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Darius's Camp: Post draft reaction


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A conversation about Darius Walker going pro got started in the recruiting thread about Omar Hunter. I figured it was worthy of some attention over here.

 

http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070502/NDSports02/705020404

 

When I read some of the things his Dad says, its rather irritating. He's been drinking the Cool-aid a bit too long, and is way too involved in his kid's future. Most any time that a parent gets that involved with their son or daughter's athletic career, things get... complicated. See the Williams sister's father for details. Or if you want a college football context for complexity, try Mrs. Mustain.

 

From Jimmy Walker:

 

"If you look at the backs who were drafted on the first day, he had the same stats or better as guys drafted on the first day. The only difference is the guys had the height and the pushing, the backing and the pushing and promoting from their respective areas, whether that be the media or whoever else."

 

Asked if he didn't think Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis backed Darius enough in the draft process, Jimmy answered simply: "I have no comment on it."

 

and the other one I thought noteworthy.

 

"For me, it was just very disappointing because I always said from the outside looking in, he was one of the most popular players in Notre Dame history."

 

Likeable? Yes. But Notre Dame has a good century plus of history, and I don't think he quite ranks in comparison. He wasn't even the most popular on the team (my guess is Shark, BQ, and borderline Zibby - after his Jr year - ranked over him).

 

I tend to agree with Sir John: Thanks for playing, but don't let the door hit you on the way out. Darius better learn to shut his Dad up.

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A conversation about Darius Walker going pro got started in the recruiting thread about Omar Hunter. I figured it was worthy of some attention over here.

 

http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070502/NDSports02/705020404

 

When I read some of the things his Dad says, its rather irritating. He's been drinking the Cool-aid a bit too long, and is way too involved in his kid's future. Most any time that a parent gets that involved with their son or daughter's athletic career, things get... complicated. See the Williams sister's father for details. Or if you want a college football context for complexity, try Mrs. Mustain.

 

From Jimmy Walker:

 

"If you look at the backs who were drafted on the first day, he had the same stats or better as guys drafted on the first day. The only difference is the guys had the height and the pushing, the backing and the pushing and promoting from their respective areas, whether that be the media or whoever else."

 

Asked if he didn't think Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis backed Darius enough in the draft process, Jimmy answered simply: "I have no comment on it."

 

and the other one I thought noteworthy.

 

"For me, it was just very disappointing because I always said from the outside looking in, he was one of the most popular players in Notre Dame history."

 

Likeable? Yes. But Notre Dame has a good century plus of history, and I don't think he quite ranks in comparison. He wasn't even the most popular on the team (my guess is Shark, BQ, and borderline Zibby - after his Jr year - ranked over him).

 

I tend to agree with Sir John: Thanks for playing, but don't let the door hit you on the way out. Darius better learn to shut his Dad up.

 

Weis's stamp of approval sure didn't help Brady Quinn any.

 

And how does Walker want Weis to campaign for him when he went against his wishes to enter the draft early?

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Guest irishrick

well Darius, you asked for it and you got it , the fact that you didn't give the coach the courtesy of at least getting his thoughts on the draft or returning for another year, was a mistake on your part, as for the coach backing his QB i though he did the right thing, if the owner wants other players rather tan Brady , so be it, the dolphin deal was a friend of the coach as it appears to me , so i think Brady went just about right , i don't think he was the 22 QB drafted other teams took there needs first, i don't see a big deal on either :) Brady or walker. both will do well for their teams .

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Good points Calves. Question...where did Autry Denson go? I know he was the 3rd RB at Miami for a few years, but being the all-time ND rushing leader doesn't necessarily guarantee greatness on the next level or a high pick in the draft. I'll dig up some info on where Autry went, but that was the first thought I had reading this thread.

 

 

Edit: Denson was 7th round pick to Tampa. 233rd overall.

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jesus, i think a LOT of you are being overly harsh here! this kid put it on the line every saturday for the irish and here we are just KILLING him and his family on DD. don't we owe him a little sympathy and understanding?

 

he had no good choices. if he came back, he was looking at, most likely, a WORSE statistical yaer. how would that have improved his draft status exactly? i have yet to hear anyone of the "he shouda stayed" crowd actaully address that point.

 

as for his dad, i didn't think he made any public comments that were outta line or anything. the FACT is that darius did have better numbers than some of the rb's drafted!

 

this kid deserves better from us, the die-hard fans. he did NOTHING but give his all for 3 years. and remember how he almost single-handedly beat scUM his freshman year? or how about how he was the best offensive player against LSU?

 

come on, people. we're better than this... :oops:

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jesus, i think a LOT of you are being overly harsh here! this kid put it on the line every saturday for the irish and here we are just KILLING him and his family on DD. don't we owe him a little sympathy and understanding?

 

he had no good choices. if he came back, he was looking at, most likely, a WORSE statistical yaer. how would that have improved his draft status exactly? i have yet to hear anyone of the "he shouda stayed" crowd actaully address that point.

