Five Wide Fullbacks: 10 Words For Brian Kelly

Good Friday All. The Mouth goes with the dreaded "rush four, drop eight defense" to try to outscheme this week's Five Wide Fullbacks formation, and, in leaving, gives 10 words by which Coach Kelly is to live if he wants to get the Irish playing dominant football again.

You're an NFL GM looking for a quarterback with a top 5 pick in this April's draft. Do you take Robert Griffin III if he's available. Explain your decision.

Since NFL stands for No Fun League, I'm going to play it safe and go with Andrew Luck. Although according to the reflexive property of mathematics RGIII = RGIII, I'm still going with Andrew Luck. And as a professional prospect, Andrew Luck > RGIII. Times are tough, I need the work, and no one ever lost their job by playing it safe, right? If Luck isn't available and RGIII is still on the board, I'm taking him. I am not a fan of college-style mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. They just do not work out in the long term. They'll win some games by fourth-quarter heroics, they're a nice stopgap measure when your offense is struggling and you can't get a real franchise quarterback, and they'll get you to the playoffs occasionally, but they will not sustain success because they cannot pick apart NFL defenses with their arm alone.

Cam Newton's record-setting rookie season just showed everyone how to win with a mobile quarterback. Just make sure he's a deadly-accurate, pass-first quarterback who just happens to run like Usain Bolt. RGIII's senior numbers were better than Newton's. True, RGIII did play against the matador-training schools that are Big XII defenses, but if I'm an NFL GM, I'll take the chance that RGIII is more Cam Newton than Tim Tebow he who shalt not be discussed because honestly who wants to go down that road. But only if I'm all out of... wait for it... Luck.

You've been granted the power to push a button and make Notre Dame's football program closely resemble any other program in the country. Keeping in mind that this is a 50-year decision with steep ramifications, which school do you decide to resemble the most?

I hate to give those smug bastards the satisfaction, but I have to go with Stanford. They definitely have their troubles on defense, especially against the Ducks, but with the defensive and overall talent that Notre Dame is able to bring in, I would love for this program to emulate Harbaugh-Shaw-Era Stanford. The Harumph! Fullbacks! Crowd will love this answer. Stanford is physical, they're tough, they run the ball down everyone's throats, then they kill you with play action to 7-foot-tall nightmare-match-up tight-end-ish wide receivers. Or are they wide-receiver-ish tight ends? ND's academic standards don't restrict the Irish quite as much as Stanfords academic standards hamstring The Cardinal's recruiting efforts, and I would love to see what Harbaugh and Shaw could have done with Notre Dame's roster.

This is how you win with smot kids.

Predict Notre Dame's Outgoing Players' Combine Performances.

Michael Floyd:

I'm thinking Floyd's height is a tad inflated and he doesn't quite get it up to where he wants it to be by the time the Combine rolls around. He has plenty of time to develop that aspect of his game in the pros. Doesn't blow anyone away with the 40, but does strong(ly) in the bench, and quite strong(ly) in the vertical leap.

(a) Height and Weight: 6'2.25", 223 lbs.

(b) 40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds

(c) 225-lb.-Bench : 19 reps

(d) Vertical: 39.5"

Taylor Dever:

Dever, too, will struggle a little with his height. He chose to focus on speed and agility leading up to the combine, and his height struggled a little as a result. 40 time is pretty much pointless for an offensive linemen, he does respectably in the bench, and his vertical is in the mid-range.

(a) Height and Weight: 6'4.5", 295 lbs.

(b) 40-yard dash: 5.25 seconds

(c) 225-lb.-Bench: 27 reps

(d) Vertical: 26"

Harrison Smith:

Smith is a combine freak. He trained with Floyd to get his height up, and who knows why these things happen, but Harry's training pays off and he beats his college numbers. His strength is on and his speed is poppin', though Blanton edges him by a nose-hair in the 40. He also shows his explosiveness in the vertical.

