Moving Sale


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Alright folks, its official. We are moving. Don’t worry, we not moving to Ann Arbor or anything crazy like that. We would never drink that kool-aid. We’re joining forces with the Subway Domer.

Subway reached out to me after he realized how much talent and awesomeness I have. After months of negotiating and trying to convince me why I should join, I finally gave in. OK, in all honesty as a loyal Subway Alumni and a Subway Domer reader, I was thrilled. Subway’s main mission is to provide his loyal minions the information they are looking for surrounding the football team we all love. I am all for that. Being able to provide some insight and thoughts on the Irish, while still repping the Left Coast, is exactly what I want to do. Subway and the Hibernian asked if I would join up and provide my insight over there and I couldn’t refuse. The same thoughts and the same insights will be shared there as they have been posted here. We’re just consolidating to keep from overlapping stories and providing ND fans the information they are looking for.

I still think Golden Tate is best, I’m still concerned about the uniform changes, and I still think Harrison “wheel route” Smith is more trouble than he is worth. Prove me wrong Harrison, I’m begging you.

So come check us out at Subway Domer. I will be posting there under KGG much to the dismay of Subway, but Darth Dan does have a nice ring to it.

193 days until kickoff.


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Spring is almost sprung…

Were only a few weeks away from Spring Football starting at ND and it can’t come soon enough. This off season there have been a lot of questions and even more speculation as to what type of difference Coach Kelly can make. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how he has been as a coach before his team has taken any snaps. Spring practice will give us the first glimpse of Kelly and his team on the field.

Spring Ball gets under way March 26 and concludes with the Blue-Gold Game April 24. The main question surrounding this team for us seems to be how the team will respond to a new coach. These players can expect pretty much everything to change from last season. New terminology, new schemes, and new coaches should make for interesting spring ball. What the Irish have going for them is the same talent. Much was made of the way Charlie could recruit and there is definitely a bunch of talent on this team. Its now up to Kelly and Co to show us what they can do.

Position question are abundant everywhere on this team. Offensive and defensively, they have some serious spots to fill do to graduation and a new scheme. Lets take a look at some of the position battles on offense to watch for this spring.

Backup QB
To make things interesting this off season, Dayne Crist is recovering from knee surgery. He should be the starter by the time the fall arrives but that will give plenty of reps to some fresh faces this spring. Look for the battle to be between early enrollee Tommy Rees and returning transfer Nate Montana. Why will it between these two characters, because they are the only two characters available. There has been talk of John Goodman moving back to his high school position of QB but with him deeply entrenched in a battle at WR it looks like a two man race. Two man until Andrew Hendrix arrives this fall.
KGG Predicted Outcome
Look for Rees to get the nod over Nate Montana. Montana has the name but hasn’t shown that he has the game (see what we did there?). Montana transferred this past fall to Pasadena City college to get some valuable reps so that he could backup Dayne Crist. The transfer went as planned but the playing time did not. Pasadena used 5 different QB’s this past fall and Montana was 31-of-88, 324 yards, 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Not necessarily stellar numbers by any means. Rees ran the spread in high school and if he can build on his 6’3″ frame, he could be a starter at the next level. We think Rees will have the 2QB position locked up heading into the game with Purdue.

