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Helping out Golson

  • What can be done? Coaches call check with me's all game? Another player like an OL call part of the play? We have to think of something people! Post your suggestions and I will send them to Kelly.

  • Easy. Give him reps and he'll learn.

  • hemy

    Here is what I suggest: the offensive and defensive team captains schedule
    "flag-football scrimmages" twice a week beginning in June when the whole team
    is on campus.

    Let's say Golson is the QB. The plays are signaled in from the sidelines and
    stop-watches are used so that Golson only gets the prescribed seconds to
    get a play off. Teo (or some other captain) calls defensive signals, both of the
    "vanilla" variety and those designed to confuse Golson.

    The full playbooks for both offense and defense are available for use and
    are introduced as the summer progresses.

    Scoring can be similar to what was used in the BG game.

    The whole point is to have regular scrimmages in shorts (no pads since
    no tackling) where the QBs are forced to practice the things they are
    weak on:

    1) Golson---time management to get plays in and communicated
    to the offense;

    2) Golson---defense switching coverages, blitzing, faking blizing,etc.
    to force him to recognize defenses and be able (within the time
    allowed to get a play off ) to audible to another play

    3) Hendrix---defensive switching to get him more used to seeing
    the field and to get him to recognize coverages and audible
    to another play;

    4) Rees--to refine his understanding and get him to avoid
    minus yard plays like the plaque;

    5) Kiel---all of the above, including just his running plays
    against a relatively "vanilla" defense at this stage;

    6) Defense---learning to deal with a running QB; focus
    a lot on our defense backs turning to look for the ball;

    Point: Golson, Hendrix can learn plays, can in fact improve
    accuracy and timing with receivers with 7 on 7 drills and
    the like but what we need for Golson and Hendrix especially
    is a continuation of Saturday where each is forced to get
    plays in from the sidelines, recognize the defense, audible if
    they have to and execute all without being forced to call
    time out. And to do it, again, and again, and again-----

    So, this has to be a "true team" effort (offense/defense)
    to help get your Golson and Hendrix ready to be the starter.
    And, it has to be, as near as possible, to "live game" situations,
    with the whole offense and defense doing it--perhaps once or
    twice a week.

    The flag part is to emphasize we don't want tackling---it is a
    scrimmage with the purpose of getting our QBs ready, not
    to prove we can bust tackles, etc.

    And, perhaps the offensive and defensive lines don't really
    block and shed blocks with intensity, just enough to make
    it realistic for Everett and Andrew and Tommy.

    Finally, they can add wrinkles but the key is for Golson to
    read the play that is called, communicate the called play to
    the team and gradually learn enough to recognize
    the defense so that he can audible into the right play. And,
    to do that, he must have the experience of actually doing it, so, let's
    "voluntarily" as a team provide the means to do it--a series
    of controlled scrimmages as near as possible fashioned after
    game conditions where he gets the feel of actually running the

    Obviously, just a thought, but, I started a similar thread
    entitled "what's going to happen this summer" and got one
    response so thanks Irish Cedar for putting it in a way to
    get responses.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by hemy 2 years ago

  • Golson ran scout team all last year. Practiced with the second team all Spring while Rees and Hendrix practiced with the first team. Golson ran most of the plays in the Spring game with #2 offense. Still did OK.
    Give him 1st string reps and focus and attention -- see how fast he picks up running the offense.
    No big deal. It will come.
    Can't teach someone athleticism. They either have it or they don't.

    "Having the right to do something doesn't mean it's right to do it." -- Chief Justice Warren Burger

  • Question for Staff/Everybody: I understand that the NCAA has to put limits on the number of team practices during the spring and the number of mandatory hours players put into football activities. What I don't understand though is: once classes end for the semester and final exams are complete why can't Golson work with Coaches Kelly and Martin this summer before fall camp starts to learn the play calls and hand signals better and generally work on his overall game?

    It seems to me that Golson has a great opportunity in front of him, but time is of the essence. The physical tools are there but the mental part of the game is not (e.g. knowing the play calls and leading the team). He has approximately 3 months once final exams are complete to focus on nothing else but getting ready for fall camp. I wish he could stay on campus and work with the coaching staff because while I'm sure he can learn a lot on his own working with the coaches would probably acclerate the learning curve dramatically.

