Notre Dame Football: Why Brian Kelly Must Name Starting QB Before Fall Practice
Brian Kelly has only himself to blame for being placed in this highly undesirable position. The third-year head coach is facing the most crucial decision of his lengthy coaching career.
And there's no time to wait.
Kelly must name a starting quarterback before fall practice and would be wise to do so in the very near future.
Why so soon, though?
Kelly must make this pressing decision now, in order to promote consistency in his offense, something that has been lacking in his first two seasons as head coach at South Bend. Along with consistency comes leadership from the quarterback position, which is common among the annual BCS participants.
The former Cincinnati head coach has also likely learned from last summer's quarterback controversy that pitted Dayne Crist against incumbent starter Tommy Rees. That snafu evolved into a media circus that only brought distractions to the program.
Kelly looked asinine after replacing Crist at the snap of a finger, as well.
Because of that snap decision, the Fighting Irish could have found themselves without a proven leader at quarterback, which would have been a realistic possibility had Kelly given Andrew Hendrix or Everett Golson snaps in real-time action last season.
And it will be the sole reason why Notre Dame fails to earn a bid to a BCS game for the sixth consecutive season.
Does Brian Kelly need to name a starting quarterback now?
If you find that claim to be silly, take into account that 19 of Notre Dame's 29 turnovers last season can be directly attributed to the quarterback position. If the Fighting Irish had a capable, consistent player at the position, we might very well have been basking in the glow of a trophy from the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.
This matter isn't just relative to the immediate future of the program, though. Kelly's decision will have long-term implications, as well.
The player whom he chooses this summer has a rock-solid chance at sitting atop the quarterback throne for the next four seasons. There seems to be whispers in the air hinting at Brian Kelly favoring the two quarterbacks he has brought to South Bend: Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel.
But the most intriguing spin on this narrative loved by the media is Kelly's worry about his public perception.
After yanking Crist so quickly after publicly stating that he would be the quarterback for 13 weeks makes fans question whether or not Kelly is truly a man of his word. It makes them wonder if he is likely to waffle again.
And in such a highly-publicized position, Kelly can't afford another slip up.
Never before has Kelly been forced to make a decision which carries more weight than a Mack truck.
Make the right decision, and that weight is off Kelly's shoulders. But make another wrong decision, and he may just crumble under the immense pressure.
Good luck and God speed.
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