Tommy Rees

X Wide Receiver
With the departure of all everything and Kelly Green Awesome Award winner Golden Tate, there is going to be some pretty big shoes to fill this spring. Michael Floyd returns to lock down one side of the ball but the other spot is wide open. When you look at the leading receiver for receptions on the team last year, 1 is gone, 2 is returning, 3 is a TE, 4 is a running back and 5 graduated. 6th on the team in reception last year is Duval Kamara. Kamara hasn’t risen to the level of his freshman year when he set school records for receptions. If Kamara, who has struggled with his hands in the past can be a consistent pass catcher, look for his 6’5″ frame to lock down the outside. Another option that can benefit from a new scheme and coaching staff could be Shaq Evans. Highly touted out of Inglewood CA, Shaq appeared to be in Charlie’s doghouse from the get go at ND. He never got much action but he has a lot of talent. Hey may be the next Marty Gillyard under Kelly’s watch in that slot position. Look for Goodman to remain at WR and not move to QB. He showed some signs of being a great possession receiver and caught the long TD pass from Crist in the WSU game. Deion Walker and and Robby Toma look like they will provide depth possibly in the slot position. Even the unheralded Barry Gallup returns for a 5th year. Talented freshman Tai-ler Jones who is already enrolled may crack the 2 deep depth chart this spring as well. Riddick has also been rumored to be getting a look at WR as Kelly has said that he needs to keep Riddick on the field as much as possible. Either way the wide receivers should immediately benefit from the coaching of Tony Alford.
KGG Predicted Outcome
Look for Kamara to get the nod to start along with Michael Floyd. If Duval can show some senior leadership this year ala David Grimes, he may be a nice possession receiver. We all know that Kelly likes to spread his offense out hence the name of the spread offense. He will use multiple receiver sets that will include Kyle Rudolph spread out wide to create a mismatch. Imagine the scenario of 6’3″ Floyd to the left split wide with 6’6″ Rudolph as well. The other side has 6’5″ Kamara flanked with 6’3″ Goodman. Nightmare for any corner or linebacker trying to cover them. Kamara wins the starting spot, Goodman stays at WR and gets valuable snaps this spring and ends up as the #2 X receiver behind Kamara. This spring is going to tell us a lot about Shaq Evans, whether or not he is a big play type guy or a possession receiver. Look for Shaq Evans to win the slot position. Toma behind Evans and Deion Walker behind Floyd should solidify the receiving corp along with Gallup. Tai-Jones will definitely be on the short list when spring ball is over.

Dig Duvals Kelly Green Jersey

Entire Offensive Line
With the departure of Sam Young, Paul Duncan and Eric Olsen, the line has some vacancies. Trevor Robinson returns along with 5 year senior Chris Stewart. Robinson held down the right guard spot this past year with Chris Stewart playing left guard. Dan Wenger returns next season as a 5th year player who has starting experience at the center position. Andrew Nuss, Matt Romine, and Taylor Dever also return for their senior year. They each played 29:56, 32:56 and 14:08 respectively last season. Throw in Mike Golic Jr., Braxton Cave and Lane Clelland and you have your choices. There are some rising sophomores in the mix that could also crack the 2 deep this spring.
KGG Predicted Outcome
Look for T-Rob to make the switch to a tackle position. Robinson could move to left tackle where he could lock that position down for the next 2 years. If he doesn’t end up at left tackle, he goes to the right. I don’t think Kelly would keep his athleticism out of a tackle position. Insert Dan Wenger back into the center position and you 2/5 of the line. Stewart is an interesting story on where he will start. He played some tackle position mostly in relief his sophomore year and these past two season he has lined up at both guard positions. Does Kelly line up his two best lineman on the same side of the ball? Imagine T-Rob and Stewart on the left with Wenger in the middle, making a formidable line. That also leaves an extremely green and inexperienced line on the other side. Look for Robinson and Stewart to start on opposite sides of the line to provide leadership, and Romine to lock down the other tackle position. That leaves the guard spot and it looks like it could go to Taylor Dever. We hope to see from left to right, Robinson, Dever, Wenger, Stewart and Romine come the end of spring, that is until Mr. Matt James comes a calling this fall.