    I'm really rooting for Golson to start because the spring game demonstrated that he has the best and most accurate arm on the team in addition to his ability to run and make positive yards when there's no one open. The touch he showed on the TD pass to Ben Koyak throwing over the LB and dropping the pass right in front of the the CB was so impressive. Golson seems to really understand how to throw through "windows". Hendrix tries to throw the ball through people instead of over and around them and Rees can't push the ball down field due to a lack of arm strength. Golson is our best playmaker at the QB position and he needs to play.

    They need to use this year to build for the future. Hendrix and Rees can't take us where we want to go. Golson and Kiel have the upside to do so. Golson is the best option for this season and possibly beyond. We really need to focus on developing these two young kids. Our running game and defense are good enough to win 8 games this year even with a limited playbook. If Golson develops faster, then the playbook can expand as the season progresses. GO IRISH!

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  • A lot of unneccessary effort that could possibly result in NCAA violations if coaches were found to be involved in your scheme in any way. The other players aren't responsible for Golson learning the playbook or hand signals. Golson is. From the sounds of things, he hasn't done his homework and is relying totally on his athleticism to win the job. Street-ball isn't going to do it...he needs to be better prepared individually.

  • Whoa. He ran the scout team offense last year. New OC with new terms & signals. Our "veteran" QB Rees was flagged for a delay as well... Now who isn't doing their fan homework?

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  • OK, so everyone in here is breaking out the Golson Champagne. I'll jump in with a comment.

    The thing that they will(and I am pretty sure ARE already doing) is 7 step drops and also placing emphasis protecting Golson's back side, as much for fumbling as his health. I noticed GAIII/Riddick fan to the left on 3 passing plays. My guess is that these two things help make up for his lack of height and protect him because they trust his arm will deliver well to 4 or even just 3 targets. And if no one can break free, the hope is that HE will and either pick something up on his own or find someone in secondary routes in the chaos. It is THIS TIME he'll need to gain awareness of who might be breathing down his neck and be a threat to knock the ball loose. But he could be exciting and threatening during this very time. Lets hope so.

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    Irish legend CMC Quote Master and Director of Football Related Discussions 5 Time POTW & 2 Time WPOTW Winner Joined 09/17/05

  • hemy

    First, arrange it so the coaches are not involved. End of NCAA violation.

    Two, "learning the playbook and signals" is not the problem. The problems with
    Golson, and Hendrix for that matter, revolve around two issues:

    1) reading the hand-signals and communicating the initial play to
    the offense without calling time-out after time-out after time-out;

    2) being able to read the defensive coverage, anticipate defensive
    switches and then, audible into the right play.

    Consider: Rees, at least, audibled on Saturday a number of times;
    neither Golson, nor Hendrix did once----not a particularly
    comforting thing when we are faced with what the DCs of Michigan,
    Michigan State, Stanford, Oklahoma, Miami, USC, not to name
    the Pittsburghs of this world will do to confuse the living hell
    out of him.

    And, this arrangement actually helps out the entire team just
    as scrimmages do--hell, our DBs can practice turning their
    heads to find the ball.

    The question posed by Irish Cedar was whether we board geniuses
    had any ideas to help. What I find amusing is that threads that
    complain about this and complain about that are well visited;
    threads that actually ask for imagination and positive steps to
    aid the team receive meager feedback.

    To some extent, we all realize that BK and his staff are not
    going to accept our ideas--that's pretty much a given. But,
    from what I saw, Golson should be the starter based upon
    "art"; he needs help learning the "science" and it doesn't come
    from simply learning the playbook.

    This post was edited by hemy 2 years ago

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    "Having the right to do something doesn't mean it's right to do it." -- Chief Justice Warren Burger

  • The only thing that really needs to be done is work the offense around Golson's abilities much like Auburn did with Cam Newton.(I'm not saying run a bunch of QB zone reads, but make it easier for the guy) If the offense is a little to complex than simplify it. Golson has a strong arm, and great pocket presence from the 2 blue-gold game performances I've seen. From anyone who was at the game Saturday and the others who watched on tv or online, Golson is a PLAYMAKER and brought some SWAGGER to the offense that we haven't had since Brady Quinn's final years. Coaches gotta do whatever it takes to put EG in drivers seat. As always....GO IRISH!

  • It seems to me that if Kelly gets the play signaled in right away, much of this issue goes away. If Golson is looking to the sidelines immediately after the whistle and Kelly is having the next play signaled in, it will speed things up for Golson pre-snap as well.

    Having said all that, I think Golson needs to live with the playbook on his lap and spend an hour or more every day watching film. It will come to him.

