Archive for the ‘Blanton’ Category

Bye Week Update 8/27

August 27, 2009

Fall Camp 8/19… With TAH-NOO-TAH!!!

August 19, 2009

Wu Am I? Thick Killah & Homicidal Terra-hawk

July 25, 2009

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 23 & 24…

Eric Olsen #55
Offensive Guard
6’5″ 303 lbs.
Senior
Brooklyn, New York
Wu Name: Thick Killah

Although Eric was considered a 4 star prospect and the #2 ranked player in the state of New York, he didn’t receive a whole lot of attention from the fanbase or the media when he chose Notre Dame over schools like Miami Fl., North Carolina, and Boston College. He stayed quiet during his freshman year while playing a little over 20 minutes (probably should have red-shirted), and became the fulltime starter at guard for the Irish during the middle of the 2007 season. In the spring of 2008, he opened the eyes of a conservative Irish fanbase, as he became very aggressive in practice. He was involved in more than a few fights, and was videotaped while yelling, “Fuck you defense! Fuck you!” I fell in love instantly.

2009 should be a much better year for Eric than in 2008- if he can stay healthy. One of the worst moments of the 2008 season was when Boston College defensive tackle and future first round pick by the Green Bay Packers, BJ Raji, basically threw Olsen back 5 yards into the ballcarrier (James Aldridge) and knocked said ballcarrier on his ass. Ouch! It should be noted that 1. Olsen was on two wounded legs, and 2. Raji was an animal and future NFL first rounder. I would bet against anyone who thinks that Olsen hasn’t replayed that play in his mind a hundred times while chewing on glass as he works out. I think that play, and the help of the new offensive line coach, will turn Olsen into the animal that he really is in his heart. BTW- There are a few rumors going around about Olsen moving over to center to replace Wenger, and Trevor Robinson starting at what is currently Olsen’s left guard spot. I’m not sure what will happen, but you can be sure that Olsen will be right in the middle of it… swinging.

Robert Blanton #12
Cornerback
6’1″ 185 lbs.
Sophomore
Matthews, North Carolina
Wu Name: Homicidal Terra-hawk

Robert Blanton is a special kid- and he will let you and anyone else within shouting distance know about it. When Blanton committed to Notre Dame in June of 2007, he passed up on a host of defensive powerhouses such as Georgia and Virginia Tech, to name just a few. You have to give this kid credit (and the whole incoming class of 2008 for that matter) for sticking to his commitment, even after the dismal 2007 season. Irish fans were treated to a very confident athlete that saw action very early in his career. The most memorable Blanton moment from 2008 was probably his INT return for TD against Purdue to spark what looked to be a somewhat flat Irish team. Personally, I liked the U$C pick. It gave me some hope in what turned out to be another ass-whooping in the Colosseum.

The loss of Darrin Walls last year really opened the door for Blanton to kick down and destroy. He showed up and played better than Lambert and at times better than McNeil. Don’t think that Blanton is sweating his playing time with the return of Walls. He’s probably telling anyone that will listen that he is going to run this shit. And perhaps he will. Notre Dame will be more talented and deeper in the secondary than at any point this decade, and Blanton could end up being the best overall corner on the roster. No matter how the playing time splits up between Walls, McNeil, Blanton , and even Gary Gray, I fully expect RJ to have a major impact and make some very big plays. I’m thinking pick 6 against Tommy Trojan. FU$C.

The MVP’s & The General

April 19, 2009

Armando Allen

The sky is the limit for Allen @ Rivals Video

Robert Blanton

Blanton has great expectations @ Rivals Video

Coach Weis

Weis sees spring progress @ Rivals Video

You can see more highlights and interviews at UND.com… HERE.

I’ll have my own thoughts on the game and the gameday experience in a day or so. I just need a little more time to let this stuff marinate- it’s not like I don’t have some time between now and the Nevada game. Don’t worry though- it will be up soon.

Bagpipe Monday Is On Delay… I Give You More Interviews

March 30, 2009

Bagpipe Monday will be out later today. Until then…
Corwin Brown

Defense brings the energy @ Rivals Video

Raeshon McNeil

McNeil playing on the edge @ Rivals Video

Robert Blanton

Learning process continues Blanton @ Rivals Video

Harrison Smith

Cornerbattle

March 25, 2009

A look at the corners during todays practice

Irish staging cornerback battle @ Rivals Video

Practice Report

The Curious Case of Sergio Brown

March 6, 2009

It’s that time of year. Spring football is right around the corner and the message boards are a buzz with roster movement and depth chart speculation. People can’t help themselves. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and its all we got right now.

I generally try to stay away from printing out any type of depth chart or starter projection-type material. In this era of football, more players are playing due to both sides of the ball using many different formations and packages. So instead of pinpointing 22 guys as “starters”, I have instead pointed to 35-36 players of impact. These are players that will contribute heavily to the team. Sergio Brown is certainly one of those players, but could he be more?

If you ask around the Notre Dame locker room, “Who is the best athlete on the team?” More times than not, Sergio Brown would be the answer, and it has been for the last couple of years.

