Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Grunhard, Young To Join Weis' Staff

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Charlie Weis needed a running backs coach. That position has underachieved along with the offensive line the past two seasons. Tony Alford, who was named as Mike Haywood's replacement on Monday, seems like a capable replacement (see previous entry for more background on Alford). 
The biggest news, however, is the anticipated announcement that ex-Irish All-Americans Tim Grunhard and Bryant Young will join the staff as graduate assistants.

It's hard to imagine that these former NFL veterans would want to uproot their families and move back to South Bend after making millions in the NFL. In Bryant's case, however, I'm told that he spent a lot of time at the 49ers training camp last season sitting in on meetings and trying to determine whether he wanted to pursue a coaching career. Evidently, the answer is yes, because Young is suppose to tutor Irish defensive linemen next season while Grunhard will help newly-hired offensive line coach Frank Verducci shore up an offensive line that has been at the heart of Notre Dame's problems the past two seasons. 
Say what you want about Weis, and people, including me, have said and written plenty. But he followed a disastrous 3-9 campaign in 2007 by making several shrewd moves during the offseason and appears to be doing so again. If Verducci can still relate to college kids after spending eight of the past 10 years in the NFL, he should be an upgrade over John Latina, who simply had to go after the offensive line under-performed the past two seasons.
The addition of Grunhard and Young could make a significant impact. Both had sterling reputations in the NFL, both care a great deal about the University and the direction of its football program and both are young enough to not only relate to current players but to help recruit new ones. Most importantly, both can serve as a link to the past and a conduit to the future, letting players know what it means to wear the blue and gold and the standard of play the uniform demands. 

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on January 19, 2009 6:19 PM.

Alford Named Running Backs Coach was the previous entry in this blog.

Gruden to Notre Dame? is the next entry in this blog.

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