  • At one point were not sideline picture boards used? The placard code may be a way of getting a play in until Golson would get more experience and reach a comfort level.

  • I recall it was Tommy Rees's Freshman year that BK started to do this. He had to get spoon-feed a brand-new Freshman QB.
    Don't know why they can't do something like that for Golson until he gets up to speed.

    "Having the right to do something doesn't mean it's right to do it." -- Chief Justice Warren Burger

  • I think that Kelly brought the getting the team in the offense to have something to say that was l;acking in his game. It is but they do not want to pick a qg before Fall so it is Kelly's job to give areas that need to improve and not to pick the quarterback now. You guys need to do less team leaf readings and mor waiting to see how thi works out. I honestly think anyone of the three can end up starting still but they all have to improve areas of weakness.

  • Listen very closely to Coach Kelly's post B-G scrimmage interviews...He isn't pleased with Golson's ability to manage the offense AT THE PACE he wants the Irish to run. (I believe someone else astutely referred to it as "being reluctant to hand over the keys to the Ferrari")

    Golson has had ample opportunity to learn the playbook and hand signals. He is now in his 3+ semester (counting last year's summer classes) of college. Why wasn't he the guy last year signalling in the plays? Why did Kelly entrust that to a non-scholarship player rather than an heir-apparent QB? What was Golson doing last fall on the sidelines?

    I may be connecting the dots a little differently than you might, but I don't think I am far off the mark. Golson may have more raw ability to run this offense the way Kelly wants to run it than anyone else on campus, but he doesn't know the playbook well enough yet to just hand him the keys.

    It's not that I don't like your flag football concept. I just think it has the potential to get the Irish coaching staff in trouble. It's also a lot of work for other players to do just because one person hasn't done his homework adequately enough to date.

    With all that said...I do believe that Golson is the right person to take the Irish to the next level this fall...IF he earns it. Right now "earning" means he needs to put his head into the playbook and stop depending solely on his God-given talents. This is not high school, where he was better than 99% of the people he lined up against. Even he has admitted so much...

  • hemy

    As I said earlier, BK+staff are not really going to do anything we suggest in this thread. However,
    the thread does offer the opportunity for folks to suggest viable things to do instead of waiting until
    later and then criticizing after the fact. What I had hoped with the flag football concept was
    something like this scenario:

    The captains (not coaches) say to the team--"we really have a chance to do something
    this year if we can all improve and really help our QBs and DBs, especially corners, improve.
    What we're going to suggest is scheduling maybe once a week some type of scrimmage
    where we can get all the QBs (not just Everett) improve the timing on getting plays in
    and called (remember TR struggles in this department also), where our defenders can
    practice on calling signals themselves and disguising plays, where our dbs can really
    focus on turning their heads with the ball in the air, where our corners can work to
    contain on read-option and similar running plays,etc."

    Let's assume Everett, Andrew, Tommy and Gunner have the playbook down cold.
    That situation, in and of itself, does not help get the plays in and communicated
    at the tempo we need and certainly does not help with reading the defense, seeing
    the field and reacting according. Andrew might even learn how to "read" a linebacker
    drop, for example.

    It just seems to me that we can better utilize the three months of summer to address
    the most serious weaknesses that could adversely impact next season. Yes, on
    August 4th, the coaches take over but we may be running out of time.

  • I don't know how the coaches cannot be involved to make this worthwhile...the timing involves getting a play from a coach (Kelly, I presume from what I have read, after he has talked to his eye in the sky (pressbox)), who then relays the play to his designated hand-signaller (QB in a red shirt), who then relays the play to the QB on the field.

    Listening to Kelly describe what happened in the B-G scrimmage, Golson was having trouble picking up the hand signals and translating that into the proper play call (formation, snap count, etc). Fixing that problem has virtually nothing to do with what is being proposed in the flag football concept...It has everything to do with Golson doing his homework and being better prepared to take himself and this offense to the next level. We're not even to the point where Kelly is discussing Golson's ability to read defenses and audibling. That comes AFTER he masters the first part...getting into the proper play at the line of scrimmage to begin with!!!!

    Certainly, it should help if he could get more reps with the first team in practice. However, he first needs to make sure Kelly is comfortable enough to do so and deprive others (mainly Hendrix) of that same opportunity. His physical ablilties are not holding Kelly back, his mental preparation is...Kelly said so himself ("he's giving me a heart attack").

