Lessons Learned

Everett Golson, 2013 BCS Championship
Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) reacts during the second half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the worst off-seasons in recent memories, Irish fans have to be asking themselves what is next? Before the announcement that starting quarterback Everett Golson was no longer with the team late Saturday night, the Notre Dame program was already dealing with the possible defection of five-star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes, and the transfers of Gunner Kiel, Davonte Neal, and Justin Ferguson. It was also just four months prior that the university and its football program had to deal with the public relations nightmare that was the Manti Te’o hoax. As much fun as the 2012 season was, the off-season has done significant damage to the positive momentum that should have carried over to the 2013 season.

As news broke on popular social media sites this past Saturday evening of Golson’s removal from the team, the reactions by Irish fans all over the net was one of disbelief and wonder, and why wouldn’t it be? Irish fans are used to dealing with heavy scrutiny and over-blown dramatics by the media and other teams fans, as they typically relish in anything considered negative about the Notre Dame program, and this string of events has opened the Irish up for even more.

As the 2013 season nears, Irish fans felt good about their team’s chances of a possible return to the BCS championship game, and now there are just so many questions and not nearly enough answers. At this time it would be easy for most fans to pack up camp and just head home and forget about this season. With so much negativity surrounding their storied program, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are here to say it is there and still very bright.

The Irish have taken a big hit at the quarterback position with the loss of Golson, but still have senior Tommy Rees, junior Andrew Hendrix, and early enrollee Malik Zaire. While there is still a small contingency of fans who have little faith in Tommy Rees, he did prove last season that he has the so-called “moxy” to lead the Irish to victory multiple times. He proved he was a leader by his play on the field, and his encouragement towards Golson off the field. If Brian Kelly decides to mimic last season and start a freshman at the all important quarterback position, Malik Zaire has the potential to step in and replicate what Golson achieved early on last season. It will help with the Irish opening the season at home against a weaker Temple squad, if this is the route that the Irish head coach decides to take.

Notre Dame still possesses one of the best defenses in the nation, and it should be called upon early and often, and we have no doubt that it will answer the bell just as often, if not more than what this squad achieved last year. It is easy to forget, but this same Irish squad dealt with seemingly devastating injuries in the secondary that had fans questioning whether a 6-6 record was even possible. This defensive squad had to overcome injuries of Austin Collinsworth, Jamoris Slaughter, and Lo Wood, and did so with smart coaching, and players such as Zeke Motta, Mathias Farley, and Bennett Jackson stepping up time and time again when needed

Notre Dame’s defensive unit will feature depth and experience at the linebacker position as they will turn to Prince Shembo, Jarrett Grace, and Carlo Calabrese and new addition Jaylon Smith. The defensive line will be as good, if not better with Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt, and Sheldon Day. There is depth, experience, and true leadership all over the place on the defensive side of the ball, and should be ready to answer the call when the time comes.

Although the Irish offense may be in flux right now, let’s not pretend that the cupboard is bare. The Irish offensive line has the potential to be one the best in the country with the return of Zach martin, Christian Lombard, and Chris Watt and a phenomenal recruiting haul in this year’s class. The Irish obviously lost a lot at the running-back position, but helped themselves tremendously once again by a great a recruiting effort. George Atkinson, Can McDaniel, Will Mahone, and Amir Carlisle bring experience and the Irish added some outstanding talent in Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston.

So while there a lot more questions than originally anticipated by Irish fans, it is evident that this is a team that still is loaded with talent and depth and has a coaching staff that understands how to adjust on the fly. If Notre Dame fans learned anything last year, it was to never count these kids or this coaching staff out, and the same should apply to this year. So before you assume this season is lost, remember the lessons this program taught all of its fans last year in the magical run of 2012. The players and coaches believe they can win no matter what obstacles that they may encounter, and their fans should also.

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  1. So much for Kelly having an open QB battle. Terrible Tommy will be out there starring down his first target all season…whoever that will be.

    1. Matt,

      Lets hope Rees arms are big as his thighs this year! Otherwise, rainbow passes are us. Just like in the spring game. Duck, here comes father duranko!

      1. Not to be nit-picky, but I believe the correct reference for a man of the cloth, and of his stature is “You’re Excellency”, or “you’re Eminence”

        Besides, it’s still pretty early in the day and I don’t think you have too much to worry about….yet.

