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Decoding Coach

Aw shucks, I like you too, Coach.
Aw shucks, I like you too, Coach.

Mouth breaks down coaches Navy Post Game, Sunday, and Wake Forest Preview Pressers.

Navy Post-Game

Coach Kelly was happy that we controlled the line of scrimmage, played good defense, and ran the ball well. This is the recipe for success. 

Translation: Notre Dame fans should be happy that we controlled the line of scrimmage, played good defense, and ran the ball well.


On the unrest with the players: the team and coaching staff are a family; families will have good days and bad days; Coach Kelly and the team worked through their issues by communicating, like all good families. The football team came out and played together.

Translation: You will never know what happened or why it happened. Coach Kelly is crazy like a fox and his ploy galvanized the team. Keith Arnold was pretty adamant that this was a ploy by Kelly to galvanize the team. I had my doubts, then I realized that this team really didn't play like a bunch of malcontents going through the motions. As Kelly said, they had their best game relative to all 11 players playing their best football as a team.

On playing Ethan Johnson, Kelly insisted that he wasn't being coy earlier in the week. It truly was a gametime decision on Ethan.

Translation: Who knows for sure, but I would think lying about a player's health could land the Coach in some hot water, so it probably was a game-time decision.


The two turnovers were the only disappointing part of Notre Dame's win over Navy.

Translation: Tommy Rees's two turnovers were the most disappointing part of our win over Navy. The Crist vs. Rees argument has played out ad nauseam on One Foot Down and other sites. Suffice it to say that Rees continues to be a turnover machine, even turning the ball over in back-to-back weeks by throwing backwards passes behind his running backs. Kelly confirmed our suspicions that Rees should have thrown both passes forward. For obvious reasons, swing passes to running backs should be forward passes. If Rees used the proper footwork, he would have thrown both passes forward. Would Crist get this much leeway? Who knows, but I think I'd like to see.

Notre Dame got the ball to Michael Floyd, and "you can't go wrong if you can get it to Mike." Floyd "was not going to be denied" against Navy.

Translation: Floyd is thoroughbred. We can go wrong if we don't get it to Floyd. So let's please do.

In his first start, Jonas Gray played well. Gray "sets a physical presence for us... He runs physical, he's got burst, he's got speed, he breaks tackles."

Translation: Jonas Gray lit a fire under Cierre Wood. That he started in Wood's place was one of the most underreported storylines of the season. Gray earned the start before the game and proved that he deserved it during the game.

Sunday Presser

The players holding up the picture boards on defense were helping communicate plays to the entire team in the quickest way possible. Air Force out-tempo-ed the Irish. As a result, Notre Dame could not always get the right play in against the Falcons. The boards allowed the coaches to get the play into the entire defense simultaneously.

Translation: The Irish gave up ZERO points except when they turned the ball over.

Wake Forest Preview

Fans should not read into Hendrix's lack of playing time against Navy. Hendrix is a change of pace guy that we throw at defenses to throw them off. We did not need to throw Navy's defense off.

Translation: The Coach plays it straight here. Look for more of Hendrix against Wake, unless our offense continues to click like it did against Navy. This level of dominance is not likely against a better Wake Forest defense, but Irish fans will--or should--settle for a slightly lower level of dominance against a decent Demon Deacon Defense.

Kelly isn't revealing whether Jonas or Cierre will start against Wake. "We'll see, he says.

Translation: This one is pretty clear. A hungry tailback is a good tailback and right now both Cierre and Jonas have a tapeworm.

Kelly praised TJ Jones as a "very solid," even potentially "underused" player.

Translation: Rees needs to distribute the ball a little more evenly, especially when Floyd is getting doubled.

Jonas Gray has not really improved through the season. Jonas has been playing at a high level all season. He's focused on being a better, teammate, player, and student. This year Jonas "decided to up his game in all areas."

Translation: Jonas had his breakout, 3-touchdown game in the wake of a fantastic Player Profile by... yes, The Mouth. This is no coincidence.

The offensive line is playing very well because they have a lot of experience, they have great coaching from Warinner, and they're playing well together.

Translation: Irish fans should sleep well.

Michael Floyd has had a spectacular season. The most impressive aspect of this season was Floyd's decision to change his life.

Translation: None needed. Hats off to Coach Kelly and Michael.