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The Golson Era

  • With a solid recruiting class on the verge of signing, and a long off-season to come, I was having visions of 2012 running through my head. Naturally, I thought of all the talent the Irish would be able to put on the field, both proven and unproven. In so many areas, Notre Dame will be a potent squad in the next few years, but then there's QB. It's not that there isn't talent, it's just that it either falls into the unproven (Golson) or still raw (Hendrix) categories. Still, someone will have to start and, assuming Brian Kelly has not been lobotomized or the victim of Rees family blackmail, it will not be Tommy Rees. So, I went to YouTube.
    What became very clear very early is that Everett Golson is scary talented. Watching his high school highlight films, he just seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted. Yes, I know it's called a "highlight" film for a reason, but some things are just obvious, and it's clear this kid has skills. I then moved on to the Blue-Gold game. What is remarkable is how much more efficient and effective the offense looks with Golson behind center. You watch Rees, Crist, and even Hendrix, and things seem to meander. The execution doesn't look especially crisp, you can time the development of plays on a calendar and things look almost bogged down. Then, Golson comes in. Suddenly, it's like the film has been sped up. He's quick, elusive, has a nice arm and good field vision. In other words, I'm sold. With Floyd gone, a few linemen to be replaced and, outside of Wood, a green stable of running backs, this offense desperately needs an Everett Golson. It needs a player who can make things happen on his own, a point guard on grass type. Putting him on the same field with incoming players like Deontay Greenberry and first-time starters like DaVaris Daniels (I'm assuming he'll start), suddenly takes our offense from being a question mark to an exclamation point next season (at least it does in my vision). Couple this with what looks to be a stifling defense, and I think 2012, tough schedule and all, is going to be a lot of fun. Now, we just need two things to happen: 1) sign the players who are on board and add a few more; and 2) Kelly to name EG starter. We have a long way to go, but I'm getting excited.

  • I likes your vision!

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    2 time POTW winner on some dates I can't remember from 2yrs ago at BNG, POTW: 1/3/11- 1/9/11, 6/20/11-6/26/11

  • Brawler, that's a terrific post. Some astute analysis. I know exactly what you mean about how the offense looked with Golson. I've been a huge fan of his since I first saw his film before he had even given his verbal. He can extend plays in ways that open up all kinds of possibilities for the offense. Having said all that, he's never set foot on a college field in an actual game situation, which means we should probably keep our expectations in check. But, he really does look like he was sent in from central casting to run Kelly's offense the way most of us envision it.

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

  • I agree with your excitement. I have mentioned the names in my posts in the past of all our young talent. There is alot to be excited about next year and in years to come. Having said that we are going to have a very inexperienced qb, even if it is Hendrix, next year. Granted it will be a qb that can run the offense that Kelly wants to run to its full effectiveness. But an inexperienced qb, no matter how talented, is still inexperienced. We are going to see some turnovers that make us scrath our heads, Hendrix pick in the bowl game, but should deminish as the year goes on.

    The difference between the qb position next year and this will show in a couple key areas:
    1. Again the offense is opened up to the read option, more rolling out and more arm strength. These things will help the wr as defenses are going to have to watch our qb to keep him from burning them with his legs. It will also help the already improved running game as there are a legitamite two running options to react to. And do not underestimate the improved arm strength. If we can move the safeties a few steps back to cover over the top that will help the run game and Eifert over the middle.

    2. Turnovers are going to happen with young qbs. (Hey at least we are used to them, right?) But as next years qb gets more and more reps I believe their turnover numbers will decrease as opposed to Rees' that just stayed maddeningly consistent, and high. The reason i believe that the to will improve with one of the other two is because they do not have to force the passes that Rees did. Both of the other options can move well enough to elude the pressure and make a play with their legs instead of only using their arms and forcing passes. (Personally I also feel that Rees was just over his head against top 30 defenses. And because of that he did not respond well in games to the speed of the athletes when he did not recognize the pre-snap coverage, and was forced to make a quick read and throw.)

    I think we will be frustrated at times next year, most assuredly, by the new qb, but I also feel it will improve as the season continues. As opposed to what happened this year. And you said it correctly that the new guy will also have a stifling defense to rely on.