#3 Running Back
One of the most talented positions on the team. Armando Allen returns after looking drastically improved last season. We cant say it enough but it was great to finally see Allen break tackles that normally took him down the year before. Returning with Allen is bruising running back Robert Hughes. Hughes and Allen were a formidable 1-2 punch last year and benefited greatly from Tony Alfords coaching. Backing up Allen and Hughes last year was Jonas Gray and Theo Riddick. Gray and Ridick each averaged about 14 rushing yards a game which is great considering the lack of running game most of the season. Riddick showed some explosiveness this past years which as many Irish fans salivating. Also returning this year is Cierre wood. Wood was redshirted last year and but many think he is more talented then Riddick. Wood was the 8th best running back recruit in 2009.
KGG Predicted Outcome
Allen will be the #1 starter when the spring is done. Allen can thrive in the spread offense. This past year he showed he could break tackles up the middle but he also showed he had the ability to make plays in space. He was 4th on the team in total receptions and can pick up the blitz. Allen should no doubt be the #1 back when the spring is done. Look for Allen”s fellow classmate to be the #2 back. Its the old thunder and lightning with Allen and Hughes and Robert can bring the thunder. Both backs will see plenty of time depending on the situation and the down and distance. Where the story gets interesting is the #3 position. Gray has the experience but its looking like Riddick and Wood have the talent to knock him off. If Kelly does move Riddick to WR like he has mentioned, that leaves some depth issues after this season as both Allen and Hughes will be gone. Kelly has expressed his desire to make sure his talent is used on the field and it makes sense that he would play the slot position with his size. Riddick will move to WR but not permanently. He may be featured in some WR packages on one series and get snaps at RB on the other. Cierre Wood will also see the field this fall but his talent is untested at this point. Look for Riddick to leave the spring as the #3 back but don’t count out Jonas Gray just yet. Gray is another speedster that has worked hard in his time at ND and just might turn some heads this spring and move into the #3b spot.

Allen in Kelly Green

194 days until kickoff.

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Filed under Coach K, Depth Chart, Golden Tate

Suit Up

Now that all that has been cleared up, let’s get to more important things. With signing day in the rear view mirror, there are still several unanswered questions. Who is going to take the majority of carries at running back, how will the secondary hold up, is Crist’s knee going to be ok? Those are all good questions, but I want to focus on something more important. Is Brian Kelly going to make any changes to the uniform?

Most people probably assume that Notre Dame’s unis are timeless and never change, but every die-hard fan knows that every coach likes to make little tweaks here and there. Some are more forgettable such as the clovers on the helmets or the gold piping on the away jerseys. Some are subtle, like the stitching below the neckline. Will Kelly go for the interlocking ND, a clover, the word Irish? Questions like these keep me up all night.

The Shark is asking as well, what goes here?

While most people are anxious to see how we look on the field, Im anxious to see how we look on the field. Socks, no socks, solid navy socks, half and half socks? Numbers on the sleeve, ND on the sleeve? Will we see the fabled green jerseys, what about a possible gold jersey? You have very important decisions to make coach, let’s make this look good.


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No excuses, Play like a champion…

February 3rd has come and gone. National Signing Day is in the books and there are 23 new members of the team to cheer for. What a wild ride. It seems like only yesterday we had a walk in the park against Nevada. Man those were the days. Shortly there after the season unraveled and ND made a change. To early to tell if it was the right change, but we here at Kelly Green and Gold believe it was. As I sat there in the stands after the Stanford game, trying to figure out what just happened, I knew it was time for change.

Brian Kelly has put together one hell of a class. Think about it, Brian Kelly held together what some people are calling the 14th, 19th, and 21st best class in the country. Big names like Shembo, James, Roberson, Jones and Hendrix bought into the system that Kelly and ND preach. Coach K said it best himself in his presser today, “You need time to recruit. You need success if you want to be able to continue to recruit the very best. Clearly, we did not have either one on our side this time. We will.” Kelly in a short amount of time secured commits from 12 different states to fit his system. He got his RKG’s with this class.

Some say that ND missed out on some big names. Maybe its true, maybe its not. What Kelly did was sell his program as a new coach with integrity. Florida recruits didn’t know who their coach was when Meyer quit. They didn’t know if they could trust that he would be back, but they still committed, to a coach that doesn’t know what he wants. Lane Kiffin sold snake-oil to some recruits and they bought it. After spurning his team in Knoxville and moving to USC, some players still wanted to play for him.

