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  • IBG: A Devil of a Time

    by Mike Coffey

    Irish Blogger GatheringWith the hangover of the Oklahoma loss still lingering, I managed to break through the ennui and come up with five … er, three questions for Aaron Horvath over at Strong and True, and he’s shared his thoughts with me below. My inquisitor this week was Irish Insider’s Keith Arnold, so check out my responses there. The other exchanges between the usual suspects can be read at Subway Domer, UHND, and Her Loyal Sons.

    Do you agree with the decision to keep the redshirt on Malik Zaire? Why or why not?

    Whatever the coaches decide about the quarterback position I strongly back. Fans have had the opportunity to watch the Irish play five games, 20 quarters. The coaches have had all of spring and fall to decide who the quarterback should be. On top of that they know just a little bit more than we do about football.

    This question really makes me laugh sometime because it all comes down to the age old thought, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” No matter who the quarterback is, Notre Dame fans will have problems with the quarterback even if the team goes 12-0 and loses in the national title game.

    The defense continues to have problems this season. What are two things you hope to see from them as the season continues?

    As the season continues I hope the Irish defense continues the strides it has made the past few weeks. The first thing I hope to see from the defense as we enter the sixth game of the season is pressure on the quarterback. Secondly, I want to see more bump coverage from the corners. This is just a personal preference and I understand that if the defensive coaches would rather have the corners off the line of scrimmage it has to line up with the game plan and to cover up other players or to lessen the impact of an opposing teams’ top player.

    What’s your position on the Alma Mater kerfluffle that has blown up in the Observer?

    This Alma Mater craziness is way overblown. First off, some of the former players have talked on twitter about how the team doesn’t stop playing when a student leaves, but honestly I don’t care about any of this.

    My personal thought on this is “who cares?” If you are a student you support your football team. I don’t remember once booing my team as a student at IU on the gridiron or during a six-win season in basketball. It is a complete joke in and of itself.

    While I have the ability to have an avenue to talk about this, the language that was yelled from the student section and other sections of the stadium at specific players was appalling. These kids are your classmates or in the case of the non-students, 18-22 year olds. This was just sad.

    So in ending, does anyone not remember that the Irish went 12-0 last regular season? Some Irish fans just disgust me.

    19 Responses to “IBG: A Devil of a Time”

    1. no Zaire should play some. Why ? To get game experince–What if Golson does not come? Nothing is certain except death and taxes as we know. Lets see what he is under game situations. I have a bad feeling about the remainder of the season. I went to my first ND game when Frank Leahey was on the sideline. I have had a lot of joy and tears. We have NEVER had a really good team without a good QB. GO ND

      • Avon Domer says:

        As much as I want to see Malik play (I’d rather see mistakes from a talented freshman with the skills to run Kelly’s spread offense than witnessing the errors we’re currently seeing from a senior) Kelly is wedded to Tommy and that’s all there is to it. Besides, I don’t want to see Malik spend a valuable year of eligibility by just making a few random appearances this season. If we can avoid that from happening, Malik will have two full years of eligibility when Golson leaves, and I don’t want to see that spoiled.

    2. […] Domer asks Her Loyal Sons ND Nation asks @NDSportsBlogger Her Loyal Sons asks UHND Inside the Irish asks ND Nation UHND asks Inside the […]

    3. Frank’s right about giving Zaire game experience. As to the Alma Mater blowup, our alma mater is a sacred thing to us. It is very personal. It is our pledge to Our Lady. Showing it every week being sung in “Cumbaya” style is too commercial for me, kinda sappy.

    4. Obviously, coaches know more about a player than we who observe from the sidelines. However, it is also quite clear and obvious, that coaches get it wrong. Many of us believe that BK has made the wrong choice – the evidence is in the actual game results. These are not disputable. These are facts.
      Obviously, one can make an assessment of a player’s ability prior to real game action. However, it is equally true that a player, given actual live action againist an opponent, might well rise to the occasion and excel beyond the coache’s expectation. Also, the facts show that some freshman QBS, given the opportunity, excel (Johnny Manziel is the poster boy). Such a move, could energize a team that, up to this point, needs something to motivate a higher calibre of play.
      Given the current situation, those of us who “armchair quarterback”, realize that a multi threat QB is an essential element of modern day football. In fact, the quarterback is numero uno. Without a top rate threat on the field the team remains mediocre (there might be exceptions to this). For this reason, and others, we believe Malik should be given the opportunity. It is not clear to us as to why he is being held back (BK has not given sufficient reason for holding him back at least as far as I can determine). The immediacy of the moment requires the best NOW in order to give this team an opportunity to salvage the year. Is BK saying that Malik is not good enough, that he does not sufficiently know the system, that he’s too weak from his bout with mono, that he wants to redshirt him for down the road??
      My hope, of course, is the path BK has chosen – keeping TR as starting QB, while giving AH an enhanced, package, works. Perhaps, if this choice produces negative results in the early going, we’ll get a reversal. Looking forward to seeing what happens. Go Irish!

