Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lessons Learned | by Pat

The past few years that I have done the pre-season position previews, I've been valuing veteran players more and more, at times over more highly-recruited rookies. Every year we get excited about the shiny new toys out on the field, but for the most part it is the guys who have been around who keep getting the job done. Certainly there are exceptions, but in college football there isn't much of a better teacher than experience. You make a mistake, you learn, you improve and move forward. Wash, rinse, repeat. And this isn't a week-by-week process, but rather a season-by-season one.

And that brings me to this. Notre Dame has the following on the sidelines:

* A defensive coordinator in his second year as a defensive coordinator.

* An offensive coordinator in his first year as an offensive coordinator.

* A head coach in only his fourth season as a head coach.

Putting aside every other issue for the moment (and there are plenty), Notre Dame should never ever again find itself in a position where the top three coaches for the football team have so little experience at their current position. Notre Dame football is not a place for on-the-job training.

People can debate all of the other issues back and forth all they want, but I firmly believe that experience is invaluable and irreplaceable. It all starts there.