Welcome new and old friends to Notre Dame Rapid Reaction – Navy Edition. For the uninitiated – I make a quick post-game summary with the assist of a "glance" over the box score. Players I noticed, changes that surprised us, and anything else noteworthy from the day's stats. I will continue to provide slightly more in-depth reviews & previews of the games after another look tonight but this is a quick-hitter. ND is 1-0 and today is no time for heavy doses of bitching and moaning. With that in mind, here's the first Herring Bone Rapid Reaction on Subway Domer:
ND 50, NAVY 10
Everett Golson is your 2012 starter and his job is not remotely in jeopardy. Period. Was he perfect? Far from it as he threw a bad interception and made two poor Red Zone reads that should have resulted in DaVaris Daniels touchdowns. (If you missed Daniel's proud papa tweeting before the game, it's worth a look). Golson displayed command of the huddle, confidence in the plays and more touch on throws than we've been privileged to of late by Irish generals. Athleticism doesn't always correlate to feeling pocket pressure and Everett looked to run only once while choosing to allow plays to develop. As I've hammered for 8 months, he opened the playbook up to more misdirection and effective play action – these things stretch the field in all directions. Tough to give Andrew Hendrix a full grade playing with the 2nd team against Navy but I think we all saw the difference between the two players on the field who competed for the QB1 job. If Golson goes down at any point it's already time to expect that Tommy Rees will be stepping in to save the day. All things considered, Golson's performance against Navy exceeded my expectations on many levels. He can win games in bunches at ND. Now I will ramble
Many apologies to Ishaq Williams, whom I proposed would be a better fit at TE for the near and far future. He played with a tenacity we've never seen and if you didn't catch on he caused TWO fumbles on aggressive, attacking plays. I love being proven wrong on this one … Manti Te'o looked superb – 1st career fumble recovery AND interception? Surprising and hopefully indicative of things to come … Jamoris Slaughter was not the terror we had expected – he looked a step slow this afternoon … Stephon Tuitt showed up like a guy who didn't take the "next step" but rather the "next leap" … the WR rotation and play design remains a mystery – after the past 4 weeks who'd have guessed Justin Ferguson & Daniel Smith would catch a pass before John Goodman & Chris Brown? Davonte Neal seemed to be a little too eager on snaps and that's understandable. Last year that punt lands in our opponent's hands … DaVaris Daniels looks like a player we can build around … Tyler Eifert's role in 2012 hasn't been revealed thus far and that's OK … I struggle to recall Zack Martin missing an assignment like the play Golson was sacked by an untouched defender. Another play that ends with a fumble in 2011 … Hey! No fumbles lost!
CBS – Announcers routinely get jersey numbers mixed up and mispronounce names. What for Gary Danielson making up back stories about two Irish players? … I mean, c'mon. You could give him the benefit of the doubt on TE Ben Koyack for throwing him in with converted OLB Troy Niklas, but that's generous because he claimed "both back-up tight ends were on defense last year." To the surprise of the audience he then revealed that starting nose guard Louis Nix III had played offensive guard in 2011. Surprising because all we know of Louis Nix and offense are his pleas to play RB in goal-line jumbo packages. All around a rather gimmicky, uneven broadcast from CBS in Dublin. Alex Flanagan will be a welcome sight soon enough.
Cierre Wood – Give me some reasons why you should crack the 3 deep when you get back. Fastest? Nope. Biggest? Nope. Quickest? Nope. Runs the hardest? Nope. Best in the open field? Nope. Do any fans want to see you starting at any point this season? Probably. That percentage dropped off the map Saturday morning. Toking weed may have taken you from fringe 2nd round pick to begging Brian Kelly for a 5th year he doesn't want to give you. Bra-vo!
I implore Irish fans to toast the send-off of the 2012 off-season and celebrate a convincing Irish win in Week 1 where players we've been clamoring to see took the field and showed the light. Discussions on our DBs can wait another day. I'd rather talk about Cam McDaniel, GAIII, Davonte Neal, Everett Golson, Kona Scwenke, Ishaq Williams, DaVaris Daniels, Troy Niklas, Roby Toma, Manti Te'o, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Ronnie Stanley, and everything else that made never going to bed Friday night and 5:30 am Irish Coffee's worth the wait.