Irish Lacked Emotion in Syracuse Debacle

I came across a pretty distrubing quote in one of Brian Hamilton’s articles in today’s Chicago Tribune from Golden Tate speaking of the emotion of the team.

“I didn’t feel any emotion on the sideline,” said Irish receiver Golden Tate, who posted 146 yards and two touchdowns. “Even I was kind of just, eh.”

With a potential Gator Bowl bid on the line, on senior day, a week after nearly surrendering yet another fourth quarter lead how on earth was this team short of motivation?  It is up to the players to “want it” but it is up to coaches to get them motivated and one thing this staff has failed to show it is capable of is getting this team up emotionally every week.

This isn’t an isolated incident either.  Emotion has been a problem for this team even going back to the 2006 season.  There have a been a few games where Notre Dame has come out of the tunnel showing much emotion and it is up to the coaches to make sure these players are ready emotionally each week.

Tate wasn’t the only one with a disturbing quote in Hamilton’s column either.  Sam Young offered this one up.

“Bottom line, to be kind of blunt, they wanted it more,” Young said.

Really?  A 2-8 Syracuse with nothing to play for wanted it more than a team which was essentially playing for a New Year’s Day Bowl bid wanted it more?  That speaks volumes.

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  1. Problems, problems, problems, problems. When I look at ND, there are just too many problems. Coaching – C-. Offensive line – D. Running game – D. Passing game – C. Defensive line – C. Defensive backfield – C. Special teams – D+. Conditioning seems poor. No fire in the belly. Result? Below average 1-A team. Again, where are all those high caliber recruits? They continue to under-achieve and that has to be either the coaching sucks or the talent was terribly overrated. I say it’s both.

    The school has to determine how important NDF is to the university and go from there. It’ll cost them $7-8M to boot Weis and then where do they go? They will need a combination great recruiter/great coach/great motivator. The last one was Holtz. If they show Weis the door, who’s out there that fits the mold and wants to come to the ND pressure cooker?

  2. Ultimately ND needs to go for the best. Stoops? By all means at this point dont lower the bar – set it high go after a guy who is proven, who has fire and absolutely do not take no for an answer. The climate is changing here – the vitriol against ND is its best asset here. The tradition of ND will never fade – it may be tarnished a bit but bring in the right person with the ideal matchstick to reignite the kindling, the powderkeg of Irish football and the program will indeed burn brightly again! The right guy will turn this program around in a heartbeat. It would not as most summize restart a rebuilding process as there is talent here that is simply looking for a great leader and motivator.

  3. “Meanwhile, the worst of ND came out with the students throwing snowballs!”

    Hard to see those video clips …..but it is only a handful of students who acted badly.

    The silver lining in this is in the redemption.

    We all take it personally when we see bad behavior among our Catholic family. I am sure these snowball throwers will feel remorseful and will learn from their mistakes. Perhaps the student body will rally and let the world know that ND thrives ….irregardless of a a few bad football seasons. Faith in adversity is the story of the Bible and is now the story of ND football , at least for awhile..

  4. Chris:
    You have a lot of passion about this. So do I!
    Regardless of whether a man is Catholic or not, one who represents the University with the demeanor that STILL is Notre Dame is out there!
    I think a man of the Catholic Faith would be a great addition. However, we have had many Protestants and others play for ND with a lot of pride! ( Personally I think a committed Christian is the key-period!)
    THAT said–I am heartsick about the CATHOLIC Students throwing snowballs at the players on Senior Day!
    NO WAY! I am sick about this whole mess!
    I agree with you Chris–somebody-SOMEBODY has GOT to be there for ND with the right tone!
    Is the Cincinnati man the one?
    Would LOU come back?
    We need a running game FIRST before we rely on pass, pass, pass. With that we need recievers and a field goal kicker like Ohio State had in Nugent–50 yards here and there -no problem for him.
    Don’t we have a soccer team with a player who would LOVE to get a chance? Walker is getting better-but to place the entire game on him when we should and CAN bury Syracuse is unacceptable!
    Help us Lord in these times!
    Meanwhile, the worst of ND came out with the students throwing snowballs!
    Never again!

  5. We got the guy you all need right here in Cincinnati. Talk about a proven head coach and a winner evrwhere he’s been. Brian Kelley would go to ND in a heartbeat.

  6. I am dumbfounded that anyone who has watched this team all season can’t see the obvious: they don’t care. Some of the players do, but certainly not all/most. These new comments by Tate just prove me right even more. No emotion. No killer instinct. No fire. They WILL themselves to lose. The EXPECT to lose. The Syracuse game was just more evidence, but not a revelation of any kind. Talk all you want about strength and conditioning, Xs and Os etc. None of that matters when your heart fails to beat. It’s not lack of execution that’s the problem – it’s a mindset that expects that you WON’T execute. AND YES, THIS IS THE HEAD COACH’S FAULT – NOT HIS FAULT ALONE, BUT HIS FAULT. Leaders of men get it, others don’t. I have played on both kinds of teams in my life. I have played for coaches who got it and those who didn’t. I understand this concept intimately.

