Sunday, November 09, 2008

Adrift at Sea | by Jay

Last night we were dumped into Boston harbor like a sack of tea.

DEFENSE: Plenty good enough to win. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

OFFENSE: Plenty of nuthin'. Our drive chart is one of the most futile I've ever seen.

But probably the most disheartening thing I've read this morning is Charlie's admission that he might have to take a stronger hand with the offense.

I’m going to have to devote a lot more of my energy not to the whole team, I’m going to have to devote a lot more of my energy to the offense and to the special teams, because you have to pick your poison on what you feel you have to address, and I think we have to address the offense and the special teams.
This is Charlie admitting that his offensive staff isn't up to the job of preparing and executing a competent gameplan. This is really depressing.

When Charlie announced in the spring that he was handing over the playbook to Mike Haywood in order to take a more supervisory role, I applauded it as a incisive move by a man who knew he had to become more of a head coach to succeed at Notre Dame, and not just be a de facto coordinator. I still think it was the right thing to do, and I think it has worked out in many respects. The team seems more cohesive and chummy, defensive players aren't being neglected by the head coach anymore, and special teams (his personal project) has enjoyed terrific improvement in most units. But clearly, the offensive braintrust he appointed in his place is not up to snuff. The fact that Charlie, 9 games into the season, needs to get more involved with the offense is a serious indictment of his choice of replacement staff. And Charlie, finally, has admitted it to himself, and to us. As Pat alluded to in the previous the post, banking on a first time offensive coordinator and relatively inexperienced quarterbacks coach to steer this ship of state was a calculated risk, and right now it looks like a big failure. Charlie said as much in the quote above.

Look: Charlie jumping back in is probably the right thing to do at this point. Something's got to change immediately, or we face another three losses (after last night, let's not bank Navy or Syracuse in the win column). And thinking ahead to next season, Charlie's got some tough decisions to make with this quartet of offensive coaches he seems personally fond of.