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

Monday, June 08, 2009

Charlie, Leadership and the Secret Sauce

posted by Scott Engler
(The Rock Report ) -

“Every victory is won before the game is played.” ~ Lou Holtz

I was out having some drinks and ran into a player on the 1988 team who recounted the back story that led to the Irish’s inspirational thumping of Rodney Peete and the Trojans that year (pardon any lack of clarity here, we were a few pints deep.) A game that, to this day, remains one of my favorite Irish victories because the Irish simply beat the crap out of the Trojans.

To set the scene, USC was number two in the country, but a favorite over the number one ranked Irish. Before the game Holtz asked the team to assemble, waited until the entire team had joined and then walked in. He announced that Ricky Watters and Tony Brooks had been continually late to meetings and that he could suspend them, but that it was up to the players to decide what to do with them (to suspend them or let them play.) Holtz walked out and put the decision in their hands. A debate ensued and one of the players stood up and said that this was the game that would define their lifetimes, that they couldn’t let the opportunity slip away and that they should let Watters and Brooks play. But as the debate continued and while players agreed that it was too important an opportunity to lose… they also started thinking that if they believed enough, they didn’t need Watters and Brooks, that they could win without them. They voted to leave them behind (Holtz later admitted he had made the decision already.)*

The result was a physical ass kicking of the Trojans that was the last real hurdle to the 1988 championship. Holtz found a way to turn a negative into a positive just as he had done when he led Arkansas to their memorable Orange Bowl demolition of the Sooners.

“Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated” ~ Lou Holtz

Every good coach has specific strengths, but the one thing all great coaches have is the ability to lead other coaches and players… and make them believe. Schematics are important. Recruiting is vitally important. Player management at the college level is critical. Coaching management at the highest level is equally critical.

What makes great coaches successful is not the just the ability to sell an idea but to lead their organizations through the tough times to get there. It's easy to forget that the criticism of Holtz was ear-splitting at times during his career, yet Holtz led through adversity and won.

“As a leader your attitude has a powerful impact on others. You have an obligation to develop a positive attitude, one that inspires the people around you to achieve the impossible” – Lou Holtz

What struck me about Brian Kelly at Cincinnati (calm down, in no way do I think he was ready to take over the Irish in ‘09) is that he had a horrible QB situation, actually worse than Notre Dame had in 2007, and he was able to work through it, make the players believe and turn in a very impressive BCS season for Cincinnati.

Was the quarterback situation a real and dire problem? They played five different quarterbacks during the season, of course it was.

Just like talent was a real problem and coaching changes are problems. But Kelly was able to not just sell the idea that success was probable/inevitable, but lead them through the tough times. Bearcat QB Tony Pike wasn’t even on the depth chart to start the season, but he said that Kelly made him believe he could and would win.

"He's a salesman, is what he is," says Grand Valley State coach Chuck Martin, who was Kelly's defensive coordinator at the school. "Whether it's Grand Valley State or Central Michigan or Cincinnati, he has kids believing they can move mountains. His No. 1 strength is offense. His No. 2 strength is how good he is politically at getting people to believe in his program. He sells it door to door, which not a lot of coaches will do.

"I remember at Central Michigan, somebody asked him how long the rebuilding cycle would be. He said, 'About 10 seconds.'"

“Yes, I know that you feel you are not strong enough. That's what the enemy thinks too. But we're gonna fool them.”Knute Rockne

How does this relate to Charlie? Weis is a tough egg to crack, because he gets the problem and he can sell an idea, but what from what I’ve seen, is not a great manager of the team day to day through the tough times and or adept at keeping them motivated and believing. That’s where real leaders separate themselves. I’ve heard stories of Charlie motivating through fear (you won’t have my NFL endorsement) to encouragement (be yourself), but what is striking to me is that he doesn’t really know how to do it and that’s a problem.

“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.” - Lou Holtz

Urban Meyer is an asshole. Some of his players hated him even at Notre Dame, but he gets them to play at a high level. Charlie can be an asshole too, but his secret sauce hasn’t worked with either his assistants or the players to date. In 2006, his second year, we had players dogging it on the field in what was supposed to be a possible National Championship run.

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you’re willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” ~ Lou Holtz

That, to me, was a major sign of impending failure. He had others as well, such as sticking to his scheme beyond all rationality, going for it in absurd 4th down situations and always taking the kickoff when you knew we’d be beaten down.

