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Notre Dame Football: Does Paul Longo’s Demotion Signal A Massive Change In Philosophy for Brian Kelly?

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It’s almost like they fired Brian Kelly- but they didn’t. (Just laugh and try to have some fun).

NCAA Football: Duke at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy week for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football staff. Brian Kelly finally hired a defensive coordinator in Mike Elko, and despite his more humble job assignments, I think it was a really nice hire.

But, that’s not why I’m sitting here and typing away instead of painting all of the trim inside my house with a very expensive white paint that is (of course) taking about 5 coats to look good... it’s the latest move that intrigues me greatly.

Paul Longo is out as the director of Notre Dame football’s strength and conditioning program.

Last week, I was speaking to fellow OFD staffer, Wes Sweigert (@IrishTightness of the popular OFD Podcast) and I was passing along the report I had just read about Paul Longo. (A report I won’t repeat to avoid a comment war with “tlndma”). My comment to him at the time can be paraphrased like this:

Look, it’s not like they are going to suddenly fire Kelly now, even though both you and I would applaud such a move. What I think is happening has me pretty excited that there is hope for the future with Kelly. What if he is finally breaking free from his comfort zone that has limited fresh changes to the program, and is ready to make the necessary changes needed to win football games? If Longo is out, that has to say something, right?

My questions are almost always rhetorical, but in this case, I asked him because I wanted to know. His answer, which was a combo of “I don’t know man” & “maybe” & “we’ll find out, I guess” didn’t do much to put my mind at ease, but it kept me thinking.

At this point, I really don’t care if these changes were forced upon Brian Kelly by Jack Swarbrick, or if they are a part of an epiphany that Brian Kelly had one night roaming the halls of the Gug. What I do care about, is that massive overhauls are coming to the program at a time when we are almost ALL screaming for change. It’s about damn time that the deficiencies within the program are given more attention, and hopefully these changes will help put Notre Dame back on track.

I’m not a fortune teller, and I don’t want to look at any of your sweaty palms. I have no idea if these changes or any of the ones still to come in the next few weeks will really help turn around the program while Brian Kelly is still running it- but I want to believe it. I want to believe that Kelly is so ready to change things for the better, that he just demoted his most loyal and longest running lieutenant. I want to believe that he is ready to push the reset button on a failed course.

I want to believe.

Believing won’t change the reality in front of our face, but it at least changes the outlook. Until proven otherwise, I’m going to believe that these changes are for real and will impact this program for the better.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have cookies to bake for the imminent arrival of Santa Claus, and I have all that painting to finish. The Easter Bunny left me a note last year and said the trim looks like shit. I aim to please.