Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 4 of 47 FEBRUARY 2020 5 FAN FORUM UPON FURTHER REVIEW … I was wondering since your article on Notre Dame's All-Time Team in Sports Illustrated back in 2006, what players would you now name to that team and who would they replace? Manti Te'o I would think is worthy to be one of the linebackers. Is Michael Floyd one of the two wide receivers? Justin Yoon over John Carney at placekicker? John Baranowski Via the Internet Mr. Baranowski, we're flattered that you remembered that piece from 13 years ago. Six years later, prior to the 2012 campaign — which was the 125th an- niversary of Notre Dame football — we assembled an updated version of our all- time 25-man team. Please note the three criteria we had: • Achievements in both college and the NFL that made him a revered football icon. • Production in multiple years, fame as a player and esteem as a leader. • Impact he had in the program's for- tunes — especially aiding a national title — and in Irish lore: Quarterback: Joe Montana Running back: George Gipp Wide receivers: Raghib "Rocket" Is- mail and Tim Brown Tight Ends: Dave Casper and Ken MacAfee Offensive Line: George Connor (LT), Aaron Taylor (LG), Adam Walsh (C), Bill Fischer (RG) and Jim Martin (RT) Defensive Line: Ross Browner and Leon Hart at end, and Alan Page and Chris Zorich at tackle Linebacker: Jim Lynch, Bob Golic and Bob Crable Cornerback: Johnny Lattner and Todd Lyght Safety: John Lujack and Luther Bradley Utility Man on Offense or De- fense: Paul Hornung Kicker: John Carney Punter: Bill Shakespeare This is not just about raw stats in col- lege, because it's a different game today. For example, with all due respect, Floyd caught more passes than Brown and Is- mail combined in college, but Ismail (in the College Football Hall of Fame) had greater impact on the program, whereas with Floyd the team was 7-6, 6-6, 8-5 and 8-5. That's not Floyd's fault — but the next year without him the Irish were 12-1. Meanwhile, Brown was only 7-5, 5-6, 5-6 and 8-4 at Notre Dame — but he was a nine-time Pro Bowl pick (Floyd did not pan out in the NFL) and is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Both Zack Martin and Quenton Nel- son will be seriously considered for our 150th all-time team in 2037 (if we're still around), as would Te'o, but the next issue then is, who do you take off? A SLOW BURN? Mike Brey's current career reminds me of the last days of Rollie Mas- simino at Villanova (1973-92). They both had terrific runs. Rol- lie burned out after the long run. I feel Brey is now burning out. Twenty years is a long time. At the end, recruiting gets harder and harder, and it has to tire you out. The prime example is Hunter Dick- inson, who recently committed to the University of Michigan. A skilled big man from DeMatha who Brey has been recruiting since he was in 10th grade should have ended up at Notre Dame. Speaking of Michigan, Juwan Howard hired longtime St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli (1995-2019) as his assistant. St Joe's recruiting had also gone down during Phil's last few years. Very few coaches are able to go strong at the same school for 20 years or more. There are not many Coach Ks, Bob Knights or John Woodens. Notre Dame got their money's worth from Brey. Charles Pitale Philadelphia BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: FROM THE WEBSITE One of the most discussed subjects on our Blue- website in December was who should Brian Kelly hire as the offensive coordinator to replace Chip Long, who handled the play-calling duties. Should he promote from within someone like Tom Rees, Lance Taylor or Jeff Quinn, or bring in someone from the outside such as Long? Here's a small sample: Jgradoath: We have to remember, Kelly is the offensive scheme mind. He is not going to bring some- one in with a completely different outlook, especially with a fifth-year QB. Like any job in the world, would you want your company to invest in internal talent and grow, or constantly see top jobs at your company go to outside hires? Kelly has made some poor outside hires before. Brian VanGorder was a "proven" guy. Every great coach was once a lower-level assistant. Let's not disregard what we already may have. That's just poor management. FightingVac: Nick Saban promotes from within all the time, and so does Dabo Swinney. If he wants to promote Tommy or Lance, or both, I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with that. They know the system; they have relationships with the players. Someone new would have to come in, learn the system and learn the players. If they hire an experienced tight ends coach with a strong recruiting background, I think it would all work out in the long run. PreTill1: I am a lot more (can't stress enough) concerned with OL play vs. who will be the new OC. If we can't run the ball any better, it doesn't matter who the OC is. Long led a team that scored a lot of points, even with a team that couldn't run the ball. .com JOIN THE CONVERSATION! GET A 60-DAY FREE TRIAL WITH CODE IRISH60 Linebacker Manti Te'o would be a candidate for a spot on an updated Notre Dame all-time team, but the competition would be fierce. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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