A big thanks to all of you who stopped by the Notre Dame chat today. Lots of good questions, all of which can be found here.
Among the highlights:
Carl LaFong (Indiana): Matt, I don't understand the panic when it comes to the defensive backfield. Motta and Slaughter have both started and played alot of minutes at Safety. Yes we are young at Corner but there is some good talent there. Couple that with the front seven talent and I think we will be ok.
Matt Fortuna (3:11 PM): Carl, safety isn't the worry. The Irish were down to four scholarship cornerbacks after Tee Shepard left last week, forcing them to move running back Cam McDaniel to corner as well. The projected starters -- Bennett Jackson and Lo Wood -- COULD turn out to be very good, but they have minimal experience, and there is no proven depth yet. Couple that with the high-powered passing offenses they will face next year -- say, USC or Oklahoma -- and it is definitely a cause for concern on March 23.
Ted (Columbus): What is the reason for Nicklas' move to TE? Need at TE, or was he not going to contribute at LB?
Matt Fortuna (3:27 PM): Ted, big-picture, I think everyone sees that Troy Niklas has more of an upside at tight end than he does at linebacker, where he was almost too tall to play. The ability to move a safety up on defense also contributed to the LB depth. ND will likely try a few things offensively with Niklas and Eifert on the field together, pending Niklas' progress at the position. He played it in high school and, by all accounts, has the hands. Now it's about understanding the offense and running proper routes.
Shane (De Leon): Matt, A lot of coverage for ND football up to this point has been from somewhat of a defeatist point of view where the level of faith in how this team can perform this year has been pretty down so far. One player in particular who I think is not getting enough credit to this point for his potential to perform on the field is DaVaris Daniels. Im hearing a lot of negative comparisons to Michael Floyd (which i feel is unfair) and I have incredibly high hopes with this guy. What's your take on what he can do for this team, and some positivity would be greatly appreciated for once.
Matt Fortuna (3:50 PM): Shane, we talked to DaVaris today and I'll have a story up on him in the near future. He certainly seems to have all the tools, and Chuck Martin raved about the kid. I'm excited to see what he can do, though, like you said, you can't compare him to Floyd just yet. (And, like he said, no one can do in one year what Floyd did in four.)
Mick (Akron, Ohio): Do you think we will see another shade of purple on Kelly's face this season?
Matt Fortuna (3:52 PM): If there are 10 turnovers in the first two games again we may need a doctor in the house for him and every ND fan ...