Archive for the ‘Shameless Plugs’ Category

The King Is Back

May 27, 2008

I just ordered my copy… and I suggest you do the same. No other pre-season magazine provides you with more information and analysis.

Phil is a fucking legend.

I am providing a link to Phil’s website on the right. This site can be used to purchase the mag and has a buttload of other stuff for college football junkies.

The picture is of the regional magazine which is due out at a later time. Clausen, as you can see, appears on the Big Ten regional cover.

This should help with any kind of jonesing you may have for the gridiron… or make it worse.

I have also already read Lindy’s national pre-season magazine and I am extremely disappointed. Not enough for every team, but they love their conference previews.

Excuse me as I go headbutt my dog.

Time To Make YOUR Irish Eyes Smile

April 10, 2008

There comes a time in every college football fans life where one decides where to get their info from. With so many options out there on the Internet, TV, and in print- you may not know what is the best source.

Well, I’m here to tell you what I think… and quite simply it is Irish Eyes with Mike Frank on Scout.com (link is on the right).

You can debate the differences between Scout and Rivals if you must, and I have subscriptions to both, but on a purely Irish Football basis- you can’t get any better.

One of the best things about IE is its message board and the posters it contains. Some of these guys are HS coaches and help out with explaining the game itself in a series of videos known as Football 101. Along with that, they do a great job of breaking down the team.

I was going to post a rundown of how the team is progressing this week, but I thought I was going to the coaches clinic so I could get a better grip on the team itself. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it and felt stupid if I tried to do it after only seeing small clips and regurgitate what has been posted by others that did attend. Instead, I asked for, and received permission from Mike Frank to post what the board coaches thoughts were on the team. This is straight from the message boards at Irish Eyes. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Sign up today and see the difference.

Busco’s Thoughts
Jimmy has some serious zip. Big time arm. Hughes and Aldridge are in a spirited battle. Both are impressive, I tend to lean toward Hughes. Allen will help a lot as a change up. He’s incredibly quick, it’s almost becoming mystifying why he hasn’t ripped off a long run. Either he has bad luck, poor vision, or knows my ex wife. I can’t figure out why he’s been cursed so far, his quickness is visible to everyone. Very good fights so far. Turk and JBrown won’t be best men in the other’s wedding plans. The Irish Eyes (Oklahoma, Hamburger, whatever you call it in your neck of the wape) drill finished with a faux fight between two other guys, which was fun because we thought it was yet another real fight, until you noticed the haymakers weren’t landing and everyone had big smiles on their faces. I almost got the feeling the guys had staged it for the fans, media and coaching clinic in attendance. From what I saw, the Wenger-Stewart-Young combo COULD become what we’re all hoping. Those guys can drive block. IMO, everyone struggled at times with pass blocking, but no one stood out and looked horrible, just the normal “he got beat that time” kind of thing. Hell, they’re going against the Irish, so who knows which side of the ball is any good? IMO, the entire season rests on the OL. We’re good enough at QB, RB, TE, WR. If the OL plays well, we’ll be fine. If they don’t, settle in for 7-5 next fall. Surprises: Nwanko will help us, didn’t expect that. I liked a walk on FB (don’t know who he was, but as you can guess, 44 didn’t impress. I feel bad for the guy, there’s no question a kid with that body obviously cares, works hard, etc.) If Harrison Smith isn’t a starter, we’re in REALLY good shape. The kid is a stallion. If he’s only playing in nickel situations, it means KMac NEVER makes mistakes, because HSmith is the real deal. TRob is going to be very good, but as a frosh OL, he’s still learning. Ian Williams wasn’t in great condition. Not really worried about it, but it was noticeable. As much as OL cohesiveness is very important, I will definitely predict some rotation situations. It’s almost as though we have depth there now. Notes: Brian Smith was limping thru both practices, but never once asked out. Good sign in my book. KNeal is a force. Toryan never stood out, Crum looked pretty damn good. Of course, Crum is protected in this scheme, so he should stand out a bit. He had the hit of the day today. Great depth in the secondary, but everyone already knew that. I predict Floyd plays early, very early. Grimes impressed me, and he never has before, but only he and Duval are top DI level receivers, Grimes as a 2 or 3, Duval as a 1. MoRich is my darkhorse candidate to benefit the most from this defensive, Tenuta driven scheme. I’m not saying he’s great, or even very good, but I bet he’ll benefit the most. If our OLB’s pressure the passer well, one of the DL is going to get some sacks from a QB stepping up into the mess. MoRich is athletic, so I think he’ll grab several garbage sacks as well as a few well-earned ones. GGray is pretty damn good as a sub, as is McNeal. I saw Walls pull off on run support once, doing IMO one of those “I’ll go hard, just miss the back, it will look like good effort but I don’t want to get trucked” moves on a long run by Hughes. Probably doesn’t mean a thing, but I’ve seen a ton of kids do that over the years so I think I saw what I think I saw. I have insane man-love for JTenuta, the same way I love Crash Davis and Dirty Harry. Actually, that’s a pretty good description of Tenuta. He’s college football’s version of a cross between Crash and Harry. As we asked him questions and talked back and forth at his chalk talk, it was like being at a roast with Don Rickles. You knew you were going to get made fun of, but you looked forward to it. Here at Busco, we can use his blitz schemes, and he’s simply my kind of guy. I get the feeling he’d rather drink a beer and talk football than do anything else. This staff is at critical mass. It’s also a great combo of personalities. If you have a kid who likes to be buddies with his coach, you’ve got Corwin. Corwin is a master motivator, but it’s done in an upbeat way. If you have a kid who needs his *** kicked, on offense you have CW, on D you have Tenuta. I don’t know dick about OL, but I did watch Latina, and his players like and respect him. Parmalee and Haywood definitely relate to their players, and from what I’ve heard, Jappy knows his stuff. I might be reading too much into this, but I got the impression Tenuta is at ND for a purpose. I got the feeling he might possibly believe the only way he can be recognized and respected for what he knows and can do is to do those things at ND, on the biggest stage. Just my stupid take on the whole deal, but I’m of the opinion he might possibly not really buy into the whole ND “glow” we all bow down to, but he 100% most definitely feels it’s the best, biggest, most important job in the nation, and he thinks he’s the bad-*** to make it work. I’ll add more later, but my favorite moment of the clinic was the chalk talk, and Tenuta’s replies to the guys in the crowd who kept asking “what if?” He presented 45 minutes of blitz schemes after Jay’s 8 second first question of the night. When coaches kept asking “what if the do this, what if this guy goes in motion, what if they do that…?” Tenuta kept getting just a bit more irritated every time he replied “I still f-ing send ’em. I called a blitz, didn’t I???”

