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NDNation.com Staff: Scott Engler - Michael Cash - John Vannie - Mike Coffey - Kayo - Bacchus

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Memo to Jack: Fix It

posted by Mike Coffey
For those who do not frequent the NDNation message boards, this was posted by a former Notre Dame player as a commentary on the current state of the program.

I don’t post to NDNATION often, but read it daily. Before anyone dismisses this as another “internet wacko” post, know this…

I am a proud member of the 1988 National Championship team; I was on the team in 1985 when we were abused and embarrassed by Miami. I was also on the team that beat Miami three years later. I am a part of its proud heritage. I wear a National Championship ring. I have a stake in Notre Dame. I have talked to many of my teammates who feel as I do. We never lost to USC.

Sadly, I am also embarrassed by what Notre Dame football has become. For the past 12 years, Notre Dame football has wallowed in mediocrity. The performance of the football team the last two years is not only historically far below standard; it is far below the talent level on the current team. This team is under-performing. I refuse to blame the players.

I’ve seen what failure looks like, and I’ve seen what excellence looks like. There are many symptoms of this under-performance, but the root cause is leadership. All of the great Notre Dame teams had the following in common: they were tough SOBs—they were physically and mentally tough, and fundamentally sound.

It is no accident that Anthony Johnson, a fullback on our team, would knock down the edge every single time. Not once in a while, not occasionally, every single time! Think about that and compare it to our current play. He was tough, and he was taught how to block. Oh yeah, and the man never, never lost yards when given the ball. Was Anthony Johnson a heralded recruit?—do some research.

Can youth and inexperience explain under-performance? Ask Mike Heldt, Dean Brown, Tim Ryan (a converted LB), Andy Heck (a converted TE), and Tim Grunhard.

I’ve seen great teaching and fundamental development on the football field, from Lou, to Joe Moore, to Pete Cordelli, to Barry Alvarez.

Is the situation hopeless? I don’t think so. Here is what needs to be done and needs to be done now.

The recipe for success at Notre Dame is simple:

First, find a great coach, with a proven track record of having his teams playing at (in the case of great programs) or above their historical level of performance, and get the hell out of his way. It works every time. Refuse to settle for less. When Lou was forced out, the replacements ... Wannstedt, Barnett, and Davie --- are you kidding me? Willingham? Are you seriously kidding me?

Second, Notre Dame’s identity has historically been one of hard work, discipline, toughness—what though the odds. That needs to be a part of all future teams. No more Bob “all ball” Davie, no more Ty “deer in the headlights” Willingham, and no more transparent “good cop, bad cop”, or “I am going to be more accessible to the players”, and personnel groupings shenanigans. Here’s a good rule of thumb—speak softly, but carry a big stick.

We should be able to line up, point to where we are running the ball and gain 3 yards-with any and all personnel. On that point, it was not uncommon for Lou to replace the entire 1st team OL with the 2nd team OL if they were under-performing just to send a shot across the bow (and to give Joe M. a crack at them).

We should have a coach who can maintain at or near an .800 winning percentage (as a goal). That means beating Navy, Air Force, Army, SD State (puke), Nevada (Puke), Syracuse (in its current state), 100% of time. That means beating the likes of Purdue, Boston College, and Pitt 90 percent of the time. That means beating Michigan and USC at least 50% of the time. Please, to all, no more of the dumb-downed expectations.

We should never, ever dumb down expectations. Let’s be clear, very clear to all what the minimum expectation should be every year—9-3. In fact, 9-3 is a sub-par season for Notre Dame…period! Anything below 9-3 should cause concern, serious concern. We should be a perennial top 10 program and in the BCS discussion every 4 out of 5 years. An occasional reloading year (8-4) is acceptable as long as the trajectory is clear.

To NDNATION, please keep the pressure on.

Remember, we are (and always will be) the Fighting Irish.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!! Well put!!!!

12/10/2008 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should all the blame be put on the coaches? It's football, these young men have been playing the game for most of their lives. Yet watching the games the offensive line does not finish a block. In fact no one "finishes" a block, not the fullbacks not the tailbacks, no one! AJ wanted to be a great football player that is why he hit everyone that he saw. Not just hit them but buried them into the turf when he could. The team is soft, in part because of the coaches but also because it looks like they forgot how to play football.

12/10/2008 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/10/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who wrote this, and he certainly has no reason to hide his name, because he is dead on. I'm a fan of Charlie's and I sincerely hope he turns this ship around, but he HAS to have some help from some of the other coaches. I think some replacements are needed, someone from the same ilk as Joe Moore.

12/10/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no question that your teams were great groups of guys who dedicated themselves on the field and off. You worked hard and your hard work paid off in the form of victories against the many big rivals the Irish have.

As for the current crop, they're young and inexperienced. Their weak offensive line seems incapable of getting the time Clausen needs or the holes the backs need to succeed.

At the same time, CW seems hardly capable of inspiring the team. I am with you, fully, on the idea that Charlie needs to change his attitude and get these guys a lot angrier and a lot meaner than they currently behave. They need to dominate up front again.

The school did the right thing in asking Charlie to return. There are not any legitimate coaches out there ready to take over this massive program. Perhaps next year Weis will turn things around. I am somewhat hopeful -- but we'll see how it goes. He better get those kids to be a lot nastier.

One more thought: an Alabama friend of mine told a story about how he was driving home one night from the Sugar Bowl (ND/AL) and he saw these two Notre Dame fans along the side of the road. He asked 'em where they were stayin' and drove them to their hotel. Once they were there, one of the guys said, "You know if you're ever in South Bend. . . don't ever expect some ND fan to pick you up and drive you to your hotel. It's never going to happen."

That's the kind of attitude that needs to return. Sure, we graduate our kids, we care about our school and we'll improve our world. But, inside the stadium, on the football field, all we care about is destroying the opponent.

12/10/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring Zorich on to the coaching staff.

12/10/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Notre Dame's identity is one of .....toughness". Let's always keep that in mind. I don't mind when we play a team that is more talented than us, but no team that we play should ever be tougher than us.

12/10/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who wrote this, either, but I wish he'd cpome back for a Master's Degree.

He'd also be a good addition to the coaching staff. This is the kind of attitude we have lacked for far too long.

12/10/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best of all the ND blogs. It's letters like this one that bring that to light.

