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No defense for Kelly’s calls

| Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kelly is mistaken when he says all of us are judging his coaching in hindsight. Not everyone was looking back at it as being a bad call; many were looking at it in real time. They thought he made a very poor call at the time that he made it. We were watching with a number of people who did not understand his 2-point conversion call after the team scored their first touchdown — and they know football because some of them are former Irish players.

Any coach or psychologist could tell you that the right thing to do was let them feed on their scoring elation by getting the point after touchdown because that might start them on a roll. There was still plenty of time left in the game at that point for Kelly to do just that. Missing the two points after touchdown did nothing but deflate them and reduce the touchdown to being almost meaningless after they fought so hard to come back from a deficit. Kelly’s decision to go for two points at that time showed a lack of faith in his team and their ability to come back with two touchdowns to win that game. His whole decision seemed to be based on the fact that Clemson was going to sit at 21 points for the rest of the game without another score (wrong!) and that Notre Dame didn’t have enough ability to overtake them (wrong again!). It came across as totally inept and faithless thinking on his part, showing a lack of confidence in his team.

Kelly made the same mistake in the Northwestern loss and obviously never learned from it. That he blames this loss on his team, its wide receivers and turnovers is totally unacceptable, and it shows his lack of understanding the part he played in the loss. The team fought back from their mistakes and put them behind them. They could have won that game if it were not for his mistakes and ineptitude as their coach. His game judgment is poor. He has a great team that’s deserving of better coaching decisions.

Half of our family went to that game and the conditions were very tough to play in. Notre Dame did a wonderful job in settling down and playing a great game after they were able to settle down. Also, where was Kelly when the flagrant foul was committed by Clemson in the end zone and never called by the refs? And why did he call that play when going for the second 2-point conversion? Kelly ought to listen to the analysts because he might learn something from them. But then again, he might claim that their analysis was based on hindsight also, and that he did not deserve to be called on the carpet for the coaching decisions he made in that game (wrong again!).

Judy Clark

Oct. 5

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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