These are not the type of players that Kelly needs at Notre Dame. I know, I know, 5 star players are talented athletes and we should be happy to have them. I think my pops has rubbed off on me a little to much these days, but whatever happened to the old school approach. Committing to a honest program that isn’t facing NCAA sanctions, committing to a program where a coach puts his family first, committing to a school for what it stands for. Maybe its just a pipe dream but I have bought in to Kelly’s RKG mentality. The right young men to come in and represent your university and to fit your system. I think it’s something that Charlie Weis did very well as you can see with his graduation rate. Kelly went out and got the type of guys that he wanted and he did a great job of representing himself and Notre Dame.

Enough of that other nonsense, this is a football blog. Not some sappy blog about universities with values or me just trying to rationalize why recruits picked other school, lets get down to this class.

This class is starting to jump out on me on paper. Lets look at a top level run down today and dive into more depth later. 23 commits have filled out this years class. 10 four stars and 12 three stars, or 6 four stars and 15 three stars, or 9 gold stars, 1 pink star and 4 rainbows depending on which site you check your rankings at. Needless to say, this class has talent. Kelly brought in some big time commits on the offensive line. Matt James signing today pushed this class over the top. Joining Christian Lombard, they could be a force at Tackle and Guard respectively and I don’t think it will be to long before you see them line up next to each other. Also the signing of Tate Nichols, who tipped the scales at 6’7″ 292, is already projecting to be a tackle. We got a decent line haul for this year in what was an important position of need.

Defensive line got stronger again today with the addition of Kona Schwenke. Kona has instantly become KGG’s favorite player replacing Golden Tate. First, Kona shares his name with one of the best beers in the world, Kona Longboard Lager. (Yes we drank some today in his honor). Second, he spurned my hometown BYU Cougars to come and create something special in South Bend instead of Provo Utah. Trust me Kona, The Bend trumps Provo any day. Kona projects at DE and along with Justin Utopo and Louis Nix at tackle and maybe the addition of Danny Spond to the D-line, is not the world worst lineup in history. D-Line has been an issue for the Irish, lets hope some of the upperclassmen can teach these guys right away (looking at you Emeka).

Chris Badger, Spencer Boyd and Lo Wood should all end up in the defensive secondary. Badger projects at safety which was a big position of need and Spencer Boyd could add some meat and move to safety as well. Daniel Smith who played reciever in high school is 6-4, 205 could make the switch to safety as well. It would have been nice to add a Cooper or a Riley to this class but by no means should we start to panic. Lets see how the spring goes with Badger and Boyd already enrolled allowing them to participate in spring ball.

Linebackers got some great talent as well. Prince Shembo, Kendall Moore and possibly Derek Roback and Danny Spond should bring some depth to what is already considered a loaded position. Moore could move to D-end but for now he projects as a linebacker. Great additions to a stocked position already.

Four natural wide receivers committed to the Irish. Bennet Jackson, Tai-ler Jones, Austin Collinsworth and Daniel Smith all add some depth to what is an important position in Brian Kelly’s spread offense. Daniel Smith has size and still maintains 4.6 speed, but could end up at safety. Collinsworth could also add some depth to the DB position if need be. Jones and Jackson are both speedy receivers clocking in at 4.4 40 speed.

The lone get in the running back position is Cameron Roberson. Kelly loved what he saw in Roberson and applied the full court press to make sure he ended up Irish. He sent three coaches to coral the speedy Roberson and he adds depth to a talented stable of running backs. Derek Roback could also end up getting some time in the backfield with his size and speed as a 3rd down back.

Quarterback saw the addition of 5 high school QB’s. Tommy Rees is already enrolled and looking forward to spring practices. Hendrix turned down Meyer and his advances from Florida to end up with the Irish. Luke Massa, a kid out of Cincinnati should also get a crack at backing up Dayne Crist this fall. Roback and Spond look likely to head to other positions, but could play the position in an emergency.

Last but not least is Kyle Rudolph’s clone. Alex Welch is from the same high school as Rudolph and is 6’5″, 225 just like the elder statesman of the position. Welch is a pass catching TE that can line up in the slot and create mismatches for some linebackers. Bruce Heggie played some TE in high school but we expect him to end up at defensive line.

