With Gerad Parker as offensive coordinator, Notre Dame’s offense still geared to feature ground game and QB Sam Hartman Marcus Freeman stands by Notre Dame’s interview process, praises promotion of Gerad Parker Notre Dame’s promotion of Gerad Parker official, ending dramatic week Friday at 4: Angst over Notre Dame’s hiring, or not hiring, an offensive coordinator is ‘misplaced’ at best Reports: Notre Dame to promote TE coach Gerad Parker to offensive coordinator
Marcus Freeman knew what he was looking for. He wanted Notre Dame’s next offensive coordinator to lead a professional-style offense with a willingness to adapt to a variety of formations.
These desires prompted him to look at Colleen Klein (although you can safely call the Wildcats attack professional style) and Utah. Andy Ludwig and finally the Irish Tough Ends Coach Just Parker.
Notre Dame has been a professional attacker for at least six years. The benefits of this are numerous, especially when it comes to recruiting, which is always a priority for Freeman. If a violation improves a potential player’s chances in the NFL, then such a violation looks much more desirable to the prospect. He also creates a base package that can focus on specific benefits week by week and season by season, hence Freeman’s requirement for a “multiple” approach.
“What [former Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees] showed it should have been a professional offense,” Freeman said on Monday, introducing Parker as Notre Dame’s new offensive coordinator. “I still have that vision for the Notre Dame attack, but this is an attack that I want to succeed. It’s not a crime, it’s just professional style.
“I want to make sure we develop these guys so that the transition from college to the NFL isn’t huge and that they have a transition where they feel like they understand the core concepts that are used in most games. The NFL and Understanding Professional Football.
Enter Parker, with nearly twenty years of coaching experience who dabbled in scatter approaches, passable offenses and a professional look.
“Like Coach Freeman said, you want to show respect for what we did last year and Tommy’s work,” Parker said. “What we are built on, we know, we want to be O-line driven and we want to be built from the inside out. With what we have coming back up front, with our running backs and tight ends to be able to control the box, that’s where you always have to start.”
That should be very clear for Notre Dame in 2023, with two potential first-round picks from the left (rising Jr. Joe Alt) and right tackle (ascending junior Blake Fisher), three-year starter in the center (fifth year Zeke Correll) and a trio of proven runners (led by Audric Estimé, top) along with a growing junior tight end Mitchell Evans. Regardless of who Freeman hired, an O-line-focused attack was to be expected, especially since the phrase “O-line-driven-D-line-driven” was his favorite echo of 2022.
But with a veteran quarterback on a Wake Forest transmission Sam Hartman, more should be available to the Irish. No disrespect to Drew Pinebut the quarterback’s radically improved play should by itself boost Notre Dame’s offense in 2023.
“We want to get more points than last year,” Parker said. This is a fun quote that can be used often, but also always had to be assumed.
There have been several half-baked online mysteries as to whether Hartman might consider leaving South Bend before playing the game after Reece’s departure to Alabama. The logistics of this would be questionable, at best, given that the player is allowed one alumni transfer, and Hartman just used it, although there may be room for wiggle room as NCAA rules evolve in an era of one-time transfers. The reality, however, is rather harsh: Hartman went to Notre Dame; he will be part of spring training, getting used to playing behind the best offensive line he has enjoyed in any of his five years with the Demon Deacons.
“[Hartman] he’s driven by the ball and he wants to be better by coming here, he wants to be successful here at Notre Dame,” Parker said. “There is a connection with all [the offensive players]but especially with him, obviously, to sit down and talk to him about the direction of the crime, maybe to alleviate some of the anxieties, because with change comes a lot of thought.”
Let’s take Hartman as an example of why Freeman was so eager to continue his offense in a professional style. The ACC record holder left Wake Forest in part because a year on the more traditional offense should prove to the NFL that his successful passing record wasn’t solely the result of a unique scheme.
And let’s note here to be clear: pro-style offense is one that maintains a relative balance between the dash and the pass, where the key word is relative. The split won’t be 50/50, but probably won’t exceed 40/60 in either direction. The narrow ends will be an important part of this rather than widening the field as wide as possible. (See: Air Raid.) Zone readings will also be part of this as they become an increasingly important product of the NFL.
“We see this structure and shell of this thing looking very familiar to a lot of things within the organization,” Parker said. “By formation, by the way we line up, by the way we get in and out of the crowd, these things will look the same.”
Parker will have his own tendencies compared to Reece, but the biggest difference in a Notre Dame offense in 2023 will simply be having a playmaker like Hartman as a quarterback.
“Why not bring a candidate for offensive coordinator to the hockey game? Why? If we don’t get it, people will say, “Well, you tried and you failed.” That is life. He decided to make the decision that was best for him. I wouldn’t change it even if I had to.” pic.twitter.com/1YjAFv2T81
— Matt Freeman (@mattfreemanISD) February 21, 2023
ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE COACH
Parker and Freeman will have to hire a offensive line coach to replace Harry Hystand after retiring after Rees left.
“The beauty is that the number of candidates for quality is certainly a list that cannot be placed on one page,” said Parker. “Finding them, see what suits us, feel [Freeman’s] information, bring it down, return the information to him, and make a decision.”
With spring training due to start in about a month, expect the hiring to be done within the next week or two at the most.
Marcus Freeman nothing if not blunt and transparent. The Notre Dame head coach may occasionally fall into a coaching speech in the fall, but more often than not, he doesn’t waste time dodging questions or getting confused.
If ever there was a moment to move on to more experienced thinking, it was a discussion of the tumultuous past two weeks as the Irish searched for a new offensive coordinator. Instead, Freeman spared no words, presenting Just Parker in this role on Monday.
“The two main crimes you saw in the movie were Kansas and Utah, and we interviewed both of those guys (Colleen Klein And Andy Ludwigrespectively),” Freeman said. “We brought them both to campus. For their own reasons, they decided not to come.”
Freeman didn’t directly say that those were his top two picks, and if he did, it would be a bit of an exaggeration, but just mentioning these possibilities – without prompting to make it clear, since these mentions were in Freeman’s opening statement – he broke down. after almost every coach introduction in recorded history.
No one has ever said that a possible hiring is not on their list of candidates, is not their clear and only choice. This soft pedaling is almost always an obvious lie, so it does nothing. Freeman’s different decision completely adds validity to everything else he says at such moments.
“Two people have decided it’s best for them to stay where they are, they’re honored, congratulations,” Freeman said.
Freeman repeatedly said that these were decisions made, not that Notre Dame was intimidated by a large buyout associated with Ludwig’s Utah contract. Between Freeman’s strong words and an email released late last week from the Irish Director of Athletics. Jack Swarbrick, the program doubled and tripled the claim with such force that, being a lie, it would be too much of a risk to be exposed later. The unambiguousness of Freeman’s words made it clear: Notre Dame is ready to pay everything necessary in the end.
“In our line of work, part of college football and college business is that we’re in buyout negotiations,” Freeman said, which is a noteworthy remark given the use of the word. negotiate, something that was not mentioned in Swarbrick’s email last week. “We talk about these things with any coordinator or positional coach who has a buyout. We are discussing this. This is not the reason why someone did not choose Notre Dame. Let’s make sure we get it there.
“…Jack Swarbrick never shied away from paying a ransom.”