Blue-Gold Spring Game
April 24, 2010
Stadium Notre Dame Stadium
Location: South Bend, IN
Gametime: TBA
Click for full game report!
Posted on December 19th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

USC Needs to Do the Right Thing With Joe McKnight

USC has been down this road before in recent years. There was talk of NCAA violations with Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo. Regardless of what we feel about some of these rules, they are the rules student-athletes are expected to follow them.

Now Joe McKnight is involved in a scandal. He apparently illegally accepted a car from a dealer as a gift. While that may not seem like a big deal to some, it is against the rules.

Students claimed to have seen him driving the car around campus. McKnight says that it is his girlfriends car. He says that he has never driven it and doesn’t even have the keys. I am sure if you watch McKnight close enough, you can see his nose grow when he makes those comments.

There is a major difference between Bush’s and Mayo’s issues than McKight’s. Those two were already gone before word of the violations got out. McKnight is still on the team and the school has a choice to make.

USC is doing an investigation but the reality is that we know the truth without knowing the truth. McKnight is guilty of these violations.

USC and their fans have two choices. They can make excuses for him and try to sweep it under the rug or they can hold him accountable and either suspend him for at least the bowl game or kick him off the team altogether.

USC has a chance to really stand up and say that this is not what our university stands for and we will not tolerate this.

At this point USC is not at fault. If they take the appropriate discipline against McKnight they will still not be at fault. If however, they choose to make excuses for this and sweep it under the rug they will be no better than McKnight.

I certainly respect McKnight as a running back and I am not saying he is a horrible person. However, he knew the rule and he broke it. For that he should be held accountable.

You might think that as a Notre Dame fan I might be chuckling over this. I am sure there are some domers who are but not me. When Brian Kelly gets Notre Dame back to where it needs to be, I don’t want to beat a program on probation. I want to beat the Trojans when the Trojans are at their best.

Notre Dame and USC need each other and the rivalry is best when both schools are on top. For that reason, I hope USC makes a stand here and suspends or removes McKnight from the team. If they don’t this will only allow more violations to happen and it will lead to probation for the program.

Tags: Brian Kelly, Joe McKnight, notre dame, Reggie Bush, usc

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Posted on December 17th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Cincinnati Bearcats are Officially Hypocrites

Less than a week after Brian Kelly left Cincinnati for Notre Dame, the Bearcats hired Butch Jones. Like Kelly, Jones was previously the coach at Central Michigan before joining Cincinnati.

The similarities don’t stop there. Jones was under contract with one school that he coached all year. Now he won’t be coaching them for the bowl game.

All week the word out of Bearcat camp was that they were upset with Kelly. It wasn’t because he took the job supposedly, but because he just abandoned the team and the fans. His honesty was in question.

Of course, Bearcat fans were also upset with Notre Dame for wanting him to start right away and not letting him finish at Cincinnati.

You would think that if the school really felt that what Kelly did was wrong, they wouldn’t do the same thing to Central Michigan less than a week later. The most hypocritical part is that this is the second time they have done this to CMU in three years.

All the fans that were complaining last week don’t seem to care at all for CMU fans. They can say all they want it was about honesty and all that garbage. Let me tell you, Charlie Weis was honest but he didn’t win. If Kelly was honest and lost nobody would care about the honesty thing then.

Now I am affected by this whole thing in more ways than one. I am a lifelong Notre Dame fan and a CMU Alum. I can see it from both sides. The difference between me and Cincinnati fans is that I don’t have any bad feelings with Kelly or Jones. In fact, I was happy to see Kelly do well at Cincinnati.

I hope Jones is too even though Bearcat fans don’t deserve it. I appreciate the work they did at my Alma Mater and am not going to fault them for doing exactly the same thing I would do.

Part of me hopes Florida just crushes Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. That is what Bearcat fans deserve at this point. However, I would hate to see the work Kelly put in just go down in flames. I have too much respect for him.

Tags: alma mater, Brian Kelly, Charlie Weis, notre dame

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Posted on December 14th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Cincinnati Should Be Grateful to Brian Kelly

All week I have heard about how Brian Kelly turned his back on Cincinnati when he accepted the position at Notre Dame. The man who was just a couple of weeks ago was loved by the Bearcats and their fans is now about as welcome in Cincinnati as Rich Rodriguez is in West Virginia.