12/10/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree! The players are playing below their potential. Allen, Aldridge, Hughes should be a dominating force week in and week out! No excuses! The OL needs to man up or transfer to a D3 school. It makes me sick to see a wimpy offense. And Clausen needs to play like a Leader, not a superstar. Word of advice Jimmy, Play for the Tradition,play for the TEAM glory, play for the man who picked up the blitz and saved you a concussion! There is no such thing as a national title unless the QB is a self-less Leader. Lastly, the defense played remarkable this season. They created opportunity after opportunity to win games along with the special teams. They have the potential to be great, its a matter of whether they want to believe it as a TEAM.

12/10/2008 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous stew said...

Great post and all, but by "keeping the pressure on em NDNation" does that mean contiously posting opinions whining about going to Hawaii instead of the damn Texas Bowl or arguing that the team should just "stay home" and decline bowl bids? And once again, Im all for bringing a new coach in IF there is someone to replace him with! The coach that comes to mind when reading it is without a doubt Houston Nutt.... who is also not coming to South Bend. I can't think of any other possibles. Look let's keep the discussion up, but how bout let's stick to football talk and not "well we're too good for this" crap, and "Oh I won't be watching the game" Look, if Weis doesnt have a "good" season (<9 wins or 8 + bowl win) he will be gone, there's no question about it. Will I be satisfied w/8 or 9 wins with THAT schedule? NO, but it'll be better than these last 2 seasons.
-More importantly, how bout a little Crist talk? I mean it seems fairly obvious that while Jimmy has certainly not looked good the second half of the season, he has been forced to do it all himself, which he obviously cannot do. My main concern next year, is if Jimmy struggles again, whether Weis has the balls to sit him. I mean this is his "golden boy". I pull for any ND player to play well, but I can't hide the fact that I just simply dont care for Jimmy's attitude. (If he's playing well, you see him up on the sideline, hootin and hollerin... when he's not he just sits and mopes on the bench) While Quinn's and Jimmy's numbers are fairly similar after 2 seasons, there is no question that Brady, from a character/maturity standpoint was leaps and bounds higher than Jimmy. Crist certainly reminds me more of Quinn than Jimmy, but here's hopin Jimmy grows up a ton this offseason, and I am truly pulling for him

12/10/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glory days....

12/10/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post!!!! i was at the pep rally in baltimore the night before the navy game. ned bolcar spoke for 20 min. on what it is to be a nd football player and how he loved the school. a player who was a walk on on the special teams in 1988 also spoke,(forgot his name, from albany new york), what it meant to put that gold helmet on. he had the helmet with him, scratches and all still on it.

one other thing, my beloved fighting irish, a dollar whore just like all the rest of big time football schools. i thought they were different!!! i used to laugh at alabama with a record of 6-5 and going to a bowl!!! the south bend trib says they will earn $750,000 for the bowl. they also said nd will lose money going!!! how far have we fallen!!!

that post was right, 9-3 record was never accepted!!! WE ARE ND!!!!!

12/10/2008 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Kris H. said...

I wonder if last year's sack totals made us overprepare for pass blocking without enough emphasis on run blocking.

I recall the last offensive drive vs. USC in 2005. Draw plays opened holes that we exploited to put USC on their heels and make screens and other plays available. I recall the success Darius had vs. LSU in the Sugar Bowl when we collapsed the right side of the LSU defense to give him a running lane.

Think about what we have done in the past three years, and I think part of the criticism is that we overcorrect for flaws without continuing to develop strengths. On defense, we go from 4-3 to 3-4, then add Tenuta to bring more blitzes--three different defensive schemes in as many years. And it is starting to pay off. I think our defense is improving and will get where it needs to be.

If I were an half-full kind of guy, I'd say we are a strong running game away from being a very, very good offensive team, and that consistency will help the defense. We struggled because we were one-dimensional. Look back at the Brady years and see how much play action we ran. Weis's comfort zone is being able to pass off the run.

I also think that a hidden problem this year was TE depth. Because of Fauria's injury and Yeatman's stupidity, we couldn't run two-tight, which is a scheme Weis tends to use. Having Carlson and Fasano was a different situation from having Rudolph and a repurposed OT.

If we keep TEs healthy and sober, Clausen develops better judgment as a junior, and work the OL to be effective at run and pass blocking, everything else falls into place. Play action and screens; TE seam routes; RB wheel routes (a natural for Allen); holding the ball longer for the defense to stay fresh. Add to this another year for Golden to run better routes and continue to be physical, for Floyd to develop, etc.

But it all hinges on our ability to establish a running identity and stick with it. Whether by changing coaches, scheme, or attitude, this is the rate-limiting step. I think we can get there, because we've been there before, even with this staff.

12/10/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the most part good article- but yes- the players do deserve some blame.

12/10/2008 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watch ND football and I don't see guys getting mad...why aren't guys trying to rip other guys heads off? I can understand being afraid to get hurt or whatever, but come on...at some point you've got to get mad. Mad that you're losing, mad that you want to prove something, just mad. Do the players see red? Every single play you should be looking to knock the wind out of the other guy at any cost. Get mad guys!

Has anyone seen the movie Network (1976)?
This is one of the greatest movie moments! This may apply somewhat to the state of the program, or it may apply to our current economy...either way, imagine this as the team's motivation...not the fans being mad at the team, but the team being mad in general.
It's time to man up men. Crush Hawaii by 40 and come home.
Do a search for this video somewhere and watch it...it will get your blood boiling.

"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything." Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

12/10/2008 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a great post and inspiring to all ND fans. And right on! All of us are tired of the lack of toughness and desire...getting beat on the line of scrimmage all year. That stuff is coached...for sure. I thought this team could have been 9-3--when it wasn't...it wasn't due to a lack of talent. Winning this bowl convincingly will go a long way to getting the right frame of mind going.

12/10/2008 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really like this post. nothing irrational...which has been the standard lately, unfortunately. i think this is the root problem. there's no need to dissect every little detail. it really comes down to leadership. weis' picks to replace some coaches will be very telling of the success rate we'll have next year. i'm hoping that the humbling second half of the season shows this program that wins don't come on a silver platter. look you said, let's see some aggression and passion out there. it's long overdue.

12/10/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent commentarywith insight that should be obvious to anyone who follows ND football. ND should NEVER consider a coach unless he has successful COLLEGE experience, and has exhibited Enthusiasm!, knowledge, attitude, and leadership abilities.

12/10/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous SoCal Domer said...

How about Phil Fulmer as Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line!