  • Pretty sure the"heart attack " comment was receding to the int's that Rees and Hendrix threw as much as anything Golson did wrong...

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  • hemy


    I am really not trying to be argumentative and I really could not
    care less about the "flag football concept" since it was first, only
    a suggestion and secondly, Kelly's not going to authorize the
    captains to do it, anyhow. I would like to focus on your comment:
    "Golson was having trouble picking up the hand signals and
    translating that into the proper play call." Obviously, this can
    be because he doesn't know the plays---more time "studying"
    the playbook. But, what if he knows the plays but can't read
    the signs quick enough, can't communicate them quick
    enough (I assume Kelly feels getting the play from the press
    box to the sideline is not the problem). All I am saying is that,
    especially if Kelly continues with the "3 QB rotation" system
    come August camp, Golson may not have enough repetitions
    to emerge as the starter.

    And, at some point, if Golson's the man, he will have to
    learn how to audible, especially as the season progresses.So,
    I was simply trying to get him more of an opportunity to have
    defenses try to confuse him over the summer and only as and if
    he progresses enough that the captains think it appropriate.

    I just feel the 7 on 7 and other type "drills" even if done
    during the summer will not help either Golson or Hendrix
    be the starter--and thus, we are by default left with TR
    as the most "comfortable" choice.

    What "exercises" or "drills" would you suggest? I am being
    serious (not sarcastic) and I think Irish Cedar wants us
    to come up with some concrete ideas.


  • It's hard to cure a problem when all we know is the symptom and not the underlying cause. If it has anything to do with Everett's "study habits", those have to change. You always hear about the great ones who virtually live in the film room. That's your template, Everett, if you want to be great. Maybe some Big Bang kind of nerd can develop a game for him that simulates the experience of reading the play signals from the sideline, lining up the offense and reacting to the defensive formations. Maybe he's just slow on the uptake, and simply needs more time, and it will kick in. I was that way with girls.

    Seriously, there are some good thoughts on this thread, even amidst mild discord. I have nothing, here, but I do think we need more info about the nature of the problem, and not just its manifestation.

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    I may not be pretty, but I'm fast..... POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11

  • Good and fair questions...if what you are suggesting is the case (possible learning issue with Golson???, here's what I believe to be the best course of action:

    I believe it begins with giving Golson more preparation off the field prior to the beginning of fall practice. . Put him in a room with a coach and maybe the designated hand signaller (DHS). Have the coach(or DHS) signal in the play. Have him decipher the signal and tell the coach what play he wants to run, what the formation is and what the snap count is (based largely on how long it will take to put anyone in motion if desired). All of this can be timed to simulate a play clock. This tests his knowledge of the play book and the hand signals without the pressure of the field (defense, down and distance, etc). Demonstrated mastery of this is required before progressing to the next step.

    That would be...on the field in 7 on 7 live drills (not concentrating yet on reading the defense yet). Only after Golson has demonstrated mastery of this pre-play process, should anyone be concerned with his abilty to read the defense and change the play at the line of scrimmage. Then it is back to the film room where, using the same set up, Golson is now confronted with a defense on film. Same process as before...signal in the play, decipher the signal, call the play (formation, snap count, etc.), turn on the film, recognize the situation (defense, down and distance), either change the play or run the play as called...all while being timed with a play clock in the room.

    Once that is mastered..take it back to the field in more live situations, either 7 on 7 or full team scrimmage and always with a play clock. Incidentally, based upon what I observed in the B-G scrimmage, I believe all of the QBs could benefit from this preparation, not just Golson. However, I believe Golson is probably the one most in need of it. The question I am begging to ask Kelly and staff is..."What has Golson been doing for the past year plus???!!!!

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Toro 2 years ago

  • hemy


    Thank you. Excellent post. Your plan accomplishes exactly what I want to happen and
    does it much more efficiently than the "flag football" approach I suggested earlier. How's
    that, Irish Cedar??? But, I assume no coaches would be involved per your earlier comment
    (I note the DHS is not a coach), although they might "set up" the program. Secondly, I
    totally agree that all QBs could benefit and thirdly, I too, wonder what has been going
    on with Golson (Hendrix as well) over the past year, plus?

    I simply can not understand why ND is in this pickle. A "Tony Rice" type QB that
    can't be "trusted" to play because he can't get plays called, set formations and count
    and eventually, change or run the play. It shouldn't be this hard.

    This post was edited by hemy 2 years ago