Of course, since it involves Notre Dame there are plenty of people commenting on how wrong this is. Of course, they probably would not ordinarily care about Cincinnati if it didn’t involve Notre Dame.

What kills me about this whole thing is that lack of appreciation that seems to be coming from Cincinnati. Before you call him a liar, traitor, whatever else, why don’t we all take a step back and really look at this?

Did Brian Kelly really do anything wrong? Don’t people do really good in one job and get offers from other companies? Don’t they have the right to say yes or no? If they take another job, are they considered traitors considering all the good things they did for a company.

Looking at the state of Cincinnati now compared to before Kelly got there, is there really a comparison. I remember them getting beat out here by Hawaii before Kelly got there. Then when Kelly took over, he turned them into winners.

The Bearcats are now the best team in the Big East. They have now gone to back to back BCS bowls. When was that ever heard of before Kelly got there? Next year, they will still be a good team no matter who the coach is because of Kelly’s recruits.

Instead of reaching for hate, why not show gratitude?

I know it is easy for me to say that since I am a lifelong Notre Dame fan. While it is true that I am an Irish fan, I do understand how Bearcat fans feel. I have been there. I am a Central Michigan Alum.

When Kelly was there, he took that program to new heights. He found Dan Lefevour when no other college was looking at him. Lefevour is still getting it done for the Chippewas three years later.

When Kelly left for Cincinnati, I am not going to lie. I was disappointed. The reason I was disappointed was because CMU had never had a coach like that and I didn’t want to see him leave.

At the same time, I wasn’t blaming Kelly. He had a better opportunity. I would never criticize somebody for doing exactly the same thing I would do in that situation. That is why all this hate for him is uncalled for. Many of the haters are hypocrites because they would do the same thing if they had an opportunity at a “Dream Job.”

Sure there is the issue of honesty. Do we really know he lied when he said, “I am not going anywhere?” Maybe at the time he said that, he wasn’t going anywhere because Notre Dame hadn’t offered him a job yet.

If he did know, was he just supposed to tell his team he was leaving before they played Pittsburgh?

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a good way to leave. At the same time, don’t hate a guy for doing the same thing you would do. Instead, show appreciation for all he did for your school.

Tags: BCS, BCS Bowl, Brian Kelly, Hawaii, notre dame

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Posted on December 11th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Brian Kelly, Welcome to Your Dream Job

On Friday, Brian Kelly was officially named head coach at Notre Dame. This came as no surprise to anybody as it has been speculated since the loss to Navy that Brian Kelly would be the guy to take over at Notre Dame.

Kelly called this his dream job. Growing up an Irish Catholic in Boston, Notre Dame has always been appealing to him. After the press conference, Kelly met with his new players for the first time. He will officially take over on Monday. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, that does mean he will not coach them in the Sugar Bowl.

When he takes over he will have to get right to work. He will have no time to be on cloud nine over landing his dream job. Otherwise, his dream job could become a nightmare.

It is the heart of recruiting season. He is expected to land  many the top recruits the way Charlie Weis did.

He will also have to begin to prepare for the spring. Even with the departures of Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, Kelly will inherit a very talented group of players. Notable returnees will be Michael Floyd, Armando Allen, Kyle Rudolph, Robert Hughes, and Theo Riddick.

He also has to hope freshman sensation Manti Te’o doesn’t go on his mission just yet. Another challenge will be to develop some of the young talented but inexperienced players. Those include Tyler Stockton, John Goodman, Cierre Wood, and Shaquelle Evans.

The biggest obstacle Kelly will have to overcome is how to bring Dayne Crist along. The heir apparent to Clausen is still very raw. He did show some potential against Purdue and Washington State. However, in that Washington State game he suffered a torn ACL. That injury is expected to keep him out of spring practice.

That will make it very difficult to get Crist comfortable with the new offense. It will be interesting to see how Kelly plans to overcome this obstacle.

Another huge factor Kelly has to deal with is hiring the right defensive coordinator. Robert Blanton, Brian Smith, and Toryan Smith all had disappointing years under John Tenuta. I

f Kelly can’t find the right guy to run his defense, he will have the same problem Weis did. Having to be in a shoot out every week and losing some heartbreakers in spite having a really good offense.