        “I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s gonna come down for quite awhile”

        -Carl Spackler-

  2. Amen Matt,

    Not to mention, BK informed Golson, he will have to win back his position. Well, after this year, Zaire may very be difficult to unseat with equal experience. We definately could see a dog fight who starts next year depending on how this season goes.

    Not to play devil’s advocate, but we could loose a QB’ due to a two man derby. Not wishing for it, but it is a concern. We need both in our line up.

    Here come our beloved Irish! Foxsports 1 – Regis & Lou & Allen Pinkett!

  3. Quarterback is the key position in any offense, especially Brian Kelly’s offense. Tommy Rees is a smart, game player but I just don’t think he has the physical tools to start at QB for a National Championship team. He can’t run at all and is very slow. He has a weak arm and his accuracy leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, I think I just described Steve Walsh and he did pretty good for Miami back in the 80’s. I’m inclined to think that Zaire should be given the shot unless his inexperience makes that impossible.

    1. EJS,

      It seems like Zaire will get a chance to start based on BK’s early comments. The good news is, BK has all ready demontrated how well he can guide and nurture an inexperienced QB.

      It’s a win win for Zaire. Why invest in someone who’s going to graduate this year? Besides, Zaire’s style of play is very close to Golson’s. The program will move forward with Zaire. But I’ll leave that up to the grumpy “adults” in the arena!

      1. EJS,

        One more point, that our critical care “adults” are indeed experiencing sometimers.

        Inasmuch as I pray for Golson’s return, fast forward next year and he’s not coming back for some unanticipated reason. What’s next?

        All inexperienced QB’s????

      2. JC,

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Zaire should play more this season than any other QB we have on the roster. If our defense is half as good as what is being hyped we can live with a few mistakes from a true frosh.

        What I fear is Kelly will keep him on such a short leash like he did early with Golson this year. It was a gamble that paid off for Kelly but I don’t see any upside to playing Rees this year. Zaire looked great in spring ball and I think with the depth at running back should be able to manage games without being asked to do too much.

  4. So has anyone checked out comments by the oh so classy president of that Ohio school? As if the real reason for ND not joining the Big 10 had to be stated. Now we know, Anti Catholicism still remains strong in the hearts of those schools.

  5. JC,
    And to answer your football question: I think if Rees is QB against USC we still kill them this year. We can put up 30 points against them. Additionally, that controls the clock for enough time that our defense can stay fresh. USC doesn’t score more than 10 points through 3 quarters and the rest depends on our offense moving the ball and controlling 7 minutes of clock in the 4th quarter.

    1. Kudos C-Dog,

      As always, thank you for your great insight. By the way, speaking about the other sites, which I don’t wonder out to. Do you remember our infamous 100 point poster Robert T. Gilleran? I wonder if he is still out there complaining about his favorite CW and USC conspiracies? Hahaha! Interesting character to say the least.

      1. Oh, yeah. I do think he has passed on. Otherwise he’s drooling in his cheerios while working his way out of a straight jacket. But as he used to say, “That is Libel per se, and we will be magically tunneling through the internet to serve you with papers!”. Ah those incredible memories.

  6. JC,
    I think the NCAA finally stepped in because after letting money get in the way of principle, it realized that a totally corrupt system was either going to get government scrutiny, or was going to self destruct and lose marketability.
    I do think Haden made a difference as well. USC will compete, but may take years to learn the formula that ND, Stanford and to some degree, Northwestern have learned. Our economy now has parents understanding that the education is a critical part of the formula, because let’s face it, once the athlete isn’t playing, they aren’t going to get extra breaks.
    I agree with you regarding the lack of memory on the posts. But then go on ESPN or Fox and you will still see an overwhelming volume of posts hating Notre Dame. Many come from SEC bandwagoners. And many make fun of the Catholic Church. It is important not to forget how bad it has been for Catholics, and Irish as one of several oppressed minorities in America historically. We need to keep our wagons circled and make sure all minorities who are members of our community are made to feel part of us. And we need to realize that there is no good reason for the imbalance of hate for Notre Dame. Either it’s bigotry, or fear of challenging the corrupt system. Either way we need to stick together.

  7. C-Dog,

    It’s been 5 or 6 years since the USC trolls were jackhammering us on a daily basis with their Cro-Magnon Man Dysfunctionalism. Even Frank and Kyle would come down out of the tower to help defend the home turf. We definitely had our own World War III going on here. I vividly remember the delete button nailing a few of them too. Hahaha!