The problem is that Charlie doesn’t yet have the secret sauce. He’s guessing. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. And the frustrating thing is that he’s smart, he knows the game, he can sell, he cares and he works hard.

But it’s not enough.

You have be able to make everyone around you believe and that’s not a trait normally found in nature. A top level college coach needs that leadership intangible. Some guys are brought up that way in their families, others have an intuitive sense and pick it up, some have mentors and still others work at it and eventually get it or are thrust into circumstances that somehow draw it out of them. Charlie had a mentor in Bill Belichick, but I’m not sure Belichick would win in college and Charlie doesn’t seem to have that innate ability.

And even if you have the secret sauce, it’s not enough. You also have to be a good cultural fit for the position. Since Lou, Notre Dame's had two carpet-baggers and a believer without the secret sauce.

ND is primed for a run at the championship the next two seasons, but we need a coach who not only has the boxes checked, but also the secret sauce. Right now Charlie seems to be failing schematically, in coaching motivation and in player motivation. He appears to be a very classic case study in failure and what happens when you elevate a technical expert to an upper-level leadership position. Technical experts in leadership positions have an inclination to "go insular" when things go wrong and try to figure it out in their comfort zones, that's usually a recipe for failure. Leaders are highly engaged. It’s certainly not impossible for him to succeed, but he hasn’t done most of the job before, so he’s guessing. The hope is that the coaching changes would create the secret sauce, but that’s a guess. Notre Dame needs someone who has it. Whatever it is. Someone who can coach schematically, recruit and make his players and coaches believe.

I hope that Charlie gets it this year, but the odds, at this point, are not in his favor. Given his background, his inclination will be to run back to what he knows best and focus on schematic advantages, but that may not serve him. If I were Charlie I'd limit the schematic analysis and concentrate on having the toughest, most in shape, fundamentally strong team in the country; one that believes they can win regardless of schematics. Being able to win Rocks, Papers, Scissors doesn't matter much if the other guy can punch you in the mouth. There are no awards for cleverness. When LSU beat Florida two years ago, they did it by controlling the line of scrimmage. Florida did the same to Alabama last year. That control of the line is key to making any well-called play work.

There was some leadership analysis recently that showed that the most powerful way a leader can use his/her time, in order, are to 1- show the team the road map for success, 2 - put in place a mechanism/process/resources to make sure everyone feels they can achieve those goals, 3 - manage the day to day effectively and 4- inspire them to achieve.

To be sure, there were signs that Charlie may have started to figure it out in the Hawaii game, where Weis adjusted his approach and the team responded in fairly dramatic fashion, but a look back at the abysmal run from Pittsburgh to USC last year should give anyone pause. That written, winning can do a lot to change a coach's and team's perceptions and a rising talent base, softer schedule and rejiggered coaching staff will give Weis a tailwind he hasn't had since 2005. I think it's fair to say that all but a small minority are hoping Coach Weis puts it together this year and, if he does, he'll likely pull in another top class and his coaching comeback story will become part of Notre Dame's lore.

*There's a very good chance that the pints changed the story a bit.

**Please save the "you want Charlie to fail" or "just another excuse for Charlie" comments that seem to accompany every article that seem either pro or anti-Weis.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Yet later in Holtz's career these same criticisms were leveled at him. People said the game was passing him by. That he concentrated too much on offense not enough on defense. Or not enough on the passing game. And obviously, the team had tuned him out because of his methods. When it works, you're a genius. And when it fails, you're the problem.
Everyone knew going into the Weis tenure that their were severe problems that would be showing up in year 3 and maybe into 4. Well guess what? We were all right. But looking back to 2005, there was a substantial turn around in team moral and self belief from what had been there the year before.
NOw was there slippage in 2006?
Yes a bit so. But there was absolutely no depth on that team. One form of motivation is to bench the unmotivated. How do you do that when you have no one else to put in? How about we let this season play out before passing judgment. We all knew going in that this season would be the telling one. So let's stop trying to set ourselves up to be able to say "see, I told ya so" and let's support the team and the staff for this season, anyway. We can't change coaches now and all this negativity is self defeating.

6/08/2009 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger The Rock said...

Don't infer motivation for the article. No one's setting anyone up. No one will claim credit if Charlie doesn't make it. The first part of your comment is interesting, the last part is assumptive crap. Do better.

