As Notre Dame prepares for the Camping World Bowl this Saturday, head coach Brian Kelly will continue to evaluate his options for the next offensive coordinator.
Will it be quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees? Perhaps running backs coach Lance Taylor? A combination of both could be an option, or a coach not currently on the Irish staff could be the new offensive coordinator. When Kelly was asked to discuss Taylor, here’s what he had to say.
“For me, this has been a great opportunity for me to insert myself into the offense on a day to day basis that I really haven’t had, and really do a thorough evaluation of the strengths of my staff. I’ve loved the collaboration, guys working together without ego; just trying to put together the best plan possible to beat a really good football team.we’ve asked Lance to do more on a day to day basis as it relates to working with Coach Quinn in the running game.
“Certainly where he's been good all year is in blitz pickup. We did a great job all year in terms of being together as one as an offensive line and running backs. So, I just think more than anything else is allowing a voice in the room. I think everyone has a voice right now, but giving him that opportunity, you get to see another side you hadn’t seen.”
As it relates to how Kelly desires to fill out the staff from a positional standpoint, he said he has yet to decide.
“I really don’t honestly. I really think every day I probably leave going in this direction, I’m going in that direction, because I think because I said earlier, I’m getting a better chance to know their strengths and what they can bring for the betterment of our football program, particularly for our offense.”
With the NCAA dead period for recruiting and the coaches convention not until January, there is no particularly good way to expedite the process. Historically, college coaching changes take place soon after the coaching convention. There’s one caveat as it relates to Notre Dame, and Kelly brought up that point.
“I’ll throw human resources in there as well,” as the media laughed.
Notre Dame’s human resources have not always been the quickest (being kind), and those around the program know it can be a detriment to recruiting with the recruiting season kicking back up in early January. If Kelly did go outside the staff, it would be hard to calculate how long human resources would take to allow that new coach to be on the road recruiting. A problem, yes, but not one that anyone inside the Notre Dame Football program can fix.
“We’re really looking at after the New Year before we really get into anything relative to on campus. Certainly preliminary discussions always take place, internally-externally, but anything will be of substance will take place after the New Year.”
Much has been made about Kelly just sticking with ‘one of his guys’ like Rees. Perhaps that’s what he does, perhaps not. For now, Kelly has become more involved with the offensive staff as it prepares to take on the Iowa State Cyclones in the Camping World Bowl this Saturday.