I'm still attempting to keep a level head about the new coach until I've seen a couple seasons under his direction, but damn if I don't agree with almost everything that comes out of his mouth. I feel like he gets it. You know? I feel like he understands the college football circus and Notre Dame's place in it. I like that he doesn't want to join the Big 10. I like that he understands that the Blue-Gold game ought to be exciting for fans. I like that he's luring Top-150 recruits (like Ben Koyack and Matthew Hegarty) away from the likes of Boston College, California, Iowa, Florida State, Penn State, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, and Southern Cal. Not to mention keeping legacy players in the ND family.
Speaking of which, I really like that Kelly's players have started quoting him on what I believe to be an essential component of any championship football team. Here's a couple-months-old quote from Shaq Evans on the subject, courtesy of Irish Sports Daily:
“He’s emphasized that we need to be more together. Basically, he needs the team to be more like a family. He said that’s how they were at Cincinnati and that’s how they won. Teams that are together win together. That’s what the biggest change is here.”
Dude. Right on.
I cannot conceive of this quote as being anything other than utterly, entirely, unequivocally correct. (I mean, come on -- isn't this whole "family" concept a major plot point in both Miracle and Remember the Titans?)
But as always...saying all the right stuff is one thing; actually doing it is another.
So I'm trying to keep my optimism percolating until the season comes, although it does remain difficult not to feel enthused about Kelly's experience, passion, and proven track record of molding winning teams out of a whole lot of nothing. Emphasis on the team thing. Although of course a lot of questions still remain on the having a good defense thing. Not that I don't enjoy watching high-caliber offenses or anything, but I would much rather watch us score 20-some points per game and win because our defense is an unbreachable wall of BEAST than watch us routinely score 30+ points per game because the only defense we have is a good offense.
So, like I said...percolating.
T-minus three months til football season.
GO IRISH BEAT BOILERS!