    Do you thing the NCAA finally made a difference? Or Pat Hayden or both?
    What’s your take on how we stack-up against USC with Golson gone for the year?

    Further, I don’t think some of these young posters understand how much despicable and unspeakable vile smack they were slinging against us in those days.

    It is sure nice to be 12-1 and a very quite troll enviroment for moment! Ah yes, nothing lasts forever!

    Here come our beloved Irish! Foxsports 1 – Regis & Lou & Allen Pinkett!

    1. C-Dog,

      He released the following statement dated May 28th:

      “I will be coming out with a statement soon regarding my situation as speculation
      keeps moving further and further from anything resembling the truth in this,” said Vanderdoes.

      If the Truth is he is going to attend ND when he signed his LOI, then this statement is good news.

      It leads me to believe that ND is still his final destination.
      If you look around, any player who is changing or transfering has already stated as much.

      1. SFR,

        The last time he spoke to the media was a week ago.

        It was at that time that he said that he would be making a statement to clarify his situation very soon.

        Some players have already returned to campus for summer workouts.

        Freshmen are exspected to arrive in two weeks.

        I guess we will know by then.

  8. This will be a certain test of Kelly’s ability to coach. Dealing with these sorts of issues and still succeeding is what the best coaches do. Now, I don’t set the bar at getting back to the national championship game, but……

    I expect no less than 9 wins. I would not gripe if they get 10 or more, certainly.

    The defense should still keep opponents under 20 points.

    I expect an offense that may be less explosive, but give that the players are now within the system, this offense should be more consistent than last year’s team.

    The running game better improve. George Atkinson III. This better be his year.

    Unknowns better step up. And no one can afford to get a big head.

    1. I think that the defense, qualitatively, will be SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED over 2012.

      Tuitt and Nix will move up another level, and DAy, in my humble opinion, is right now a more effective player, more gifted, than KLM.

      The linebacking crew is deep and experienced. They have taken a lot of snaps, they are athletic and they are long. They are also joined in a few weeks by Jaylon Smith. Because of the richness and depth of the depth chart, Diaco has the luxury of using Smith as a situational sniper, in limited, but highly effective

      The secondary is miles ahead. Jackson can now, post surgery, play with both arms. Russell is just now celebrating his first anniversary as a cornerback, and had

    2. I expect the defense to be much improved. Tuitt and Nix were in their first years as starters last year (Nix split with Cwynar in ’11) Nix is off getting fit inthe desert
      with Neal’s father.

      Sheldon Day is very gifted, and he,I would contend will be more effective than KLM was at the same time last year. That may be a minority opinion, but Day is a playmaker, and you will see it this year. Williams adds to Schwenke, Springman and Jarron Jones to provide enough, but not daunting, depth.

      The depth and experience at linebacker has not been seen before at Notre Dame. They are long and athletic and have taken a lot of snaps. I mean, the depth? Romeo freakin’ Okwara is third string. Next month, Jaylon Smith arrives. Because of the luxury of depth, Diaco can use Smith as a situational sniper, in key situations and plays, without him mastering the whole complex defensive playbook.

      The secondary is massively improved at three positions. Russell is just celebrating his first anniversary as a cornerback, and is not the
      rookie who got toasted against Navy in Dublin.
      Jackson, post surgery, will play with two functioning arms, helping him in tackling and pass coverage. Lo Wood is a good nickel. And ask yourself: Will Cole Luke be ableto contribute as much as the fourth conrnerback as Russell did as a starter?

      Motta will be a big loss,but Farley is now blooded, experienced. Collinsworth is experienced, Baratti is a comer, and Shumate will soon be an outstanding safety.
      One more word: Redfield.

      The depth and experience at the secondary positions allows more flexibility in the front seven.

      Diaco loves a challenge. I’m guessing that kelly and he already have discussed how the defense must compensate for the absence of Golson.

      This defense will be awesome.

      Michigan is the key game. Beat them and much is possible.

  9. QB’S and rating/speculating/projecting their performance on the field before a season is guesswork unless you’re Edgar Cayce.

  10. I don’t get the BK is no good thing. We went to the national championship game. The last time ND was at a NC game was over 20 years ago. They didn’t have a good showing there, but Kelly and co. are working on the defense, something ND has not had in close to eons. ND’s defense is the real deal here. The offensive line is something to be respected now.

