Some of the Fighting Irish assistants speak to the media.
Some of the Fighting Irish assistants speak to the media.
Bagpipe Monday will be out later today. Until then...
This week you get a special treat. Two bagpipe videos! WHOOOO... The first one is called Mason's Apron, which inspired this weeks poll question of- "What secret society would TAH-NOO-TAH join?" So, don't forget to vote and enjoy the pipes!
Your bonus video is from a band called Mudmen. You got a problem with that?
Since I had a few minutes this morning, I decided to take a look at the Eligibility chart for 2009 and see if any adjustments were needed. Sure enough, there were. Here are a few notes pertaining to the eligibility chart, followed by the chart itself.
(Editor's note... This post contains the answers from a previous post. Also, any responses from other bloggers will be linked just below the post.)
Welcome back to the Irish Blogger gathering. Last time we saw our heroes, we were speaking in tongues and trying to understand the intricacies of Hawaiian life. After some much deserved celebration for ending the eternal bowl drought, the Fighting Irish get back to work officially for Spring ball on Friday the 20th. I'm banging my head against a rhinoceros in anticipation of watching cone drills and stretches soon.
With that said, I have been a procrastinating fool for the past few weeks and I am rushing, even now, to get these questions out to the rest of the coven. I'll add my answers before the end of the week. Look for responses from the other members in the IBG to be links in the comment section. Feel free, as readers, to answer these yourselves in the comment section as well. (Please keep in mind that some players may be kept out of spring ball due to injury or illness. Those details have not been released by the University).
Here we go...
1. Take your temperature. A) What sort of things are you looking for the team to work upon to help the 2009 season? Group improvements, players improvements, new fertilizer... whatever. As general a question as you will find. B) Same question, but instead of just the 2009 season- the future of the program as a whole.
A. 2009 could be a really great year for the Fighting Irish. The schedule sets up nicely and the bowl drought is over, so now it is time to get a few other things off of our back- such as beating U$C, and finally beating Michigan State at home. Those are two things that would have happened in 2005, if the Irish defense were as good as they should be in 2009. So instead of going with the obvious answer and saying "offensive line improvement" (which is still the best answer)... defensive line improvements. The line is relatively young, but it should be the deepest and most athletic defensive line in over a decade that Notre Dame has fielded. Stopping an opposing teams run game is just as vital as having one of our own as well as creating pressure on the quarterback without having to send one or two blitzers every down. The defense is primed for a great season- if they get quality production from the front four.
B. Without a doubt- Dayne Crist. Jimmy is the man until he leaves. All of the "Clausen Haters" had better recognize that fact. I suspect most of you will disappear within the first couple of games, as I think Jimmy is ready for a Heisman caliber year. (I'm not saying Jimmy is going to win the thing- just, at least, have good enough numbers and wins to be in the conversation). But I digress. It has been a long time since the Irish were able to groom a successor at the QB position. This is the time for Dayne to make huge strides to help ease his entry into stardom in 2010 or 2011. The future of the program has a lot at stake with this position, and if Weis does it right... we should be in good hands.
2. It remains to be seen if I will be traveling to the spring game. My wife may have objections to yet another birthday of hers being used for a game that essentially doesn't count. (I know, I know- she just doesn't get it.) Don't you think it's about time that the spring game was televised? You know ESPN is dying to get inside that stadium for a live broadcast. I don't think it would interfere with the NBC contract, and if it does- why aren't they televising this?
You already know what my answer is... OF COURSE! Is there some type of figure skating championship that requires NBC's attention? Or is it the University's fault for not allowing the cameras inside for the game? I'm not sure- but someone is probably willing to fork over some cash for the rights, and I say- motherfucking let them!