Well that about wraps up our initial thoughts about this class. Keep in mind that a transition coach who is installing a new offensive and defensive system held this class together. Kelly and staff did a great job of identifying needs that were left from the previous commits and brought in his RKG’s. I think we will be better off with this transition class than we were when Ty left the cupboard a little bare. Only time will tell with this class so check back here in 4 years for an update.

212 days until kickoff.


Filed under Coach K, Recruits

We lost to Stanford… Again

Blake Lueders, 2009-2010. We never really knew what we had

So picture this. Your are a young kid that has yet to commit to a university. You go on trips to a specific school and meet with the coaches. You talk to the head coach but you get to know the position coach extremely well. These classy coaches tell you about every advantage that this school can provide to you and start to convince you that you may want to go there. They begin to call you, text you, court you. Lets just say that you develop a relationship with said coaches, so much so that you decide that you are going to matriculate to that university. Everything is gravy; you buy some gear for that school, try to coordinate if you are bringing a mini fridge or not and make plans to enroll. Next thing you know things change. The head coach at that university is out and so are you favorite coaches. Everything they told you about their style and their techniques are gone. You still love that university, you even still have the t-shirts. Some time goes by and you get a phone call. Its the ex-position coach from that university you are committed to and he is telling you he found a new job at a different university. You still have a strong relationship together from all the time you spent with him and he tell you that you would be a great addition at this new university. You still haven’t met your new position coach so you listen to him and you even take a trip to that new university. You start to like what they have to say, maybe you even pick up a t-shirt just in case. Next thing you know, you think you could be happier at the new university because you already have a relationship with their staff. You finally realize its time to make a change, you switch your commitment to the new university.

The roles of our characters in today’s situation were being played by Blake Lueders, Brian Polian and Randy Hart. This situation occurred over the course of this year. Blake Lueders has jumped ship. The 4 star defensive lineman star of the Army All-American game has committed to Stanford. Lueders was exactly what the Irish were looking for in a defensive lineman and projected as a major contributor in next years 3-4. This loss hurts, but what can you expect. Lueders was recruited by all everything recruiter Brian Polian and position coach Randy Hart. Lueders developed a relationship with these coaches and they were fired. Soon there after, both of these coaches were hired to the same school, Stanford.

Lueders had committed in February to Notre Dame. He saw a school with a great tradition and knew that’s is where he wanted to go. From what I learned this crazy off season is how much a position coach means to a recruit. When Andrew Hendrix went to visit Florida, he talked about seeing campus and touring the facilities with the QB coach. It wasn’t until a dinner that he had a chance to meet with Urban Liar. These kids really do commit to their positions coaches as they will be spending all of their time with them. Look at the lack of recruits that committed to the Irish during the assistant coaching search. Besides the upset victory of landing Louis Nix without any semblance of a coaching staff we had 0 commits. These kids had no idea who they would be coached by during their playing career for the next 4 years. Lueders committed to the coaching staff as much as he did to Notre Dame. I know you are supposed to commit to a school for the school, but you have to have to have a relationship with the coaching staff. There has to be more factors considered than just the university.

I don’t think this de-commitement is a slight to the current ND Coaches. Polian could have been talking to Lueders for years. Diaco and Kelly could have talked to Blake in the past but once he committed to ND in February, I bet they let up the pressure. The kid developed a rapport with those coaches and they both landing at a different university. Not sure its a slight to Kelly, but it still stings. This is obviously a Notre Dame blog and not a Cardinal blog, so Lueders of course made the wrong choice. Unfortunately the more I think about it, I cant say that I blame him for leaving.

Side Note: Running Back Gio Bernard from Florida has also de-commited from the Irish. He has listed North Carolina and Oregon State as his top 2 schools. Bernard’s brother Yvenson is a standout for the Beavers. Oregon State also loves brother combos and currently has 3 sets on their roster including the vaunted Rodgers brothers. Could the Bernard’s be their 4th set?


