive line even played upright against Navy. I understand the fear of players getting injured by a cut block, but standing upright? That makes it nearly impossible to gain leverage and disrupt the flow of an offensive scheme. That passive mentality is typical of what we’ve seen from Bob Diaco’s schemes this season.

                                                                                    Passive is the exact opposite of how teams like Stanford play. Why does Oregon struggle with Stanford? Simple. Stanford attacks them. They blitz up the middle and when they don’t, they get creative with lineman stunts. Notre Dame does not do either on a consistent basis.

                                                                                    The Irish defense, minus Te’o, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Zeke Motta, aren’t as savvy and experienced as they were a year ago. But they’re better than what they’ve demonstrated thus far. “Bend but don’t break” only works if you don’t break. It’s hard to tell at times, but this defense boasts some athletes. Let them make plays. Let them attack.

                                                                                    That brings us to coaching.

                                                                                    I’m a huge Brian Kelly supporter, but coaching played a key role in Saturday’s loss. The Irish abandoned the run too early. It was successful in the first half and a non-factor in the second. Chuck Martin calls the plays but Kelly is the head coach. He should have stepped in. Most of the other offensive problems should be solved with Golson’s return and Zaire’s development.

                                                                                    My coaching concerns surround defense and special teams. It’s time for Bob Diaco to move on. The Irish defense lacks swagger. It’s too passive. And I believe a big part of that is because Diaco’s scheme doesn’t allow Irish defenders to utilize their athleticism and attack. They think, they don’t react. Therefore, they play slow. Kelly needs to hire a defensive coordinator who will unleash these athletes.

                                                                                    Special teams is a disaster. Kyle Brindza has had a solid year. Atkinson and Jones have demonstrated the ability to be dynamic in the return game, but lack the consistent blocking to do so. And the coverage teams have been awful. This unit has never been a strength in the Kelly era. It’s too important for it not to be. A full-time special teams coach must be brought on board. That means another coach will have to be let go in order to get under the NCAA limit. Defensive backfield responsibilities are currently split between Kerry Cooks and Bob Elliott. I’d consolidate that.

                                                                                    As fans, we have a right to be disappointed. Notre Dame hasn’t yet lost a game that it couldn’t have won. That’s frustrating. But the sky isn’t falling. If Kelly and Jack Swarbrick make the necessary adjustments, Notre Dame should be back in a BCS level bowl game next season.
                                                                                    EMPTY SPACE WAITING FOR THE NEXT HOT TAKE

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                                                                                    • #43
                                                                                      Whoa. TP calling for Diaco's job?

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                                                                                      • #44
                                                                                        Originally posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
                                                                                        Whoa. TP calling for Diaco's job?

                                                                                        he didn't write the article, someone from his site.....not sure if your busting my balls or not
                                                                                        EMPTY SPACE WAITING FOR THE NEXT HOT TAKE

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                                                                                        • #45
                                                                                          Originally posted by PANDFAN View Post
                                                                                          he didn't write the article, someone from his site.....not sure if your busting my balls or not
                                                                                          He's not. He's just replying to the bolded in article.

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                                                                                          • #46
                                                                                            No meltdown here...serious frustration with the play of some guys who I expected to at least be who they were last year...particularly on defense.

                                                                                            Coming into the season I expected a bruising run game...that then let tommy start to get intermediate throws through PA, and those would turn into big plays with athleticism. I expected a few balls over the top. What it turned into is certainly surprising to me...and really uncomfortable.

                                                                                            ...all I know is this team should be able to run the ball even with the box stacked...of any team I thought needed to lead with a 3 yards and a cloud of dust mentality...it was this one. Tommy is really good with PA ...when the run threat isn't there, he really gets exposed...and when we don't run its only a matter of time before he makes a bad decision...

                                                                                            This team's success IMHO, has always lived in the trenches...
                                                                                            One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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                                                                                            • #47
                                                                                              I personally feel that Diaco isn't getting it done...i think last year was a culmination of having a great line w/ great middle linebacker and an experienced safety....but i don't think he is a great or even good recruiter, scheme tends to suck, no creativity(i know injuries but so do every other team) in blitz packages..just overall i don't like the vanilla prevent defense
                                                                                              Last edited by PANDFAN; 11-12-2013, 02:01 PM.
                                                                                              EMPTY SPACE WAITING FOR THE NEXT HOT TAKE

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                                                                                              • #48
                                                                                                I think Coach Kelly has done a tremendous job so far, but that does not mean there are not some things that need to be figured out. At this point in his tenure the issues we have seen that have become habit need to be answered. That doesn't mean the program has not improved tremendously, it doesn't mean support for this regime is wavering, it is just serious fans trying to understand and appreciate the obstacles and adversities that our team faces. For instance, everyone wants to blame Tommy Rees but I love the young man, he has proven he is a warrior for the blue and gold, but Coach Kelly certainly by this year needs to know that if Tommy is your guy, you need to run the football and work play action pass, he is not a spread quarterback. Let the game come to him a little bit. We have a physical advantage on our Oline and with our tight ends, we should consistently exploit that, lining up in empty sets is not doing Tommy any favors. Tommy will matriculate and Everett will hopefully come back, and yes we will be better with a spread system quarterback but why aren't we tailoring this offense to suit the one we have. System is not more important than success, and while we have indeed enjoyed a tremendous amount of success compared to recent history, there have been several that we lost or made it a lot harder on ourselves because we've been IMO a little stubborn?,arrogant?,myopic?, I don't know.

