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Punt returns not an option


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I rewatched the Miami game last night. At 12:30 in the 2nd qtr (the 1:55 mark in the link below), I watched the punt return in slow motion. We did not block a single person. They let everyone go by untouched. It is obvious to me, Kelly wants to elimininate any fake punts. So I think as fans we should not expect any punt returns of any sort. I don't care how good Devonte is, he cannot get away from 10 guys.

 

I am ok with it. Kelly is basically saying, "I am not going to have any big returns but you are not going to have any fake punts"

 

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it's time to stop playing scared on punt returns. yeah i remember that punt, when neal fair caught the ball he was surrounded by about 6 or 7 miami players. i dont understand why they arent blocking anyone, what if neal muffs a punt your going to have seven defenders standing there waiting to jump on it.

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it's time to stop playing scared on punt returns. yeah i remember that punt, when neal fair caught the ball he was surrounded by about 6 or 7 miami players. i dont understand why they arent blocking anyone, what if neal muffs a punt your going to have seven defenders standing there waiting to jump on it.

 

Absolutely.......if he's distracted even for the briefest of moments, the ball will slip right through his arms and into a defenders hands.

 

Has to be some type of blocking to keep that from happening.

 

GO IRISH!!!

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Coach Kelly is quoted in the NFL films preview as saying that "a team can not play looking over its shoulder, afraid to lose" (or something like that). I think Coach Kelly needs to take his own advise with respect to some of the O play calling and punt returns.

 

Diaco has successfully integrated several freshmen into a very talented D: guys like Sheldon Day, Keivarae Russell, Elijah Shumate, and Nicky Baratti.

 

I would love to see Coach Kelly do the same with our offense, and in particular with guys like: Chris Brown, Ronnie Stanley, Davonte Neal, and Will Mahone. Yeah, some of these guys, maybe we want them back for a fifth year, but others, like Neal and maybe Brown and Stanley, have already burned it anyway; so get them more involved.

 

That goes for our punt return philosophy. OK, if our opponent is punting on our side of their 40 or better, then play fake prevent. But there are certainly opportunities to extend the lead and/or really improve our field position with a good return. Those opportunities for me would be: 1) when our D is really dominating, 2) when our opponent is punting from deep (< 40) within its own territory, and 3) when it's a forth and very long (>10 yards).

 

C'mon, Coach. Let's open ourselves up to some of those opportunities. Let's have fun, trust our D, and let some of these young O guys show us what they got.

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I am with you here brother. This part of our special teams continues to be a weakness. How many fake punks pulled on us last year? That cant be the reason exclusively.

 

Watch the video. That is definitely the reason. There were no missed blocks. They just stepped out of the way.

 

As far as I am concerned. When your offense and defense is dominating another team, the only thing that team can do is a fake play to get them going.

 

I believe Kelly is definitely of the mindset that he is better than the other team and is going to win as long as the other team doesn't getting too many long game changing plays ... a la Michigan last year.

 

It is not playing scared, it is called playing smart. Does anyone think two years ago against Tulsa, if Kelly hadn't called that last Rees interception but called a run play instead, that would have been playing scared?

 

This is why we ran the ball 31 times and threw the ball 3 times in the 2nd half against Miami. And one pass was a screen pass. It is called knowing how to win.

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it's time to stop playing scared on punt returns. ...

 

Playing scared would be not having faith that your offense can move the ball and not having faith that your defense can stop the other team so you need to make something happen by taking chances on punt return. What Kelly did is playing with confidence in his offense and defense.

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Watch the video. That is definitely the reason. There were no missed blocks. They just stepped out of the way.

 

As far as I am concerned. When your offense and defense is dominating another team, the only thing that team can do is a fake play to get them going.

 

I believe Kelly is definitely of the mindset that he is better than the other team and is going to win as long as the other team doesn't getting too many long game changing plays ... a la Michigan last year.

