Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2016 Issue

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

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CHALK TALK BRYAN DRISKELL N otre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand have had two starting left tackles during their ten‑ ure in South Bend. T h e f i r s t w a s Z a c k M a r t i n (2009‑13), the 16th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft and already an All‑ Pro. Martin was replaced by Ronnie Stanley, who one‑upped him, earn‑ ing consensus All‑America honors after the 2015 season. By the time the opening round of the 2016 NFL Draft is complete on the evening of April 28, Stanley will join Martin as a first‑round pick. That is the lineage Stanley's re‑ placement must follow. At the outset of spring practice, Kelly announced that the team's 2015 starter at right tackle — senior Mike McGlinchey — would be the heir ap‑ parent on the left side. Much of the spring focus surround‑ ing the program has been on who will start at quarterback — senior Malik Zaire or junior DeShone Kizer. Clues for who is going to emerge vic‑ torious are searched for everywhere. McGlinchey's move to left tackle caused many to wonder if that was a strong indication that Kizer — a right‑handed passer — would be the starter. McGlinchey would be protecting Kizer's blind side, but he would be the front‑side blocker for Zaire, a lefty. Kelly and Hiestand were ada‑ mant that moving McGlinchey had nothing to do with the quarterback, and anyone that follows the trends of modern football and takes seri‑ ously Kelly's words regarding the blind side can easily buy the staff's assertions. So why make the move? NEEDS IN THE PASS GAME For Hiestand, it's about matching his best pass blocker — which Mc‑ Glinchey will be in 2016 — against the opposition's best pass rushers, not protecting the quarterback's blind side. "Coaches like to put their best pass rusher to the back side," Hiestand said of opposing defenses. "Most quarterbacks are right‑handed, and you see probably the best athlete [for pass rushing] over there. So the natural thing is to put your best pass blocker on the left side." When Zaire became the clear starter at quarterback heading into Mike McGlinchey's Move To Left Tackle

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