6/08/2009 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article...I think you nailed it on the fact that Weis is missing the "secret sauce." In fact, in the Brady Quinn days, Weis often talked about that "IT" factor that Quinn had when he played. How he exuded confidence and all his teammates believed in him. He had a swagger to the way he approached the game that was amazing. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% sold on Weis himself having that "IT" factor about him, or "secret sauce" as you call it. Just like you said, he almost seemed lost out there. Prime example being that we managed to give up 3 double digit second half leads last year. This goes back to that "IT" factor regarding Brady Quinn. I think a lot of people gave Weis too much of the credit for the 2005 and 2006 seasons' success (and rightfully so). But I believe they were so successful because of Quinn's confidence and ability to lead his teammates on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. In those 2 seasons, how many double digit leads did Quinn and Co. give up??? Fact of the matter is, like you mentioned, winning can make people look past this type of thing. Notre Dame was winning ballgames, and frankly that's all some people care about. But Weis was still looking for his own secret sauce, and many fans just never saw it. Hopefully this season he will find it...

6/09/2009 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all went crazy during the first two year....the almost win with USC and the great passing game...and this was all done with the Ty leftovers and a coaching staff assembled on the fly in a short period of time...but even opposing coaches (see Pete Carroll) knew that these last two years were coming. Let's put all that to rest. The team is still young, but it is experienced. Is the offensive line good? Or does it just have a few years experience and are just not very good? WE play out this year. 10-2 is not unrealistic with 2010 being a real chance, on paper, for an NC run. If Weis accomplishes both, he's the man.

6/09/2009 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your comment about Brady and the "IT" factor put me in mind of Clausen. If the "secret sauce" is the ability to motivate, then the players must have the capacity to be motivated. While I have great confidence in Charlie, I don't have great confidence in JC's leadership. That is a big distinction. Let's all hope that JC matured since last season and is ready to lead ND to a great season.

6/09/2009 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger kozachok said...

ND will never win a national championship until the administration makes some significant changes. They need to have a true redshirt program, a training table and a more liberal admissions position. A 19 year old competing with a mature, well developed 23 or 24 year old doesn't make sense. Don't keep blaming the coaching staff, it's the administration that is at fault.

6/09/2009 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Carl Pio ND 66' said...

I read with interest your column. Charlie has the players, assistants he wants, and the schedule to put ND back, at least, in the top ten. The stars are aligned. If we wind up with a disappointing season (for me 8-4) he should hit the bricks. You call it Secret Sauce - I call it leadership. Good leaders make things happen - bad ones don't.

6/09/2009 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger johngmack said...

About twelve years ago I had the opportunity to hear Tom Peters, the management guru, speak at a major trade show in New York. One of his points was how Apple Computer was out of touch and probably going to fail.
Well, even the best don't get it right all the time. Just goes to show that a leader with both vision and physical problems can get the Jobs done.

6/09/2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

as far as the secret sauce 'Carl Pio' being leadership, I think sometimes being a leader is taking risks and doing going with your gut and trying what will work, Weis has done that, trying to maximize production with limited players. Being a Leader does not mean always having to win.
Maybe I am double fisting the kool-aid, but this has to be the year, our players will pull us there if Charlie can't.

6/09/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger ne said...

As much as the majority would like to believe it is blasphemy, Brian Kelly would take this team to the BCS (perhaps BCS Championship) over the next three seasons. So would Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, and Pat Fitzgerald.

6/09/2009 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous GeronimoRumplestiltskin said...

If Lloyd Carr, Phil Fulmer, and Larry Coker can win MNCs, I wouldn't count out Charlie just yet. None of those three guys could lead a group of men across a street, let alone to great heights. They had good staffs, and got some breaks. ND is due for some breaks themselves....

6/09/2009 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. You nailed it.Charljust doesn't have "IT". I like him and it saddens me that he will be gone after this season.

6/09/2009 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Carl Pio ND 66' said...

Ken - I was at ND when Hughie Devore was the coach - in 1963 we went 2-7 (we didn't go 2-8 because Kennedy got shot and the game was cnxed). The next year a guy by the name of Parseghian came in with almost the same players and went 9-1, losing to USC in the final game to lose the National Championship. Sir - that was leadership - taking a 2-7 team and making them 9-1 with the same players. I hope Charlie can do the same – I have my doubts.

6/09/2009 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Holtz's run seems to gain in quality every year, as is typical in story telling. As to Weis, the answer is simple when the appropriate axioms are identified.

1) to the extent that football is like a chess match, Weis is very good-if he is upstairs in the booth he is excellent. This tends to show up more (but not exclusively) in the pros, who are expected to be highly competent in skill sets and have time to learn through study and repetition the excessively large play books of other "chess players".