3. What position battle will be decided this spring? Which one will have to wait for summer/fall?
This spring will be very important to the depth chart. There is not a huge need for any of the incoming freshman to contribute right away, so what we see in the spring may be an actual prelude to the season. The biggest battle could be for the 3rd WR spot. You can say this guy is an X, or this guy is a Y- but really We have a 1 and a 2 (Tate & Floyd) and are searching for the 3. West, Goodman, Walker, and Kamara are all reaching for that place at the table. One of these four will win that spot and walk into the summer as the clear cut guy. I could be very wrong... just a hunch.
The safety battle between Kyle McCarthy, Sergio Brown, and Harrison Smith will have to wait until Fall. I do think that Smith will be one of the safeties full time, and Kyle and Sergio will be vying for the other spot. This may take a long time to figure out, but all 3 will still play. You know who I'm banking on.4. If you could change anything about the way spring practice/ Blue-Gold Game is done- what would it be?
Could Miami of Florida and Notre Dame really start playing each other again?
After a nearly two-decade break, Notre Dame athletic director Jack
Swarbrick said the Fighting Irish is ''very interested'' in playing Miami again
in football, and the interest is mutual.
UM's Kirby Hocutt initiated talks with Swarbrick, who became Notre Dame's
athletic director in July. No dates are set, but talks will resume in April,
Swarbrick said by phone Monday.
NBC's Notre Dame contract includes seven Irish home games and one
prime-time neutral site game annually through 2015. ''You could do that,''
Swarbrick said of the neutral site game, ``plus do one home and home.''
UM and Notre Dame played annually (1971-1985 and 1987-1990) before the
Irish discontinued the series. A Notre Dame student printed ''Catholics vs.
Convicts'' T-shirts before the epic 1988 game in South Bend, Ind., which Notre
Dame won 31-30. UM won five of the past seven meetings and hostilities rose
during and after Miami's 58-7 win in 1985, when the Canes were accused of
running up the score.
Playing Miami is appealing, Swarbrick said, because ``they are two great
academic institutions. We're eager to play schools that share our values.
There's a lot of great history around the games.''
Be sure to celebrate responsibly on this joyous holiday. Not just the whole drinking and driving thing, but something else as well. Stay away from that shit-bagged green beer. Seriously. What are you, 17? Pick up a Guinness- pick up some Jameson. Just put that green slop of shit away. Thank-you.
Be sure to vote in this weeks poll and enjoy the pipes!
A month ago, I posted my annual "State of Recruiting" post. In that post, I called out and cussed out Sports Illustrated writer, Andy Staples.
He answered back tonight...
I was just about to send an e-mail to another ND blogger, and I did a quick Google search to make sure I hadn’t wronged him in a past life. I came across this post…
I hate to tell you this, but I had never seen your blog until tonight. I got the idea for that project from a combination a conversation with Tommy Tuberville about the relative success of recruits from within 200 miles of campus and from Richard at MapGameday.com, who has been doing maps like this for a few years. Richard and I corresponded a little bit as I worked on the project, and we’ve shared some data. As for the title, I blame my editors. I didn’t even suggest one.
After you’ve written for a while, you’ll get used to seeing something you’ve thought of swiped — usually unintentionally — by someone else. When I covered Florida for The Tampa Tribune, I did a feature on Corey Brewer that must have been aped by approximately 700 writers by the time the Gators rolled into the Final Four. Nobody plagiarized me. They all got their own quotes, but it still ticked me off every time I saw the story regurgitated in another outlet. I definitely understand how you feel. I would have said F me, too.
I wrote him back write away and thanked him for his e-mail. I also apologized for the manner of the response in the post and told him I was going to issue a retraction on Subway Domer. So, I'm issuing a retraction. How about that? I overreacted. It's happened before, and my apologies to Andy.
The Subway Domer
This week it's all about battles. Knock out drag out stuff. Step-brother stuff... without balls all over drum sets. Don't forget to vote and enjoy these pipes from an Irish punk band from the land of Mike Ragone.
Here's a bonus video... because I just pooped on Pete Carrolls face(book).
It's that time of year. Spring football is right around the corner and the message boards are a buzz with roster movement and depth chart speculation. People can't help themselves. It's fun, it's interesting, and its all we got right now.