    I have been pounding the table on this ALL YEAR. Having patience w/ Weis is one thing-accepting fundamental flaws is another-and that’s what we are dealing with. Last week’s article entitled “Irish Lack Killer Instinct” was dead on target. This team’s problem(s) have nothing to do with talent. Their talent is adequate/good enough to deal with the schedule they have. The lack of killer instinct / caring is a result leadership. As we have all discussed before on this site – WEIS DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO SET THE PROPER TONE! If he truly is worried about the perception of “running up the score” on opponents he is a fool! There is a difference between putting a team away by the 2nd or 3rd qtr. and running up the score! C’mon! As if that is an issue being discussed around college football. When you watch Sportscenter and a given team wins by 2 – 3 touchdowns, are you hearing the pundits talking about that team running up the score on the loser? So why can’t ND do that?!!!! Preposterous. All season, ND’s wins AND losses this year have been absent of any instinct of going for the jugular. (With the exception of the Michigan game where they gave us turnovers on a silver platter.) The horrible stats in the redzone this year are also a result of this same problem. When you get in the red zone, the pressure ratchets up a bit to get the job done-we fall apart. Because ND lacks the leadership on the field and off, they are not licking their chops to get the ball in the end zone. IT IS A MINDSET THAT PERMEATES A TEAM. Weis’s NFL demeanor and lack of understanding in this area is killing us. Indiana Joe’s comments earlier in the year about Weis not interacting with anyone but JC is an excellent one that furthers my point here!

    I am not saying this can’t change, but I don’t believe it will. If it doesn’t change, ND’s talent level, running game, o-line etc. will be of little concern either way. All of that is just semantics without solid leadership from the top down, which ND just does not have. And this is not me lashing out after a tough loss – I have been saying the same thing all season, win or lose.

    Oh well, at least we get to see “highly-inspirational halftime stories” on NBC about ND student Suzie O’Sullivan and how she is studying in Nigeria this semester. Gee, ask me if I give a flying f#%@ about her when she says “We are the Fighting Irish”. Sorry Suzie – it’s not your fault that Charlie Weis is in over his head right now.

    I want more than anything to see CW succeed. I swear I do. But hasn’t got much time. I predicted that they would lose 3 out of their last 4 games. (You guys will have to take me at my word here.) I don’t know whether Weis should get one more year or not. But I do know that he is NOT A LEADER OF MEN, NOT EVEN CLOSE. Fire him after USC. He is awful and an embarrassment.

  7. Chris,
    I totally agree with you and you are right on with those commments. I graduated in 89 so I remember Lou. He carried the torch for Our Lady and let the players know they were playing for Her and as representatives of the Catholic faith. So did Ara even though he isn’t Catholic, nor was Rockne. But they did have faith as you say.
    Do you think Chris Petersen would be someone like that?

    Would you agree that Charlie just doesn’t have the fire?

  8. C Dog – ND needs a coach indeed however it really needs a coach who is also a man of faith like Lou. Sounds odd I know but remember football glory at ND wasn’t just a spin off of Catholicism, it was a by product! I fell in love with ND when it was just that. I remember teams spitting on them not because of their football strength but merely because they represented Catholicism to most opposing teams and schools. It was through that adversity, that climate, that made ND great – What though the odds be great or small….. this upcoming game against SC used to be the type of game that ND would drool over….they were the the spoilers, the underdog, they had the committment, the desire and thus ultimatley the upset – all in the name of something greater than just a win in the win column. That climate, that game that place in time is what made ND great – likely it was also that particular time that made you my friend, a fan. This is an essential part of the equasion here.

  9. we should write,email the AD
    and insist that CW goes. WE support this school through the good and bad. Let our voice be heard for once.

  10. Soemthing else, besides Saturday that makes me sick to my stomach: the latest USA Today article suggesting ND might need to fire Charlie Weis, with an outright demand from a South Bend Tribune guy.

    That’s not the worst. The bloggers are calling for ND to lower academic standards. This is pathetic. So with a workforce in America already considered questionable, and a middle of the road education system, people want one of the brightest spots in American education to drop it’s standards so the type of thugs and drop out low lifes that have stained the southern schools can tarnish Notre Dame. Wow, I hope they stick to their guns when they are on the breadlines with the minimum 350,000 additionally unemployed next year, potentially 2 million after GM and Chrysler get dissected. Since Notre Dame has the obvious Irish connection it’s only fitting to point out the Ireland, once one of the poorest countries in Europe stuck with education for decades and until this economic crisis has been THE fastest growing economy in Europe.
    Notre Dame should NEVER lower it’s standards. It can win even with high ones.