    I mean, do you really think for one moment you are going to get something better. Hypothetically, if ND were to fire Kelly, first the rest of the country would be WTF. And what coach would be idiot enough to want to work for ND then. Here you have a coach of a team that goes to an NC game for the first time in 25 years and you fire him. Get a grip people.

    Kelly is the real deal. He is going after the recruits ND needs to be SEC caliber on the field, while still sticking to what makes ND unique (insisting on academics, discipline, etc.). He is getting many of the recruits he needs, though like anything in life, you can’t get everything you want. When we lose out on a recruit, they seem to get a recruit to take their place, sometimes equally as good. The defense is potent now, I can’t remember the last time that happened. And Kelly has shown a willingness to adapt. He was much calmer with his players last year then the year before. That’s also a key to being a great coach, to know enough to know when something is not working, and adapt.

    Losing your starting quarterback hurts. There’s no way around that. Kelly is going to have his hands full. The only good that will come of it might be that now the expectations will be lowered. In a sense, there will be less pressure on the team, and if they do have a successful year, it will look all the better.

    1. Kelly has no say in the academic side of things. That’s ND as a whole. Kelly is arrogant and not humble in any way. What coach who truly loves ND and the ND way of things takes a team to the title game and immediately takes a very public interview with the NFL. And I love how he gets the credit for “fixing” the defense. Those are Weis recruits and are Diaco coached. In fact I think Bob Diaco has done more for the program than Kelly has in the last three seasons.

      1. Not humble?? You know him on a personal level?? Also, what person in any profession doesn’t want to move to the top of thier field?? He went 12-1, continuing to show how good he is as a coach, and got interest from an organization that represents the highest level in his chosen profession. What sane person wouldn’t listen to what they had to say?? You can’t call him arrogant for looking at bettering his carrer.

        Also, Diaco was brought in by Kelly because Kelly knew how good he was. A great leader brings in great people. I would say that everything positive since Kelly has gotten there is a direct result of how good of a head coach he is.

      2. If we win 8 games this year it will be a miracle. In the last 30 years we have never had an offseason like this. In fact we have never had 3 straight offseasons like we have had. Arrests, rape cases, defections and distractions. The defense will not be better than last year and the offense will be much worse. Hang on everyone it’s going to be a bumpy road.

      3. The mark of a humble man (as Eliot wrote, when men, talk to me not of their deeds, but their humility, for humility is endless.)

        Kelly’s reaction after his first game against Stanford was instructive and eloquent about his humility. He didn’tdissemble about the loss but rather held up Stanford as a model for what he wanted his program to become.

        Kelly talks with an empowering respect about the players in his program. He can express admiration for a player while still maintaining discipline and commmanding respect.

        He respects and empowers his assistant coaches.Do you not find it unusual that all the assistants are returning this year?

        And yeah, Matt, you’re wrong on the facts. Just go back to the offseason of ’89, Stonebreaker, Rausch, Foley, Ale, Williams and Brooks.

        And can you, Matt, fact based genius that you are, give me the docket number of the “rape case(s) (sic)” that you reference? Surely, you can back up your allegations.

        We’ll win more than 8 games.

        Your allegation of bumpiness must be a product of your own self-phrenology.

        Bump this!

      4. Thank you Matt for your continued uplifting comments and upbeat attitude.

        – Tony Robbins

      5. It is true that the defense will not be better and the offense will much worst, and let us not forget,
        one does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash, and dust where the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.
        And now we hear that Sauron, the witch king of Agmaar, and Sarrowman have joined forces against us.
        But we cannot seek the help of the Dwarfs, they dwell in their caves seeking riches and thinking nothing of others.
        If we could just get our hands on that damn ring… that one National Championship ring… the one ring to rule them all!

      6. Prince Shembo? Elizabeth Seeberg you know the girl who killed herself? Or because that was all swept under the rug that doesn’t matter duranko? The 89 team also had enough depth to handle the loss of those 5 players. As we clearly saw against Bama we do not have depth (just like most of your posts on here). Kelly’s comments after the loss the Tulsa “I’d make the call again” that’s when I knew he was arrogant. That week in itself is where he lost me as a fan. He took zero accountability for the that tragedy. But I guess winning just fixes everything in your small minded world duranko. Glad to see you have your priorities in line.

      7. How could You forget the despicable 2011 “J-Walking” incident when campus police let Kelly off with just a warning?

        It was in all the local church bulletins?