2) to the extent football is about athletic ability, Charlie is a very good recruiter and will rely on talent to make his otherwise sub-optimal play book work. This really works in college, as many coaches have proven over and over again.

3) to the extent that motivation is needed to overcome lack of ability/training or substandard play-calling, Weis is not very good and well below the standards set by more prominent ex-ND coaches. The players are motivated and if the coach was great, there is no need to find the extra motivation necessary to overcome the coach. This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of sports. Do you really want a player who doesn't lose motivation when he can see the system is wrong and is not being fixed? That is not optimal.

4) To the extent that football is about developing talent and skills, well Weis is clueless and his own worst enemy. He knows nothing about this aspect and learning from him is like learning to break a board with your fist with a video and a book. Only your hand is going to break. He does seem to finally have the right type of assistants who do know how to teach this (if Polian is not allowed near the field, that is), so if Weis can stop playing general during the practices, ND could finally return to being considered a great developmental program for the pros.

6/09/2009 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Don in LA said...

Oh, how I can't wait for the season to start and the speculation to end. Finally, we will know.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I do that it will happen on the field and not in blogs.

6/09/2009 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Watters/Brooks suspension before the USC game is recounted in detail in "A Championship Season at Notre Dame," authored by Holtz and John Heisler. Andy Heck is quoted at length about the player meeting. Only one player spoke in support of the two. They (along with two unnamed freshmen) were asked to leave the room before the discussion. Holtz wrote that he had made up his mind to suspend the players but he wanted to know how the team would react to it.

6/09/2009 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how the pendulum swings. From robo genius to now the guy lacks the secret sauce. I pose a different question, would Charlie have succeeded at Florida the way Urban did. Is the person the problem or the situation or both. Is it obvious now that Urban did not take the job then.

6/09/2009 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Pat said:

4) To the extent that football is about developing talent and skills, well Weis is clueless and his own worst enemy. He knows nothing about this aspect and learning from him is like learning to break a board with your fist with a video and a book. Only your hand is going to break.

I would disagree. The development of Brady Quinn is a prime example of Weis' ability to develop players, at least at QB.

Before Weis came on the scene, Brady's fundamentals were horrific. His foot positioning and vision down the field caused innumerable problems, not the least of which were a combination of interceptions and balls thrown at the ground two feet from his receiver's feet (an interception by the turf, as you will).

After Weis got his hands on Brady, Brady's talents blossomed and he became the star we loved to watch.

The same was true for the Shark.

So, Weis may not be able to develop ALL the talented personnel on the team. But he CAN help develop some of the critical Offense tools.

6/09/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock, nice assessment of Weis' lack of "special sauce." However, I believe that Weis has recognized his inability to motivate and develop players effectively and thus has made some changes for the upcoming 2009 season.

The first changes he made were predictable - personnel changes. Since he wasn't fired at the end of the 2008, some staff members, rather than Weis, suffered the consequences for the team's weaknesses. John Latina was fired due to a lack of solid offensive line production and Verducci was brought in. Similarly, Jappy Oliver was released due to the abysmal running game - enter Tony Alford. These two assistant offensive coaches will make or break the public's perception of Weis in '09 because he not only is held accountable for the entire team's performance, but he especially takes the blame for poor offensive play.

Consider this. The defense, particularly the secondary, has been showing consistent improvement since Corwin Brown was hired. This is because Brown has his own "special sauce" that motivates the players he coaches. If you watch him on the sidelines, he's an energetic guy and engages all of his players. Thus, the secondary will be very impressive this upcoming season. Brown is a microcosm for the team in '09. If the new offensive assistant coaches motivate their players to play at a high level, the team's performance will improve vastly - and Weis is banking on this.

Yet, the most important changes were made within the personnel. He schematically restructured his personnel so that the assistant coaches will play a much bigger role. Brown is now the "Associate Head Coach" (Note: "Associate," not "Assistant." Brown is the only coach to hold this title). This translates to "Motivational Speaker." Weis will use Brown to get the team pumped, offense and defense alike. Brown is a motivational coach, whereas Weis is a play calling coach. Some say that Weis has tried to take on more of a CEO type role with the team due to this reorganization, which would better seem to fit his style of coaching.

It seems that Weis now realizes that he lacks the "secret sauce" and has tried what seems to him to be the next approach - have someone else motivate the players. If coaches, like Brown, are successful in motivating the players, enabling them to run Weis' plays effectively, he'll cash in with a successful season.