  11. ND remains a powderkeg if only for the right guy is found to ignite the passion and history of Irish football and add some deception on offense! The stage is actually set – contrary to many opinion, there ARE coaches who are licking their chops to have an opportunity to return this program to glory. Talent is in place – we only need the right one to lead. Hell most of you guys out there could do a better job at play calling and I am telling you with all the adversity this program has been through – it remains an attractive positive for the right hire! GO IRISH!

  12. I wonder if USC can sell tickets to the dire follies coming this weekend?

    The hell with the statue, bring back REAL LOU!

  13. Charlie gets another year. Two horrible recruiting classes by TW cannot be ignored. Offensive line has had injuries and quite frankly, ND cannot run a lick. Defensively we have seen some real bright spots from younger players but they cannot carry the team. Special teams, overall a huge disappointment and real killer. Maybe CW has some real poor coaches. I am not sure Tanuta had the impact he was supposed to have.

  14. I am tired of saying “wait till next year”, next year never comes. I don’t blame the players when I say this team stinks ( I really have other words, but) The coaching stinks!

  15. I was at the game, pathetic! No heart! They walk on and off the field, terrible penalties, trick plays that gain next to nothing, and cannot get 2 yards with a “power Back field”. Then above all, lay the game on the kicker. Hey Charlie, ever tried kicking a cement block? The only way Clausen throws touchdowns is by putting it up for one of the guys to go and get. No Arm. This has to be the lowest that this program has ever been. Someone better wake up (and not the echoes) Charlie is no offensive mastermind, good recruiter, poor excuse for a head coach! Bring Lou back!

  16. I’m sick to my stomach

    What excuse will Notre Dame have next??

    I live in Buckeye Town of Ohio State in Columbus–
    talk about pain and tom thuggery from others


  17. It is clear to me after watching the Weis teams and reviewing the ND player NFL combine stats that his teams lack development especially in strength. They simply donot stand up to power or deliver power anywhere across both lines

  18. Weis needs to go. He needs to get his big ass back in the NFL as a coordinator (just not for my team). We need a coach that gets college football. There is a ton of talent on that team, but no one is excited about it,and that starts with the coaches. Think Lou could still work the sidelines? I know that wont happen but that was the last good coach we had!

  19. Clausen is not the answer.

    Remember back when we had the Quinn to Samardzija or Stovall/Mcknight? Well we have the duo at receiver with Tate and Floyd/Grimes, but we DO NOT have the QB in the game to get them the ball.

    IMO, the QB who is capable of this is whering the glorified #10 and that is Crist. We saw what he can do in the All-American game, why not letting him get in there and put his skills to work. Clausen has had enough games to prove himself and he hasn’t.

    I believe that if we set up a steady passing game that the run will come. Hell take 05′ and 06′. We did it then with Charlie as HC why not now?

  20. This team has let down Our Lady’s Univesity.
    They have not performed to expectations nor to capabilities. This team should be able to run the ball. This team should be finding ways to win, not finding ways to lose.
    Charlie does not get it.

  21. There is plenty of blame to go around.

    Charlie certainly owns most of it, but what about our quarterback and our seniors? I’ll give Charlie another year, but perhaps if next year doesn’t pan out, he’ll have the integrity to say, “I was overpaid and didn’t get the job done. You don’t need to buy me out, I’ll walk away.”

    Jimmy, you wanna be the hot shot quarterback who can ride on to campus in a limo? Then be a leader, get your team pumped up behind you, and win games. At the moment, I don’t see any leadership from Clause, or respect for him from his team. He looks like a second year QB that came in earlier than he should have.

    The Seniors should also be leading this team, but they’re not.

  22. Hopefully the administration will learn a lesson from the past 25 years.

    Tradition doesn’t make or carry a coach. The team needs a star as head coach, someone who has proven himself as a successful head coach at the college level. Not a promising assistant coach or a project.

    You look at the last five ND coaches, the only one who was really successful was a proven head coach. A good assistant coach may not make a good head coach. The team can’t afford another gamble.

    When they look for a coach, they should follow the example of Florida, Alabama and Georgia Tech.

  23. i have been on the charlie weis bandwagon all year saying things like its a young team and the personel is not there at certian positions, but this team has regressed as the year has gone by. earlier in the year it liked like a team that was on the verge, now it looks like last year. this team should be playing its best football right now and they look their worse. i still say weis should get another year because who else is there but how can an o line full of juniors and seniors continue to look so bad. and why does weis stop trying to score when hes up by two score!!!!!! the game aint over till after the 4th quarter!!!!!

  24. I’m with Rick. U can blame every single player on the team, and say they are all losers, or you can blame the person who’s job it is to motivate these young men. G tate saying he felt that way is a great example. Do you think he didn’t do his part? Where do you think the Irish would b were it not for his efforts on sat? the buck stops at the top here no doubt. let’s stop scapegoating all the players he has recruited himself and the coaches he has hired himself.