 

It is not playing scared, it is called playing smart. Does anyone think two years ago against Tulsa, if Kelly hadn't called that last Rees interception but called a run play instead, that would have been playing scared?

 

This is why we ran the ball 31 times and threw the ball 3 times in the 2nd half against Miami. And one pass was a screen pass. It is called knowing how to win.

 

IMHO that is the definition of playing nervous. When you have momentum and a lead, why not play to bury the other team? Worrying about what ifs, when you are in a position of strength and dominance is senseless. Your opinion might make more sense in tight games. Not working on the special teams part of PR is wasting talent.

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Playing scared would be not having faith that your offense can move the ball and not having faith that your defense can stop the other team so you need to make something happen by taking chances on punt return. What Kelly did is playing with confidence in his offense and defense.

 

Could be a little gunshy thanks to Little Giants '10. Not a punt, but then he might just be wary.

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I am tired of all these safe punts... Kelly needs to understand how rare fake punts are. The Michigan State game in 2010 has ruined our special teams. A team is not going to fake 4th and 8 from their own 30 yard line. There is no defense for Kelly when it comes to the schemes he is using in the punt return. Ridiculous.

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I am tired of all these safe punts... Kelly needs to understand how rare fake punts are. The Michigan State game in 2010 has ruined our special teams. A team is not going to fake 4th and 8 from their own 30 yard line. There is no defense for Kelly when it comes to the schemes he is using in the punt return. Ridiculous.

 

^^^^^ Well said and on point!

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Pretty sure Kelly knows what he's doing here. We can all hypothesize and extrapolate all we want. But the truth of the matter is, Kelly knows what he's doing and he bases his gameday strategy off what works best for ND.

 

Love hearing all these theories and I understand the curiosity behind them but we have to give some weight to the plausible conclusion that there's good reason ND's not forming a wedge or creating lanes on punt returns.

 

Pretty sure BK wouldn't implement a season-long philosophy that would hurt ND's gameday performance. I actually like being somewhat conservative with first year players. 'Let's not beat ourselves' type of reasoning--and it seems to be working...

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Pretty sure Kelly knows what he's doing here. We can all hypothesize and extrapolate all we want. But the truth of the matter is, Kelly knows what he's doing and he bases his gameday strategy off what works best for ND.

 

Love hearing all these theories and I understand the curiosity behind them but we have to give some weight to the plausible conclusion that there's good reason ND's not forming a wedge or creating lanes on punt returns.

 

Pretty sure BK wouldn't implement a season-long philosophy that would hurt ND's gameday performance. I actually like being somewhat conservative with first year players. 'Let's not beat ourselves' type of reasoning--and it seems to be working...

 

look, I am not one of those people who constantly gets on Kelly for play-calling (being too conservative in the redzone, blah blah blah). Too many people here think they are coaches that can do it better than Kelly, but it is obvious what Kelly is doing and I am saying that he scared for no reason and it is affecting our punt game. That is not really a debatable point, the only argument againstit is "well, they wont convert a fake punt against us." When in reality attempting a fake punt is rare and converting % of a fake punt is low, so why not give the returner a chance.

 

Its a scared philosophy that is taken to the extreme... Its like losing a ten doller bill once and as a result, carrying a big safe around with you the entire time... ya, it works, but is it really necessary? Do the pros really outweigh the cons?

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Notre Dame has 8 punt returns for 28 yards.

 

Our opponents? 2, for 12.

 

Bottom line, these new spread out punt formations are KILLING punt returns for teams all over the nation, not just Kelly. I agree that our scheme simply does not promote much of a return game AT ALL, but to say it is all on Kelly is ignoring the bigger picture IMO.

 

I think it's a matter of cost/benefit, and Kelly & Co. weighing in how many fewer chances a return unit has at getting a decent return set up in light of everybody spreading out their punt coverage units these days. If you're MAYBE going to get one decent return set up in a game, then is it worth it to expose yourself to a game changing trick play for the 3-8 other punts you see in a game? To each their own, but I think Kelly's answer is, "No."

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