Tag:Charlie Weis
Posted on: August 18, 2010 2:16 pm
 

Irish WR Floyd making new coach Kelly a believer

New Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly made waves yesterday with his candid first impressions of junior wideout Michael Floyd, considered by some to be among the country's very best wide receivers.

Said Kelly, "“I thought Michael Floyd was overhyped. I thought he was, at times, average.”

Asked to explain further, Kelly provided plenty of details.

"He wasn't a precision route runner," Kelly told the media, including Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune . "[Floyd] wasn't asked to be. He was a match-up guy. Bodied people, caught the ball — sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't. If you watched him, were evaluating him, you go, ‘OK, he's got a big body, he runs down the field. If they throw it up there, there's a good chance he's going to get it. You never saw him in positions to run the dig or drive, be one-on-one, beat coverage on a quick slant on fourth down and snap his hands. All those things that go to winning football games, I didn't see that. Maybe it's because they had Golden Tate, and he did all that for him. So my evaluation of Mike was based upon the film I had.”

While Floyd's film may not have made a favorable first impression on his head coach, his work ethic throughout spring and summer, on the other hand, certainly has.

"In 20 years, I have not had a player who has worked as hard as Michael Floyd has worked,” Kelly said. “And I mean that. He has out-worked everybody on the offensive side of the ball to the point where he has single-handedly set the bar for where everybody else needs to bring their play.

“When we've gone in the last couple of days, situational live if you will, he's been dominant. Believe me, I'm not easily impressed. ... Michael Floyd can do more. He's capable of doing a lot more. He's shown to me that he can be that guy that is a complete wide receiver.”

Floyd, 6-3, 220 pounds, was one of the nation's most dangerous big play threats under Charlie Weis. Though Floyd only played in seven games last year due to a broken collarbone suffered against Michigan State, when he was on the field, he was virtually unstoppable. Floyd posted 44 receptions for 795 yards (18.1 average) and nine touchdowns. He scored at least one touchdown in six of the seven games in which he played. The one game in which he didn't score a touchdown -- Pittsburgh -- Floyd caught 7 passes for 107 yards.

With quarterback Jimmy Clausen and fellow wideout Golden Tate having left early for the NFL, Kelly's comments could be aimed at lighting a fire under Floyd, who is expected to be the Irish's primary weapon on offense in 2010.
Posted on: April 4, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Biggest loser in McNabb trade? Jimmy Clausen

Over the past few weeks there has been increasing talk in the scouting community that the Washington Redskins were going to do something at the quarterback position. With the draft less than a month away, I (and the league personnel I'd spoken with) generally presumed that the Redskins would focus their quarterback search there. With Sam Bradford essentially unattainable , the belief was that Washington would select Jimmy Clausen with the 4th overall pick.

Obviously, Washington went in another direction with their quarterback search, landing Donovan McNabb for their 37th overall selection in the 2010 draft and a conditional 3rd-4th round pick in 2011.

And because the Redskins filled their need at quarterback, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen could see a significant drop on draft day.

Considering the big contract signed by Matt Cassell last year, the Chiefs aren't likely to reunite Charlie Weis and Clausen with the fifth pick. Similarly, the Seahawks gave up too much in trade and contract money for they to be likely to use the sixth overall pick on the Irish passer. Cleveland president Mike Holmgren has publicly admitted that he's not a huge Clausen fan. The Raiders won't take him with JaMarcus Russell still drawing checks.

The only obvious contenders in the top ten are the final two teams within it -- the Buffalo Bills at No. 9 and the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 10. With neither of these clubs guaranteed to take the hotly debated Clausen, his "slip" on draft day could prove even steeper.

The slip from the potential 4th overall choice to No. 9 doesn't sound that significant until you look at the contracts.

Assume for a moment that Clausen would have been the 4th overall choice. He likely would have signed a deal slightly better than the one received by last year's 4th overall pick, Aaron Curry. Curry signed a six year deal for 60 million, including 34 million guaranteed.

The ninth overall pick last year, nose guard BJ Raji, signed a five year deal with Green Bay for 28.5 million, including 18 million guaranteed.
Posted on: January 5, 2010 12:36 am
 

Clausen to have surgery; won't throw at Combine

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen will undergoe surgery Tuesday to repair two torn ligaments in his right foot.

He is expected to be sidelined for 8-12 weeks and rather than rush the rehabilitation and throw at the Combine, he'll attempt to work out for scouts in early April, according to a report by ESPN.  Assuming the time-table in the report is accurate and that Clausen heals as expected, he's left with little wiggle-room to throw before the draft, approximately 15 weeks away.

Any concern about Clausen's health could prove significant. The former Irish star's primary competition to be the first quarterback selected, Oklahoma junior Sam Bradford, is both bigger and more accurate. Scouts feel Clausen is more ready to make the jump to the NFL due to his experience in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense, but also pointed to his health as a reason why he could go higher on draft day than Bradford. Without the advantage of greater health, the momentum might switch to Bradford, who most scouts feel has the higher upside.


Posted on: December 10, 2009 8:11 pm
 

If Kelly to be successful, he can't forget the D

If Brian Kelly -- or anyone else for that matter -- is to be successful at Notre Dame, he'll have to accomplish a feat that Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis were never able to accomplish.