                                                                                                Also, last time I watched, Tommy doesn't play special teams, neither does Everett, somebody has to start coaching that phase of the game and demand discipline. All of the people saying stay calm(and they are right), keep talking about Tommy and injuries, those are not my concern, my concern is more the reactions to the obstacles.

                                                                                                At any rate, the Notre Dame job is incredibly difficult and unique not everything can just be ported over from other programs and experiences. Coach Kelly is a good coach he knows his x's and o's, but there is also a certain flexibility that this job requires that probably no other coaching job requires in such measure. He has proven he can build this program now I think he just needs to show that he can adapt his philosophy a little bit. I have my own little peccadillo: how about one time when everyone is wound up and the stadium is nuts at the beginning of a game, and all these kids want to do is go hit somebody, why don't we start on defense let the other team try to calm themselves and elect to take the ball in the second half after we have made our adjustments.
                                                                                                Last edited by Redbar; 11-12-2013, 03:32 PM.
                                                                                                Maybe it's far too soon to tell.

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                                                                                                • #49
                                                                                                  I'm not sure what the definition is of whether we're in meltdown. Rather than addressing that enigma, I'll just self-reflect:

                                                                                                  1). Before the season, knowing Tommy was QB, but not knowing Tuitt was still hobbling or what was to happen with Danny Spond [or Grace] nor that Fox was as damaged as he was, I thought that we would finish the year 10-2 [Stanford loss and one WTF, hopefully not Michigan--- my first fear for the WTF was, sadly, BYU].

                                                                                                  2). I believed in 10 wins because I believed that no one could score more than two-and-a-half-touchdowns off us. Then came the "revelation" that our defense somehow had become a mild shadow of its previous self.

                                                                                                  3). All of a sudden 10 wins seemed only vaguely possible, with solid play and a bowl win, but the margin was so thin as to be virtually impossible. Still one hopes.

                                                                                                  4). Michigan sucked. We once again got a guy crazy-throwing footballs in ridiculous "lucky" ways [that one pass that Keivaree had covered in the end zone just can't happen in any normal play], and we screwed the game away. Then Oklahoma. And Stanford waiting.

                                                                                                  5). MSU and ASU and USC weren't pretty but they were good days. They were the Devil's way of setting my already disappointed outlook up for a harder fall. Because then amassed all the injuries. Ridiculous amounts of defensive injuries --- he!l, even Herbstreit mentioned the seeming unfairness of it more than once on the broadcast.

                                                                                                  6). So, Pitt. Third loss. Stanford awaiting. A good BYU team awaiting at their home. A good bowl team awaiting at the end. The thought that this team, which by all rights [and national commentary] should have fielded a top-5 defense and throttled everyone on its way to another double-digit win season, could, without much imagination, finish 7-6 --- yeh I'm severely disappointed.

                                                                                                  My long association with ND, and all manner of sports, does not create emotional "meltdown" ... not ever. That's a level of irrationality best abandoned by ones 20s at the latest. And I don't believe in a lot of personal blaming in complicated team sports. But disappointed in the overall status quo? That I can legitimately be.

                                                                                                  And am.

                                                                                                  ... but I continue to see the state of the future of our program as bright. Next year I expect Coach's offense to take over the lead-dog-role, and begin looking like vintage Kelly offense. I expect us to suffer some on defense, as we should be one year away there. We'll be "good-not-great" next year, and the sky may be the limit the next. No meltdown on the general State-of-the ND-Nation here.

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                                                                                                  • #50
                                                                                                    Originally posted by PANDFAN View Post
                                                                                                    I personally feel that Diaco isn't getting it done...i think last year was a culmination of having a great line w/ great middle linebacker and an experienced safety....but i don't think he is a great or even good recruiter, scheme tends to suck, no creativity(i know injuries but so do every other team) in blitz packages..just overall i don't like the vanilla prevent defense
                                                                                                    I agree with you and it is kind of funny now people are seeing it but 6 months ago if a less popular poster made a comment critizing Diaco they would just about be run out of IE. I have never been a big fan of him, especially after the Champs Bowl a couple yrs ago where he went away from what was working in the first half for more passive play calling. Diaco has benefited from extremely smart players (Te'o, Harr, Zeke, Kappy...) but now his true capabilities are showing as a coach be able to coach/develop the talent that he does have. I agree with your recruiting point also (MLB and NT prime examples). Diacos defense is reactive and not proactive and its painful to watch at time, especially when teams like Stanford (who supposedly dont have the talent we have) and owning opponents.
                                                                                                    Last edited by FLDomer; 11-14-2013, 10:22 AM.

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