 

as for his dad, i didn't think he made any public comments that were outta line or anything. the FACT is that darius did have better numbers than some of the rb's drafted!

 

this kid deserves better from us, the die-hard fans. he did NOTHING but give his all for 3 years. and remember how he almost single-handedly beat scUM his freshman year? or how about how he was the best offensive player against LSU?

 

come on, people. we're better than this... :oops:

 

I agree, I have always been a DW fan and a fan of the support he received from his parents. As a father (which I am not) you should hope for the best for your children and it's not like Jimmy doesn't know anything about football. As you all know he did have a couple of years in the NFL. He is a hard working back that got snubbed.

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I think some of us are trying to separate the Walker on the field, and the Walker off of it.

 

On the field, he was (figuratively) a god-send for that backfield, particularly as a freshman. We'dve been SCREWED without him, 'cause all we had was an ill prepared Travis Thomas (6 carries, 3 yards, and a fumble in his only start vs. BYU) and a Ryan Grant that ran with half the authority he had earlier in his career (under 4 yards/carry average). We needed him to spark that ground game, and he did a good job.

 

He gave us good production. Were there games that you just felt that he single handedly strapped the Irish on his back? Not really. You could argue the Sugar Bowl, but thats the only one that comes to mind. But he was a very productive back, with some very good and memorable games. Sometimes he'd have a bad game, but unless you're an all-world player like Vince Young, who doesn't? And despite his tendency to duck out of bounds (which I personally don't view as "giving us his all", but thats a bit off topic), and his scat-back tendencies that would lose us yards on occasion, he was a 1,000 yard back two years running; no small task, and I'm glad we had him on the field.

 

What irks some of us off the the gridiron isn't that he opted to go pro. It does make sense; all the star players for the team graduated, and he can't afford to have lesser statistics because of a new supporting cast. Its that he didn't even talk the decision over with Weis, and then gets miffed why he wasn't beating the drum for him. It would be like telling your boss, "I'm going to quit a year earlier than I you expected, without giving you any warning, but can I site you as a reference for my next job interview?" Not quite the same, but thats somewhat of the position he's in.

 

I don't like how the Walker's played Weis both ways. When asked, "Why do you think you're ready for the NFL", Darius toots the Charlie Weis horn. (Paraphrasing) "The complexity of his offensive schemes, the different roles he had me fill, like split out wide, in pass protection, catching passes out of the backfield, he's definitely prepared me for the NFL game, for anything that they'll ask of me." Yet when people wonder, "Why weren't you drafted," his dad sites that people (Weis) weren't pushing hard enough for him. Now to be fair, it wasn't out of Darius's mouth, but if he felt conviction for his ex-head coach, he'd tell his Dad to shut it, and try to defend Weis.

 

So which is it? This offensive guru supported you by coaching you in ways nobody else in the country will? Or you weren't supported because he didn't show at your press conference, and wasn't burning up the phones lobbying for your drafting? I don't like that kind of double talk. One minute, they use Weis as a selling point, and then next they sell him up the river. And that stuff isn't even touching the Drew Rosenhaus angle.

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Calves, as usual I like your points.

 

I just have one point to make from So. Cal and historical perspective...if you think the Walker's are vocal/involved then you have not yet experienced the Clausen family.

 

I think J Walker is sour grapes and he's biased cause it is his son...in reality Darius was an above average college back at best. Nothing against him personally I was just never overly impressed with his abilities on the field; actually I was very frustrated with his performances most of the time.

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What irks some of us off the the gridiron isn't that he opted to go pro. It does make sense; all the star players for the team graduated, and he can't afford to have lesser statistics because of a new supporting cast. Its that he didn't even talk the decision over with Weis, and then gets miffed why he wasn't beating the drum for him. It would be like telling your boss, "I'm going to quit a year earlier than I you expected, without giving you any warning, but can I site you as a reference for my next job interview?" Not quite the same, but thats somewhat of the position he's in.

 

I don't like how the Walker's played Weis both ways. When asked, "Why do you think you're ready for the NFL", Darius toots the Charlie Weis horn. (Paraphrasing) "The complexity of his offensive schemes, the different roles he had me fill, like split out wide, in pass protection, catching passes out of the backfield, he's definitely prepared me for the NFL game, for anything that they'll ask of me." Yet when people wonder, "Why weren't you drafted," his dad sites that people (Weis) weren't pushing hard enough for him. Now to be fair, it wasn't out of Darius's mouth, but if he felt conviction for his ex-head coach, he'd tell his Dad to shut it, and try to defend Weis.

 

So which is it? This offensive guru supported you by coaching you in ways nobody else in the country will? Or you weren't supported because he didn't show at your press conference, and wasn't burning up the phones lobbying for your drafting? I don't like that kind of double talk. One minute, they use Weis as a selling point, and then next they sell him up the river. And that stuff isn't even touching the Drew Rosenhaus angle.

 

his dad said "no comment." now, WE may read a whole lot into that but we shouldn't. he said "no comment." and he's a DAD! he is SUPPOSED to stick up for his son. and i dunno bout any of you but i would never have the stones to disrespect my dad and tell him to "shut it!" as you advise darius to do.