These obstacles won’t be easy to overcome, but Kelly is expected to find a way to do so. Then the Irish can have a very successful season in 2010.

Kelly is coming in with quite a resume. He built a dynasty at Grand Valley State. He took Central Michigan and then Cincinnati to heights they have never been to before. No doubt that is an impressive resume but now he is at a place where he will be in the spotlight all year.

Irish fans won’t care next fall about what he did elsewhere. They want to restore the fight in the Fighting Irish.

So congratulations Mr. Kelly on getting your dream job. Enjoy your weekend and be ready to get to work on Monday. This song is dedicated to the new coach of Notre Dame. It is what Irish fans are expecting of you.


Tags: 2010, armando allen, Brian Kelly, Brian Smith, Charlie Weis, Cierre Wood, Dayne Crist, fighting irish, Golden Tate, Injury, irish fans, Jimmy Clausen, john goodman, John Tenuta, Kyle Rudolph, Manti Te'o, Michael Floy, Michael Floyd, Navy, notre dame, practice, Robert Blanton, Robert Hughes, Theo Riddick, Toryan Smith, Washington State

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Posted on December 10th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Mr. Tate, You Truly Were Golden

Earlier this week, Golden Tate confirmed Notre Dame fans worst fears when he and Jimmy Clausen both announced they would be leaving South Bend and entering the NFL Draft. Though we were holding onto hope that Tate would return for his senior year, none of us expected him to.

About a month ago, my supervisor told me straight up “he’s gone.” I asked, “Well that is a possibility but how do you know for sure?” He replied, “He is on national TV every week, and he makes a great catch every week.” Then the reality set in and I knew the inevitable.

That was after the Washington State game and then I knew I only had a few more games and a bowl game to enjoy watching him. Unfortunately there wasn’t much to enjoy after that point and we have no bowl game. However, Tate still made the plays and he is one that will always be remembered.

Notre Dame fans really started to see what they had in Tate at the end of his freshman year. That was the year they were 3-9.

Then as a sophomore Tate really became Clausen’s primary weapon. That was when we really began to realize how special Tate could be. He and Clausen were really becoming known for their hook ups on long bombs.

Meanwhile, another receiver was also emerging. That of course was freshman Michael Floyd. Irish fans were starting to think they had a nice tandum with Tate and Floyd.

Following an up and down year, Tate really had a breakout game at the Hawaii Bowl. In that game he had 177 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. The most memorable on was the long bomb from Clausen in the second quarter where he just ran by all the Hawaii defenders.

When the season began Notre Dame knew they had one of the deadliest receiving duel’s in the country with Tate and Floyd. In the first couple games of the year, it was Floyd who was making most of the big catches. That was until he broke his collarbone against Michigan State.

That was when Tate really began his streak of making one unbelievable catch after another. It started in that same game when he dove into the band.

The following week he was Mr. Everything against Purdue when he not only caught passes but also ran reverses as well as the Wildcat.

Who can ever forget the great catch in overtime against Washington? That was when the defender flipped him upside down and he still held onto the ball.

Next up was USC. In that game Tate had another big catch on a long bomb from Clausen. That play was when the Irish were down big and that play gave them momentum.

The next week the Irish were down late in the game and needed a touchdown. Guess who scored it? Of course it was Tate on another long bomb from Clausen.

The following week was against Washington State and we all remember the catch of the year. At the end of the half, Clausen threw into triple coverage and Tate took it away from all three of them. The amazing part was that was an incredibly difficult play but Clausen and Tate made it look so easy.

Although the four game skid followed, Tate still made plenty of great plays. Who can forget his big punt return in Pittsburgh or all or the big catches he had at Stanford?

Golden Tate is truly one player that will always be missed. Despite on playing on winning Notre Dame teams, he still was an unbelievable player. He quite simply was the best play maker in South Bend since a guy named Rocket Ismail.

As he enters the NFL Draft, I know I along with all Irish fans will root for him no matter what team he goes to. Personally, I would like to see him go to Cleveland along with Charlie Weis. It is not that I am a Browns fan, but it would be fun to see my favorite all time Irish receiver play with my all time favorite Irish quarterback (Sorry Jimmy).