      8. Matt, you just think, write and post sloppily. That’s fine, it’s a website not a court of law.

        Let me help you out, young fella.

        Your post mentioned “rape cases” That clear meaning is that there were charges and litigation regarding multiple rape CASES. True or False?

        I don’t take Ms Seeberg’s demise lightly at all.
        But can you tell me why Notre Dame backed away from Yuri Wright? do you know that answer?

        Second, son, you don’t count well, and you don’t defend your positions. I mentioned six players in ’89. Go back and count them you need the work.

        And you backed off your initial comment when I proved you wrong.

        You have issues, discipline and logic among them. You emote rather than analyze, and you substitute personal anger and criticism for thought and analysis.

        Criticize away at me. I’m comfy with it.

      9. Matt,

        First of all the Rape allegation a name was never released, so how do you know it was Shembo? Who is your source? Do you have factual information to back this up? I am not commenting on Ms. Seeberg’s demise, but before you slander a player’s name get your sources and facts together. Until he is charged or even a formal investigation is completed concerning him I would not make those allegations.

        Second, BK is doing a good job, not great but good. If he was doing a great job ND would have won a NC. He has taken a program with no depth and created depth. Under CW if ND loses their starting QB they would have been dead in teh water. BK has three scholarship options. Remember what happened when ND lost their starter in 2002, they played a walk on Pat Dillingham and lost to BC. It takes time to correct 15 yrs of sub par coaching and recruiting.

  11. Who want’s a late night talk show host for a coach anyway?

    Besides, he’s got a sweet gig since taking over for David Letterman!

  12. Burn it down??? Tell me the last coach to have three 8 win seasons in his first three years at the school. Tell me one school he left in worse shape than when he got there. Tell me one coach who could do a better job at Notre Dame than Kelly.

    1. I think there are plenty of coaches who could do a better job than what Kelly is doing here. Tell me why every season we have some crisis that needs major damage control??? The tragedy of Declan Sullivan, Prince Shembo’s rape case, lots of high profile player transfers, and this entire offseason! Just because a coach wins the Sun Bowl and then loses his next two bowl appearances doesn’t fix all of those distractions. I can’t remember when so much of the press the program received was either for a scandal or tragedy or to fix said scandal or tragedy. Kelly is in over his head.

      1. Matt,

        You forgot to mention that Kelly is the only coach who had #1 rated football team and the #1 rated academic football team at the same time.

        He has a winning percentage at ND over 70%.

        He totally fixed our defense that has haunted us for years.

        I’m with you, he’s in over his head.

  13. I love how some people think Tommy Rees did all that winning on his own. Not that he had two nfl talent receivers to throw to at the time (Floyd and Eifert). In fact 65% of his TD’s in his career went to those two targets. His true talent level will show this year and it will be utterly unacceptable.

    As far as it goes for BK, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Even though at times we seem to be taking a step forward as a program, we immediately take two steps back. It will be a miracle if BK doesn’t completely burn ND down in his tenure. He is in way over his head and I would much rather see him screw up the Philadelphia Eagles than my beloved Fighting Irish.

    1. Matt, I agree with your first comments about Rees.

      However, your second comments about Kelly are just flat stupid.

    2. Football is a team sport — although Rees got support from NFL receivers the past two years. This season’s defense will be MUCH better which will require even less points out of the QB position

    3. Some data points about Rees

      In three years his completion percentage went from
      2010 61%
      2011 65’5%
      2012 69.4%

      His frequency of interception went from
      2010 1 every 12.5 passes
      2011 1 every 19 passes
      2012 1 every 17 passes

      Clearly, there was a statistical backslide in interceptions in 2012

      yards per completion
      2010 11 yards per completion
      2011 10.7 yards per completion
      2012 12.8 yards per completion

      It’s a satisfying arc of improvement (at least to some)

      But the wild card is that he played the first two years under Molnar. Now, Kelly is more comfortable with Chuck Martin. He and Martin have all summer and Fall to shape and engineer the offense to leverage Rees’ skill set and to minimize exposure to his weaknesses.

      Well, if it’s a briar patch, you can feel free to throw me in there with Rees, Kelly and Martin.

      1. Duranko,

        The question I have is can Tommy knock off the stupid turnovers. If that occurs he will be fine, if not ND is in trouble. Also, how does he move the team inside the 20. He had issues with that prior and that is where a lot of his stupid mistakes came. No Floyd or Eifert to try and force the ball too.