(a) Height and Weight: 6'2.46", 216.56 lbs.

(b) 40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds

(c) 225-lb.-Bench: 23 reps

(d) Vertical: 39.25"

R.J. Blanton:

R.J. Does well for a big cornerback. Height and weight are solid, and when combined with his bench, Blanton shows that he can bulk up and be physical enough to play safety. He's not a blazer (nor a suit coat), but he's got enough speed to play a physical Cover -2 corner.

(a) Height and Weight: 6'0.66", 196.5lbs.

(b) 40-yard dash: 4.61 seconds

(c) 225-lb.-Bench: 13 reps

(d) Vertical: 37.76"

Darius Fleming:

Fleming just isn't able to get his height up where he wants it to be. He weighs in at a stout 247.5, and he's built like a tugboat. Not a speed freak, but extremely powerful and quick enough.

(a) Height and Weight: 6'1.45", 247.5

(b) 40-yard dash: 4.82

(c) 225-lb.-Bench reps: 26

(d) Vertical: 30.15"

Jonas Gray:

With the caveat that I have no idea to what extent JG will be participating in running drills, I will predict that he dominates at the combine. Why should I eschew speculation now? JG has already made me look brilliant once this year.

(a) Height and Weight: 5'9.75", 223 lbs.

(b) 40-yard dash: 4.42

(c) 225-lb.-Bench reps: 30

(d) Vertical: 40.25"

#25 Jonas Gray: Notre Dame 79 yard TD run v PITT - 9/24/2011 (via KnuteSchoolFools)

Do you want to tell this guy that he can't do it?

Describe your confidence level with defeating Michigan next year and some general thoughts on the Wolverines after one year of Hokemania.

Confidence level should be divided into two categories: pregame and postgame. Like every year for the past 5 years, my pregame confidence level will be somewhere between 99.99 and 100. That inevitably comes crashing down postgame when I realize that Michigan has somehow stolen our Luck O' The Irish. We must have played them so many times that our luck has rubbed off on them. I have no idea how else to explain it.

General thoughts? Jealousy, envy, loathing, expectant schadenfreude. I loathe them for obvious, various and sundry reasons. I am jealous of their rapid turnaround and I envy them because they just won a BCS game and will have Denard Robinson on their roster for yet another year. I hope and expect that it will all come crashing down in two years, just as it did for Chuck Weis after his first two years of BCS bowling, and I will revel in their misery once their program is left in a smoldering, sulfurous, ashen wasteland. I would love to agree with the sage Frank Grimes:

But Brady Hoke reminds me of Charlie Weis. Doesn't it feel like his team totally overachieved, setting up unreasonable expectations for a roster that isn't suited for it? Michigan is still a couple recruiting classes away from fielding a good defense. You know Tommy Rees, that QB we all hate right now? He absolutely shredded that Michigan defense. The only thing that kept Notre Dame under 50 was him and Wood dropping the ball, plus a couple INTs. Point being...I imagine expectations will be sky-high for Michigan next season, and their talent level isn't up to it. Just like the 2006 Irish, who lacked players defensively but were a preseason #2.

There is a difference, though. Brady Hoke is a college head football coach. He's got experience building programs. He has not been wildly successful in College, but he is not some NFL guy who has no idea how to run a college program. I hope Frank is right, but I fear that he is not. I was looking to beating Michigan down for a few years before they turned it around, but it looks like we lost our chance to do that in '09, '10, and '11. Oh well. We'll have to do it the old-fashioned way--while they're good. Look at it this way: it will help out our strength of schedule and invigorate the rivalry.

I hate you. But I hate myself more for not beating you.

You have 10 words of wisdom to give Brian Kelly that he must follow while he's coach at Notre Dame. What do you say that will be the best for the short-term or long-term health of the program?

Don't sleep on EG. DON'T. SLEEP. ON. EG. DO NOT.

What did you expect me to say?

What 10 words of wisdom would our wise readers wish to whisper to Coach Kelly?

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