Win, of course, but also to rebuild a defense that has been sorely lacking in talent since the end of the Lou Holtz era.

Considering Notre Dame's natural recruiting advantages, many will be surprised to learn that the Irish haven't had a defensive player drafted in the first round in well over a decade. In fact, it was 1997 -- Davie's first year leading the Irish -- that the Jacksonville Jaguars selected defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn with the 21st pick of the draft. Since, there has been only one Notre Dame defender even drafted within the first 50 picks of any draft, and that was defensive tackle Trevor Laws to the Eagles two years ago... who went 47th overall.

During Lou Holtz's reign (1986-1996), on the other hand, there were 12 Fighting Irish defenders drafted within the first 50 picks...

I can understand why Notre Dame fired Charlie Weis. He simply didn't win enough games. However, the man was brought in due to his brilliance as an offensive coach. He helped turn Brady Quinn into a first round pick, recruited and will have successfully made Jimmy Clausen into a first round pick and has produced some talented skill position players around them in tight ends John Carlson (2008 2nd round pick to Seattle) and Anthony Fasano (2006 2nd round pick to Dallas) and wide receivers Maurice Stovall (2006 3rd round pick to Tampa Bay) and Golden Tate.

If Notre Dame is to return to its former glory -- a monumental task considering their high academic standards and tough annual schedule -- they can't just rely on the flashy offensive stars to get it done.

Congratulations to Brian Kelly on the new job. I wish you the best... (and by that I mean a pass rusher or shutdown cornerback or two...)


Posted on: December 1, 2009 2:11 pm
 

Bowden, Weis could impact draft

With Charlie Weis' firing and Bobby Bowden's reported retirement, NFL scouts expect highly rated underclassmen from Notre Dame and Florida State to even more strongly consider leaving school early for the pros.

Speculation is rampant throughout the league that Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen will enter the 2010 draft and his favorite wide receiver, Golden Tate, is likely to leave, as well.

Clausen is widely considered the most NFL-ready quarterback in the country due to his blend of physical talents, experience in a pro-style offense under Weis, and three years as a starter. If Clausen does indeed leave, it would be hard for any new Notre Dame coach to convince Tate that his stock would improve in 2010. His numbers would almost certainly go down with a new quarterback and potentially new offense and regardless of when he leaves Notre Dame, he'll be the same size, which is the most obvious drawback for the receiver -- perhaps generally listed at 5-11, 195 poinds by the Irish.

Perhaps the most intriguing development, however, could occur with the Seminoles and quarterback Christian Ponder. Like Clausen, Ponder has multiple years of starting experience in a pro-style offense and has showcased the big and accurate arm scouts are looking for. Just as importantly, he's shown a great deal of improvement throughout his career. The shoulder injury that ended Ponder's season prematurely will be healed in time for pre-draft workouts, which has prompted some scouts to float his name as a potential "surprise" early declaration.

One would presume that the relationship already in place with offensive coordinator and expected new coach Jimbo Fisher will keep Ponder in Tallahassee for his senior campaign. However, considering the relative dearth of senior talent at quarterback and the potential salary loss for rookies following this draft, the FSU quarterback is one scouts may be pondering before anyone thought...

 
Posted on: October 3, 2009 4:53 pm
 

Jake Locker, Jimmy Clausen good, not great so far

With unsettling performances from many of the highly ranked senior and junior quarterbacks ranked ahead of them, two passers NFL scouts have become increasingly intrigued by this year are Washington and Notre Dame juniors Jake Locker and Jimmy Clausen, respectively.

Locker's athleticism, toughness and potential as a passer have drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow. In reality, he is a further along as a passer than Tebow and has a stronger, more accurate arm with a quicker release. This fact has led some to project him as highly as a potential #1 overall candidate for the 2010 draft, should he elect to come out early.

The poise and accuracy Locker showed in the stunning upset over USC significantly increased his national attention, but scouts have been well aware of his ability for years. He remains an unfinished product, however, who too often resorts to running rather than exhausting all of his passing options.

Against Notre Dame thus far, Locker has been accurate on the short to intermediate passes, but still too often is either throwing to his first read or tucking the ball. He has the prerequisite arm strength to zip passes into tight coverage and the touch and trajectory for the deep ball. He hasn't been helped by repeated drops from UW receivers and a porous offensive line. There is no denying his first round tools. At this point, however, scouts tell me they still view him as a second round pick, as he is at least a year or more away from contributing in a pro-style offense against NFL caliber defenses.

Classen, on the other hand, is significantly further along in his development as a passer. Of course, this is to be expected after serving for three years under Charlie Weis. Classen understands the offense, making the proper adjustments at the line of scrimmage and has the accuracy to hit receivers in stride. He also spreads the ball around the field beautifully.

Like former ND star Brady Quinn, however, Classen's lack of dominant arm strength makes him a good, but not necessarily great prospect for the next level. Classen relies on his accuracy and understanding of the offense to attack, but he's attempted some dangerous passes in the first half against Washington, attempting to squeeze passes into tight holes in the secondary, such as on a 2nd quarter pass into the endzone that the Huskies should have picked off.

Their national hype may lead some to believe Locker and Classen are certain top ten prospects. In reality, while each has tools to work with -- and quite different tools at that -- both are potential gems that still require a great deal of polish...
 
 
 
 
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