        I think Tommy figures it out and with an improved O-line play this offense can be really good.

      2. Jack, I’m about to beg the question, but my observation is that 90-95% of quarterbacks improve statistically and in terms of ball control over their career.

        For the first time, he is the quarterback designee. unlike 2010 and 2011 when he was behind Crist. When last he played Floyd and Eifert were the only real options. Daniels and TJ proved themselves against the Tide.
        Bryant, Carlisle and Folston have receiving ability. Don’t sleep on Prosise.

        There’s another factor, in that Rees got his turn at relief pitcher last year, while Golson remained the starter. So Tommy now has the DNA strands that will let him be comfy as starter while being strategically replaced in special situations by Henrix or Zaire or both.

        This is a lot different from the situation when Crist got injured against Tulsa.

        I am more sanguine about the TES than most.Koyack had a good spring catching the ball, and Niklas is a genuine

        I remember watching Cincy when Pike got hurt and Kelly popped the clutch to Collaros. It was exhilirating.

        Kelly, and martin, will have Rees’ back.

        Again, if we can eke one out on 9/7, it could be interesting.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure Gunner would have stepped right in and lead us to the national championship. Get a grip dude!

    2. Not to worry bj, there is a way we can still Red Shirt Zaire, and win football games even without “never thrown a pass in College” Kiel.

      How is this even remotely possible you say?

      O Ye of little faith…

      It’s because we have another sophmore QB waiting in the wings to step in for the departed GUNNER and who also happens to bring just as much playing, and clip board carring experience.

      Perhaps you have heard of him?…. his name is Charlie Fiessinger,(#17) or sometimes known as the Fiessinator, or the Fiessenruttiger, or Chuckie F, or the Fiessin-upper, or the Fiessmaster, or F’n Charlie, or the “C-F” Express, or Charles -in-Charge, or…

      Well, even if Chuckin Chuck isn’t ready for prime time, lets not forget that Louis Nix looked pretty darn impressive at QB during the spring game!

      Now don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!

  14. Neglected in this thread so far is a discussion about Vanderdoes wavering.

    Why would Vanderdoes have signed a LOI if he had that many doubts
    as to whether he should attend ND or not?

    Any of his top choices would have held on to a scholarship for him,
    including us.

    Did UCLA continue to recruit him after he signed-
    what could go so wrong and fuel so much uncertainty for him
    in just weeks after committing?

    Wasn’t he supposed to be arriving in less than three weeks? (June 17th?)

    I look forward to the story once he makes his final decision. Hopefully,
    its just about a young man having doubts about leaving California
    but ultimately deciding to go with his first instincts and at least trying it out.

    Either way, let’s not attack him if it doesn’t go our way.
    Unless we discover tampering with our recruit after he already signed his letter of intent.
    Then we need to go after the cheating scoundrels who were involved.

  15. Hey.. At least this time he didn’t strike us down as heathens and condem us to the firery pits of hell!

    So we got that going for us.

      1. Careful storespook! You risk being victimized by a patented “princess on pea” personal attack by our acerbic resident football professor! Hahahaha!

        I’m proud to know you!


        In all seriousness…

        “It’s easy to grin
        when your ship finally comes in,
        and now you’ve got the stock market beat.

        But the man worth his while
        is the man who can smile
        when his shorts are too tight in the seat”.

        Okay, pookie. Do the honors!

  16. Well, top of the day to our very own resident megalomanical snob, professor duranko! Have you had your medication today? Hmmm….outright invidious harassment seems to be your perpetual forte lately. Hahaha! Who peed in your Post-Tostie’s today? You seem academically indignant and out of sorts? Imagine that, nice weasel wording professor.

    How dare our posters to not confine in your conformity and control. If we affend you…you definately neeeeeeeeeeeed it! You bring new meaning to righteous indignantion.

    1. I see it’s not called Duranko.com, at least not yet. The only swill I find is in the backwash in a warm bottle of Old Milwaukee beer. I don’t proclaim myself as a know it all nor claim I know more than Mr.Kelly, I’m only a die hard fan of ND football like most others who post on this site-which is what the site is FOR! Actually, Mr. Duranko engages in the very same thing he seems to be criticizing what others do, only his self proclaimed pronouncements apparently are the only ones not considered swill, hahahahahahaahahahahaha.Pretty damned arrogant if you ask me. You and Shaz express the point very well. Oh well, I respect Mr. Duranko’s opinion, even if I disagree with his post.

