"Irish Creed" is in no way affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by the University of Notre Dame

Aug 19, 2010

Next is now: Eifert

"Next man in" is a BK hallmark, but strength coach Paul Longo noted in early 2008 that his previous two editions "started the same 22 guys at the beginning and end of the year."

The two ideas work together in the Kelly-Longo model: preferred first-string continuity means injury prevention, and substitutes keep starters fresh and healthy in a system that disregards time of possession.

Kelly, Molnar, and Martin all mentioned the philosophy this month, and Shaq Evans made it clear that the players get the message: "The motto is "next man in." That's our motto and that's what we live by."

Another string of lingering injuries surfaced during Thursday's media availability, but the "next man" making the most good on his chance is Tyler Eifert, the sophomore TE who wasn't in the two-deep two weeks ago. He's played well enough that Kelly opened the door on multiple TE sets in the spread.

Kelly said Eifert is "as good as I've coached" at tight end, except Rudolph because "I really haven't coached Rudolph yet," he admitted.

Eifert not only gives ND the "next man" to start if Rudolph's hamstring doesn't heal quickly but a great practice option so that Rudolph and Ragone aren't rushed back too soon out of necessity.

A seeming paradox, Eifert is playing well enough to help his cause for PT and also well enough to hurt his chance to start because he's made it easier to rest the starter whom ND prefers.

Eifert exemplifies the "next man in" brand of functional depth that spreads playing time to minimize injury while preserving assets like Rudolph as long-term starters.

No comments:

Post a Comment

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(