      • You know that Manziel didn’t play until his sophomore year, right? Took a year to learn to offense. His example would seem to support keeping Zaire on the bench.

        • You’re right Dan. My mistake. However, true freshman do play and do succeed. BK might be right in not playing him. However, as far as I know, he hasn’t said the reason I’m not playing him is that he doesn’t know the system. In fact, he has stated that if one of the QBS go down he would play him. Also, obviously, he’d create a game plan that would be suitable for him at this point in his development. Still, would like to see him on the field.

      • Right! “On top of that they know just a little bit more than we do about football.” is such a rediculous statement. Basically it says we fans cannot critize coaches. I bet Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis (not that Im comparing them to Kelly, Im definitley not) know alot more about football than me too!

    5. Not sure why the Irish defense let the the dump off pass in the flat to continue and to continue successfully all game long. Whenever they needed 6-8 yards the receiver was wide open with no one to contain. It became a bit of joke in the stands. Overall, the Irish looked undercoached, not particularly performing well in any endeavor. It’s amazing how many teams in college football seem to have a qb who can pass and run successfully. It’s astounding to me that Senior Hendrix has not been developed enough to be trusted at the helm. Obviously, he’s smart and has talent. How successful would he be in another program?

      • Tom Morrison says:

        Hendrix has had mulitple chances to win the QB job over the past several years. Perhaps he has already been developed as much as his ceiling allows. Saw him play at Moeller in Cincinnati. Wasn’t overly impressed then, not impressed now. To answer your question, he would have about the same amount of success at another program than at ND….limited.

    6. What an atrocious answer to the first question. Have an opinion…

      • I believe that Tommy Rees was the best option for us at quarterback this season. Because of a variety of factors: experience, knowledge of the offense, prior success at the position, etc. The problem is that we are misusing him. Tommy (and more importantly – the offense) has been very successful when we use our 2 TE formations, establish a run game (which have been able to do from 2 TE), and play action pass to keep the defense off-balance.

    7. […] Domer asks Her Loyal Sons ND Nation asks @NDSportsBlogger Her Loyal Sons asks UHND Inside the Irish asks ND Nation UHND asks Inside the […]

    8. The defense has been abused by the same passing strategy for the past five games straight, i.e. getting dinked by short passes on the corners or out of the backfield so many times each game. Why haven’t our defensive geniuses adjusted for that yet, or are we really too slow on the corners with our DEs and LBs?

    9. I see the same result this week just like last week if we don’t:

      1. Give Tommy time to throw
      2. Coaching is better
      3. Team comes out with a chip on their shoulder and prove last week
      was a fluke.
      4. Stick with the running game and let GAIII run wild!!!
      5. D needs to step up and make some plays….hint hint…Nix Tuitt,
      Calabrase and Fox!!!
      6. Start implementing the new young talent we have sitting on the
      sidelines!!!!
      7. If special teams play error free!!!!

    10. We must be the easiest team to coach against. I don’t think it matters who our qb is on the field the defense seems to know what play we’re going to run and we have to fight for every yard we get. As for our defense, the bend but don’t break attitude isn’t getting it done. If we can’t get pressure on qb’s, this weekend could be ugly. Our defense needs to stunt around more instead of lining up like blocking dummies.

    11. When/if Golson returns, the question becomes who will be the backup QB in the event he suffers another concussion or other injury. Everything points to that being Zaire since Hendrix (should he stay for a 5th year) has yet to show he is a viable option. In my opinion, that is the major reason to give him game experience now. It also might yield a better outcome for this season.

      Since it was evident to the coaches that it would be left to Rees and Hendrix to fill the QB role this year, they should have been able to design an offense that put him under center with 1 or 2 RBs that would present a more balanced mix of runs and passes for opponents to contend with. Tommy’s limited mobility would have been less of a handicap, and we could have tapped one of our strengths (RB talent) to greater advantage. I don’t think this would have damaged Zaire’s or anybody else’s development for next season when there should be a more mobile QB with the options that offers.

      BTW, Georgia, Bama, Ohio State, and Oregon (to name a few) use their RBs a lot with strong QBs and solid passing games. The same is true for Denver, NE, Detroit, Seattle, etc. in the NFL. Someone on the Irish staff may want to ponder that.

    12. […] You can see my answers over with Subway Domer. Also be sure to check out other IBG entries at NDN, Inside the Irish, and Strong and […]

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