Notre Dame Football: Brian Kelly's Past Tells Us How He'll Handle QB Situation
A season for a Brian Kelly coached team would not be complete without a little quarterback controversy, and while it is not full blown yet, it could be well on its way there.
The good thing for Notre Dame is they have the perfect man to handle the job.
No matter where Kelly has been he has seemingly always had talented quarterbacks and enough of them to create not only competition, but also controversy.
Kelly is not willing to hand the job to just anybody and always forces his quarterback to earn playing time. This is part of the reason why there are always heated battles on his teams.
For Kelly the way he handled the quarterback situations beginning with the 2008 Cincinnati team, has led to the success he has had as a head coach.
That season, senior starter Dustin Grutza went down during the early part of the year with a broken leg and junior Tony Pike stepped in.
Pike was so successful that when Grutza was back and healthy, particularly for the Orange Bowl game against Virginia Tech, Kelly stuck with the hot hand.
Some questioned the move, and Cincinnati lost in the Orange Bowl, but showing his trust in Pike only prepared Cincinnati for the following season with Pike as the starter.
Brian Kelly is not one to just give the quarterback job to anybody and once again in summer camp, Pike had to earn the job over sophomores Chazz Anderson and Zach Collaros.
Pike was the starter, but in Week 4 against Akron he went down a broken arm. Anderson was second in line, and a battle ensued the following weeks as Collaros eventually won the job.
Who should be the Notre Dame starter?
Due to the success of Collaros, when Pike returned a huge controversy ensued, and Kelly played it perfectly, slowly working Pike back into the lineup.
He used Pike first in goal-line situations because of his strong and accurate arm. Eventually Pike returned as the starter for the Sugar Bowl, but Kelly had the trust of both quarterbacks and handled the situation as well as he could.
That leads us to today as Kelly might have a similar situation on his hand with Everett Golson and Tommy Rees.
The quarterback battle in spring camp was hard fought, but Everett Golson came out on top over Andrew Hendrix and Rees, who was suspended for the season opener.
When Golson went out last week with a minor thumb injury, Rees took over and led Notre Dame on their game winning drive in the final minutes.
What is Brian Kelly to do now? Is there really a controversy or is the media and fans making it out to be more than it really is? Is Kelly actually the one behind it all?
He could go a number of ways with this, but one option would be to give playing time to both. They both have strengths that could benefit the Fighting Irish.
Similar to what he did with Pike and Collaros, Kelly could easily do the same thing with Golson and Rees.
Using Golson throughout the game and Rees in certain high-pressure situations might be the way Kelly decides to go.
Judging by his past, that is likely the path he will take, and there is no doubt he will make the right move for Notre Dame.
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