Sources: Irish to Officially Announce Change in Base Defense

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple sources have confirmed that later today Coach Kelly is set to announce an official change to the Irish's base defensive alignment.

In the wake of recent comments by Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly about moving Jaylon Smith around the Irish defense next year, sources have confirmed that the Irish are set to announce later today that the Irish will officially move to a 10-1 defensive alignment in 2014.  The Irish have reportedly been experimenting with the new scheme during spring practice.  "Coach Kelly is very excited about the possibilities of the Irish defense relative to Jaylon Smith lining up in the God linebacker position in Notre Dame's new 10-1 defensive alignment next year," said a source close to Kelly and Irish Defensive Coordinator Ryan VanMorrison late Monday.

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Preliminary playbook rendering of Jaylon Smith's likely coverage responsibilities

Kelly tweeted last week that that he and Defensive Coordinator Brandon JamBander are "moving Jaylon Smith around because we don't want offenses to know where his is."  But Kelly has reportedly reconsidered his earlier statements about moving Smith around the defensive front seven.  Behind the scenes, Kelly and VonBondie are said to now be completely willing to let opposing offenses know exactly where Smith will be lining up--everywhere.

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Revised rendering of Smith's defensive alignment and responsibilities

A source close to Defensive Coordinator Byron CanNewton indicated late this week that it was taking him somewhat longer than expected to put the finishing touches on his experimental scheme.  "We're just trying to decide how best to define the infinitesimally small portion of the field that the rest of the defense will be covering.  There is also the space time continuum to think about.  It's entirely possible that Smith could be covering areas of the field occupied by other defenders.  As we know, no two pieces of matter can occupy the same space, so we need to be careful to not destroy the very fabric of the universe.  Football is important at Notre Dame, sure, but creating a disturbance in the space-time continuum would be completely inconsistent with Notre Dame's Catholic mission and unacceptable to this coaching staff."

There's also the problem of how to make the new gap responsibilities teachable, says SlamDunker.  "Does an asymptote adequately describe how Smith's coverage area approaches infinity?  Or is his coverage area actually infinity?  Dividing by zero indicates that it may be.  Or does the event horizon provide a closer parallel?  Or is Jaylon actually dark matter--you can't see him, but you know he's there since the ball is heading the other way for six?"

Mayock breakdown of Smith coverage duties

Father Brian Daley of Notre Dame's Theology Department was asked for comment about the theological and metaphysical implications of fielding a defense in which one player appears in multiple places at once.  "Clearly that is something only God can do.  We know--we think, right?--that Jaylon won't actually be in multiple places at once, but even the Notre Dame football team's defense needs to avoid creating scandal or disseminating heresy."  South Bend diocese bishop Kevin Rhoades is said to be withholding his imprimatur from Irish DC DanPatrick's defense, pending an official ad hoc synod that Pope Francis has called specifically to research this issue.

Former Notre Dame Defensive Coordinators have mixed feelings about the new defense.  Bob Diaco has his doubts: "How can Jaylon Smith play defense?  He just does NOT. FIT. THE. PROFILE.  He's 6'2.5", 235 lbs. Not 6'4", 255.4.  Not 6'6", 300.2.  Not 6'4, 352.5.  Not 6'0", 197.5.  Not 6'4", 263.9.  Not...."  The interview was discontinued as Diaco could not be withdrawn from his ceaseless mumbling of defense-appropriate heights and weights.  Former Irish Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer was equivocal: "I guess I'd be okay with it.  Just as long as the cornerbacks are slow and small and can't turn their heads or otherwise orient their bodies in a 180 degree fashion, like this (indicating)."

Jon Tenuta's comments were harder to parse: "BLIIIIIIITTTTTZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SEND EM! [Expletive deleted] SEND EM!" When advised that this was in fact an interview, and not a real, actual football game, practice, or other situation, Tenuta was undeterred: "[Expletive deleted] I SAID SEND EM!!!! [multiple expletives deleted]!!!!!  SEND EM ALL LET GOD SORT EM OUT [expletive deleted]!!!"

Notre Dame alum, donor, and cat physician Bob Downs was reached for comment at a joint erectile-dysfunction-golf-handshakefulness tournament/convention held at a country club.  "In my day, defenders played offense too.  None of this one-way malarkey.  And real men are slow and play downhill.  Speed is for sissies and socialists.  Think about it.  They all start with ‘s.'  Also, mutual funds."

A former Notre Dame student had this to say: "I'm relieved that the new defensive staff is abandoning its dogged adherence to profile," said the man, who gave his quote on the condition that the "dog" in "dogged" be italicized.  "I'm sure the new defense will be the cat's pajamas," continued the man, unable to help himself.

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Notre Dame area man

The Notre Dame blogosphere is also abuzz by the conservative nature of Irish DC BamaSlammer's new scheme.  One blogger, identifying himself only as "Scotch," decried the scheme's failure to take advantage of numerical advantages: "Why don't they just go with an 11-man front with the Godbacker in coverage?  Football's a numbers game.  NUMBERS.  You have got to create numerical--i.e. dealing with or relating to NUMBERS--mismatches.  I'm telling you, the 11-1 is the ticket."

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