12/10/2008 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes -- a convincing win is essential in Hawaii. I am not talking about 24-14. I am talking about a whole lot to just a little. I'd like 38-7. I could take that.

12/10/2008 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Let me copy and paste the most important words you mentioned: "We should be able to line up, point to where we are running the ball and gain 3 yards-with any and all personnel." I would argue that should be 4, but I will accept your 3 as a minimum against any team.

Think about it. If the current team could do this, they could set the tone, they could control the clock, they could open up the pass, they could beat Boston College, etc. Unfortunately, this post should be coming from the head coach but I am afraid he just doesn't understand.

12/10/2008 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too bad this memo didnt come last week...

this is exactly what needs to be said and I hope that someone posts it in the locker room.

I say this...if we look weak and lose to TINY BUBBLES...


I heard that this game will determine whether CW stays or not..and that we have an inside track on Urban after he wins the Nattie


12/10/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something Notre Dame and Coach Weis needs on his Staff or Notre Dame needs is a Coach with this attitude.
Great Post

12/10/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaron Taylor would be a great OL coach.

12/10/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Z, is that you?

12/10/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with some of this but not all. As a former coach, I wanted Charlie to pull the entire first team O off the field a couple of times. The issue has been that for the most part the OL is the OL. Although we are getting "healthier" in regards to depth, pulling the first team line off the field has not been a good option.

This team seems to have as many issues between the ears as they do physically. I could always sense when a player was quitting on a play. There was a hesitant step or they would get hung up in a block that you knew they should fight through. This team seems to drop their heads to quickly.

That said, the main gist of this post is that we need a new coach. Gents, Charlie is our man, so we need to hope he makes the right moves or this NDNation is in for a long, painful twelve months.

12/10/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weis doesn't get it and I don't think he ever will.

Someone asked him last year in a post game interview, why he wasn't running more. His response was in essence, why should I run the same run play again since it's not working?

The guy doesn't realize that you drill and instill a mentality into the big uglies. You tell them that we aren't going to throw one pass play until we get a first down running the ball.

Weis, on the other hand, thinks it's a chess match. But in chess, you don't overwhelm your opponent by juggernaughting down the field. In chess, you don't put doubt into a defense's mind that they can stop you from running it up their backside.

I don't think it's an accident that Gerry Faust's winning percentage is better than Weis'. As stupid as it might sound, Faust was much better prepared for coaching and teaching a college team, than Weis--who was the beneficiary of pre-coached linemen.

Weis knows how to posture like a tough guy, I don't think he is one. And if he isn't truly tough, there's nothing he can convey to his players. They will never get it, because their coach doesn't get it.

12/10/2008 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been an ND fan since I was a kid back in the early 60's. The post made by the former ND player is why I became an ND fan.
ND was a shining example of how to play football, and how to succeed in life. Play hard, and NEVER forget if we owed somebody a thumping.
Was at the pep rally and Syracuse game last month with my son(1st trip for both of us). I can tell you, I did not detect a chip on the shoulder attitude from coaches or players.
Do they realize where they are, and who they represent?
This is Notre Dame for crying out loud, not some bottom of the barrel left over!

12/10/2008 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous RBduhawk said...


I got goosebumps reading this, and kudos to the guy who referenced "Network."

I even remember the 86' team cracking skulls. That team would destroy the 08' team in regards to toughness.

"The dollar buys a nickel's worth." The price on my 1988 Miami ticket stub says 15$

Can we please rid ourselves of a paper money system??

Ok....this is about football.

Seriously, great post....wish you would say who you were.

12/10/2008 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kirk Herbsteit said it best on the ESPN bowl show: Instead of all the Charlie Weis talk, how about the players and especially Jimmy Clausen stepping up in the bowl game for the start of the 09 season. O-line and lack of running game is the root of this teams struggles. Where are the Ned Bolcars, Marc Edwards, Chris Zoriches and their attitudes?

12/10/2008 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cleveland '96 said...

On a humorous note, the title "Fix It" is a funny reference to the recent SNL political skits!
Step one: Fix!
Step two: it!
Did anybody else catch that?

12/10/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will all the urban lovers give him 5 years to bring in hsi players to run the spread and willhe be able to lure the freakish athletes needed to run it he has found paridise low academics winning program his sytem in place

12/10/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Coaching is the key. Jack gave Charlie an extra yar. But that does not mean that he can't back him up with asst coaches that can do their job and rise to the occasion if called up to run the show. I'm from the SF Bay area and the only thing the 49ers have done right was hire Mike Singletary as an asst coach. He may not be perfect or the long term solution for head coach, but he has turned the attitude of these high priced under achievers into a team of players who know that they can play and beat anybody on a given day.

When it comes to a new coach, I also agree you need to look at the coaching record over the course of time. Numbers don't lie and I think the long term career wins figure works here.

12/10/2008 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that you MadDawg?

12/10/2008 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make this a billboard. Engrave it and send it to the whole ND admin. Cover it in gold leaf.

12/10/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has happened to this once proud, tough, and i emphasize FUNDAMENTALLY sound team... i agree, i hope CW puts the Fire, and desire back in the hearts of theses kids.
I have been a fan all my life and over that span of 25 years or so, i saw a program that brought a supreme presence on to the feild. the other teams would just about shake in their shoes.. we need to get fundamental, tough, and as one of you already mentioned,MEAN!

12/10/2008 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous www.southbendblarney.com said...

Good stuff, but I agree with the posters that said part of the blame has to fall on the players. I've never needed motivation to want to beat someone's ass on the playground, and these guys should be no different.

The Irish need to be tougher, but let's not forget that Lou didn't just have his teams run right up the middle all day long. He ran traps and varied up his running game, ran the option (which is a take what the defense gives you offense). So, let's not act like Weis doesn't know how to attack a defense.

He and the assistants need to be better with fundamentals though.

12/10/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100& with Mr. Coffey. My family has held season tickets since the stadium was built and the performance of the football program,University President, Atheletic Director and Board of Trustees is embarrassing, humiliating, and an insult to mans intelligence, all this being done while simultaneously goging season ticket holders with obscene, excessive costs.The University should be ashamed of itself and is a shell of what it use to be.It is very sad.

12/10/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First, find a great coach, with a proven track record of having his teams playing at (in the case of great programs) or above their historical level of performance, and get the hell out of his way. It works every time."

Sadly we will have to suffer through another season before this happens....

