Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2022

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

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4 FEBRUARY 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM SOUR GRAPES Perhaps sour grapes on my part, but it is my hope that UND does not schedule a home game in the future with a team coached by Brian Kelly. He does not de- serve the privilege, excitement and joy of stepping onto our Lady's campus. Jim Masterson ND '59 Peoria, Ill. SELF-CENTERED Kyren Williams is a self-centered and selfish man. He doesn't realize that Notre Dame is responsible for his expo- sure, i.e., Saturday football. Boo Kyren! Bob Gentles Gig Harbor, Wash. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Notre Dame raced out to a 28-7 lead against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, but was unable to hold on and eventually suffered a 37-35 defeat. After the game, members of the Lou Somogyi Board on our website discussed what was fixable from that loss. thomasna: Curious for others' thoughts. My thoughts: • I think it's obvious the OL needs to improve a lot by next season. Especially the interior. Mainly run blocking. Fix: New OL coach and ??? • Improve tackling. Fix: I think this is an easy fix as long as the next DC makes this a point of emphasis. • Something about adjustments in game. Fix: ??? P.S. ***[Marcus] Freeman did make an adjustment and I'm not sure why people are not acknowledg- ing that. He took over play-calling responsibilities from [Mike] Elston the last two drives Okie St. had. We got a stop and a fumble recovery. Hire a DC that is good and the defensive side of the ball will be very good. Doug Belk would be a great hire from Houston.*** Cnorth10: I agree about adjustments and not sure why everyone goes straight to Freeman not know- ing how to adjust, I guess it's the easy thing to say since he's a first-time head coach. Tackling is fixable, OL play needs time to get better which they will have 8 months and a new coach. The up-tempo stuff is an issue and something that a new DC that has a similar eye as Freeman can work on. It'll take time but I also think the players need to be more held accountable. Whether it was depth related, not making the right play at the right time or what but that's a big thing too (that's also fixable). Develop depth, get more depth and make sure they have talent. Freeman is doing that, it'll take time though with his guys. Jpjr: Good thoughts. My thoughts are that the QB and CB positions are broken at Notre Dame. A fun- damental shift in how they are recruited and coached is the least common denominator for this team to break through. I agree the interior of the OL can be fixed, because 2021 was an anomaly. supernd: [Tommy] Rees and the new OL coach need to develop a new scheme for the running game. tommy1380: What's fixable in the short term: • OL play. Talent is there. • Mid-game adjustments on defense. • [Lorenzo] Styles emerging as a true #1. • [Deion] Colzie taking a big step. What's not: • Athleticism at LB • DBs • Pass rush I think we're going to have to hire a DC that can scheme us to a solid defense next year. Lacking playmakers out there right now. Love [Jaylen] Sneed but don't expect him to be able to play right away. I think he will take a little time to develop. Xray93: I agree with O-line improving drastically moving forward. Get HH [Harry Hiestand] in here to work with the talent we have and I'm confi- dent he will make it work. Recruiting-wise have Rees and Freeman fly him around the country to sell him as the coach O-line guys want to work with. I can live with what he lacks at recruiting due to Freeman and Rees and his ability as a coach. Tackling isn't necessary a season-long problem, IMO. We have certainly had times where that has reared its head but the tackling in the bowl game was atrocious and uncomparable to how they played the rest of the year. I think tackling had more to do with the long layoff, which has been something ND has continued to struggle with when preparing for the post- season. I know we don't want guys to get injured tackling in practice, but we need to find a way to make it look like this isn't their first time tackling in over a month. In-game adjustments — I think this is going to be a learning process for Freeman and Rees. My hope is they become better at it as their staff comes together and they continue to learn on the job. IMO, Freeman while he made the adjustment to take over play calling, he did so too late. I agree give him credit for making the adjustment, but you also have to knock him for not doing it sooner. JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT BLUEANDGOLD.COM! GET ONE YEAR FOR JUST $1 FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com The Fighting Irish defense missed a number of tackles during Oklahoma State's comeback in Notre Dame's 37-35 loss in the Fiesta Bowl. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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