Tuesday, April 1, 2008

IrishGlory Q&A

We are almost 1 week into spring practice and I wanted to take some time to answer some questions. Thank you to those who have emailed me. Please feel free to email any questions you have to irishglory2007@gmail.com.

Q: What do you think of Tenuta in the early going? Do you think this is going to work with Tenuta and Corwin together?

A: I think Jon Tenuta has been EXACTLY what this football team has needed. He is passionate, energetic, tough, and one heck of a football coach. I never had a chance to follow Tenuta's coaching style throughout the years, but I have been incredibly impressed by what I have seen. I think this is going to work just fine. Corwin and Tenuta are both winners.

Q: What do you think about James Aldridge being listed as the starter at RB?

A: I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, I think it is deserved. James is a heck of a football player who showed flashes of what he could do at times last year. He is the veteran of the group now and deserves the first shot at starting. Second, don't pay too much attention to the depth charts at this point. Remember, last year at this time Travis Thomas was listed as the starter at RB. How many carries did he get? I know everyone is clamoring for Robert Hughes to be the starter. You need to realize that while Robert is incredibly talented and can compensate for some of his and the line's shortcomings with his size and strength, he has an awful lot to learn and improve on. He will be a very good one, but he is not Jerome Bettis right now. He has much to learn. I do believe that the starter will be either James or Robert, as I think the coaching staff has a definite role in mind for Armando as a change of pace back/slot guy/screen guy.

Q: Have you seen any signs of hope for improvement on the O Line?

A: Yes!!! I really have and it starts with 3 guys -- Sam Young, Dan Wenger, and Eric Olsen. Eric Olsen did a phenomenal job in the weight room this offseason and is just a driven guy. Sam is much more reserved by nature, but he is stepping up. Dan Wenger will be the glue on this line, and I suspect will assume a leadership role. I don't think this line is going to go from awful to dominant in 1 year, but I do think they will be considerably better.

Q: There have been reports that Kerry Neal has been working with the DEs instead of the LBs. What do you make of this?

A: I think we need to fasten our safety belts with this defense because trying to figure out who is lined up where on any given play is going to be a challenge. I do think the Irish will show more 4 man fronts as I have said previously, with Kerry as a rush end, but that does not mean we will be a 4-3 team. We will not. I think you will see lots of guys playing multiple spots and moving around. I think Brian Smith is a guy who will be both inside and outside. There will be a lot of moving parts to this Irish defense. I am excited to see how it comes together.

Q: Who do you think will win the spot at SS?

A: My money is on Kyle McCarthy. Couple of reasons. First, he is a fundamentally sound football player who has a very good understanding of the scheme. That is important because you are losing a guy in Zbikowski who brought a lot of experience to the table. Second, of the candidates competing, I believe Kyle is the best in run support and is the most fundamentally sound tackler of the group. That is important in the Irish defense for this position, especially because of the lack of depth/talent on the DL this season. The Irish will count on their LBs and SS to be stout in run support. While I think McCarthy will be the starter, I do think you will see quite a bit of either Jashaad Gaines or Sergio Brown, particularly on passing downs. They simply have too much athletic ability to be kept off the field.

Q: IG, it seems like every spring there is one guy that comes from out of nowhere to make a splash. Who do you think that guy will be this year?

A: There are plenty of guys that I am hoping make a splash, but so far, from what I am hearing, Mike Ragone is a guy who is flashing. Everyone says he is still too small to be an every down TE. They are partially correct, as he does still need to get stronger. What I have seen and heard, though, is that he is a guy who plays with that hard nosed attitude and he won't back down from anyone. He is a scrapper. He also has tremendous ball skills. Keep a very close eye on Mike Ragone is what I will say.

Thank you all and GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 comments:

Sir John said...

A real nice session of Q and A Irsh Glory. I especially agree about Ragone. Don't worry about his size. I have been in his corner since way back when a priest friend from New Jersey assured me he was Irish. I had plenty of doubters at DD at that time so it was pleasing to see him commet and now start doing so well

wsmitheGH said...

Very interesting take, go ND!!

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