Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Hendrix ready, waiting

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Andrew Hendrix gained two yards to the USC 1-yard line. On the next play, Jawanza Starling returned Dayne Crist's fumble for a touchdown that sent USC to a 31-17 victory on Oct. 22.

Hendrix hasn't played since.

"When we look at it as it's probably more about the time in the game," coach Brian Kelly said when asked why Hendrix hasn't played in Notre Dame's last four games. "We were backed up pretty good [against Boston College]. I don't want to risk turnovers in those situations. So it's either been we've been up a lot or have been in tight ball games that have kept him from getting on the field."

Kelly said the sophomore is improving in practice even if he's not playing in games.

"He just stays ready," Kelly said. "We continue to give him work. As you see, we're committed to Tommy being in there. He's ready. He has a package of plays that has expanded from week to week. I know he's not on the field but he's getting valuable time being on the sideline and being close to the game."

One of the reasons Kelly started using Hendrix was to give the offense a new wrinkle that opposing defenses would have to prepare for. He made sure Hendrix got some experience against Air Force so he wouldn't be seeing the field for the first time against the Trojans.

Considering all that, it's possible Hendrix could take a few snaps when the Irish visit No. 4 Stanford on Saturday.

"He's done well," Kelly said. He's learned so much more about our offense. He's a lot more comfortable in his own ability to run our offense. As I said earlier, that's the way we evaluate this program. His progress is what we're looking for."

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8 Comments

I think coach Kelley is doing a great job however, I have one concern. KNEES.
It only takes one play causing a knee injury and the #2 guy becomes the #1 guy instantly for the rest of the season. Noted, it is the last game of the season but I would like to see dynamic players getting more real game snaps during the season.

I am convinced Kelly is afraid that Hendrix just may prove to be a little too much competitiopn for his annointed one, Everett Golson, and therefore does not wish to give Hendrix a leg up in the QB competition next year by giving him valuable game time experience this year.

Hey I hope Golson is dynamite! But I also hope the competition is fair and that starting assignments will be on merit and not based on someone's high school reputation.

Please give Henrix another chance or start the original QB ND needs a running QB You could suprise the other team and win the game! they know tommy can't run !and there defence is built around that ! Surpise them and we can win !!The ND offence is made for a running QB and tommy is a nice guy and he can't run and they know it!Many other fans agree with me and I do love ND the team I grew up loving !!!!I officted over 1000 games in japan in 1954 -55 in ohio t555to 1960 and in ca 1961 thru 1990!!!Please give the other two QB acnance to win!!!!Thanks tom

When the heck is ND going to throw the ball "down field"???? They have the best wide receiver in the country and one of the best tight ends??? Why don't they use crossing routes????? Those goofy sideline passes are going to start getting picked off and those will be "pick sixs"

Worried about turnovers? How could Hendrix be any worse than Reese. His look right, turn left and throw to a defender was ridiculous. i really have to wonder why he kept rolling left against BC. That play made his limitations even more obvious, yet they kept running it.

Put Hendrix in, take some lumps during his growth and prepare for a possible BCS run next year. Rees cannot make that run. He's a terrific 'gamer' and I'm sure he's a good kid. However, he's just not a top BCS caliber QB.

If Kelly is worried about turnovers he might want to re-think using Rees

Seriously? Really? That's Kelly's response? What a weak explanation.

Practice time doesn't even come close to game time. It's a waste of talent, a waste of opportunity to expose defenses to a double threat. Rees does not give ND a single ounce of threat on the run. That entire dynamic is eliminated with Rees. Hendrix can throw and run and that gives ND a potent threat and keeps defenses honest and guessing.

If ND loses to Stanford, ND is 8-4. A mediocre season. Brian Kelly has NOT proven himself. He's proven that he's a coach prone to stupid outbursts, displays of lack of poise and irresponsibility (Declan S,).

Beating Stanford is a must. It really is.

BK...you are killing me not letting this kid have some snaps.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on November 21, 2011 2:27 PM.

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