Filed under Recruits

It’s all about the Fundies

With the first press conference featuring all of Brian Kelly’s staff in the books, the coaches are on a full court press recruiting. Much has been written about visits to NJ to see Bennett Jackson, visits to Florida to see Irish commit Gio Bernard and then stopping in to say hello to 5 star recruit Christian Jones. Jones would be a huge addition lining up next to Manti Te’o. The entire coaching staff as it seems were in Virginia to court J. R. Ferguson including Kelly, Diaco, Cooks, and Hinton. The Ferguson’s were impressed with the fact that ND brought that many coaches but it was Kelly’s way of showing how important this kid is. Kelly and the entire defensive coaching staff want J. R. on the team.

Today the coaching staff is off to the West Coast to see standout safety prospect Dietrich Riley. Riley would be a huge pickup over the likes of USC and basically the entire SEC, but he could break the 2 deep immediately and could compete for playing time right away. Next on the list is seeing Anthony Barr, the West’s most talented athlete. From everything we have heard, this kid could pretty much play any position on the field. Kelly has expressed interest in him as a receiver but Barr says his heart is at running back. Kelly could opt to let him play running back if Gio Bernard wavers on his commit to the Irish as he is set to visit North Carolina this week. At this point, I would let the kid choose his own position, maybe even create a new position if that’s what he wants to do. Being a legacy at ND helps but rumor has it that his lady-friend is transferring to UCLA. Chicks > Legacy

With the coaches out recruiting like they should be, they are racking up sky miles zigzagging the country. It seems that besides meeting the current class of commits, the coaching staff is looking to add depth to the defensive side of the ball. We all know the struggles the Irish defense faced last year and can see why the coaches are high on getting some stud defensive recruits into the fold. I’ve listened to the Bob Diaco press conference a couple times now and a few things stood out to me.

Diaco, when asked if there was a pressure on him to improve the defense said, “I don’t think so, for me. Everybody is different and I hope this doesn’t come across as coach speak because you get that so much, but really, genuinely there are some core principles to playing great defense; effort and hustle, tackling and then maintaining the top of the defense, so that won’t change.” No need to go and re-read the quote. He said exactly what you think he said. No pressure on him to improve the defense.

For a defense that was horrible last season (Stats can be found here at Clashmore Mike) that’s a brash statement to make. I’m pretty sure the number one priority from the athletic department to the grounds crew should be improving the teams defense. How many shoot-outs did we come up short on last year. How many points did Michigan, Washington, Michigan State, and Stanford score on this team? Why was the previous coach fired and none of the defensive staff retained? Oh yeah, because the defense was horrible, that’s why.

OK OK, maybe I am taking this to far. Lets look at the quote a little more. Diaco is saying that there doesn’t need to be pressure on him to improve the defense. He believes in fundamentals, tackling, pursuit and assignments. He is saying his job is to coach young men on what they are supposed to be doing first and foremost and not worrying about other things. OK, I can accept that. It seemed that too many times last year players were out of position, confused by assignments, and flat out missed tackles. So having a coach place and emphasis on these basic fundamentals is needed and that is what Diaco is saying.

We all remember this play from last year, it still haunts my dreams...

Diaco says his defensive playing style has, “Passion, great passion. Great great energy. Hustle and flying around with gas in their tank from the strength and condition coach.” With the new training table in effect and Paul Longos beach, there should be no reason for the players to get tired. Toby Gerhart destroyed the Irish single handily as the game moved along. It seemed the players were tired and out of shape in the last game of the season. This is something that Diaco needs to correct if he wants to succeed.