12/10/2008 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Afet having read these comments by this former ND player, this is EXACTLY WHY I AM A NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL FAN. I have always believed the problem was leadership. Hopefully, we can get a proven college coach such as Meyer (thats only if Weis doesn't turn around the team next year - and I will support him next year). We need that old attitude. You hit it right on the head. I remember Weis' press conference when he was hired, and he said, "we're going to be one nasty team." Well, I have yet to see it. Once again, whoever wrote that to NDNation, I support you and thank you for your continual support of Notre Dame football. Its too bad we don't have guys like you coaching.


12/10/2008 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive said it before that the defense is playing well above its potential because they have tough, excited coaches. Against USC, after the Blanton INT the camera showed him on the sidelines and one of the defensive coaches (i think it was corwin brown) was smackin his helmet, yelling at him, gettin in his face with enthusiasm. thats the kind of coach the O AND D line need. players respond to that kinda emotion. how did blanton do after that? finished with 7 solo tackles, an INT and stopped a reverse that could have been a huge play. was he a Five star guy out of high school like JC or Floyd?? nope, a lower-tier 4 star.

12/10/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Kuntz was on the sideline puking his guts out after a particularly awesome 1st QTR stand against the Trojans. He had been all over the field...and then the O took the field.

It has to be demoralizing.

12/10/2008 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great post. I could not agree more with everything the former player said. The highlights for me were: (1) look for a coach who consistently has their teams playing above their historical standard; (2) we should consistently be able to run for three yards (in our case we need to at least consistently run for one!); and the bit about AJ. Spot on. And the players do not deserve one bit of blaim here. They can only play as well as they are prepared by their coaches.

12/10/2008 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am an old(er) ND grad and after that great post to Fix It, I wanted to chime my two cents in.

First, a bball player named Monk Malloy was about 2 years behind me at ND, and I played many a game with and against him at the Rock. He had the personality of a wet noodle, and not a whole lot of grit when he played, and most of my class were quite surprised he was on scholarship. When he became President of the University in late 1985 things changed to reflect his style. While it was Fr Hesburgh's ties that brought Lou Holtz to ND, Malloy somehow took the credit. But by 1993 or so the University turned progressive, soft, and politically correct under Malloy and it was under his tenure that Lou became disenchanted and unexpectedly left ND. Of course we know that Davie was promoted from Asst. Coach to Head, Kevin White became AD - and correspondingly gave Davie an extension after getting devastated in the Fiesta Bowl, even though the University was placed on probation by the NCAA and lost Joe Moores age discrimination lawsuit. Now, those were dim days guys, not today quite yet, not quite, but I believe the leadership of the University is where it all begins, and while I give Malloy credit for bringing Lou here, I firmly believe that Malloy is accountable for losing Lou, and the disasters of Davie, White, Willingham, O'leary.......as well as raising tuition to $40,000 as it is now, soon to be $50,000!!

Some bigwigs with the alumni tell me that Jenkins is a leader, but not extremely strong in decision making - likes to survey the world to please everyone first -- but is not afraid to pull the trigger. Getting Swarbrick as his survey guru is probably quite good, so I believe Jenkins is behind the "ultimatum" to CW as much as the AD. While my emotions say that Charlie won't make it long term, I feel pretty good about the two guys we have managing the decision. And we don't have a choice right now but to wait it out to see how long CW will be at ND - I doubt much longer, but Jenkins and Swarb. will have their ducks in a row before that decision is made.

I know I am long winded in this post, but here's the 2nd point. Would you young guys please tell these current players to quit whining about being the lousiest ND team of all, as was posted in the press. That honor goes to 2-8 Kuharich's team....and not surprisingly, Joe K. also came from the pro's with all his assistants from the pro's. Quite similar to CW.

Older NDer - '62

12/10/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aaron Taylor would be a great OL coach"

He sure didn't do a heck of a job blocking John Saunders' criticism of ND as being racist when they fired Ty.

In my mind, he sold his soul on national TV and should never be considered for any post within the football program, regardless of how great a coach he'd make!

12/10/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather than define the problem which anyone can do, how about said player being part of the solution by ponying up the $15M - $20M for the buyout and getting a commitment from a top notch coach to come to SB to help fix the problem.

Easier said than done Mr. former player.

12/10/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to second the thoughts of Old ND'er. I am surprised that his criticism of Monk made it through. Monk was a professor of mine, but I witnessed an incident during a Bookstore B-Ball game in the early 80's that gave me concerns about his ability to lead. I believe as Old ND'er that Monk bears a great deal of responsibility for our current situation. Something has been lost. I am concerned as well by the "pricing out" of folks like me. With a scholarship, my family could barely afford to send me to ND. With the current price tag, I probably would not have been able to go. Folks like me who are a little hungry for success add something to a population that may never have wanted for much.

Early 80's Domer.

12/10/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you don't become a leader overnight. Weis is not a leader. So what is the solution. Hire someone who is. Does anyone think it was coincidence the Irish played with so much heart vs. Michigan this year. It was b/c Holtz gave them the pep talk before the game.

12/10/2008 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the 'anonymous" letter from an ex player is a shill. he knows some names and games, hardly authentic. i could write one abouy Ara and Pagna and Yonto... doesnt make me an ex player or an expert. i am embarrassed by all the cry babies and whiners. this looks like Trojan nation from 1986-1996. tighten your belts pussies. you sound like the cry babies on wall street.

12/10/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zorich! I know it!

12/10/2008 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't allow a comment like that to waste anyone's bandwidth. But let me assure all readers here the former player is not a "shill". We know exactly who he is, and he shared this information unsolicited.

And no, it's not Chris Zorich. Zorich didn't play on the 1985 team.

12/10/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Domer Dan said...

While reading many of these comments I read a bunch of excuses and the main point of the original post is toughness. We look like "kitties"(sic) out there. I coach jr high football and my primary responsibilites are to teach the boys the high school system (spread option) & 4-3 D, and teach them toughnesss. If you can get up get up. You don't like what's happening to you on the field get up and fix it! Perhaps the problem is all the hgihly ranked recruits still trying to rely on talent to get them by. When I think of football, I think of my childhood hero Dick Butkus, I played football because I wanted to be like him. Football, as well as life, ask and give no quarter. It's time to get off our old press clippings and pony up! We are the FIGHTING Irish, so where's the fight?

12/10/2008 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Kris H. said...

