Are you ready? We are less than 3 weeks away from the start of spring practice for Notre Dame. We are already 3 months into a quarterback battle that, quite honestly, we have not seen in a long time- if at all. Many people will try to compare this year to 2007. In many ways, it does have the appearance of that fateful year. Rees/Sharpley, Hendrix/Frazier, Golson/Jones, and Kiel/Clausen share many parallels. To just take these similarities at face value is both stupid and wrong. However, to ignore them entirely is also both stupid and wrong.
If you think Brian Kelly will be ready to name a starter against Navy after the Blue & Gold Game, than you are both highly optimistic and naive. In a perfect world, Brian Kelly would know exactly who his starter is after the first week of practice and would make it public. That would be ideal, because when a team goes through a transition such as Notre Dame (coaching staff changes, playmakers graduating, etc) setting a solid foundation early and providing direction is key.
This isn’t a perfect world. Head coaches, no matter how good they are, can get undecisive when it comes to Quarterbacks. If there isn’t one QB that absolutely sets himself apart from the rest, they begin to second guess their choices almost by the minute. This is how, at every level, good head coaches go with a “duel-quarterback” system despite a highly poor success rate.
In a perfect world, Brian Kelly would mount Starlite, gallop upon a rainbow and throw star sprinkles all over his Color Kids until one shined the brightest and was named the best weapon to defeat the King of Shadows. The other Color Kids would fall in line and fully support the chosen one.
This isn’t a perfect world. Things will not be settled until sometime in August. Oh, the questions will be asked and the answers will be dissected and used like a deck of tarot cards, but any attempt to decipher it all will remain both STUPID AND WRONG.
One thing we do know, is that Notre Dame will be using a zone blocking scheme next year. Sean Milligan stated on Mike Frank’s Irish Sports Daily Power that because of this move to the zone, it dictates a move towards a more mobile quarterback- namely Golson or Hendrix, while all but eliminating Rees. He and Mike never did say much about Kiel at all in their discussion. To me, this makes the most sense and might at least lead us closer to who may ultimately be calling the plays in the huddle.
Again, to take this very good information and come up with absolute conclusions is both STUPID AND WRONG. Do not make the mistake of jumping on Starlite and try to throw those star sprinkles yourself. You probably don’t even have a buddy named Twink to help you (ironically enough, I do have a buddy named Twink).
We are all in for a bumpy ride. Many of us will take our side as to which quarterback will be named the starter. We will watch snippets of video from spring practice, read more commentary from news sources, and watch closely on April 21 to see who had the best day- which will lead us to a premature decision on who, wait for it… will be the starting quarterback for Notre Dame in 2012.
This is 2012, not 2007. Brian Kelly is not Charlie Weis. Every year is different, just as each one of these quarterbacks is different. I asked Kelly Bloor to make that magnificent image at the top of the post because I had planned on doing something a little more fun. Sadly, this is what Notre Dame football has brought me to; less fun. It’s fun to speculate on who may start at QB, but the process is its polar opposite. Be careful this offseason. We all can’t ride on Rainbows.
Image by Kelly Bloor (@phillykelly)