What's wrong at Notre Dame?

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Notre Dame is 2-1 and even though coach Charlie Weis has recruited what every recruiting service has declared are several top 10 classes in a row, most of the blue-chip prospects--with the exception of Jimmy Clausen and Michael Floyd--haven't distinguished themselves or demonstrated much development in the Irish system.

How badly has all of this affected Weis' program?

Up to now, not much. His recruiting class for 2010 is rated among the top 10 to 15 in the nation by every recruiting service. It includes Christian Lombard of Fremd, one of the nation's leading offensive linemen, and quarterback Tommy Rees of Lake Forest.

But there are concerns. While the offense has played well, the defense is hurting.

Offensively, as long as Clausen remains healthy, Notre Dame is a force. Golden Tate, Armando Allen and Kyle Rudolph are big-time players. The offensive line has allowed only one sack in three games.

But the defense...well, safety Kyle McCarthy has been the only standout. No. 28, the one who made the game-saving interceptions against Michigan State. He is an overachiever. He wasn't rated a high school All-American by me or anyone else.

The Irish have All-Americans on defense but they haven't been developed. Sophomore Darius Fleming of St. Rita is starting to look like the All-American he is supposed to be. The defense isn't struggling for lack of talent. Several defenders were recruited by all of the elite programs in the country. The talent is there but the coaching staff hasn't found a way to put them together.

The main problem is there is no punch in the defensive line. Opponents aren't scared by the Irish defensive front. One starting defensive lineman didn't record a single tackle in the first two games.

So Notre Dame's problems start with the defensive line. It is the one position that Weis and his staff haven't recruited an All-American with the exception of Ethan Johnson.

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9 Comments

One of the best QB's in the state plays for one of the worst football programs in the state. Akeem Springs a 10th grader from Waukegan high school is the real deal. With some maturity and a better team he could be one of the best in the nation.

Tom, surely you realize that MSU literally "threw" the game away with Cousins two errant back to back throws (the first one a sure 6 points that should have NEVER been flubbed).

With that, ND should be 1-2 but had the "luck of the Irish" last Saturday (no big story about how MSU shoots itself in the foot almost EVERY season).

The real question isn't just how close is Weis about to be kicked to the curb? Does another loss (say UW upsets ND at home in a week+) seal the fate of Weis being bought out by the deep pocketed Alums in Chicago?

If so, who do you think ND would go after? Would they dangle big money in front of Rich Rod to bring the spread to ND (kidding of course)? Now that would be a story!

IF YOU WATCH EVERY WEEK THE IRISH HAVE A BULLS-EYE ON THEIR BACKS, EVERY TEAM THEY PLAY, PLAYS THEM LIKE IT'S THE SUPERBOWL, NOW I BELIEVE COACH WEISS AND HIS TEAM SHOULD BE 3-0, BUT MICHIGAN ISN'T THE SAME TEAM THEY WERE A YEAR AGO, AND QUIET AS IT KEPT, THE BACK UP QUARTERBACK AT U OF M, IS PROBABLY THE FASTEST GUY IN THE NATION, WELL IT IS PURDUE THIS WEEK, 3 STRAIGHT BIG TEN TEAMS IN A ROW, AND PURDUE IS COMING OFF THE LOSS WITH NIU, SO THIS ONE FOR ND ISN'T GOING TO BE A WALK IN THE PARK, COME HARD OR GO HOME, THIS WILL BE A WAR!

The sad reality is Notre Dame has not had a Good Balanced team since Holtz left in 1996!
Irish nation has suffered through three failed tenures with the likes of Davey, Willingham, & now this bum. Every year we hear the same ole nonsense about how they're either to slow or not athletic enough. The truth is ND has always had talented personnel and have been among the top recruiting schools over the past 4 years. There is no question that this year's squad has some serious talent! The problem is the COACHING OR LACK THEREOF!!! The defense is awful!!! Most specifically, the secondary has some serious issues to overcome. The corners seem to get beat on a regular, consistent basis. You cannot expect to be a good football team if the opposing teams wide receivers are ALWAYS wide open when the game is on the line. While Charley Weis may have had an impeccable record in the pro ranks as an Offensive Coordinator, He is not the answer at ND! Notre Dame will never be anything other than mediocre under his tutelage. I suggest the Irish start shopping for a new coach immediately and this time perhaps they should take their time and find the right person for the job!! I know he's out there somewhere and being the lifetime, diehard irish fan that I am, He can't arrive soon enough for me!!!