BTW, I like the Fr. Ted quote at the top of the website. I found interesting quotes in an article from SI: "What if Notre Dame Never Won Another Game?" *(available at http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1065233/index.htm):

"One day last week Notre Dame's president, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, was sitting in his campus office, directly under the Golden Dome of the administration building; classical music played, as always, softly and elegantly from across the room. In this serene and scholarly setting Hesburgh considered the question: What would it mean to the institution if the Irish never won another football game?

'It would mean,' said Hesburgh, "that we wouldn't be known for football anymore.'"


"Father Hesburgh—a giant of a presence, with 110 honorary degrees (he is tops in that category in the Guinness Book of World Records), 14 presidential appointments, a true citizen of the world (the joke around Notre Dame is that the difference between God and Father Hesburgh is that God is everywhere and Hesburgh is everywhere except Notre Dame) who has given commencement addresses in four languages—says, 'I'm not concerned about football. If we win, hooray. If we don't, fine.'"


"Says Hesburgh, 'Football is bad only when it is perverted and misused. But football can be done honestly, and this place has proved it. And we don't want to be third-rate in anything.'"

That article came out in the article detailing our loss to Michigan in Holtz's first game.

12/10/2008 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Bern said...

First I think giving Weiss one more year with clearly defined goals (BCS discussion) makes sense. Hopefuly they are working on "Plan B" if it does not work out. I hope things do because I think Weiss has really tried but something is wrong.

If someone told you after the Washington game the following would happen - ND would lose to NC, Pitt, be shut out by BC, almost lose to Navy, lose to a 2-8SU at home in a game that SU did everything they could to give ND the game and go to SC and not have one successful offensive play for almost three quarters - I think you would have to say that something is wrong.

Weiss says they are a decent team! How many division one schools would not even be able to get a first down for three quarers against anyone? The play of the offensive line is soo weak it is astonishing. The running backs are not much better. Aldridge had a few nice runs in the fourth quarter of the SC game and then what does he do - fumble. Allen gets a little free he looks like he is stumbling.

In the bowl game, Hawaii will play a soft "cover two" take away the deep ball and rush only three or four. If they can't run or if they get pressure on Clausen rushing three or four then ND will again be in for a long night.

12/10/2008 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the comment that the players have been playing (in most cases) their whole lives. shouldnt SOMEONE on the team step up and take command...shouldnt SOMEONE on the team talk about what needs to be done today and not "we need to improve and get them next week". the coaches can only tell someone what to do, its up to players to execute. is it possible for the coaches to tell a player to half-ass block, tackle, throw, run, whatever? i dont think so. am a player, no. am i coach at any level, no. did i ever play organized football, no. but, i did play sports. i can not remember being down that i did not give everything that i have no matter what. i have always and always will support ND, but there comes a time where SOMEONE has to step up and take charge and its not always the coach. GO IRISH!!!!

12/10/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post!

This really isn't all that complicated.

Even CW has said - "No Excuses" and "9-3 is not good enough"

Notre Dame needs a coach that means those words and is truly committed to teaching fundamentals and toughness, not simply talking a good game.

12/10/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. That probably left Charlie's flunkies, er uh, the "real fans" breathless. The real kernal is that the most successful coaches at ND built other programs from scratch prior to coming to ND.

And just who fits that bill today? Meyer resurrected Bowling Green and Utah and Paul Johnson tranformed Georgia Southern into a perennial national champion then brought Navy back from the dead.

The second tier candidates would probably be Fitzgerald at NW, Kelley at Cincy, Butch Davis at NC. NW has steadily improved every year with Fitzgerald at the helm. This year they are 9-3 which is an extraordinary feat at NW.

The ND coaching search should focus on those five candidates given their proven track records of success at more than one school. No more assistant coaches at any level.

Weis hasn't the foggiest idea how to even compete with USC and one more year won't change anything.

12/10/2008 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vince from CA

I agree, the nastiness of the ND teams of old haven't shown up with all the players today. Some have, and some have taken to heart the way things are going. I do believe you have to blame coaching for this attitude, but I don't believe you leave the players blameless.

I am an assistant coach at a high school in Central California, we have been to our championship two years in a row and won one and lost one. We are now going to our third, and we don't have the most talented team on the field or in in the Central Section, but we have one of the hardest working teams in the Central Section if not the hardest. Our kids play mean, hit hard, and never quit, but they have the attitude that they are champions. The coaching staff works as hard as the kids, and they set the expectation that the our program will dominate. Funny thing is we are a group of ND and USC fans to boot. I guess what I am trying to get at is you can't just blame the coaching, or the kids, something from on top at ND has to be in the mix for this program to have fallen the way it has. I know we want the prestige of being a great academic school, but we can have the smarts and the toughest SOB's on the field as well. I love ND, even though I never attended the school, I love ND, and I am raising my kids to love ND as well and I do want to see this program back on top where it needs to be.

I think CW is going to turn the corner with this team, but the nasty he preached has to show up starting Dec. 24.

12/11/2008 01:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent - goes right to the core of the problem at ND - lack of a "killer instinct" in the team - and that from the coach on down. The leader or coach, in this instance, sets the tone – not sure what the tone has been for the past four years. The point about leadership is axiomatic - whether you are on a sports team, in business, or in the military (I am retired AF fighter jock). With good leadership we were able to get the mission done with bad - people got killed.

12/11/2008 05:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change needs to begin with Clausen. He is not a leader, he's a loaner without the confidence of his offensive players. I hope Charlie's stable of quarterbacks has more to offer, or we will have the same results next year. Jimmy started off well, but after the fall break, he performed just like last year.

There are coaching changes to be made, but nothing is going to improve Jimmy's standing with his peers.

12/11/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Guess I agree with Stew's comments.
This particular post is OK but we all know that fundamentals are an issue, so nothing new here. And I question if the web site is placing any pressure on the admin. or the AD. I will give some credit here however. The thread is a little less pissy/whiney "get rid of Weis". It is somewhat more constructive. Hope that continues to improve. Wish someone would post an in-depth article on new line or OC potentials.

12/11/2008 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leadership is a quality that cannot be learned on-the-job. You either have it or you do not. Charlie, unfortunately, does not have and never will have what it takes to successfully lead a major college football program.

12/11/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger jackarute said...

Attitude 101

The standard for performance at the University of Notre Dame is excellence. Since the institution’s founding, the commitment to and achievement of excellence have been a constant for all who gather at the School of Our Lady of the Lake.

