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Irish Blogger Gathering – Preseason Edition

Aug 28, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

During the football season, a group of five Notre Dame bloggers join forces to ask one another questions and see who can come up with the best and most clever responses. The group of five includes Her Loyal Sons, Inside the Irish, Subway Domer, ND Nation and NDSportsBlogger (the guy writing this).

It’s Temple week, so it’s the first edition of the 2013 Irish Blogger Gathering.

Here are the links to the other ‘gatherings’ that took place around the interweb:
(Links become live once posted)

Subway asks @NDSportsBlogger
HLS asks Subway Domer
Inside The Irish asks Her Loyal Sons
NDNation asks Inside The Irish

For this edition I had the opportunity to ask the guys at ND Nation a triumvirate of mind-bending questions: Here we go!

  1. 1. Many have called Tommy Rees the second coming, Reesus, etc… So what can we expect from Tommy this year?  
  2. NDN: “I wish I could remember who said this first because I believe it describes the situation perfectly:  Tommy Rees can be an effective quarterback in the correct kind of offense, but that offense, by its nature, will not be effective against top-flight defenses.Rees’ strengths and limitations have not changed.  While the strengths (especially above the neck) will serve Notre Dame well, I’m concerned the limitations (especially below the neck) will hold them back.  I’m encouraged by the stories in the preseason about him increasing his overall body strength.  If that can translate to an extended range on his throws, one critical limitation can be mitigated.For Notre Dame to return to the BCS this year, Tommy Rees has to show he’s a multi-dimensional quarterback, or at least that his feet can be employed as a weapon.  If opposing defenses don’t have to respect the possibility of Rees gaining yards on the ground, they can overplay the middle routes to which he makes his most effective throws, which will make it difficult for Notre Dame to score points.  Fortunately, I believe this year’s defense will be up to the task of putting the Irish in position to win games, so all is not lost.” 
  3. 2. Fall camp is finishing up, so who do you believe is the breakthrough player this year on the offensive and defensive side of the ball? And why?  
  4. NDN: “The breakthrough player on defense will be defensive end Sheldon Day.  He showed the ability to contribute last season and with Kapron Lewis-Moore gone and more pressure put on the linebackers with Manti Te’o’s graduation, the defensive line becomes a critical position.  Springmann’s loss is crucial, but I believe Day will step in very effectively.
    The breakthrough player on offense will be running back Amir Carlisle.  Much has been made of the talent level at wide receiver this year, and I think defensive coordinators will try to shut that avenue down for Notre Dame.  This will create opportunities for the ground game and I think Chuck Martin will take full advantage.  Carlisle has great quickness and with Greg Bryant pushing him for playing time, will maintain a good focus.  I believe Carlisle will be good for over 1,000 yards this season.”
  6. 3. Finally, prediction time. End of year record? Which bowl game? Any postseason awards coming back to South Bend?
  7. NDN: “Let’s see how fine a point I can put on this:I believe Notre Dame will finish 10-2.  They’ll beat the Big Three (MI, OK, SC), all in low-scoring games, but have a lapse vs. Michigan State and they’ll be upset by Arizona State in North Texas.  I think Stanford is overrated this season and Notre Dame will win the season finale to clinch a BCS berth.  Ohio State will play the SEC champion in the BCS Championship Game, so the Rose Bowl will select the Irish to play Oregon, a game Notre Dame will win.The Irish won’t garner any postseason awards, but Amir Carlisle will get some Heisman votes and will be the favorite for next season provided he returns for his senior year.”
  1. hughjazcok - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    “Rees’ strengths and limitations have not changed.” Says who? Just in limited practice coverage this season from the past couple of seasons I have seen a lot more zip on the ball and there is plenty that we haven’t seen. Have you followed college football player development much? Everyone is judging Tommy on the his style of play from 2 years ago, are we doing the same for Tuitt or Nix or Prince? Are we doing that for Hercules? No, we are expecting them to be better, sure he may never be able to throw like Elway but he could play like Aikman.

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