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  1. #196
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    From Blue & Gold Illustrated

    Offensive Line In The Spotlight
    by DAN SILVER
    Writer

    Nobody involved with Notre Dame’s offensive line will talk about the past, but the chips on their shoulders are easily seen from the distance. This year’s version has plenty to prove, if to nobody else but itself.

    John Latina is the unit’s embattled coach and vocal leader, and he is confident that his players are in position to assert themselves.

    “These guys work hard. There are always and will always be areas to improve, but every lineman we have is fighting everyday to improve,” he told BGI in a recent interview. “Confidence is not only built through success in games, but through knowing that you have prepared the best you can.”

    That sounds like a cliché, but it really does have practical applications. Last year, and this sentiment has been beaten nearly to death, the team prepared to play an offense for which it was ill-suited. How could each individual part and then the line as a whole feel confident in what they were doing if the offense was in a state of flux, a state it never fully left during 2007?

    This year is different, and not just because everybody associated with the program wants it to be. It is different because the offense is now squarely in the comfort zone of the team’s head coach and whether it is more run-oriented or completely balanced, the offensive line knows what is expected of it.

    As two of the offensive linemen walked into the interview room, one thing became instantly apparent; the line is going to be physically huge.

    “We are bigger and stronger this year, but I think we are also quicker, so we can do both,” 330-pound Sam Young said of whether, as a group, the linemen feel more suited to run blocking rather than pass blocking.

    The line, like every other in America, would like to have the reputation of being nasty, which as we have found, can not be accomplished through rhetoric. So, a great starting point would be with a player whose nastiness is not in the least contrived. Enter left guard Eric Olson.

    “I guess it just my New York attitude that makes me think that I am nasty and a little crazy. I don’t really see it. It’s just the way I am,” he said. Bingo, we have a winner. He is nasty on the field; he doesn’t have to act like he is. Hopefully, others can follow his lead and the immense talent along the line will have an edge to it that will allow for greater success in 2008.

    In looking back through the years at standout offensive linemen like Jeff Faine, one key ingredient they all have is that their on-field demeanor wasn’t all that friendly. Gentlemen off the field can be vicious competitors on the field. In fact, they have to be.

    This group of linemen is ready to take shots at others now that the world has had a year to take shots at it.












    Picture of Chris Stewart

  2. #197
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    ^yeah, brainfart on my part....i meant to type 300 lb or more for the offensive line weight. sam young is the 330 lb'er.

    anyway, i'm really excited for the new season. i'll have to check out that site, thanks for the heads up.

    go irish!!!
    Cheers,
    --Tank

  3. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    Just watched some of the Clausen interview. He somehow has found a worse haircut than the spike he had a few years ago.
    yeah, he looks stupid.
    Cheers,
    --Tank

  4. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    Why don't we just call this the Notre Dame thread? It would attract more of an ND discussion since it's so hidden now.
    agreed but we do need to be fair.
    Cheers,
    --Tank

  5. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankjeep View Post
    agreed but we do need to be fair.
    Well I wish the Independents Forum was on the same page as the Conferences and not hidden in the general College Football page. I doubt many people know this thread exists.

  6. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    Well I wish the Independents Forum was on the same page as the Conferences and not hidden in the general College Football page. I doubt many people know this thread exists.
    good point.
    Cheers,
    --Tank

  7. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    Well I wish the Independents Forum was on the same page as the Conferences and not hidden in the general College Football page. I doubt many people know this thread exists.
    Haven't been following Notre Dame real close lately but I'm back.

    Yeah there should be a Non BCS Conference forum because things get lost in this thread and the college football forum is more for big college football news.

  8. #203
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    So who moderates the CFB forum? Can we have them move this thread or change the name?

  9. #204
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    http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotr...blarney-f.html

    neat little bit about how weis talks about floyd.
    Therefore he doesn't exist
    So poof...vamoose son of a b itch

  10. #205
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    i'm so excited and ready for this season to start....my patience is wearing thin. i guess i'll play "rudy" a couple more times to ease the pain.
    Cheers,
    --Tank

  11. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    So who moderates the CFB forum? Can we have them move this thread or change the name?
    Where exactly did you want me to move the thread?

  12. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullsFan_1 View Post
    Where exactly did you want me to move the thread?
    Well the page where all the conferences are listed would be great. Or you could just leave it here and change the thread name to Notre Dame. There hasn't been one post regarding any other independent teams in the last year. Thanks.

  13. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankjeep View Post
    i'm so excited and ready for this season to start....my patience is wearing thin. i guess i'll play "rudy" a couple more times to ease the pain.
    I got my ND fix yesterday. I watched Our Mich State comeback in 2006, our UCLA comeback in '06, and the USC game. (I still get pissed when I see Leinart getting pushed, Weiss celebrating when time expires, and their awful ball spotting and clock resetting).

    I also watched App State beat Michigan. That was sweet
    Thanks JO-MO

  14. #209
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    Thank you BullsFan_1, for changing the thread title. Now hopefully the Irish can win some games.

  15. #210
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    We're Going to Pound It!

    We're Going to Pound It!

    So sayeth Charlie a day after the student appreciation night scrimmage that saw the offense struggle against a blitz happy defense, scoring just six points on two field goals. That's right... two field goals. That alone is reason for rejoicing. No, really, it's a big deal.