 

it's the kid's decision whether to go pro and it was most likely the only choice he had. and what if he had told charlie beforehand and weis told him to stay? then what? does he make a decision based on what's best for him or what weis wants?

 

the decision is ULTIMATELY and RIGHTLY a family one. and charlie could've been the bigger and better man and gave his public blessing anyway, even if he thought it was a stupid decision or whatever.

 

this loyalty street goes both ways folks. and as for darius stating that he ran in a complicated offense, etc. that is not just some opinion. it's a fact! that doesn't make him duplicitous as you charge. it makes him honest. charlie does run many different schemes and darius should be ready for the nfl mentally because of charlie's schemes.

 

now, i think it's totally fair to critize dw and family for hiring rosenhaus, perhaps. but i'm just not buying the "crime" fitting the "punishment" being doled out here.

 

btw, i think the "charlie weis endorsement" thing is suffering a backlash. i think nfl scouts and gm's got sick of hearing from charlie and ABOUT charlie the whole time leading up to the draft. now, this is just my feeling. i have little evidence to support it and maybe it's my overly-sensitive "nd bias" antenna working overtime but i have that gut feeling it's true.

 

look, i don't want to start a big row here or anything. i just think we DD'ers are better than kicking a former player and his family when their down. it has NOTHING to do whether you were a fan of his play or not. he's a 3-year starter and likely graduate of nd and that should be enough for us to support him now when the "breaks are going against" him. that's all...

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After reading this, it sounds like his dad can not see why DW went in the first day. I agree that DW was very much needed on our team last year, but just because you can play in college does not mean you will make it in the NFL. I wish DW the best of luck and hope his dad keeps his mouth shut about ND and Weis.

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I don't want this to be a big war of words or anything, same as you. So I'll try to sum up my feelings.

 

As a father, I'd probably think a lot of the same things Jimmy Walker does. It's my son, of course I'd believe in him more than any other person in the world. Its an instinctual thing to do. That being said, the rest of the world won't see Darius like his father will, so his strong opinions, especially when he's seen as closely linked to Darius, being quoted together, or sitting beside each other at press conferences, can cause problems.

 

Think back to Jimmy Clausen. His dad mentioned something about his shoulder being screwy a month or two back. Yet at the same time, Weis is trying to say that he's perfectly fine, the shoulder is healthy, etc. Right there is an instance where, while the parent may be well intended, trying to think of his kid's well being, his words rub his "employer" in Charlie Weis the wrong way, and create a sticky situation.

 

So, IMO, I think Jimmy Walker would be best if he kept his comments within the inner circle around Darius. The moment you go public with those thoughts, particularly with the role he's playing, the moment things get very, very complicated, as this thread is beginning to show. If he wants to show that kind of support behind closed doors, and be the same Dad that's waiving the Darius flag in the stands at whatever his next game is, that's great. But lobbying for your kid, and in small ways complaining to the public, doesn't go over well with a lot of people, both fans like me, as well as prospective employers.

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Guest SirJohn

I agree with you Calves. The Authority flows from Weis and no where else and as always the buck stops on his desk. I've seen plenty of sticky situations where a parent, AD, Head Coach, are all jabbering an opinion. I think Weis said it best something to the tune of "This ain't a Democracy you know?" :lol: The Media hate hw won't really let the Assistants speak, although, surprisingly he's given Corwin Brown pretty loose reigns

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I just have one point to make from So. Cal and historical perspective...if you think the Walker's are vocal/involved then you have not yet experienced the Clausen family.

 

I think that's a hard statement to make Diego given noone really knows the true story about Rick and Casey, LSU and Tennessee except the involved parties. Did both schools recruit Jimmy? Yes, that says something. I think the Clausen's get a bad rep given what's been reported out of UT and LSU. Sour grapes? Maybe. Darius was a likeable and personable atudent and athlete at ND, he was a major asset to the team, no question. I don't think anyone wishes any thing bad to D Walk, I know I will root for him to be #1 in Chicago....just seemed strange leaving ND so quick, to go undrafted. The Walkers will me missed but will always be part of ND. GO IRISH!!

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Guest Mikey G

Great writeup Calves. You basically summed up what I was thinking into words (which is hard for me to do). Thanks! :)

 

BlackIrish, I know it is a family decision whether or not to go pro, but if DW is going to stop playing with the "kids" and start playing with the "men", he should've been a man and consulted with Weis. If he already made up his mind about going pro, why not do the proper thing and consult with Weis? I believe Weis would have been more supportive of Walker if DW talked passionately on the reasons why he should leave a year early for the pros, and would get a "I don't think you're making the right decision, but I support you" feedback from Weis. Just my opinion.

 

Also, Holtz would talk relentlessly about the bond between player and coach was what he missed most about coaching during the spring game interviews. I am sure the bond between Walker and Weis soured after Walker went (what seemed like) behind Weis's back to opt early for the NFL.

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