When the NFL draft was approaching Tim Brown made one of the most insightful comments that no one listened to. Brown , while talking about Quinn, said Quarterbacking in the NFL is about timing and rhythm: making the right read quickly and delivering the ball on target before you get killed. That’s life in the NFL.

Arm Strength, beyond a certain point, is one of those “nice to haves.” Decision-making and accuracy are “must haves” in the NFL and I believe for Weis.

It doesn’t matter how strong your arm is if you can’t find the open receiver. Jay, over at Blue-Gray Sky, did a great breakdown of the spread. It wasn’t the scheme per se, it was the decision-making and fumbling within the scheme that doomed ND.

While there were breakdowns, the running game was working on drives and the outlet passes were there.

This is not to blame Demetrius, it was his first game against the worst possible match-up and he’ll play so much better we’ll forget this game, but all of this Blarney about the scheme being terrible misses the point that the plays were there. What wasn’t there was decision-making along with more than a few breakdowns on the offensive line.

If Demetrius completes a couple of big passes and doesn’t fumble, Notre Dame conceivably could have led going into halftime. It’s about decision-making as much as play-making ability.

I think that’s why Jimmy Clausen is making the start against Penn State over Evan Sharpley. Sharpley probably has the stronger arm of the two, but Clausen, because he’s been schooled since was a youngin’, has that IT factor. He sees the field, makes a read and gets the ball off. He also has a hell of a lot of rotation on his balls, which seems to be why, much more so than muscle, his passes get there fast.

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Last fall I wrote that Clausen would be better than Quinn by his Sophomore year simply because he’s very accurate (he puts the ball where it needs to be,) he makes quick decisions and he gets the ball off.

That doesn’t mean I expect some miraculous day at Penn State. Clausen’s in for a tough two-game stretch, but Weis needs a guy who can make the right read and get the ball there.

Pretty simple.

If Demetrius had done that and didn’t break down, last Saturday could have been a whole lot different.

It’s a tough game.


4 Responses to “Rhythm”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Clausen is the best at the position of the three. Still, even with Quinn, Weis has yet to figure out the mad blitz packages that don’t seem to be run in the pro.. Or run as much with as many people. He’s been minimized to dink passes.

  2. jimkress76 Says:

    even with Quinn, Weis has yet to figure out the mad blitz packages that don’t seem to be run in the pro.. Or run as much with as many people. He’s been minimized to dink passes.

    I’ll agree that Weis and his OL coaches seem unable to cope with the blitzing (which is not significantly different from that found in the Pros, BTW).

    The statement “He’s been minimized to ‘dink’ passes” is just silly, particularly when you look at the performance of Quinn to Stoval and Quinn to Jeff S. Thos were not ‘dink’ passes by any stretch of the imagination.

    The primary problem Weis has is the lack of a level of 2 and 3 deep talent in the OL and his insistence on “cross-training” to improve what depth he has. Once his first 3 recruiting classes are seniors, juniors, and sophmores, that will no longer be a problem.

    Right now, he’s being forced to play freshmen against seasoned senior opponents and the freshmen just don’t have the experience to excel – yet. Give them a year or 2 and then watch us roll!

  3. Irish32 Says:

    “For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
    for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
    for want of a horse the knight was lost,
    for want of a knight the battle was lost,
    So it was a kingdom was lost – all for the want of a nail.”

    Only one thing wrong with the Fighting Irish football team — they started the season a week too soon. Their nail wasn’t ready. Jimmy’s ready now; Charlie has his nail. Let the fun begin. Go Irish!

  4. ND Marine Says:

    The two things that would have helped on Saturday were quick release and speed to the hole. Charlie is recruiting guys that will fit the pro mold. The underclassmen, like Clausen and Allen, fit that model. We need to be patient.

    Everyone is focusing on this being Charlie’s third year. That magical number is based on the core of the team being his recruits. Since he had such a late start recruiting after being hired, I have always felt that next year is his make or break. Next year is truly his third year.

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