      Go Irishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  17. Not your average Swill…

    Charlie Weis got paid more by the University of ND in 2011 than it’s actual head football coach…. Brian Kelly!

    By aprox.$967k

    That’s a lot of banana’s!

    Ahhh So… “monkey chatter then hurl fecal matter”

    -Whoo Flung Phoo-

    1. Amen Shaz,

      Hahaha! I thought you would come up for air! Carry-on, great stuff as always. Damn, I love your humor! Hahahaha!

  18. Golson didn’t play a varsity down either until last year. Kelly started him and built him as a QB as the season went on and look what happened. Is this not the exact same situation Zaire is in with almost the same physical capabilities, only maybe even better? He is an early enrollee and has had all Spring and summer to learn the offense. We know what Rees is and there is no way we win a NC with him starting. If a New Year’s day bowl game victory is satisfying for all of you ND fans, well then be happy with Rees as your starting QB.

    Build Zaire now…even if you lose a couple games because he is making mistakes, well he is the future. Rees is gone next year and you know we are going to lose some games with him at QB anyway. We don’t have the running backs this year to get the job done, or a security blanket at TE which Rees threw to almost every pass attempt last year.

    It’s pretty simple to me. I love Kelly as a coach. I think he is the best. It doesn’t matter what decision he makes to me as I will fully support it and be an awesome ND fan regardless. My opinion is the let the highest ceiling of potential QB to play now, just like last year.

  19. I am so relieved that Kelly is our coach.

    The swill meandering in this post merely underlines why coaches get paid six figures (seven, if Swarbrick would get the lead out of his torpor) and posters post.

    Not to go all deja vu, but this reminds me of when posters similar to the motley crew above made Dayne Crist a Joan of Arc, a victim of epic proportion, cursed and unappreciated by Kelly. Well, Dayne got his chnce in Lawrence. How did that work out?

    but, you know maybe all these geniuses in this thread are right.

    Maybe Kelly is just a blithering idiot and wears a blindfold at practice. Maybe the reords have been doctored. Maybe Rees did not start all those games. Maybe he didn’t win all those games, including a bowl game.
    Maybe Zaire (is there anyone so revered as a quarterback who has never played a varsity down?) can do what Manziel, Luck and Tebow did not do: start as a true frosh.

    Ah, the adults are in charge. Keep Kelly in charge of the football team, and let the chattering monkeys chatter and peel bananas and logic in their cages.

  20. Beyond the Harvard debate team who should start? Breathtakingly, the good news is…academic and personal growth is alive and well at ND! Thank you Heavenly Father!

    Here come our beloved Irish! Foxsports 1 – Regis & Lou!

  21. Wow. This really stinks. What to do. They have a strong team otherwise. Kelly needs to find a way to make this work. I don’t envy him the challenge.

    I’m wondering if he should roll the dice with Hendrix, with Rees backing him up, much like last year with Golson. Hendrix is more similar to Golson than Rees and allows Kelly to play his system more. Zaire has great potential, but it’s really not fair to throw a true freshman in that kind of situation. He needs time to prepare for playing football at ND.

    I’d at least try Hendrix at the Temple game to see what he brings to the table in a starter capacity. ND should be able to beat Temple, and he can always go to Rees if Hendrix really struggles. But that would at least give Kelly a chance to see if Hendrix has potential.

    Rees has plateaud. We’ve seen what he brings and I don’t think you’ll do much better than 8-4 or 9-3 with him. He seemed to excel more in the back-up role.

    So in the end, I’d at least try Hendrix with Temple since he has some of the same qualities as Golson. Then just take it week to week and if Hendrix were to continue to do well, he’d be more confident in the role and that will reflect in the play.

  22. You have to play the QB who will give you the best chance of winning all 12 games. Good athletic defenses will not respect Rees as a runner and will drop 8 into coverage just like always. Also, he doesn’t have the arm to make all of the throws. It’s not hard to gameplan around Rees. Hendrix has no accuracy and no head on his shoulders.

    Zaire is the most complete QB we have physically. He can run, he has a very strong arm, and Kelly has already praised his knowledge of reading defensive coverages. I think he said the best he has ever seen for a freshman. I don’t care if he doesn’t have any college experience. He has the most potential (just like Golson did last year) and could come out and light it up. With a defense like ours, why wouldn’t you develop a guy like this now instead of playing a ‘game manager’ like Rees.