Tenuta’s three main points: 1) stop the run. 2) Cover the pass 3) pressure the offense. How does he do this? These are the two main beliefs in the JTenuta world: CONFUSE THE FRONT FIVE, AND NEVER LET THE QB SET HIS FEET! Tenuta’s blitzes are very run sound. I don’t worry too much about getting bladed on the run. It’s harped on quite a bit. He stressed one thing that I found not only interesting, but vitally important at the college level: know who is blocking you. I know what I looked for in film study as a DB and WR, but this makes sense to me if I would have been a LB. Sure you need to know your gap responsibility, the opposition’s favorite plays out of certain formations, their tendencies due to down and distance, etc. But if they take that study to the next level, not only knowing those basics, but also who is going to block you on each of those particular plays, that makes sense to me.

the second session was Parmalee or Powlus. I’m a big fan of Powlus, I had a great, long talk with him last year at the Indiana HS coaches’ clinic, but we’re a wing-T team, and Parmalee would have more info for me, so that was my choice. Nothing earth shattering, but good stuff. As I’ve stated often, I’m a passing game guy. Don’t get me wrong, if we can run the ball all game and win, I flat out love that stuff. Bettis in the cheerios bowl was about the best thing I’ve ever seen. But I call our team’s passing plays, so I was hoping for a tip or two to help Busco Football. I was lucky enough to learn quite a bit about inside zone football. We don’t do any of that here, so it was interesting. Coach Parmalee talked about one back and two back running plays, and the uses of multiple TE’s or H backs in these strategies. It became clear that the more TE’s and H backs, the bigger the threat of the pass. A FB can only threaten the defense in the flat (most of the time), while an extra TE or a H back, until he motions in front of the TB, keeps the defense worried about a vertical route, or at least a 10 yard route. Anyway, very good stuff from Coach Parmalee. He still has two sets of shoulders (his neck is a stair step, from his neck, to his traps to his delts), and he’s a very motivated, spirited guy. Not that anyone cares, but I got a great play action pass combo we can use here in Smalltown USA. The next session was Coach Haywood or GA Pat Graham on DL (remember, Jappy was with Wade during his unfortunate situation). I chose Haywood, as Parmalee had me interested in the ND running game. Coach Haywood made it clear fairly early that the days of the fullback leading the tailback up the middle on an ISO were long gone. The size, speed and athleticism of most defenses have made this a thing of the past. Of course, that makes sense as we look at so many teams who have switched to spread offenses to make the running game more of a 6 on 6 than a 11 on 11 situation. Coach Haywood went over several different one back and two back running plays. In the two back plays, the FB sealed off the backside DE about 75% of the time, which makes sense, in case the opposition’s ILB’s are keying the FB (they normally key the guards nowadays anyway). In the one back runs, there was often a H back in motion, responsible for the block of the FB. In our clinic book, the last few plays are in fact ISO’s, with the FB leading on the MLB, which I think is a great idea. If we’re playing an inferior opponent, it’s always a good idea to show our strength and flatten the defense. The shortest distance is a straight line, after all.