Good Luck to you Golden Tate and you will always be remembered.

Tags: Charlie Weis, Golden Tate, Hawaii, irish fans, Michael Floy, Michael Floyd, notre dame, Overtime, south bend, TV, usc, Washington State

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Posted on December 7th, 2009 by Eric Murtaugh

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen Leaves Mixed Legacy At Notre Dame


It was a bittersweet day for Notre Dame fans as junior Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen declared for the NFL draft on Monday. Golden Domers can take solace in the fact that Clausen may be the highest Irish draft pick since Todd Lyght, Rick Mirer, and Bryant Young all went in the top 10 in the early 1990’s.


If only Clausen’s time in South Bend generated more victories for the blue and gold.


Ultimately, Jimmy Clausen’s legacy is a mixed bag involving a myriad of factors and circumstances.


The future seemed promising for the no. 1 recruit from California as he came to Notre Dame specifically to play under the tutelage of offensive mastermind Charlie Weis. And coming off two relatively successful seasons, the Irish program seemed to be resurrecting out of mediocrity.


But things didn’t stay wonderful for very long.


First, Clausen’s own ego-filled commitment to Notre Dame at the College Football Hall of Fame rubbed thousands of people the wrong way. Then, a lingering arm injury prevented him from weight lifting and strength training right up until the beginning of his freshman season.


And of course, the Notre Dame program was about to fall to depths never seen before in history.


With Clausen’s injury the team couldn’t find a quarterback or an identity, the offensive line seemed to quit, and Notre Dame racked up nine losses.


Last year, the Fighting Irish improved to a record of 7-6 with some highlights along the way, but Clausen threw 17 interceptions and the team could not hold leads in the second half.


This year, Clausen had a coming out party finally displaying all of the skills and talents that made him such a highly sought after recruit. Unfortunately, Notre Dame collapsed late in the season and finished 6-6 despite a half dozen miracle comebacks (and near comebacks) engineered by Clausen himself.


And in the blink of an eye, Clausen is done at Notre Dame.


It is probably the smart move for Clausen to turn pro at this point, given the new coaching staff about to be hired, his high draft stock and his age and experience.


Still, Clausen’s time at Notre Dame will leave many fans with mixed feelings and likely, many of those will be negative.


The cocky attitude. The brash Californian swagger. The hyped press conference. The untimely interceptions. The crushing losses to inferior opponents. The (small) off the field issues.


Perhaps these things do not make Clausen a bad person (or obviously a bad football player) but they are the kind of things people will remember, especially when he followed in the footsteps of Brady Quinn.


It makes matters worse that Clausen’s first two seasons were bad, but were followed by an incredible individual effort in 2009 where he made progress as a leader on the field and innumerable other areas.


We ended up being given a small glimpse of the potential Clausen had inside of him and now it is ripped away from ND Nation.


The ridiculous accurate passes. The heroic fourth quarter comebacks. The toughness battling through injuries. The increased leadership. Earning his degree early.


These will also be part of the memories associated with Jimmy Clausen.


In the end, many will remember Clausen at Notre Dame for this: An extremely talented quarterback who never really fit in at South Bend and did not live up to expectations.


Still, Clausen finishes his career with some eye-popping numbers:


695 completions

1,110 attempts

62.6 percent

8,148 yards

60 touchdowns

27 interceptions


Those are about as good of numbers as you are going to find from someone playing big-time division I football and ending up with a 16-18 record as a starter.


So, while Clausen’s decision to forgo his final year of eligibility leaves many Irish fans upset, sad and depressed, we can take some comfort in the fact that we witnessed one of the greatest individual efforts in Notre Dame history in 2009.


Plus, there is hopefully a new coach about to be signed who will do something about that annoying .500 winning percentage that’s really bringing frowns upon the faces of Notre Dame fans everywhere.

Tags: brady quinn, Charlie Weis, College Football hall of fame, fighting irish, Highlights, Injury, irish fans, Jimmy Clausen, notre dame, Notre Dame History, south bend

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Posted on December 7th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Tony Pike Proves My Point About Jimmy Clausen

The place was Pittsburgh. The conditions were brutal as snow was falling like it had been all game long. Pittsburgh had just taken the lead over Cincinnati with only 1:30 left in the game. However, Panther fans were still holding their collective breaths. That is because of a missed extra point that kept the lead to six points and not seven.