I generally try to stay away from printing out any type of depth chart or starter projection-type material. In this era of football, more players are playing due to both sides of the ball using many different formations and packages. So instead of pinpointing 22 guys as "starters", I have instead pointed to 35-36 players of impact. These are players that will contribute heavily to the team. Sergio Brown is certainly one of those players, but could he be more?
If you ask around the Notre Dame locker room, "Who is the best athlete on the team?" More times than not, Sergio Brown would be the answer, and it has been for the last couple of years.
Last spring, Brown competed against Kyle McCarthy for the strong safety spot that opened up after the departure of 4 year starter Tom Zbikowski. McCarthy won that position battle and it bore fruit after Kyle led the team in tackles in 2008 with 110 and also had 2 interceptions. It was a very solid performance- that also had me yawning. Where were the big plays? Granted, Kyle did make some very big tackles that helped the team. However, it was done so quietly and 10-20 yards past the line of scrimmage, that it looked effortless.
After spring ball, the designated starters at defensive back were pretty much decided. These are the players that fell into the slots:
Oh, how things change- and quickly at that. After Walls, the most talented defensive back on the roster, left school for personal reasons it opened up a huge hole. That hole got filled by Raeshon McNeil, but like a submarine taking on water, another hole opened up. The lineup soon looked like this:
It didn't take long for this lineup to get tampered with either. Robert Blanton started kicking down the door from the day he stepped on campus and he soon got a lot of playing time. At first it was Gary Gray rotating in with Lambert and occasionally McNeil. Then, Blanton took over the role that Gray was occupying as the season wore on.
As we roll into spring football for 2009, we see the same type of battles that must take place to decide the participants. With Walls back, and the emergence of Robert Blanton the lineup will definitely be shook up- but is it the right shake up. Enter Sergio Brown.
After playing on special teams in his first two seasons and racking up a colossal 11 tackles, Brown stepped onto the stage in a huge way for the Irish at the Nickel position from game one last year. He was an effective blitzer and terrific in coverage. He showed great athleticism and playmaking ability and in my opinion- he proved himself to be able to contend for the SS spot once again. He deserves it, and keep in mind that this is his last year of eligibility. (That last part sucks balls).
I just feel that Brown brings more to the table than McCarthy. I like Kyle, but I also like safeties that make big plays. I'm not sure if Kyle can do it or can't do it, but I am sure that Sergio has more of the tools needed to make those big plays.
In today's game, we see more and more defenses having to move towards using the nickel package as somewhat of a base defense against spread teams. Spread teams are multiplying. So, the nickel is just as important as the SS for the most part. My ideal setup for the defensive backs in a nickel formation looks like this:
We can argue about the Blanton/McNeil battle at a later time. By now, the McCarthy brothers and fan club are ready to tear my ass apart, but we have to be honest with ourselves. You could at least pencil Kyle in as the Dime- but I keep hearing that the staff is very high on Jamoris Slaughter too. Uh, oh...
By now, if you're still reading this, you are probably wondering if I am moving towards some type of point or closing argument. Perhaps. But I think I have made it clear already. Sergio Brown is an exciting and athletic player and in my opinion- he should be starting at the SS spot. This puts our defensive backfield in better situations to make the big play. McCarthy led the team in tackles last year with 110, so I can understand that some people may be hesitant to accept this fact, but we should. A safety shouldn't be making that many tackles anyways.
This is the "Curious Case of Sergio Brown," but in essence it is also the " Curious Case of the Secondary." What do we do with what is the most talented defensive backfield the Irish have had in a very long time? In my opinion, we go with the playmakers and let them make plays, and somehow that all revolves around Mr. Brown.
Hola! Welcome back to another Bagpipe Monday. So many things are changing in the Subway Domer household- especially poopy diapers. So much poop, that I can't get it off of my mind.
Last week, I asked if you were excited by the coaching changes at ND.
Don't forget to vote in this weeks poll and enjoy the pipes!