Some defensive suggestions
Jeff Barber | Monday, October 5, 2009
The bye-week presents a conundrum for weathered alums whose lives have deteriorated to work and Notre Dame football. (Don’t laugh, undergrads. You are staring at your fate.) Is the bye-week a blessing or a curse? “What the hell am I going to do next weekend?” Or, “The boys really need a break – both emotionally and physically.” That said, the bye-week needs to be used to great advantage if we want to “return to relevance.” (Skip “return to glory.” It’s self-aggrandizing and it’s not realistic. More than anything, Notre Dame simply needs get back in the college football picture. Hm. Good idea for next year’s The Shirt – “Return to Relevance.”)
I’d start at the start: defensive fundamentals. Huge kudos to the defense for tremendous heart and toughness time after time. However, many of the predicaments we’ve escaped resulted from absolutely terrible fundamentals. Chris Polk is not Jim Brown – never will be. However, our arm tackling made him look like the pro-football Hall of Famer. The Washington receiving corp continually caught balls because our cornerbacks miss-timed jumps or simply fell down during cross over steps at high speed.
Again, the team has shown incredible desire and heart. Their gumption can’t be questioned. That said, Tenuta and Brown owe it to the guys to spend a lot of time on tackling drills and coverage skills this coming week. I’m sure the defense will cringe when they read this. However, nothing eliminates arm tackles on Saturday more than tackling drills on Wednesday.
Sorry guys, but I know that after a long look in the mirror, every one of you would agree.
class of 1982