Fan knew that one point was huge because 1:30 is more than enough time for a great quarterback. For the day Tony Pike had an up and down game. He had overcome three intercptions to throw two touchdown passes already. The offense had already produced 38 points. Certainly the loss wouldn’t have been Pike’s fault if the Bearcats failed to score.

However, Pike did what great players do with the game on the line. He produced. Pittsburgh brought the house at him but Pike was able to evade the rush and find his recievers. The drive ended with Pike hitting Armon Binns on a deep out for the touchdown. With the extra point that followed, Cincinnati clinched a Big East title.

Nobody was surprised that Pike was able to deliver one more time despite having to do it all day and all season. The Bearcat’s defense had let them down at times and Pike was asked to do all he could and more. Each week he delivered. That is what great quarterbacks do.

Now lets look at Jimmy Clausen. There is no doubt he had a phenominal statistical year. He also played his heart out all year. He did all he could for Notre Dame and there is no way you can blame Clausen for the six losses.

There is a difference though between Pike and Clausen. Clausen did all he could. Pike did all he could and more. The “and more” part is the difference between a really good quarterback and a great quarterback.

Watching Notre Dame each week was hard on the heart. It was exciting and frustrating at the same time. Clausen made great throws and Golden Tate made great catches. In 10 of 12 games the game was a nail biter. It was only against Nevada and Washington State that games were blowouts.

In all the other games, the difference was a touchdown or less. In all 10 of those games, the ball was in Clausen’s hands with the game on the line.

It started at Michigan. Clausen had a phenomial day. However, with a minute to go in the game he missed Golden Tate on a play that would have got a first down and sealed a victory. Instead Michigan got the ball and true freshman Tate Forcier led the Wolverines to victory.

The next three weeks featured three more close games against Michigan State, Purdue, and Washington. In those games Clausen was the man and led his team to victory. In these games he produced with the game on the line.

After a bye, USC came to South Bend. The Trojans established a big lead in the third quarter. Clausen once again played his heart out and led the Irish back. Clausen had three chances to get the Fighting Irish into the endzone to get the victory. This time he failed.

Then came Boston College and in another close game, Clausen hit Tate in the closing minutes to get the victory. Then came the massacre at the Alamo. At that point Notre Dame was 6-2 and things were looking great.

Then it happened. There were four games left and the opponents were Navy, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Stanford. These games seemed to have a familar theme. The offense was putting up good numbers and scoring points but the defense could stop nobody.

Clausen would be phenominal for three and half quarters. However, it was that last half of the fourth quarters in which Clausen failed to produce. He would either get sacked or saftied or be hurried on the throw. While those conditions are not his fault a great quarterback finds a way to overcome them and produce when the game is on the line.

The conditions Clausen had were no different that Pike faced last Saturday. Yet Pike still found a way to come through.

While Clausen can’t be blamed for the losses, he also can’t be called a great quarterback. To be fair, Clausen faced the situation of having the ball in his hands with the game on the line way more than Pike did. However, he succeeded four times and failed 6 times.

Does a great quarterback fail 60% of the time? Everybody knows the answer to that. Again, Clausen is not at fault for the team losing. Just don’t say he was a great quarterback.

On Monday, Clausen announced that he would be entering the NFL draft as many expected. Looking at his skill set, it seems he is more fit for the professional game than he is for college. He has a great arm and incredible accuracy on the deep ball. His lack of mobility is less of an issue since he has professionals protecting him.

He can be great in the NFL if he goes to the right situation. At Notre Dame, he was very good but he can’t be called a great college quarterback.

Good Luck Jimmy and Thank You.

Tags: boston college, fighting irish, Golden Tate, Jimmy Clausen, Navy, notre dame, south bend, Tate Forcier, usc, Washington State

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Posted on December 5th, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

This Irish Fan Feels Cheated

As we all know, on Friday Jack Swarbrick announced that Notre Dame would not be participating in a bowl game despite having enough wins to be bowl eligible. At first, I had mixed feelings about wanting to accept one since the team really had a disappointing end to what started as a promising season.