Coaches Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Hotz each carried over this commitment to excellence to their Fighting Irish football programs and they all experienced undefeated seasons and led their squads to national championships during their tenures. Their success on the gridiron brought national recognition to the university and inspired generations of Americans. For those of us who were born on the eve of World War II, the Leahy years are most memorable and significant.

In the early forties we accompanied our parents to the downtown movie theaters and watched John Wayne single handedly defeat the evil enemies of freedom. Then on Saturday afternoons in the fall of the late forties, we sat on the living room floor glued to the radio along with our fathers who paced back and forth while saying the rosary. The Irish have the ball down on the five yard line and need to get into the end zone to win. They did.

It was during those young and formative years when, through “The Duke” attired in Navy dress whites and “Leahy’s Lads” – Lujack, Sitko, Martin, and Hart wearing gold helmets and gold pants, we learned all about winning. We then grew up continuing to observe and admire the quality that is Notre Dame (my father and both brothers graduated from Notre Dame – father-in-law, Johnny Druze, was a Leahy assistant).

Now retired when most of our lives can be seen in the rear view mirror, we have become certain that life is all about attitude. We win or lose, succeed or fail based on our attitude. At Notre Dame the prevailing attitude has always been the same and is best expressed in the words of their Victory March – “What thou the odds be great or small, old Notre Dame will win over all...”

I will win, I will succeed, I will get the job done – the attitude of a winner.

It is hard to understand, therefore, why Head Coach Charlie Weis, a graduate of Notre Dame, a member of several NFL national championship teams, a husband and father of two children, a man who has experienced success all along the way and who loves Notre Dame at least as much as I do, and who is well aware of the storied tradition of winning football at his alma mater, would bring to his Fighting Irish football program an attitude that makes winning unlikely or occasional and is in conflict with everything he experienced while a student there.

Ever since his takeover of the football program Coach Weis frequently uses the red flag “try” word when discussing his team with members of the media. (I am trying, we will be trying, we are going to try...). Following their leader, his assistants and players also make use of the same “t” word. So now with everyone associated with Notre Dame football trying and trying very hard, the Fighting Irish football program is mired in mediocrity or worse.

Try defined – to make an attempt at. “Attempt implies making an essentially single effort and usually suggests failure.” A “try” is an effort that, more often than not, leads to/precedes failure.

“I’ll try” is also an attitude – the attitude of the also ran , the runner up, the cellar dweller, the dropout, the failure, and the loser.

“I’ll try” doesn’t cut it in life, it will not succeed at Notre Dame, and it will surely lead to a blowout when you line up to play football against the big, bad Trojans of Southern Cal.

The winning tradition of Notre Dame football is in danger of experiencing the same fate as General Douglas MacArthur’s old soldier. “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
In order to prevent winning football at Notre Dame from just “fading away,” Head Coach Weis, who will be returning to the sidelines in 2009, needs to undergo a major attitude change.

Drop the “we are trying...,” revert to the “we will win over all,” sir.

(An apology to #37, Mike Anello. Try isn’t a part of his vocabulary. #33, Dan Shannon, must smile as he watches Mike Anello hustle down under kickoffs with a singular purpose in his heart).

Go Irish – win

John F. Campbell
Ex-cadet USMA ‘61
I tried...

12/11/2008 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous ND'71 said...

Absolutely on point and insightful!
Definitely the kind of stuff you spend your time looking for in these blogs.
Why aren't we "making" the new Stamms', Stonebreakers', Pritchards',Zorichs',Bolcars',etc. etc? Thier "nuclei" are their!
Where's our next Rockets, Buses, etc, etc?
The administrations policies have indeed "put the brakes on", but not limited to, football.

I agree with not firing Charlie "immediately", but would anticipate more than "due diligence" is being done re: replacement. This year, even more than last, shows he can not get it done! (I personally suspect his health issues are the big reason).

Claussen will finally be "pushed" next year and will need to get it done, or sit down!

Hawaii, 1 and 1/2 pts favored;
Mien Gott in Himmel!!!

12/11/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been saying this for years--it became very apparent during the Willingham era, and has remained throughout the Weis era.

Notre Dame has gone soft.

12/11/2008 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Kris H. said...

Leadership is a quality that cannot be learned on-the-job. You either have it or you do not. Charlie, unfortunately, does not have and never will have what it takes to successfully lead a major college football program.

The entire military system would disagree with this. Leaders are made, not born.

12/11/2008 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Give me a break said...

Are we accepting at face value that this person is who he says he is, or does NDNation have specific information regarding his identity? The advice is a bit mundane. Suggesting that we need a great coach and great players is hardly an epiphany.

Again, it appears that the solution to all our problems lies with NDNation posters.
Perhaps, if they revealed their identity the university could hire a new coaching staff from this site, thus ensuring an uninterrupted string of national champinships.

One more thing. Stop deluding yourself about Urban Meyer. His next stop the NFL, not ND. He's a climber. He's out for himself. We don't need him.

12/11/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

Yes, we have verified his identity as a member of the teams he lists in his post through the alumni association.

12/11/2008 07:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud this man for coming to the forefront of identifying the main problem..TOUGHNESS.

I guess I wouldn't be so hard on CW, if I saw the team getting better AND..lets not forget, that his mantra when he was first hired...SMASHMOUTH FOOTBALL..well folks..the only smashmouth I'm getting is on youtube.



12/11/2008 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the armed forces during wwII when the naval academy literally kept our doors open. One of many, many points of light in regards to our great establishment. Respect her. that's all I have to say. My great nephew is showing me these places on the computer and i have to say that I dont like the smugness and elite-ism coming from todays opinions. In my day we kept our complaints to ourselves, lest Leahy would hear and knock us on our ass. grow up boys and pay your dues.

12/12/2008 03:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not say it better myself ......I will not be watching that carnival show of a bowl game!!!
Please ND get some heart!!!

12/12/2008 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best post I have ever seen on NDnation. This should be sent directly to Charlie Weis. All I can say is Amen....Amen

12/12/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is definitely one of the best posts I've ever read on NDNation.

I think change needs to start with Weis immediately - or he's gone. Lets send this letter to every coach and administrator. This is what defines ND.

