Friday, November 2, 2007

IrishGlory Q&A

I wanted to post the first installment of the IrishGlory Q&A based on questions I have received from readers. Again, I stress that my answers reflect my thoughts and opinions only. Thank you and please keep the questions coming!

1. Q: Since we are not Bowl eligible at ND can the coaches still practice the team through December under NCAA rules or is it "hands off?

A: Since the Irish are not Bowl eligible, they will not be able to practice during this period. The players can still lift and workout on their own, but as far as I know, the coaches cannot be involved. I imagine Irish coaches will be devoting a large portion of this time to making sure current recruits are solid and nailing down the few remaining slots. This will be a stressful time for Irish fans and coaches, as you can be sure that other teams will be putting the full court press on Irish commits with the Irish not participating in a bowl game. I imagine the coaching staff will also use this time to begin the evaluation process for 2009 recruits as well.

2. Q: Of the remaining recruiting targets at WR, who do you see Notre Dame landing?

A: Notre Dame currently has 2 receivers committed -- John Goodman and Mike Floyd. They are currently recruiting Deion Walker, Gerrel Robinson, Jonathan Baldwin, and Chris Harper. I think the Irish will take 1 more receiver in this class and it may well be the guy who wants to commit first. I believe the Irish will land either Deion Walker or Gerrel Robinson.

3. Q: Do you think Jimmy Clausen will play again this season?

A: If Jimmy is healthy, I really believe the Irish coaches would like to get him some time in the remaining games, though perhaps not as the starter. The problem is that I don't believe he is currently healthy. Just watching him move around, I believe the injury he suffered against Purdue is still lingering. Jimmy would benefit immensely from some playing time down the stretch, but only if he is healthy. The benefit of Jimmy gaining experience does not outweigh the cost of him potentially getting further injured or changing his mechanics to compensate for injury. The best thing for Jimmy Clausen between now and the start of next season is for him to be full go for offseason conditioning so he can hit the weights hard and add the strength he needs.

4. Q: Do you think there will be coaching staff changes after the season?

A. I have no idea. However, I do believe that Charlie will be reviewing the entire program at the conclusion of the season. The coaches most frequently mentioned as being on the hot seat this season are Brian Polian and John Latina. I believe Charlie will let Corwin Brown determine if he is satisfied with his defensive staff. As for John Latina, my personal feeling is that Latina did not forget how to coach overnight. Do yourself a favor and go read Latina's bio on the UND site. It is impressive. I have been as frustrated as anybody with the O line play this year, I am just not ready to throw Latina under the bus for that. I believe there are other factors involved.

5. Q: Notre Dame can't seem to find a kicker who can consistently make extra points and field goals. Do you think that Notre Dame will recruit a kicker this year?

A: No. No. No. I think Brandon Walker is the kicker of the present and future for this team. I think he has shown enough to know that the potential is there. At some point, you have to win with the kickers you have. You cannot continue to use scholarships on kickers year after year, it is just not a wise allocation of limited scholarship resources.

Thank you to all and keep the questions coming!


Andy said...

How can you not question Latina for the universally recognized fact that our offensive lineman were ill-prepared this entire season. What exactly was Latina doing in Spring ball and Summer ball? We had the same linemen then, and yet Latina either couldn't see their ineptitude or contributed to it with his coaching. Either way, he's to blame. There are far to many Div.1 programs with the same "young" mix on the O-Line, but Notre Dame's 0-Line was predictably game-after-game awful. When Tom Pagna says the players are talented, but look "lost" - that's a direct function of coaching and poor preparation. Latina should be given the Minter treatment this off-season.

Face Mask said...

I'm not so sure Latina is the one to blame andy.I tend to blame the no contact practices mandated by CW.Latina had to work within the framework set up by the head coach.I fail to understand how you practice a contact sport with no contact.The line is all about contact so there you go.I'm not down on CW other than I think he made a mistake on that call.