After debating the issue with other domers, I came to the conclusion that at the end of the day I wanted to see Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate one last time before they departed for the NFL draft. It would have also been nice to send the seniors off on a winning note.

Yes, I like any other Notre Dame fan was hoping for a return to the BCS. That didn’t happen because the defense couldn’t stop anybody. Does that change that this one one of the best offenses in school history? Don’t the offensive players at least deserve to play one more game?

There was a vote among the players on whether or not they wanted to play. Although we will never know the result of that vote, my gut says that the players wanted to play. Clausen was adamant about wanting to do so.

Sure the International Bowl is not up to Notre Dame standards, but isn’t that better than no bowl?

We can debate it all day about the positives and negatives. The bottom line is though that the players wanted to play and the fans wanted to see one more game.

By not accepting a bowl bid, Swarbrick is saying that he doesn’t care about the fans and what they want. For that I say, “Shame on you, Mr. Swarbrick.”

Tags: BCS, Golden Tate, Jack Swarbrick, Jimmy Clausen, notre dame

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Posted on December 2nd, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Weis/Tate To Cleveland, Clausen To Denver

Is it ever a busy time in South Bend? Notre Dame is not only looking for a new coach, but they are also trying to determine what if any bowl game the Fighting Irish will play in. It is also the heart of recruiting season.

Not only that but the three biggest names associated with Notre Dame are likely to be soon headed to the NFL. It is pretty much a sure thing for former coach Charlie Weis as he will have options as to which team he wants to be offensive coordinator for.

Star quarterback Jimmy Clausen and star receiver Golden Tate are both expected to declare early for the NFL draft as well. Although Irish fans would love to see them back in South Bend, most feel that the best decision for both of them is to go. Who knows what will happen under a new coach and their stock is high now?

I believe in the saying, “Once a domer, always a domer.” Therefore I was continue my interest in Notre Dame players once they are in the NFL. It doesn’t matter where they are, I root for them unless they play for the Oakland Raiders. After all, how can you root for a team run by Al Davis?

It is hard to keep up at times but I still enjoy Ryan Grant in Green Bay and Justin Tuck in New York just to name a couple.

Therefore I am very interested in where Weis, Clausen, and Tate all end up next year. Looking at the teams in the NFL, I have come up with the best places for each of them to end up. Not that it will happen like this, but we can always hope.

For Weis, I hope he ends up in Cleveland. There he could work once again with Brady Quinn and hope to help turn his career around. Quinn is in a bad situation there with a lack of playmakers around him and a very inexperienced offensive coordinator. He just doesn’t look like the same guy we came to love in South Bend.

We all know the result when Weis and Quinn were together. Unfortunately, we also know the result for both sides since they have been apart. Therefore, a Weis/Quinn reunion would make alot of sense.

Sure Weis could also go back to New England and reunite with Tom Brady, but what does that prove other than nothing? Going to Cleveland and helping Quinn would restore his status as a great offensive coordinator.

If Weis does end up in Cleveland, I would also love to see Tate go there as well. The reason is that team just lacks playmakers. The only receiver that has shown anything is former Georgia Bulldog Mohamed Massaquoi.

We all know that Tate can make plays. He will make them whereever he goes. However, what better way to start his NFL career than with an offensive coordinator that he knows well. Tate also knows the system inside and out. He will have a quarterback that knows that system extremely well too.

Since Cleveland lacks playmakers, Tate should be able to start right away and make an immediate impact.

Now looking at Clausen, I think there is one team that is the absolute best situation for him. That is the Denver Broncos. Head Coach Josh McDaniels is another Bill Bellichik disciple. He was mentored by Weis. Therefore the system in Denver will be very similar (if not exactly the same) to what Clausen is used to.

Not only that, but they have  Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal who can get downfield. We all know how good Clausen is at getting the ball downfield. The receiving corp is complimented by Brandon Stokely and Tony Scheffler.

Clausen would also be helped with a really good running game featuring Knowshon Moreno and a very good defense.

Another factor that makes Denver the perfect place for Clausen is their current quarterback situation. That have former Purdue star Kyle Orton currently starting. The mindset seems to be that Orton is not the quarterback of the future but good enough until they get that guy.