I also think that besides Weis, change needs to happen quickly with Clausen, or bench his ass. Dayne Crist didn't come to Notre Dame for nothing. Give him a short at beating Clausen. Weis pretty much proclaimed Clausen the starter, but Clausen has consistently shown poor leadership. He jumps and screams and hollers when something good happens, but then he's alone and quiet on the bench when something bad happens. We need a real QB who can lead the team. I think Clausen isn't the man for the job, but who knows, maybe he'll change next year. In the meantime, I say we give Dayne Crist a shot. This kid is very talented and has a hell of an arm.

Jimmy Guy 31

12/12/2008 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger junes daddy said...

Between this article and the one that Tom Thayer had in the SBT
today, one can only hope that the
staff is on the same wave length
as these two people are. I really
think the talent is there, it just
needs the right coaching. If ND
could get in the right assistants
to change the mind set of these kids, then I really think we would
see dramatic improvement in our
wins vs. loses immediately.

12/12/2008 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie needs to fire all his assistants and coordinators! They are all worthless. A big example is when Charlie made the right call to take over play calling duties for the game against Navy, 'Cuse, and USC. Wow! Did anyone else notice how the offensive production skyrocketed once we had Charle's schematic advantage working...

12/13/2008 04:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Toughness" and "tradition" don't mean a damn thing if your offensive linemen have such poor fundamentals that they make a junior high football coach shake his head. Stud high school linemen can dominate even with bad footwork and bad body position and bad hands. Good coaching corrects those problems, bad coaching ignores them, and puts the poor bastards on the field to be humiliated.
The fundamental problem with this team is . . . the fundamentals. And it really does all start "in the trenches."
A bad line means you can't run, the quarterback can't set up, and the receivers can't get open. The offense can't stay on the field, they give the other team short fields, the defense gets tired and surrenders first half leads . . .
As simplistic as it may seem, this team can get dramatically better by simply drilling its very talented offensive linemen on proper fundamental technique - things as simple as making progress with your first step and leading with your left foot when you're going to the left. Watch practice film and you'll see Latina telling players where to go, while ignoring the poor form that is going to keep them from getting there.
Pro coaches can strategize because college coaches taught their players properly. College coaches still have to teach first, strategize second.
Oh, and if Charlie doesn't figure that out, go get Houston Nutt. He's the best college football coach in the nation.

12/13/2008 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...



12/13/2008 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

You need to read more carefully, Joe. I didn't write the comments that were submitted. They were posted on Rock's House by a former player on that team, and I received permission from him to copy those comments into this blog article for wider distribution.

12/13/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post..........Bring back Andy Heck as OL coach, pay him what it takes to get him, he has the tools, motivation, and history to be play a key role in the quick turn around this program needs.

12/13/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Irish4Twelve said...

GREAT comment. The players should shoulder some ... responsibility. But the coaches should do more to instill in the players WHY they are at Notre Dame.
Mike, please ask more former players to contribute! I miss seeing the blimp 3 times a year in the autumn in the sky above South Bend. Go Irish!

12/13/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Tom Thayer's comments in the SBT (http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081212/SPORTS13/812120399/1023/SPORTS13) really ring true as well.

"'I see talent and strength in the Notre Dame offensive line, but no power,' Thayer said. 'I see a lack of properly choreographed footwork, where they can play efficient up-front football and dictate the momentum of the offense.

'If you don't have a run game, you can't have the deception of the play-action pass. If you don't have the run game and you don't have the deception and threat of the play-action pass, the ability to have the regular normal third-down passing game is going to be even more difficult.'

I don't think the players fail to grasp that they are playing for Notre Dame, nor do they fail to grasp the legacy. I also don't think they lack emotion or motivation to excel.

They have been coached a blocking scheme that may be ill-suited to their skills, the defenses against which they play, etc. The article points out how many teams with zone schemes are among the worst in FBS in rushing.

Good old-fashioned straight-ahead assignment blocking, getting to the second level and pummeling LBs, pulling and pounding, seem to be in order. A change in scheme and an emphasis on good footwork, technique and aggressiveness will help.

The article said, "'To me zone blocking is a bunch of crap,' he said. 'Zone blocking is a lateral approach to offensive line play, and that's not the way offensive line play is meant to be played. You're supposed to attack coming off the ball. You watch zone-blocking teams, and they start by taking a lateral step first. You're not coming off the ball and attacking defensive linemen. You're not using the snap count as a weapon.

'If you don't give your linemen confident footwork to uphold their balance and power, no matter what the defensive linemen and linebackers do, you're going to create offensive linemen with no power, strength or confidence.'"

Zone blocking is by its nature defensive--it is reactive to defense. Running teams impose their will on the defense.

To paraphrase Patton, a simple plan executed with vigor now is better than a perfect plan executed tentatively later.

Weis has nothing to lose and everything to gain by switching away from zone to man blocking and working on piledriving the defenses. If you are going to go down, go down swinging.

12/13/2008 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK so now most of the comments have to do with CW"s need to fire his assistant coaches. Yeah right. Maybe so. But who hired these guys in the first place? I know now that because ND decided to retain CW, we at ND Nation are now forbidden to find fault where it should be found. The fish rots from the head. Whatever. I will drink the enforced Kool Aid for another year. But I ask: If we have another year next year like this one, will all you CW apologists finally fess up????? I won't hold my breathe. Frankly, I think Christmas Eve will be a disaster. But like the old commerical says, "Charlie says, like your good and plenty."

12/13/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“It’s like family. Great families they don’t bust apart. Eventually, they fix their problems and eventually see happy days again. And I think Notre Dame occupies such a giant spot in the world of college football that it won’t stay down forever. It can’t because of the giant emotional investment that thousands and thousands have had in ND for over a hundred years. It’s going to come back and when it does, Irish eyes will be smiling.”


12/14/2008 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Great vent/rant and I agree with most. However, I see zero toughies on this team. A play here or there maybe, but not Zorich's or Grunhards on this team. Anello is it. A walk-on. ND plays as soft as CW coaches them up.

Prep school lads usually do not have the stomach for the fray. Our team is full of these pampered beauties.

St. Saint v PS 216...give me PS 216

12/14/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy is so dead on. He talks about the Holtz era, but the guys I think of are guys like Jeff Weston, Luther Bradley, Ross Browner, Willie Fry. Kick ass people that kinda made your hair stand on end just looking at them eating in the F-line training table. Their thighs were thicker than our waists, and it was pure muscle. It was pure joy watching these guys systematically dismantle teams like Navy and Georgia Tech, not the suspense white knucklers every game the Irish play these days have become.


