When Charlie was hired, we all were excited to the point of giddiness. He won a few games and the expectations grew. Expectations that were not warranted.
TY Willingham had the same group of kids for 2 seasons and went 5-7 then 6-6. Then he was fired and all HELL broke loose. Racist Notre Dame, Elitist Notre Dame and of course WE HATE NOTRE DAME. It wasn't that he couldn't coach worth a crap or his recruiting sucked. Count the number of players you recognize as contributors so far in their ND career.
If you type hate notre dame in google. you will get
Web Results 1-10 of 88,900. Powered By Google in 2.2 seconds
Pretty good. And they said Notre Dame lacked speed.
Well anyways, back to the point. Is a young team a team that cannot win? Of course not.
You have to get leadership somewhere. With only 8 players returning to the 2007 Irish team as seniors, where oh where do we get it.
We all know 9 players have applied for a 5th year.
Tom Zbikowski, Travis Thomas, John Carlson, John Sullivan, Trevor Laws, Dwight Stephenson, Joe Brockington, Ambrose Wooden and Geoff Price.
Travis Thomas could easily go back to the offensive side of the ball. He is fast, strong and tenacious. IF he does not move over, there is a stable of newcomers and 2nd year guys that can take over. Carlson is a big lift to help the young TE's and Sullivan will definitely help on the OL. Brockington and Stephenson have to prove themselves. Price has been very consistent with punting and team leadership.
Zibby coming back was a surprise for me to see. He probably could have gone in the 2nd or 3rd round. I would like to see him play a true SS or LB with a few more pounds added on.
So where does the leadership come from. It can only come from one place and one place only.
He is the heart of the defense, and has the heart of a lion. Yes, the defense got beat up at times and played very well at other times. If you look back at a lot of the deep plays over the past two seasons, it wasn't Zibby's fault or I should say, not all his fault. His safety partner was late on most plays and this caused the Defense to look much worse than they were. A young Defense needs the safety play to be reliable. Without it, the corners are always worried about breaking on the ball and getting beat. And we saw plenty of that last season. With the corners playing it safe, Zib could not play his regular game. How many times did we see TD saving tackles by him.
Play has to improve on the Defensive side of the ball if the team wants to compete. Being young is no excuse. Plenty of teams insert young players in key rolls. HERE is ONE
With Zibby in there the team is better. And with a little help, maybe he can become the player we all know he can be.