    Was the offensive line bad or were they getting beaten by a blitzing defense that sensed the calls? Were our receivers awful or our defensive backs great? Impossible to know in a scrimmage without understanding the situation. But this much is clear, the incoming freshmen are going to play a lot this year. No less than eight freshmen made the two deep led by Kyle Rudolph, who many considered the top tight end recruit in the country. Purportedly no one can cover the 6'6" 255 pounder.

    Rudolph had some freshmen company, Floyd, Cave, and Robinson also made the two deep on offense. On defense, four more players are on the two deep from the freshmen class: Blanton, Lewis-Moore, Johnson and Fleming. 23 players in total from the Sophomore and Freshmen classes are on the depth chart.

    But perhaps the biggest surprise was Weis laying down the running law as covered in Irish Eyes:
    “Not to be a hypocrite, but ever since I’ve been here I wanted to be able to pound the football and we haven’t yet, so we’re going to find out because we’re going to pound it. The only way of finding out is to take the big boys up front, to come off the ball and hand it off to those backs because I like all of them, I like all of those backs,” he said. “You’ve got to keep fresh legs out there at back and keep pounding it and that will help everything get better. It will help the play-action pass, it’ll get guys open on intermediate routes and it’ll help pass protection because people are going to have to worry about stopping the run first.”
    Do you believe him? What does he mean by being a hypocrite? Guess we'll find out, but it sure is nice to think it might happen. Here's the two deep heading into T-2 weeks and counting.


    OFFENSE

    X
    18 Duval Kamara 6-5 219 So.
    23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So.

    LT
    77 MIKE TURKOVICH 6-6 305 Sr.
    70 Matt Romine 6-5 292 So.

    LG
    55 ERIC OLSEN 6-4 303 Jr.
    72 PAUL DUNCAN 6-7 308 Sr.

    C
    51 Dan Wenger 6-4 302 Jr.
    67 Thomas Bemenderfer 6-5 300 Sr.
    or 52 Braxston Cave 6-3 315 Fr.

    RG
    59 Chris Stewart 6-5 337 Jr.
    78 Trevor Robinson 6-5 306 Fr.

    RT
    74 SAM YOUNG 6-8 330 Jr.
    75 Taylor Dever 6-5 301 So.

    TE
    9 Kyle Rudolph 6-6 252 Fr.
    84 Will Yeatman 6-6 265 Jr.

    Z
    11 DAVID GRIMES 5-10 177 Sr.
    3 Michael Floyd 6-3 215 Fr.

    QB
    7 JIMMY CLAUSEN 6-3 217 So.
    13 Evan Sharpley 6-2 215 Sr.

    FB
    44 ASAPH SCHWAPP 6-0 257 Sr.
    or 32 Luke Schmidt 6-4 246 Jr.
    30 Steve Paskorz 6-2 235 So.

    HB
    5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So.
    or 33 Robert Hughes 5-11 237 So.
    or 34 JAMES ALDRIDGE 6-0 225 Jr.


    DEFENSE

    DE
    53 Morrice Richardson 6-2 255 Jr.
    or 94 JUSTIN BROWN 6-3 277 Sr.
    89 Kapron Lewis-Moore 6-4 257 Fr.

    NT
    95 Ian Williams 6-2 310 So.
    93 Paddy Mullen 6-3 300 Jr.

    DE
    96 PAT KUNTZ 6-3 283 Sr.
    9 Ethan Johnson 6-4 275 Fr.

    SAM
    22 Harrison Smith 6-2 212 So.
    41 Scott Smith 6-4 235 Sr.

    MIKE
    58 Brian Smith 6-3 245 So.
    49 Toryan Smith 6-1 244 Jr.

    JACK
    40 MAURICE CRUM JR. 6-0 235 Sr.
    48 Steve Quinn 6-2 225 Sr.

    WILL
    90 JOHN RYAN 6-5 264 Jr.
    or 56 KERRY NEAL 6-2 246 So.
    45 Darius Fleming 6-1 236 Fr.

    LCB
    8 Raeshon McNeil 6-0 190 Jr.
    4 Gary Gray 5-11 188 So.

    FS
    27 DAVID BRUTON 6-2 212 Sr.
    31 Sergio Brown 6-2 205 Jr.

    SS
    28 Kyle McCarthy 6-1 203 Sr.
    6 Ray Herring 5-10 198 Sr.

    RCB
    20 TERRAIL LAMBERT 5-11 195 Sr.
    12 Robert Blanton 6-1 180 Fr.


    SPECIAL TEAMS
    PK
    14 BRANDON WALKER 6-3 202 So.
    39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr.

    P
    43 Eric Maust 6-2 177 Jr.
    39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr.

    LONG SNP
    39 Kevin Brooks 6-2 240 Sr.
    52 Braxston Cave 6-3 315 Fr.

    SHORT SNP
    52 Braxston Cave 6-3 315 Fr.
    39 Kevin Brooks 6-2 240 Sr.

    HLD
    43 Eric Maust 6-2 177 Jr.
    13 Evan Sharpley 6-2 215 Sr.

    PR
    5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So.
    11 David Grimes 5-10 177 Sr.
    23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So.

    KR
    5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So.
    23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So.
    21 Barry Gallup Jr. 5-11 200 Jr.
    19 George West 5-10 196 Jr.

    KO
    39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr.
    14 Brandon Walker 6-3 202 So.
    http://therockreport.blogspot.com/


    Looks like a lot of Frosh will be on the field this year.

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