    1. Amen Chris,

      You either have it or you don’t! Zaire has the “IT” factor! Just like Golson only in a bigger and more durable package!

      Too many people on this site not willing see us again outside our comfort zone??

      Interestingly enough, BK already proved he can bring an inexperience QB along in a fine manner. I am not worried….Zaire’s the man! This year! More importantly, I know BK is not worried either. Ah…next-man-in!

      Sit back relax guys and enjoy the deep and new talent!

      Here come our beloved Irish! Foxsports 1 – Regis & Lou!

    2. If teams drop 8 into coverage ND should be able to pound the ball down anyone’s throat. The whole idea that ND can’t win with Rees is pretty stupid. When Rees was a soph, he made too many bad decisions and turned the ball over too much. It’s that simple. If he has matured from his soph season to his SR season so that he makes better decisions with the ball, there is no reason ND can’t be successful. Too many people want to define Rees by what he was as a soph. It isn’t fair. For comparison, Jimmy Clausen threw more INTs as a soph than Rees did. For further comparison, Rees’s QB rating as a soph was better Golson’s as a soph. Zaire is unlikely to be ready to play as a FR, just as Golson wasn’t ready to play as a FR. Rees appears to be ND’s QB now. How about supporting him?

      1. Teams only drop 8 on obvious passing downs, so your premise doesn’t carry much weight. Also Claussen threw it a heck of a lot more than Rees so it stands to reason he would have more picks.

        I’m sure BK will pick the best guy for the job.

      2. I agree. Isn’t Rees 12 or 13 and 8 as a starter? He stepped in repeatedly and got the job done in a variety of fashions. If they decide to drop 8 we will exploit the hell out of them on the ground. When the honest up, then will will kill them in air with a controlled passing attack. Rees might no be as gifted, but he’s a player with moxie that proves he can win under an array of diverse situations.

  23. We will be fine. Tommy has always been able to produce and should be even better. AH has always been an athlete with potential and I think Zaire is ahead of Golson at this point in his career. As long as we mix up the plays our line will be good enough to make holes for our running backs who are potentially great.

  24. “As much fun as the 2012 season was, the off-season has done significant damage to the positive momentum that should have carried over to the 2013.”

    I respectfully have to disagree with you here. It appears currently that discipline especially in ‘top tier’ athletic programs is systematically victimized + sabotaged.

  25. I’m not writing the year off, but, let’s be a little realistic. A TR/AH/MZ (take your choice) led offense will not be the same as an EG led offense. Had EG been ready for the fall, the offense would have been more prepared. Now we have questions regarding who will step up at WR, questions about RB’s and now questions about QB regarding who will be the one to step up. TR was good in cleanup last year, but, he definitely has been figured out by opposing defenses and in the long haul, he’s not it. If we have a real “ball busting” RB produce, I’d feel a little different. The spring game didn’t exactly seem to indicate this. Martin likes to run so maybe there will be more incentive by the RB’s to produce.

    Go ND

  26. It is time for all QBs on the team to step up and show leadership. That means making themselves ready. And that means accepting whatever happens in the moment because who knows what will turn up. If it’s Rees, then more power to him. He’s been admirable given the circumstances, as was Crist. Frankly, he could use a little sports psychology to get him over some of his game demons. But he could run the offense for now.
    Hendrx needs to improve his accuracy and learn the offense. Kelly will need him. Zaire should be held back. Golson was the plan and putting another freshman in the hot seat risks the same issues of “fame too early”.
    Golson obviously was not ready for the spot light. He has taken responsibility and that is a good sign. Kelly should do all the kids a favor and make sure, especially at QB that they are ready, not just in X’s and O’s, but in terms of dealing with the fame and responsibility that comes with it.

  27. I am in complete agreement with this article and do not feel it is the end of the world. The key to this whole argument is talent and depth. This is not the same ND of years past, it is a COMPLETE team with lots of talent and more importantly, depth.

    Think about it, when ND lost Quinn, the had no experience at QB. When they lost Clausen, they had no experience at QB. Now they lose Golson and they have a Senior with a lot of experience and a back-up with some experience.

    I’m confident Kelly and Martin will have a plan for this and ND will have another banner year.

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