That means that McDaniels doesn’t have to rush the development of Clausen. He can bring him along at a comfortable pace and continue starting Orton until Clausen is ready.

The biggest barrier to this scenario would be rather or not Clausen will fall that far. I think it is more possible than we realize. Jake Locker will probably be the first quarterback taken. I am not sure if Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford will go before Clausen or not.

Then again if Clausen won’t fall Denver can always trade up to get him and he is a player for them that is worth trading up for.

When all the dust settles in South Bend (hiring a new coach, bowl game, recruiting, etc.), This Irish fan will be praying for Charlie Weis and Golden Tate to be Cleveland Bowns and Jimmy Clausen to be a Denver Bronco.

Tags: brady quinn, Charlie Weis, colt mccoy, fighting irish, Golden Tate, irish fans, Jake Locker, Jimmy Clausen, notre dame, south bend

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Posted on December 1st, 2009 by Erin McLaughlin

Thank You Charlie Weis

I want to take this time to personally thank Charlie Weis for all he did at Notre Dame. There has been alot of talk about  Weis’s failures at Notre Dame. In this article, I want to talk about his accomplishments. Although it is time to move on, Weis did alot for the University that fans should appreciate.

I think the first thing Weis did that was impressive was take a previously mediocre quarterback in Brady Quinn and help him become the best quarterback in South Bend since Joe Montana. Under Weis’s guidance, Quinn became an absolute leader and the face of Notre Dame. He also won the Maxwell Award and was a Heisman finalist.  Not to mention, he went on to set 36 passing records in Weis’s system.

At the same time, Weis took a seldom used receiver in Jeff Samardijza and turned him into one of the premier receivers in college football. Prior to Weis’s arrival, Samardjiza was primarily a baseball star.

Weis was able to lead this group, to back to back BCS appearances with the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Since the BCS began, Notre Dame has only been in it three times and two of those appearances came under Weis. That Sugar Bowl appearance was also the first since 1992.  In fact, since 1996 Notre Dame has only been in one other major bowl game.

Then when Quinn, Samardjiza, and company left, fans were wondering how would they be replaced. Then comes Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and Armando Allen. There is no doubt that this unit became one of the most dynamic in school history. Although the wins didn’t come with them, the memories of  all the great plays will never be forgotten.

My biggest memory of this group will always be the Hawaii Bowl. It was great to see Notre Dame come out here and play in Aloha Stadium. I never thought I would be able to see it when I first moved to Hawaii a decade ago. It truly was special to be able to be there when Notre Dame was able to break the bowl losing streak.

While haters may discredit the win because it wasn’t a major bowl, it was a victory in a bowl game that hadn’t happened in 15 years. Also let me ask, are the Gator, Indendence, or Insight.com bowls considered major? Yet Notre Dame lost those games as well. It was under Weis where the streak stopped.

Weis has also started some new traditions at Notre Dame that I hope the new coach keeps. I love the idea of playing one game a year on a neutral field to give exposure to the program outside of South Bend.

I also hope the tradition of gathering after a home game with the band and singing the Alma Mater continues.

Weis also did a really good job of recruiting. The new coach will be blessed with that even with the likely departures of Clausen and Tate.

If there is one thing I would like to say to Weis it is this.

“Please don’t take this personal and don’t think we don’t appreciate all you did at Notre Dame. The reality is what it is. That reality is that it is time for Notre Dame to go in a different direction. This will be good for you to as you can now return to the NFL and we know you will have options. I know there is talk that you could end up back in New England and work once again with Tom Brady.

Personally though I hope you take a less desirable path and go to Cleveland. The reason of course is that our Brady needs you more. Tom Brady has already had a hall of fame career and you were a big part of it. Going back proves nothing. Brady Quinn, on the other hand, really needs you. His current offensive coordinator Brian Daboll looks clueless. I know you can turn his career around.

At the end of the day though, I know you owe nothing to Quinn. You took his college career to new heights and he will always be grateful. You do have to make the best decision for you.

Thank you Charlie Weis for all you did at Notre Dame. Good luck with your future endeavors and you will be missed.”




Tags: alma mater, armando allen, BCS, brady quinn, Charlie Weis, Golden Tate, Hawaii, Jimmy Clausen, joe montana, Michael Floy, Michael Floyd, notre dame, south bend

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