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What is Notre Dame Football? Lou Holtz featured a power running game usually with very good defenses. Since then, the Irish have lacked identity.
Bob Davie had a defensive background and put together some decent defenses but nothing that resembled his “Wrecking Crew” defenses from his Texas A&M days.
I’m still not sure what Tyrone Willingham’s identity was, although I seem to recall the ugliest version of the West Coast pffense I’ve ever seen.
Charlie Weis preached being “All Day Tough” but defenses that weren’t even “Part-Time Tough”—ultimately leading to his dismissal.
For Brian Kelly to be successful he has to stamp his identity and signature on the program. Nick Saban, for example, is a defensive guru and it is no secret his teams usually play great defense.
If the spread is Brian Kelly’s weapon of choice then he must be able to recruit it, sell it, and more importantly, make it consistently productive on the field.