    Gringo Mafia Strength Coach

  • Thanks, Ham and nbennyboy. I know what you mean about keeping expectations in check and, in spite of my excitement, I do. I know mistakes will be made, and some will be of the head-scratching variety, but I think with a guy like Golson we'll finally be on the right track to where we all want to see this team. Beyond that, as tough as next year's schedule looks to be, the first two games (Navy and Purdue) are manageable, and should afford a new QB some comfort in adjusting to the role (in theory, anyway).
    While I've certainly not been a Kelly apologist, by any stretch, I am fired up to see his offense run by a QB which suits it. While 2012 may at times be maddening, I think the type of madness we'll see will also allow the glimmer of hope we've all waited for since Kelly arrived. Again, while not someone who's idolized Kelly to this point, I think what he's building at ND has the makings of greatness. Among the things the Irish didn't do particularly well under Weis were: 1) play defense; and 2) play offensive line, particularly run blocking. In the first two years, Kelly's staff has helped Notre Dame's offensive line take a major step forward (remember the 58 sacks in 2007, or how awful the running game looked after Darius Walker left), and has the defensive line asserting dominance. If they can add the right type of play-making QB into the mix, the sky's the limit.
    It's odd, while so many, including myself, thought 2011 was going to be the BCS year, I actually feel a stronger sense of excitement about 2012. I think what it comes down to is that the level of expectations for next year's team is less than its level of talent, while this season, the expectations were either on par or slightly above the team's abilities.

  • As long as Tommy Rees does not take another meaningful snap for the Irish. Golson, Hendrix either/both will do, but please Coach Kelly, sit TR on the bench.

  • "...a point guard on grass type..." that's a nice visual - I like the metaphor - good point brawinghibernian!! Yes ND will have a solid D and, even though I haven't seen films on EG, what I've read about him does give cause for hope looking at 2012. I'm making a choice in believing that there's going to be a high degree of motivation by both players & coaches going into the 2012 season. Look there's much to be said for hard work, focused discipline, and daily attention to details - the talent is there so 'get-r-done'!! GO IRISH!!

  • Great posts! I'm ready for April to get here.

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    CMC: President, Monkey Motor Sports, Inc., a CMC Racing Venture;Irish are 20-4 with me present

  • brawlinghiberni said... (original post)

    With a solid recruiting class on the verge of signing, and a long off-season to come, I was having visions of 2012 running through my head. Naturally, I thought of all the talent the Irish would be able to put on the field, both proven and unproven. In so many areas, Notre Dame will be a potent squad in the next few years, but then there's QB. It's not that there isn't talent, it's just that it either falls into the unproven (Golson) or still raw (Hendrix) categories. Still, someone will have to start and, assuming Brian Kelly has not been lobotomized or the victim of Rees family blackmail, it will not be Tommy Rees. So, I went to YouTube.
    What became very clear very early is that Everett Golson is scary talented. Watching his high school highlight films, he just seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted. Yes, I know it's called a "highlight" film for a reason, but some things are just obvious, and it's clear this kid has skills. I then moved on to the Blue-Gold game. What is remarkable is how much more efficient and effective the offense looks with Golson behind center. You watch Rees, Crist, and even Hendrix, and things seem to meander. The execution doesn't look especially crisp, you can time the development of plays on a calendar and things look almost bogged down. Then, Golson comes in. Suddenly, it's like the film has been sped up. He's quick, elusive, has a nice arm and good field vision. In other words, I'm sold. With Floyd gone, a few linemen to be replaced and, outside of Wood, a green stable of running backs, this offense desperately needs an Everett Golson. It needs a player who can make things happen on his own, a point guard on grass type. Putting him on the same field with incoming players like Deontay Greenberry and first-time starters like DaVaris Daniels (I'm assuming he'll start), suddenly takes our offense from being a question mark to an exclamation point next season (at least it does in my vision). Couple this with what looks to be a stifling defense, and I think 2012, tough schedule and all, is going to be a lot of fun. Now, we just need two things to happen: 1) sign the players who are on board and add a few more; and 2) Kelly to name EG starter. We have a long way to go, but I'm getting excited.

    agreedrockon

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    MLWTI 12-2, Gringo Mafia VP of Irish Fandom POTW Feb. 27 - Mar. 5 2012

  • It is an exciting time to see this transformation take place and I'm looking forward to seeing EG captain this offense... Great post brawling!!

  • Haven't even played this years NC game, and I am so ready for our 2012 Irish football. Such an awesome recruiting class these last 2 years, plus Manti and Eifert coming back. I sure hope we get this Kelly offense clicking. I sure wouldn't want to be an opposing QB either. Defense is stacked.

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    3 time POTW

  • I agree, Golson is the way to go. Not to say that Hendrix isnt a bottle of lightning, they are just different molds.

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    The hitman artist formerly known as Acemang

  • brawlinghiberni said... (original post)

    236 more days...

    Thanks for that valuable info! I wasn't sure how many it was.

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    CMC: President, Monkey Motor Sports, Inc., a CMC Racing Venture;Irish are 20-4 with me present

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  • i agree that his film is sick!!!

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