Thursday, November 15, 2007

IrishGlory Q&A

I want to address some questions I received this week from readers:

1. Q: Do you actually think the O line is actually giving up plays just so the QB can get hit? I wonder? They sure don't take up for him with the cheap shots he's been getting lately.

A: This is a popular question I have heard an awful lot. I will answer it as directly as I can. I do not see any way in which any member of this football team, offensive line or otherwise, has deliberately missed a play on the field. I simply do not believe it has happened. The line has performed poorly this year, no question. At times, I think some players have not played with the intensity that is needed. However, I have never seen any evidence that anyone has deliberately missed blocks so as to get a teammate hit or injured. Let's face it, football is a violent game. Every player who straps on the pads knows that on any given play, on any given hit, a player can suffer a catastrophic injury. I refuse to believe that any member of the Notre Dame football team, knowing that, would deliberately subject a teammate to that kind of risk. Having said that, I do not believe this team has shown the cohesiveness that is needed. I have likewise been infuriated by the refusal to stick up for one another. Those are things that must change. I just refuse to make the leap from that to believing players deliberately make mistakes. I know those rumors are out there, but I believe they are utterly baseless.

2. Q: IG,In your opinion,out of all the commits,which ones will be immediate impact players?

A. Notre Dame currently has 21 players verbally committed in this recruiting class. I think a number of those guys have the chance to see the field next year. It depends on how you define "impact player." To give some context as to how I am using the term in answering the question, from the current freshman class, I would consider Armando Allen, Jimmy Clausen, Duval Kamara, Brian Smith, and Kerry Neal as "impact players." They have all made significant contributions and have seen extensive playing time. Other guys like Mike Ragone and Robert Hughes have played, but I would not consider them to have made a huge impact on this season. Does that distinction make sense? As I look at ND's current verbals, 5 guys jump out at me as potential impact players for next year:

Sean Cwynar - ND is losing a couple of D linemen and rumors are Cwynar may enroll early. He has the frame and motor to contribute early at DE

Steven Filer - The Irish will have a need for depth at ILB next year and I think Filer can play early.

Michael Floyd - Floyd is very polished as a receiver and route runner. I do not believe he starts immediately, but he will be an impact player before the end of next season

Omar Hunter - He is simply too talented to keep off the field. I believe Kuntz will slide over to DE next year and take Trevor's spot. I think Ian Williams will start at NG and Omar will provide quality snaps behind Ian.

Kyle Rudolph - Mike Ragone and Will Yeatman will be the only returning TEs on the roster. I think there is an excellent chance for Kyle Rudolph to come in and make an impact, specifically by stretching the field from the TE position.

3. Q: IG, what do you think Charlie will do differently in the spring and in training camp?

A: Good question. Honestly, from what I am hearing, he is going to make things as unpleasant as possible. I believe workouts and practices will be physical and Charlie has said he plans to be more vocal. I do not believe intensity will be a problem. The young guys on this team are really hungry to turn this thing around. Besides, they are not blind, they see the rankings of this incoming recruiting class. They know that Coach Weis is not afraid to play a freshman if he is the best man for the job. Bottom line is Coach Weis knows that this team right now is soft and mentally fragile. He knows he needs to really toughen this team up, both mentally and physically. As much as anything else, he knows there needs to be a mentality change.

4. Q: IG, what do you make of the people coming out publicly saying Charlie is an ogre and is arrogant?

A: I wonder where they have been the last 2 years when Charlie was leading this program to back to back BCS bowls. It is amazing how someone's perceived "flaws" are discussed a lot more when you are losing. I have watched just about every one of Charlie's press conferences and I have watched how he interacts with the press, alums, and fans alike. To be honest with you, I have always found him to be refreshingly honest and candid. Can he be arrogant? Sure. Most successful football coaches are. Given the choice, I would much rather a confident coach than one who is afraid of pressure or publicly flogs himself for every decision he wishes he had made differently. One last point on this -- I find it very interesting that the individual(s) lodging these complaints have never even met Coach Weis. Seems that those who have worked with or played for Coach Weis have a very different opinion.


That's all for this week. Please feel free to share your comments in the comments or chat section Please keep the questions coming!!!!!!!! Send to:


Face Mask said...

Thanks for answering my Q,That was just what I meant,player that would be playing and makeing a diferance in the team in their first year.

IrishGlory said...

Any time Facemask. keep the questions coming. It is always a blast talking Irish football, especially when we get to look to the future, rather than the past or present.

Sir john said...

sorry i have been late daughter is expecting third baby, SOOOON a girl KLUNK. I do not needf tese things at my age. ahahah Come on Glory

IrishGlory said...

sir john - congrats my friend!!! my wife an I just welcomed our first child, a girl, 4 months ago. Kids truly are a blessing! Go Irish!!!!!!!!!!!!

Face Mask said...

Sir John,IG,Congrats to you both.GO IRISH!!!!