My Hopes for the Coming Season
by tricio (2019-02-07 16:35:07)

The primary result I am looking for from spring training and fall camp is a balanced offense that features marked improvement in the ability to stretch the field with its WRs plus added use of TEs as receivers. If all the commentary and ratings about the talent at these positions is accurate, the Irish have plenty of talented players at these positions.

A fundamental requirement if this is to be realized is a QB with the arm strength to throw long with accuracy as well as to make a number of short and intermediate throws with zip. While Book played admirably this past season, his arm strength has been viewed as insufficient for long passes – possibly some intermediate ones. He will be entering his 4th year in the program, and it would seem this issue would have been addressed by now if there were a way to do so. As matters stand, it appears the only way to boost his arm strength is by attaching some form of bionic device to it.
So, I don’t want Book appointed QB1 by default. I think Jurkovec deserves a legitimate shot at being the starter as I have not heard any rumblings about his arm strength. I understand that they want him to change his arm motion to be more overhand, but I would think that should be doable (although I will note that Mahomes has demonstrated it may not be best for every situation). The QB1 needs to be the one who is better able to stretch the field with the talent the Irish supposedly now possess in its WR corps. Also, it is not at all clear that the NFL is anxious to draft Book which could mean he might want to play a 5th year. If that were to happen, Jurkovec possibly would be looking at not starting until his senior year. I sincerely doubt he would wait that long.

As for WR, I think the competition should be wide open also. There is a pool of talented younger players who deserve to have equal chances with the returning WRs. I am not interested at all in the transfer from VaTech. I prefer focusing on developing the players on hand. They were recruited because of their levels of talent and potential. Put the attention on them. If none of them can deliver, find new staff to recruit and coach WRs.

I also would like the TEs to become a larger part of the passing game. There is enough talent here to expand their roles here as well as serving as blockers. As odd as this may sound, I would like to see Claypool become a WR/TE hybrid. With the addition of 10-15 lbs and improvement in his blocking, he might fit well into certain sets as a quicker TE. And, with his size, he would remain an attractive target in the red zone. Using him in such a capacity also could introduce some complexities for defenses to cope with – particularly if TEs are more active in the passing game.

As for the running game, spring and the fall will need to determine who the leads will be, and how the amounts of speed and power the running will feature. However, if the passing side becomes more dynamic, the running game should have ample opportunities to provide sufficient balance.



(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


"QB1" ugh. How about starting quarterback? *
by ndgotrobbedin97  (2019-02-07 23:39:34)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


Sans a massive change to running scheme, everything is moot
by btd  (2019-02-07 20:35:15)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

We flat out will never win a title at ND without a dominant run game that is nearly impossible to stop by any team anywhere -- essentially what Holtz had.

We don't need balance in terms of yards passing versus running. We need the ability to get 3rd and 1 98% of the time running the ball -- no matter where it is on the field. We need to be 90% or above on 3rd and 2 via the run.

Until that happens ND will not be elite and they won't be able to beat elite teams -- no matter what we have passing wise.

History shows we need to average 180 rushing yards minimum to be playoff level. However, the average is less our concern than what I said above. We have averaged enough multiple times under Kelly -- but we have been extremely poor in short yardage since the day Holtz left.

The QB is going to suck at least 1 game every single year. Odds are they will be below average at least 3-4 games per year. When that happens against elite teams we have 0% chance of winning historically. When it happens against top 30 ish teams we often lose. Why? Because we have no run game we can execute no matter who we are playing to fallback on.

JT has listed what can easily be done to in effect give us about 4x the diversity in our running scheme. If we had that, then we have the ability to turn to some subset of our running game every single game that will work. Today we have an extremely limited scheme and we consistently see elite teams take away those few plays by design and it is game over for running -- we have nothing else to turn to. When you have a very diverse run scheme, teams can't take EVERY aspect of it away from you.

Then layer a competent passing game on top of the running game -- and oddly enough with legitimate play action as a threat, that alone goes a long way to improving the passing game.

Kelly has learned a number of things on the job at ND. There are no signs at all that expanding the running game is one of them. Thus we have 0.001% chance of going 14-0 and that's the only record that will ever win ND a title.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


No suspensions *
by NDCuse  (2019-02-07 19:15:01)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


The OL is the biggest key to the season
by Jvan  (2019-02-07 17:26:43)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

QB and the other offensive skill positions are good enough to succeed behind a good line against most opponents. If the line is no better than this year, those skill players will look average at best.

There are a couple of holes on defense that must be addressed. Many candidates but no obvious replacements for Coney, Tranquill and Love. Depth along the interior DL.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


I think you are correct, and that we have a wealth
by Irish 1978  (2019-02-07 18:36:20)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

of experienced OL players returning.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


That could be good or bad
by Jvan  (2019-02-07 19:35:09)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Eichenberg is a right tackle trying to play on the left side.

Ruhland needs to improve technique and get stgronger to win the job at center, but there isn't much competition.

Kraemer is okay at right guard, but often a liability in pass pro.

Hainsey is a guard trying to play tackle.

I like Banks at LG.

Quinn has a long way to go to prove to me that he is a quality OL coach.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


I put the odds of Quinn being legitimate at 15%
by btd  (2019-02-07 20:25:12)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

We will know within 1 or 2 games whether he is or not. All signs from 2018 are he has some form of issue because returning starters all regressed technique wise per the analysts covering ND. They made essentially the same mistakes every game of the season - so no evidence Quinn either was aware of the problem or was just unable to teach how to fix it.

My guess is Quinn is a large step down from HH, but is a small step up from the other OL coaches Kelly has had.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


exactly *
by johneye  (2019-02-08 18:24:47)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


I doubt there will be much improvement *
by PattyMulligan  (2019-02-07 18:01:05)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


you totally nailed it
by ocdomer78  (2019-02-07 17:58:23)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

book's perceived lack of arm strength is the least of our worries. the fact that he makes quick decisions and reads defenses offsets this.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


Unless there is a plan to have him in-line block
by Ajax  (2019-02-07 17:16:42)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

it makes no sense for Claypool to put on weight to be a hybrid WR/TE.

Also curious on Book's deep throw incomplete passes, how many were over throws versus under throws.

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)


good question, touch or arm strength *
by TWO  (2019-02-07 19:50:43)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

(Oh, and of course, Michigan sucks)