Thanks to those of you who took time out of the holiday to stop by the Notre Dame chat. As always, the transcript can be found here.
Francis (Warsaw): Another 8-5 year...the turnovers were obviously the catalyst of those 5 losses but who do you put that on? The players that just can't make smart decisions (Tommy Rees) or coaches for not preparing the players to be disciplined with the football?
Matt Fortuna (2:07 PM): Francis, I think there is plenty of blame to go around. I don't want to discredit some of the defenses they faced this year because there were several elite units, but the red-zone decision making was very questionable at times throughout the year. The trick with turnovers mid-season is to not have players thinking about them and second-guessing themselves in practice. I don't think 10 or 11-2 would have been too much to expect from this team, in retrospect. (Never really in the Stanford game, were lucky to be there with a USC team that was clearly better.)
Aaron (Chicago): Matt put yourself in the shoes of an irrational, stubborn and impatient Notre Dame football fan(I know its hard to do since there are so few) and ask yourself....after seeing tommy rees play less than good the last couple of games and Hendrix being completely shut down, who do you want to see take the first snap next season, do we just let Golson go like Clausen and work out the bugs and gain the knowledge while playing? Or do we create a two maybe three headed monster for next year?
Matt Fortuna (2:09 PM): Aaron, you're asking a lot of me there (I kid, I kid). I'm a strong believer that if you have two quarterbacks you have none (and unless you plays INCREDIBLE special teams and defense like LSU, that won't fly). Many will be calling for Golson as people think he can't be worse than what was on display this year, but we really won't know for sure until we see how he handles an actual game situation.
Chris P (P'cola FL): According to the USC blogger, Tee Sheperd (and by association, Deontay Greenberry) are no longer early enrolling at ND, but keeping their options open. Is this correct or just speculation because I believe I read somewhere on this site not long ago that both were "100% committed to ND." Do you have an update for them or is it just nonsense from USC?
Matt Fortuna (2:15 PM): Chris, according to our Greg Biggins, Shepard said he is no longer a rock-solid verbal to Notre Dame and will wait until Feb. 1 to decided between the Irish and USC.
Auntie Em (Kansas): Matt - with news of Warinner and Hinton leaving rather abruptly it appears the sky is falling to ND fans again. Let me know when it's safe to come out of my bunker.
Matt Fortuna (2:25 PM): Looks like you're writing from Kansas. I'd suggest stopping by Lawrence and taking solace in whatever success Charlie Weis and Dayne Crist can manage together next season.