LTD’s Thoughts

Clausen, bigger, stronger, much more zip on the ball. He exhibited the accuracy that will make him a record breaker at ND providing he gets the help from the OL and the receivers get open. Several throws JC had to make were right in the box where only the receiver could make the catch. Several times the DB’s had great coverage, but he zipped it in there and there was nothing the DB could do but tackle the receiver. I still feel that Hughes is a better RB than Aldridge, but Aldridge ran harder than I’ve ever seen him run. Ah that magic word….competition. Allen’s speed and the fact he’s a better zone runner than the other two keeps him in the mix. Saw both Aldridge and Huges in the backfield at the same time in split backs, something I’d like to see more of. They only passed out of that set. I’d have liked to see how they run and block for each other in that set. Grimes got open most of the time. Much more impressive than Kamara today in the live go round. No TE on scholarship played. OL…hard to tell. Like I said last year this is something you sometimes have find out (for the DL too) when you play another team. I will say that the OL seemed a lot more physical that they were in last year’s practice and scrimmage. They also seem to be more involved in supporting each other, encouraging each other, and getting fired up when one dumps a defensive player. TR’s is certainly a T Rex. I’ve never seen such arms on a freshman, and that was from a foot away. For a kid that would normally still be in HS he did very well. Mike’s Bemenderfer is giving Wenger a battle for the center’s job from what I saw the past two days. Duncan had his moments. good and bad, I’d worry about him being consistant. The nutcracker drill, called Irish Eyes at ND, was the second best highlight of the practices. A lot of this drill is showing your manhood, plain and simple while trying to block or tackle. A few of the backs (walk ons) were taken off their feet like stunt men are wired off a horse in the movies. The hitting was fierce, both sides made a big deal of pancake type wins, lots of group enthisiasm, and for the second time Turkovich and Brown got into it today. Yesterday Turkovich got Brown down and kept him down. They had to be separated. Some one else got into it, but I can’t remember. Like it or not, fights are an indication of physical play. Tenuta is just fantastic. No BS, no pretentiousness, just a gut busting, mother loving football coach who’s already made the LB corps tougher and more physical than last year. A lot of the time the LBs, vastly outweighed by the OL, more than held their own against the hogs in the nutcracker. I hope Brown leans a lot towards Tenuta’s blitz packages. It sure seems that he will based on the scrimmage today. More on that from Tenuta and his Xs and Os point of view has to come from Busco. I chose to go to Brown’s chalk talk vs Tenuta’s. Brown is one hell of a good man. It’ll be a shame to lose him one day. Easy to see why he’s such a good recruiter. One thing I saw Tenuta doing a lot of was bitching at and praising Scott Smith, more so than any player. Leads me to think that he see’s Smith as a big part of a rotation. Crum was more physical than I’ve ever seen him. Secondary gave up a few deep passes because of a lack of pass rush or the O’s play was ideal for the coverage. McCarthy, while no Bruton, will hit ya. Walls on an excellent read of his keys or a blitz looked really Willy Nilly on the tackle. He came back later and made a good hit. Overall… I feel a greater effort is being made by the whole team when compared to last year. The spirit is better, the physicality is better, the esprit de corps is better too. Charlie seemed to let Haywood run the show offensively without interfering. He puts a good deal of pressure on the kicker, Walker. No running if he made the FG at the end of practice, calling a TO to ice him and getting in Walker’s head. Walker missed. They all ran.

What Now?

November 28, 2007

This seems a lot like the banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden. No more Irish football. You think I’m being a little too dramatic? Perhaps, but even after a disaster season such as the 2007 season was, I will still miss the Irish playing as much as I miss anything that I love.

But I digress before I even progressed. The question standing is; What now? Now we watch other teams all month long in meaningless bowl games that determine nothing. All the while, stuffing our fat faces with delicious holiday treats and waiting ever so patiently for National Signing Day and then Spring practice. sigh.

As far as this blog goes, to you my loyal readers (and haters), I will continue to bring my take to the table on all things that pertain to Fighting Irish football and NCAA D-1 football for that matter. Sorry hoops fans, my wife would feed me my nuts if I covered the hard wood as much as I cover what happens on the gridiron. If you need coverage of Men’s hoops, check out Notes From The Geetar and Black and Green. If you are into Hockey, then go check out Colonialhead’s Irish Blog if you haven’t already.

This is what you can expect from your Emperor: Subway Domer…

  • Tribute pieces for all of the Fifth Year Seniors, as well as a tribute for any seniors this year that will not be coming back to Notre Dame for their fifth year.
  • The SDA’s. Subway Domer Awards. (This is not a STD contrary to some previous statements).
  • Bowl coverage. This is how I started Subway Domer. (And poorly I might add)
  • The Subway Domer Bowl Battle. A contest for you all to play, and you can win a free prize. wow.
  • Extensive recruiting coverage. I’m not sure any blog or free site will bring you more coverage of the next incoming class. Bold statement? Maybe, but I follow this stuff with a passion and have a lot of plans for future posts to prove myself right.
  • Complete coverage of the Spring practice sessions and the Blue-Gold itself.

Alright, that about does it. If any of you would like to see anything else on Subway Domer, let me know either via e-mail or the shoutbox.

Go Irish!