COACH WEISS ISN'T A BUM, FOR A PERSON THAT DIDN'T PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL, OR PRO FOOTBALL, I THINK HE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB FOR HIMSELF, NOW I KNOW ND FANS WANT MORE, BUT THE MAN HAS FIGURED IT OUT, BUT THE BOOSTERS ARE WAY TO HARD ON COACH WEISS, HE CAN'T BRING IN ANY BALLPLAYER TO SOUTH BEND, HE IS BRINGING IN BETTER PLAYERS, AFTER THEY DEFEAT PURDUE TODAY YOU MAY FEEL BETTER ABOUT COACH WEISS!
YOU GUYS RAN COACH WILLINGHAM OUT OF TOWN, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO COACH WEISS THE SAME WAY, YOU SHOULD WATCH THE MOVIE HOOSIERS, REMEMEBER THE LINE IN THE MOVIE WHEN THE LADY SAYS, "GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE!"
IF YOU BRING ANOTHER COACH IN, IT IS BACK TO SQUARE ONE ALL OVER AGAIN, COACH WEISS IS ON TRACK TO MAKE ND A VICTORIOUS SCHOOL ONCE AGAIN!

Phil Smith,

Whatever it is your smoking might help my "negativity".

What makes ND so special is its demand for excellence. That includes exellence in academics and personal choices as well as any other area a Notre Dame student may participate.

Weis needs to right the ship SOON and reach that level of excellence (by defeating a real top ten team!).

While Charlie has done wonders for the school, his defense (especially the D-line) is terrible. How many sacks does the D-line have? Why do they need to blitz to even hurry the opposing QB?

Charlie is a great recruiter and a great offensive coordinator. That is where he belongs. Some People are managers, some people are assistants.

I will give Charlie credit, it is getting better, but the team as a whole should be a lot better.

COACH CHARLIE PULLED THE RABBIT OUT OF THE HAT AGAINST PURDUE, THE IRISH ARE NOW 3 AND 1, GREAT OFFENSIVE CALL AT THE END OF THE GAME, I KNOW THEY SHOULD HAVE PUNTED EARLIER IN THE GAME, WHEN THEY WENT FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN, I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT, BUT EVERYONE IS HAPPY EXCEPT PURDUE FANS! BY GEORGE I THINK THEY HAVE IT, THEY PLAYED WITHOUT ALOT OF MANPOWER IN THIS GAME AS WELL, KUDOS TO FORMER ALL STATE PLAYER FROM HUBBARD HIGH SCHOOL ROBERT HUGHES ON A GREAT GAME, HOPEFULLY HE IS IN THE ROTATION FROM NOW ON, HE PLAYED REALLY WELL! NUMBER 33 IS ROBERT HUGHES FROM HUBBARD HIGH SCHOOL, HE PLAYED FOR COACH ELTON HARRIS!

PHIL K. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WANT BETTER FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH, BUT GIVE COACH CHARLIE CREDIT, HE HAS BROUGHT MORE SPEED TO THE PROGRAM, JIMMY CLAUSEN IS EVERYTHING COACH CHARLIE SAID HE WOULD BE, THE PROGRAM IS IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE, I KNOW YOU WANT A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, BUT ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY, FLOYD LACERATES HIS KNEE, AND THEN THE NEXT WEEK FLOYD BREAKS HIS COLLAR BONE, ARMANDO ALLEN IS BEAT UP, CLAUSEN IS BEAT UP, BUT COACH CHARLIE AND THE IRISH MANAGED TO WIN THE GAME, COULD THEY HAVE DONE THIS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, PROBABLY NOT, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION THEY HAVE GOTTEN ALOT BETTER, AND I SAY STICK WITH CHARLIE, IF YOU BRING IN SOMEONE ELSE, IT IS BACK TO SQUARE ONE, I SAY LETS KEEP THE TRAIN MOVING, AND I THINK THE IRISH WILL PLAY IN A BCS BOWL GAME THIS SEASON!
TO PHIL K. - I DON'T SMOKE!

10/17/2009;USC/ND~Charlie needs to go.Secondary gave up to many big plays ;along with the defense as awhole missed tackles; mental misstakes.All fundamentals learned at a young age.What does the coaching staff look at when viewing films? ND needs to offer big MONEY to a coach with Pete Carroll's football attitude.Maybe the answer lies with Lou Holtz

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on September 23, 2009 2:53 PM.

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