  25. come on “irishsparten” have you ever play the game lets stop making excuses the blame is totaly on CW he lost this team and can’t coach period. They dont have a reason to win
    because they are coached so poorly it pitful! If they don’t make a change next year
    I can’t bare to watch the proud tradition od ND football
    sink to this level with a coach that CAN”T COACH period.

  26. At least we have a really good basketball team to help ease the pain a bit.

    I’m looking forward to a win against Indiana tomorrow.

  27. It kind of annoys me knowing the Charlie is going to be mad at Tate for saying that. I feel like Tate is one of the few guys the gets it.

    I’m said that I’m an optimist multiple times but I’m starting to have trouble find positives, more so of Clausen than Weis. At least we have better odds of ending the bowl loss streak in a small bowl game.

    I think the team needs another spring in the weight room too.

  28. The Weis era is simply poor execution, no emotion and a team lacking heart. Weis’s record is the same a Davies, and the same as Ty’s.
    Great coaches find a way to win with good players, and over the past three years ND has recruited solid talent. No results, and no heart.
    Holtz was all about heart and overachievement. Where has the ND we all knew gone.

  29. Joining with Michael, I have watched the Irish against Stanford when we were in the stadium, and more recently on their televised games, I have begun to wonder about Clausen.

    Since this season is a bust, I had started to visualize an open competition for QB in the Spring and Summer. Not only would that include Crist, but also Montana and of course Clausen.

    A new coach would guarantee such a competition. I am not certain Weis will do that.

    Clausen hasn’t been right for a number of games. For USC, I would like to see Sharpley get the call. Then we would find out what kind of team man Clause really is. I have my doubts.

  30. Timing routes are not a staple of college football for a reason. But the line does not seem to be able to protect Jimmy for very long.

  31. Unfortunately I went to the game (long story) and had to endure this pitiful display of Notre Dame football.

    As I sat in the stands, freezing my butt off, watching the poorly executed plays, it finally hit me that the problem isn’t so much Weis as perhaps Clausen.

    I seem to recall Weis mentioning that he was going to simplify the offense this year? Well it certainly looks very simple. In fact it looks predictable at times. However, there were so many times that receivers were wide open and Clausen was unable to put the ball where he needed to.

    As I pondered this thought, I realized Clausen has demonstrated this quite a bit throughout the season. Watch any pass play to a receiver and way too many times you see them have to stop to catch the ball. It’s very seldom that you see a receiver catch a Clausen pass and gain more yards afterwards, unless it’s a screen or quick out. Even the touchdown passes he threw against Syracuse were more of the receivers adjusting to the pass than his throwing it where it needed to be. Or at least that’s how it appeared from the stands. It was also pathetic to see how many times he missed wide open receivers.

    I’m now finding myself hoping Dane Crist is all that he’s been talked up to be because Clausen just doesn’t seem to have the skills to throw at the college level. He has arm strength, but so did Ryan Leaf.

    That’s my chilly thoughts!

  32. The problem isn’t a lack of emotion. Players were upset, and those that weren’t are at the point of numbness like most of us. The problem is a lack of strength and conditioning. This team shows no lower body drive when rushing, blocking, or tackling. Not being able to play 60 minutes speaks for itself.

  33. Seriously, people. Enough blaming of Charlie Weis for this crap. He calls the plays, the players have to make them. He tells the players to get fired up, but its up to them to GET fired up, and actually put their heart into it.

    I can’t BELIEVE they played such a lackluster game on senior day. No excuse for those players…NONE! I feel so bad for Grimes…one of the big leaders on that team, pours his heart into that game, has a pretty good game, and gets nothing from most of the others. I’m still feeling ill from this loss. This hurts worse than last years Navy game, for me.

    They might as well not even show up next week in LA if this is going to continue. So disappointed in these guys this week. ughhh….

  34. the team hasn’t played with any emotion since the Pitt loss.

    I for one will not give the players a free pass and lay the blame on coaches.

    This team is full of underachieving mamma’s boys.

  35. I personally can’t take it anymore. How does a team get worse as the year goes on? I had faith in Charlie up til this week. Now it’s gone. I’m convinced that he is clueless as a head coach. Time for a real head coach.

  36. Well, a mea culpa approach at this point on behalf of the team by way of Young is a vaporous point.

    I sure hope the team and the coaches find a way to rediscover some type mental stimulation by next Saturday, or it will certainly be a horrible blood-bath of dissatisfaction with no end in sight.

  37. They sure played a lack luster game. Complacent I think is a good word. Out played by a 2-8 team sums it up. The AD has to decide if that sort of play should be tolerated, was just a fluke or punished. Still reminds me of the Jerry Faust years.

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