Diaco’s defensive philosophy when it comes to the 3-4, “3-4 alignment which will base out of, is a balanced defense. So you are not having to lecture to the sam or the will, but the outside linebacker. Not the mike or the jack, but the inside linebackers. You have inside and outside. The safeties are lectured to as a group, the corners are lectured to as a group along with the ends as a group. There is not 11 players, there are 4 or 5 positions. This affords you flexibility with regards to the time spent in preparation and be more focused on the fundamentals.” With that being said, he is again placing an emphasis on what he feels is the most import thing to defensive success which is knowing your assignment and tackling. It seems that Diaco will take the same approach as Molnar will with the offense. Here is the system, now plug the players in and go. Keep them fresh and ready to play rather that worrying about the personnel. Hell, this guy helped convert Demetrius Jones into a linebacker, lets see what he can do with Brian and Harrison Smith.

Diaco and CO seems to be out recruiting the type of guys that fit their style. It would be a great get if Ferguson, Barr, Jones or Henderson pick the Irish before signing day but we shouldn’t expect it. Plan for the worst and be optimistic. Just like Te’o did last year, he surprised ND after being pelted with snowballs against Syracuse. The coaching staff plans on converting their current guys into what they need for their system and that excites me. All we have to go on is excitement. We can all still be on the fence about this staff and I think we should. Lets not rush to judgment either way, good or bad, until we see some football. Don’t worry, we only have to wait 227 days.

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Filed under Coach K, Coaching Staff

Charley Molnar’s Offense

Brian Kelly officially gathered his staff on campus yesterday for introductions to the media. It’s great to see this part of the coaching search is over. Besides the coaches looking like they were part of a GQ magazine shoot, they also took the time to speak with the media and answered questions. Having the staff in place allows coach to get on with the other tasks of the off season, recruiting and getting to know his current players. All the interviews can be found here.

One interview that we were particular interested in here at KGG, was offensive coordinator Charley Molnar. Molnar provided insight into his offense and detailed the difficulties around installing a new scheme at a new school. Molnar first mentioned that one of the most difficult things to learn was the terminology that they use. “What they called oranges here for the last five years, we may call apples. The plays are the same, they just have to translate it.” Learning the offensive schemes and techniques will come later with Molnar as he will not even pass out the playbook until after national signing day on February 3rd.

Molnar talked about his offensive philosophy somewhat vaguely but emphasized a team first attitude. “Our philosophy has been next man in. As coaches we don’t blink an eye, if a guy goes down we don’t stop the game or change what we do offensively. We just keep doing what we do and expect the next man to go in and keep it going.” Having the ability for other players to step up and do their part is what will make Molnar’s offensive unit successful. Just ask Tony Pike and Zach Collaros. Tony Pike went down as the signal caller of Cincinnati this past season and they plugged Collaros in and kept winning. Build a system and run the system. It never changes for the players. Ask Charlie Weis how his system changed when Demetrius Jones was a QB, we all know how that turned out. Keep the system in place and bring in the players that can run your offensive philosophy.

Molnar touched a little on what type of style he wants to install at ND. An up tempo point scoring offensive that never turns off. “We believe in aggressiveness and having an aggressive mentality that you don’t just sit on the ball. We’re looking to score points. Even at the end of the half when the other teams are taking a knee you may see us taking a pass or a run but we’re trying to score. We’ll try to get another score in before the half. In the type of kids that play for us and the kids we recruit we look for those with an aggressive mentality that are temperament and aggressive in their style of play.” This uptempo mentality will be a welcome site on Saturdays in the Bend this fall.

Molnar said of his run game, “We understand the value of a strong run game, and I would be disappointed if we went through the season without a 1,000-yard rusher at the running back position.” With the current stable of running backs that he has at his disposal and a qb coming off a knee injury, look for the run to be the staple of the offense. The spread offense is built around the ability to run the football setting up play action. The ability to get opposing defenses to load the box to stop the run is essential to the success of the spread. With Allen, Hughes, Riddick and talented red shirt freshman burner Cierre Wood back, the Irish should find success running the ball.

Charley Molnar will be the offensive coordinator and QB coach, but Brian Kelly will still call the plays. The ability to convince his current players to buy into his system this spring is paramount for his success. New QB, new faces on the offensive line, and a new system will be tough to overcome, but that’s exactly what Brian Kelly was brought to Notre Dame for.


Filed under Coach K, Coaching Staff