Spring Ahead or Fall Back PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008
As we all sit and ponder the new depths and changes made, one thing remains the same. No one has a clue what is going to happen this year. The metamorphosis that can happen with an offensive line is undeniable, and like a domino-effect the rest will follow. If they can be a cohesive unit, then look out. If not, then it will be another long winter. What happens if we gel? Does James Aldridge suddenly blast through holes and find pay dirt? That would be a safe bet. With all of our tailback-talent, he runs north the best. A good comparison for him would be Beanie Wells. Not the same speed as Wells, but a good forward- runner. And next in line is Mr. Hughes. He runs through tackles the best and finishes a close second for down-hill running. After those two pound out the yardage, I would expect Notre dame to have its ground game back after a near decade absence! Anyone else getting excited yet? And thats why Armando Allen will probably have the biggest impact this year amongst the running backs. Remember, this is all pending a gelled offensive- unit. When you have two snowplows grinding their way between the tackles, it makes it easier for a game breaker like Armando to make way. He will probably be in there when the defense has tired legs (especially the linebackers) which is the whole point behind a multiple-attack ground game. James and Robert will lead the way with yards, while Armando will lead the way with touchdowns. It'll be fun to watch NBC on Saturday afternoons again! Now there's an important order to this puzzle. Offensive-line play being the number one priority followed by the ground game. The next would be how Jimmy Clausen matures and becomes the next great Notre Dame quarterback. When discussing our team, everything is relative. He would be the next domino to fall into place, and not the type of grass-eating he did last year. Everyone has seen the picture of four Michigan defenders pile-driving Jimmy into the dirt, but I wish we had a photo of him getting right back up and giving it back to those four. Nows his chance! And with the aforementioned improvements above, Michigan fans will suffer defeat from a crazy ,myriad of passes and runs that will leave them eating turf the next day in practice, when Rich-Rod has them running no-huddle for two consecutive hours! This is how important our offensive-line is. Its the plinth in our Roman house of cards holding the whole thing up. There wont be any mention of our defense here. Just think of Corwin and Jon being our All State and Notre Dame being in safe hands. I cant say enough about this hire. Pure confidence is what Tenuta brings along with an attacking, blitz-happy defense that wont need to be looked into. Paired with Corwins energy, they form a mighty foe. Kicking will be an important factor this year but not as important as the above. If Brandon Walker can increase his accuracy and range, I like his chances. Who knows what happened to Ryan Burkhart? He had a supposed cannon of a leg yet was supplanted by the incoming Walker fresh out of Findlay. Charlie mentioned a plan B but did not elaborate on it. I would assume he was referring to a current player who has kicking experience from high school. Is it that hard to find a kicker who can kick it to the other end-zone? Even teams from the MAC have guys that are capable of going the distance. But this really is near the back of my concerns until we prove that we can get near the goal-posts on a consistent basis. This whole theory depends on the offensive-line foundation, we all know this. Of all the turn-around teams, ours has a fighting chance. It was mainly lack of experience and over-complicated schemes that led to our demise last season. From what weve seen physically from the over-all appearances of our players, theyve put in the work. Now, can they put in the mental aspect and become a unit with a poised leader ready for any challenge? I certainly hope so! But the answer lies in the front. This whole year has been put into five bags and given to Duncan, Turkovich, Wenger, Olsen and Young. How will they respond? This spring will be a character-mill which should develop the talent we all know we have. It will be an exciting, encouraging time for the team and likewise, the healing fans. Lets all join hands and pray that Charlies lasagna tasted great and brought a dismal team back from the grave. After all, the real battle is in their minds now!
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 April 2008 )
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