6/09/2009 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CW came to ND,believing his nfl experience was enough to blow these college teams off the field,his arrogance kept up the junior nfl sytle,-it has not worked,everyone sees that but CW-his running game is a joke-the one back offense is a disaster for nd-they dont have the linemen to run it-ara and lh-adapted a style of play,according to the type of player that nd attracts-his offense is easy to defend-he can beat soft teams, but look at his bowl blowouts, and his loss record.he has the best coaching staff he has ever had at nd-but it wont help him-he should stay in the press box and take junior with him-panamajim

6/09/2009 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a fan since I was a child...to me, notre dame represents my fondest memories with my father..., and now, with my father gone...those memories will last forever...I only write this to tell you that ND is near and dear to my heart..and it is with hope that they finally have a year worthy of their name...

I personally think CW is a great man..if you dont believe me..google PASS RIGHT...and you'll see...the guy has a heart of gold...and I also believe he is a hell of a recruiter...but if he doesnt have a solid season...I must say, it's probably time to turn the page and start fresh...

9 and 3 should be the watermark...and a legitimate shot at the nc next year...otherwise, it's simply time to make the Irish great again...

It's been 5 years friends...the time is now...


6/09/2009 08:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a fan all my life. Some of my best memories are IRISH. Whether or not Charlie is the answer I don't know and personally, I am not sure I care. I care about the Irish continuing to be the benchmark of all that is great with college football. My concern with Charlie is that we are entering the fifth year of his head coaching tenure and he is still trying to find the right coaching staff to make this system work. I wish he would have spent the first few years doing that and the rest implementing a winning system. Regardless, here we are. I like what I see and I think the possibilities are great. I hate to think that a 'soft schedule' is what will get us there but good programs take advantage of opportunity. Let's hope we do that this year. I haven't been this excited for the USC game in several years. Go Irish.

6/09/2009 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous rdub4nd said...

As always Rock, I love your writing and your insight. I don’t always agree with you but that is not a requisite for liking your writing. For the record, I think Charlie is a GREAT person. As another poster said "Pass Right" is a prime example of this. But it is by far not the only one. I was born and raised in South Bend, I am a subway alum without even having to take a ride. Charlie gets alot of crap here. But if you look at the charities, the fundraisers, and the involvement in things that matter so much more than football that Charlie and Mora do, you would have to like them. Charlie loves Notre Dame. He wants to win at Notre Dame more than anything, just as much as all of us. All that being said, I LOVE Notre Dame and long for the days when ND is the pinnacle of the football world. I want Charlie to succeed, as do all of you. If you love ND why wouldn’t you? But if he cant, it is set up perfectly for another coach, the right coach obviously, to win and win quick. Coaches knew of our troubles when we hired Charlie. Urban knew, Poodle knew, and anyone else we offered knew. These same problems wont be present this time. We have talent coming out our ear holes! I have to respectfully disagree with the poster that said we must have a more liberal admissions policy. That’s hogwash! If Charlie has taught us anything, it is that ND can still compete with the absolute best of them in recruiting. Idiocy is not a prerequisite for playing football. All the players we have gotten over the last 4 years have been recruited by every other major program in the land. And do you know one thing, almost to a T they have all said when they choose us? They wanted to get a top notch education for life after football. This quote should be scorched into the minds of every Admin, every coach, every student, and every player:

"There is no academic virtue in playing mediocre football and no academic vice in winning a game that by all odds one should lose...There has been a surrender at Notre Dame, but it is a surrender to excellence on all fronts, and in this we hope to rise above ourselves with the help of God." - Father Ted Hesburgh

We have the pieces in place to make a serious run. I like our new coaches, I think they are gonna light some fires under some arses, the way Charlie hasn’t been able to. I believe we are finally gonna see NASTY on the defensive side of the ball. Our DBs are lockdown ball hawks and they will give our young Dline alot of help, the Backers are fast and hard hitting, the Dline is young, but fast and aggressive. We are gonna have some of the best WRs on the planet, our QB is much better than we yet know, our RBs will hit the hole full force and run north and south and be able to dish a nastier hit than they take. It ALL comes down to our Oline play. We all saw what could happen if the line gives Jimmy a little more time and opens some holes for our RBs, yeah it was only Hawaii, but damn we couldn’t run on Syracuse, so Hawaii was a major accomplishment. Well this has gone on much longer than anticipated. I leave with this.....GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!