12/14/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hahahahaha. As much as I hate to say it, the intellect of the ND fan has come way down. I'm still laughing at this guy. What a maroon!

12/14/2008 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Robert J Brincka said...

Amen Mr Coffey...the team and the program has simply grown soft, from top to bottom...remember its football-and the team that wants it more wins more often than not--it's the same at every level of football-period. You can analize it to death it if makes you feel better however no amount of "top ten recruiting classes" on paper can measure heart or determination.. based on results has a program with such a poor win-loss record ever put as many athletes into the NFL?? maybe they grow 'em after graduation but these guys are obviously tough and talented to make it in the NFL or is it coachings short comings for failing to bring it out in these men while they are at ND? based on the recruiting classes 9-3 should be a given...with a smidge of coaching 10 wins ++

12/14/2008 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all need to back CW, even though I feel in my heart that Urban would've taken this team to 10 -2 and would've won a nattie in 06.

But he didnt want the job, FOR NOW, so we should back him up as best we can and hope for the best.

Personally, I feel like CW needs to speak with a little more holtz and a little less well...Charlie.

As a california kid, I grew up with Lou's rants and raves and it gave me goose bumps.

When I went to the ND Penn State game in 06, and heard CW speak at the pep rally, the only pep i had was needing some Pepto Bismo after his speech.


come on now

the team doesnt have any heart or emotion, because you put people to sleep man.

Get nasty and mean...


go irish


ps...ANGRY EAGLE...congratulations on the big win over VA TECH

I know you are now lurking as ANONOYMOUS on this board since the Board OP's at nd.nation came to their senses and booted your ass out.


12/15/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

It's good to see someone else who sees the problem - when you have incompetent CEO's and management, a company is bound to fail. With incompetent owners and head coaches, NFL teams fail. The same applies here, in their greed for money, the administration made Notre Dame Football into a money machine. The administration brought the athletic program to the current state of affairs, with year after year of promoting Notre Dame like a product to make money ("Notre Dame Saturday"). It's the same arrogance that we see in bug business.
How about the Alumni start asking questions about this state of affairs, not just focusing on the loss-win ratio, but putting the responsibility on the correct people, and replace them.
Also why do we have to give a coach a 10 year contract ? What's wrong with working for his money day to day like the rest of the world.

12/15/2008 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JR poses the real question. Why would we give any head coach a ten year deal? It's insane. No way should anyone be given that kind of guarantee. I suspect Joe Paterno didn't have that kind of guaranteed paycheck (incidentally, they've gone 3-9 once at PSU year under Jo-Pa). The university should have resisted the extension without CW proving his ability to win. And, one doesn't "prove" one's ability to win by having a good six games.

We're stuck with Weis. We'll see how next year goes, but if the kids work hard in the off season and practice and play hard during the season and CW does his job, we should be around 10-2. Those expectations are high, but there are some great athletes at ND. They just need to be motivated by great coaches.

I saw the 60 Minutes on Pete Carroll and it made me long for the Holtz years. He was such a charismatic guy (as is Carroll). I can see Lou saying, "we win because we practice harder than anyone who has ever played the game before."

12/15/2008 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/15/2008 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true. I miss watching ND when they played with passion, walk over the runts, and compete with any top ten team in the nation. Now we can't even hold 4th quarter leads agains the runts of the NCAA. What happened? How come this is now acceptable? Teams no longer fear the Irish...they look forward to them on their schedule.

12/15/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous RockMcD said...

I think people are reading what they want into this commentary.

Some use this to support the argument that Weis should have been fired. On the contrary, if Rule #1 is "find a great coach, with a proven track record" then that would support the argument that they were prudent not to pull the trigger with so much uncertainty about the quality of potential replacements (see: Auburn and Tennessee).

Others use this to support the argument that the University has passively lowered its expectations. It has? How quickly we forget that in 2001 ND acted aggressively by firing Davie and hired a coach with a proven track record of taking G-Tech to 5 consecutive bowl games, but wound up with our 2nd choice. In 2004 ND acted aggressively by ousting Ty and tried to get Urban Meyer, but wound up with our 2nd choice. And in 2005 ND acted aggressively by trying to lock in who they thought at the time was (misguidedly in retrospect) "the best coach in America." All three of these events are examples of ND maintaining high expectations and attempting to secure a great coach.

The problem has never been lowered expectations or a lack of commitment to finding the best coach. The problem has been in the execution.

12/16/2008 01:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfectly stated. I'm sick and tired of the excuses. Every year, the fans, administration, coaching staff, and ultimately the players find something to point the finger at for underachieving. Just go out and get it done. There is enough talent and enough physical presence on the field for Notre Dame during any game that they should be able to compete with anyone and win against most. I do not intend to compare a football game to a war, but as a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, we were often given tasks that were far beyond what we felt we were capable of. I've seen 18, 19, or 20 year old kids rise to the occasion each and every time in situations that are far more harrowing than a football game. No exeptions, no excuses! They just got it done! There is no reason that with solid leadership and motivation Notre Dame's players couldn't find a way to get it done on the field.

12/16/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger gabedomleo said...

ND is losing its identity; shame. Money corrupts. The school would like to get rid of Weiss quckly but darn he is expensive. He is not the man to lead these young student athletes - not the man. I watch all the games. There is no heart - no toughness - no passion. These are the qualities that win football games when you are young. And by the way, the young excuse is beginning to lose its strength. How many years has he been at ND? His guys are Juniors, they should be at least 0.800. Get rid of Weiss ASAP.

12/16/2008 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad this letter was sent. I have been saying for three years that our team has lacked heart. Heart is not measurable in a 40 time or a bench press. Heart is only measurable on the field, when the game is on the line. Players with heart will not lose. Period. They may not be the most talented, fastest, or biggest. But they will hit you in the mouth and go win the game.It is the great equalizer. Mike Anello has heart. Mo Crum has heart. A handful of others. Jimmy Clausen, great talent he may be, but of heart, he's come up wanting.
When Weis took over, I was most inspired by his oft quoted talk of nastiness. It told me that we were going to show up on Saturday and put fear in the hearts of the other team, whomever they were. Suffice it to say that I have not seen that since the USC game in 2005.
I would rather have a team full of 5'8" Mike Anellos than 1 Jimmy Clausen any day of the weak and twice on Saturdays. At least we'd play with heart.

12/16/2008 05:12:00 PM  

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