Last spring, Brown competed against Kyle McCarthy for the strong safety spot that opened up after the departure of 4 year starter Tom Zbikowski. McCarthy won that position battle and it bore fruit after Kyle led the team in tackles in 2008 with 110 and also had 2 interceptions. It was a very solid performance- that also had me yawning. Where were the big plays? Granted, Kyle did make some very big tackles that helped the team. However, it was done so quietly and 10-20 yards past the line of scrimmage, that it looked effortless.

After spring ball, the designated starters at defensive back were pretty much decided. These are the players that fell into the slots:

  • CB- Darrin Walls
  • CB- Terrail Lambert
  • FS- David Bruton
  • SS- Kyle McCarthy
  • Nickel- Raeshon McNeil
  • Dime- Gary Gray

Oh, how things change- and quickly at that. After Walls, the most talented defensive back on the roster, left school for personal reasons it opened up a huge hole. That hole got filled by Raeshon McNeil, but like a submarine taking on water, another hole opened up. The lineup soon looked like this:

  • CB- Raeshon McNeil
  • CB- Terrail Lambert
  • FS- David Bruton
  • SS- Kyle McCarthy
  • Nickel- Sergio Brown
  • Dime- Gary Gray

It didn’t take long for this lineup to get tampered with either. Robert Blanton started kicking down the door from the day he stepped on campus and he soon got a lot of playing time. At first it was Gary Gray rotating in with Lambert and occasionally McNeil. Then, Blanton took over the role that Gray was occupying as the season wore on.

As we roll into spring football for 2009, we see the same type of battles that must take place to decide the participants. With Walls back, and the emergence of Robert Blanton the lineup will definitely be shook up- but is it the right shake up. Enter Sergio Brown.

After playing on special teams in his first two seasons and racking up a colossal 11 tackles, Brown stepped onto the stage in a huge way for the Irish at the Nickel position from game one last year. He was an effective blitzer and terrific in coverage. He showed great athleticism and playmaking ability and in my opinion- he proved himself to be able to contend for the SS spot once again. He deserves it, and keep in mind that this is his last year of eligibility. (That last part sucks balls).

I just feel that Brown brings more to the table than McCarthy. I like Kyle, but I also like safeties that make big plays. I’m not sure if Kyle can do it or can’t do it, but I am sure that Sergio has more of the tools needed to make those big plays.

In today’s game, we see more and more defenses having to move towards using the nickel package as somewhat of a base defense against spread teams. Spread teams are multiplying. So, the nickel is just as important as the SS for the most part. My ideal setup for the defensive backs in a nickel formation looks like this:

  • CB- Darrin Walls
  • CB- Raeshon McNeil
  • FS- Harrison Smith
  • SS- Sergio Brown
  • Nickel- Robert Blanton

We can argue about the Blanton/McNeil battle at a later time. By now, the McCarthy brothers and fan club are ready to tear my ass apart, but we have to be honest with ourselves. You could at least pencil Kyle in as the Dime- but I keep hearing that the staff is very high on Jamoris Slaughter too. Uh, oh…

By now, if you’re still reading this, you are probably wondering if I am moving towards some type of point or closing argument. Perhaps. But I think I have made it clear already. Sergio Brown is an exciting and athletic player and in my opinion- he should be starting at the SS spot. This puts our defensive backfield in better situations to make the big play. McCarthy led the team in tackles last year with 110, so I can understand that some people may be hesitant to accept this fact, but we should. A safety shouldn’t be making that many tackles anyways.

This is the “Curious Case of Sergio Brown,” but in essence it is also the ” Curious Case of the Secondary.” What do we do with what is the most talented defensive backfield the Irish have had in a very long time? In my opinion, we go with the playmakers and let them make plays, and somehow that all revolves around Mr. Brown.

Interviews Galore… #3, #7, #12, #23, #58

December 13, 2008

Mike Floyd returns to action.

Golden Tate is glad Floyd is back.

Jimmy is happy Floyd is back too… duh.

R.J. talks trash?

Brian Smith is tougher than Charlie Weis.

The Ides Of Commitments

June 20, 2007

Robert Blanton is Irish. The 6’1″ 175 pound, 4 star prospect chose the Irish over Virginia Tech and…Skunkbear University. Lllloyd Carr- suck on that! Some have Blanton listed as free safety, but the Irish like him at cornerback. There are a lot of similarities between Robert and a former Irish player… Bobby Taylor. The size and speed this kid possesses is fantastic, but his hip movement and foot speed are what sets him apart as a CB as opposed to a FS.

This is the 15th Notre Dame commit for the 2008 incoming class. Our 15th commit last year was actually this year when Matt Romine chose ND at the Army AA Game. This class is filling up in a heartbeat. The Irish do have needs at WR, OL, and LB still to fill, but with every commit it adds pressure to those sitting on the fence to follow suit. (coughFloydcoughFilercoughPage).

Click here to see video on Blanton.

WELCOME TO NOTRE DAME ROBERT!!!