6/10/2009 02:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think what CW recognizes from year to year is what he has to work with. i think that Tommy Lasorda in '76 was new with all his guys from the minors mixed with talented vets equaled early success, the minors replenished him through the mid 80's then the TALENT went flat(86,87, then GIBSON '88). Joe Torre is there now and has shown that his style works with what he has now a veteran ( Keny, Furcal, MANNY, Hudson) to complement youth also. look at all the great contemporary coaches- must have talent! to win. '07 and '08 we had no Brady etc. NOW we do. take your secret sauce and apply it to Hayes, Parseghian, Paterno (how many times?) and whoever else you want. great players make great teams. great teams make great coaches. the 2007 and 2008 Irish teams would not have won with Knute Rockne coaching.. this year and CW's next 5 will.

6/10/2009 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger fightingirishman said...

Great article- Weis does not have the sauce as in ARA DAN and LOU
never has never will
the greatest university in America deserves and its very loyal alumni demand to chuck this fat foul mouthed fool when weis enters the locker room after he congratulates Peter Carroll with little charlie after a fifth straight USC blow out- Weis must wear a joker red cap as a fool sitting in a lazy boy during the games
God bless Notr Dame and its great players
after all this money to him all the excuses Notre Dame is rated at 32

6/10/2009 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the references to Lou and Ara. Those days in college football are absolute history.

Rock, every commentary you write now is negative about ND and Weis. When Weis came to ND, there was more missing than the sauce as you put it.

There was no depth in the team. We all know why as that has been documented many times.

I hope the Charlie and the Irish come back as many believe they will. Then I will be interested to see the line you take Rock.

Regarding a possible season record...it is only early June! Let it rest until October. Then with some real intelligence we can begin to consider what the Irish record will dictate.

6/10/2009 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger The Rock said...

Couple of points.

First, did you miss the Meyer and Kelly references? The article was not focused on Ara and the Lou quotes are as relevant today as they would be to Rockne's era. This is a "part of the job today issue" not some longing for yesterday. That's why Meyer and Kelly were used as examples as well as Lou.

Second, today's article on Swarbrick is very positive and others have been as well so every commentary isn't negative. Unfortunately, when you're as a bad a program as Notre Dame has been, you have to expect more articles centered around areas for improvement rather that lauding mediocrity. That's what got us here. We've had enough of that.

6/10/2009 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A commentary like this one by the Rock only gives other coaches the ammunition they need to show potential recruits that Charlie will not be around after '09, and there is little stability to the Irish Football Program.

After reading the commentary for the third time to try and understand what the author is saying, I must ask the question who do you want as the football coach at Notre Dame?

If your response if Urban Meyer, then I believe you have lost all reason.

6/10/2009 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger The Rock said...

Recruiting will live or die on this season and Charlie knows that. If he wins, we get the top recruits. If he loses, we don't.

There's nothing in this article that anyone with half a clue doesn't recognize.

Hopefully, he's figured it out. I really hope he does. As for Meyer, I would argue you've lost all reason. He's the best coach in college football who graduates his players... I can't believe any school wouldn't want him.

If he were at Notre Dame right now, you'd be wearing a Meyer t-shirt and paying to see him at rallies.

6/10/2009 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger fightingirishman said...

with just criticismof weis at every turn watch charlie play the cripple card-find some kid dying fly to his bedside and have a maudlin repeat of frank leahy at the kids be4dside
fatman should have spent the last 6 weeks and the rest on agame plan for every game
travel to boston to visit with his rabbi on play calling then to miami for his other rabbi the big tuna

the o and d kine had better be running gassers with telephone poles like special force recruits twice a day and be eating ground chuck with raw eggs not franco meatballs -finnally send little charlie to boston he will be taking a mental and physcical beating in the fall
weisneeds ex secret service protection especially for the STATE -BC USC PITT GAMES
5 and 7 and jimmy harbaugh picks the burritos bones on november 28
gruden for coach -

6/11/2009 12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What have we learned about Charlie over the past several years? No matter how many Super Bowl rings a coordinator has, there is no substitute for HEAD COACHING experience when it comes to coaching ND! There is just no trading the experience of calling your own timeouts, making your own in-game adjustments, etc. He has demonstrated a lot of the typical "rookie head coach" mistakes. Dare I say... Gerry Faust had more head coaching experience than our boy Chuck! Biggest problem... the learning curve hasn't been as steep as it should be. He's been best when he runs the offense and stays away from the rest of the team... eg. Hawaii. Lets hope he has learned.

6/21/2009 03:02:00 PM  

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