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Notre Dame Football: W.I.N. (What’s Important Now) — Florida State Week

Time to take a page out of the Lou Holtz book and figure out What’s Important Now for the Irish heading into the season opener in Tallahassee

Alright, Pat. You can do this. You’ve got some coffee, and the weekend is just 5 quick days away. Let’s get through this shitshow of a Monday morning and move forward.

*clicks the “Join Call” button*

Hey hey, happy Monday! How’s everyone doing? Sally, how was your weekend? Awesome, awesome, yeah mine was about the same, pretty went way too fast though!

Haha yeah, that’s how it always goes, huh? Okay, so let’s see, do we have everyone we need — is Dan here? Does anyone know if Dan will be joining today? Let’s give him another minute or two.

Hi Molly, good to see you — oh, I think you’re frozen. Can you hear us, Molly? Ope, we lost Molly.

Hey, Geoff, can you go on mute? Awesome, thanks — was hearing a bit of an echo there. Okay, I guess we will just jump into it, and if Dan joins we can catch him up later offline.

Okay, well thank you all for joining — I know these weekly Monday morning meetings aren’t always ideal. For anyone new to the project team, just to provide some context: we hold these weekly calls for Project W.I.N. so that we have a scheduled time each week for us to review the past week’s results, monitor status of action items, identify risks to hitting our milestones, and align on key focus areas for the coming week.

As you all know, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team kicks off their season on Sunday, so we’re no longer in that comfortable summer planning stage of our project. It’s time to take a good look at where we are, what the competition is doing, and What’s Important Now for the Irish to focus on in order to beat the Florida State Seminoles this weekend.

Since we only have 30 minutes booked for today, let’s dive right in! Can everyone see my screen? No? Oh, sorry about that — I accidentally unshared it after sharing it. Here we go:

Here’s the agenda for today’s call.

Since we have some new team members, we’ll do a quick round of introductions, then I’ll review what Project W.I.N. is and how these meetings typically work. Then we’ll look at last week’s performance, and...well, typically after that we would honor our Team Member of the Week, but we actually don’t have one this week, so...that’s a typo, my fault for not catching that. Next week’s winner will earn double the Chipotle lunch on the company dime, though, so get excited for that!!!

Anyway, after reviewing last week’s results, we’ll go through some competitive insights before finishing with our key takeaways as to What’s Important Now for success this week.

Any questions or concerns about the agenda?


Okay cool, so let’s do some introductions. If you could each go around and just give a quick background on your role and your experience/expertise, that would be great. Let’s start with Heather...

...Um, I think you’re on mute, Roger! Yep, there ya go...

...Awesome, and finally, my name is Pat Rick. As most of you should know, I’m the project manager for W.I.N., and I won’t read everything off the slide but you can see my credentials there.

Okay, so now that we all know each other...what exactly IS “W.I.N.”?

Well, I’ve put together a handy little slide here that should help explain — a cheat sheet, if you will.

Hopefully that helps, and if not, I recommend setting up a quick coffee chat with Dr. Lou, as he’s our ultimate SME on W.I.N. and can certainly help clear things up for you and answer any questions you may have.

Okay, so this next slide — I won’t spend too much time talking about it, it’s very straightforward. This is just showing the weekly process we’ll be going through with W.I.N. in these meetings. This is really just so you know what to expect in this forum each week.

Okay, so now that we’ve covered all that — which should be very familiar to a lot of you at this point — let’s take a glance back at the results from last week and how we’re tracking against several key action items.

Not a ton to cover from last week, as it was pretty quiet with some folks on PTO and as we wait to move into the Football Phase of the project, but you’ll see there are a couple key updates there. Furthermore, it looks like we’re doing okay on our scorecard, pending someone like J.D. Bertrand being able to step up in Liufau’s absence.

However, we ARE still red in trying to repress the memory of that horrible OPI call in Tallahassee in 2014, so can I get some volunteers to take ultimate ownership there and ensure it gets done sometime this week? I’d really appreciate it — awesome, thank you Henry, and thank you Kathleen.

So, if we move to the next slide, you’ll see the competitor profile the team has put together on the Florida State Seminoles and their head coach, Mike Norvell. This should give you the 10,000-foot view as to what our competitor is all about.

Please note Norvell’s corn rows from when he played at Central Arkansas, and also please be sure to write down that Scott Stapp graduated from their school, because that’s sensational.

Also, if someone could confirm that Garnet is indeed a color and not just a misspelling of a legendary Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics (and I guess Brooklyn Nets) player, that would be fantastic. Yeah it just sounds made-up, I don’t know. Let’s just be sure, because we don’t know what we don’t know, okay?

Moving on, take a look here at some of the research we compiled in our not-actually-very-deep dive on these guys.

As you’ll see, they still haven’t decided what QB they’re going with, which is probably hurting their brand a bit as they display such indecision, although they have been getting a significant amount of impressions from the QB battle.

And you’ll note that their defense and their offensive line were pretty bad last season, but Seminoles fans are hoping that with another full year in Coach Norvell’s program and an influx of transfers with potential, the 2021 squad will look much improved across the board, even if still not super deep at certain positions.

Okay, I know we’re running out of time so let’s quickly make sure we cover this. Here’s What’s Important Now for the Fighting Irish as they gear up for the competition. These are absolutely KEY you guys — I’m talking straight-down from the C-suite, so let’s make sure these are prioritized.

This is absolutely a game the Irish should win, but with lots of unproven guys and a rabid road environment in a season opener, it’s certainly not going to be a gimme.

However, if the Irish offense can get into a rhythm and take some air out of the crowd’s sails while also taking some shots downfield now that they have a QB (Coan) and receivers (Austin, Lenzy, even Mayer) to do that with, that will go a long way toward keeping the potential upset/”FSU IS BACK” result away.

The Irish offensive line, with a true frosh at left tackle and 4 guys who’ve never been full-time starters for a whole season, can really chip in by just playing a solid, penalty-free game that allows Coan and co. the chance to do their thing, and hopefully also occasionally opens up running lanes for Bellyman and Chris Tyree.

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

Defensively, Marcus Freeman’s unit needs to come out and get pressure early and often, considering FSU has some young talent with potential at receiver/tight end and the Irish DBs not named Hamilton, until proven otherwise, are questionable when left on an island.

Furthermore, the men in the middle at linebacker — hailed as one of the deepest positions on the team — will need to really cycle in and out smoothly and play smart, aggressive, sure-tackling football...especially with Marist Liufau now out.

Alrighty, well looks like we’re a couple minutes over already and I’m sure a lot of you have to jump to another call, but really quick for anyone who can stay on a minute or two longer — are there any questions or concerns here? Or are we all feeling good about next steps?


Alright, great, well everyone have a great rest of your Monday and rest of your week, and I’ll be sure to circle back offline with each of you throughout the week to ensure we’re grabbing that low-hanging fruit and making strong progress.

I’m also pinging you now with the link to the deck, in case you need to reference it! Thanks everyone, talk soon!!

*hangs up*

*huge sigh*

I hate this job.