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August 2009

Can The Steeler O-Line Protect Its Big Ben’s Blind Side?

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Can The Steeler O-Line Protect Its Big Ben's Blind Side?  | read this item

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Being an NFL lineman is a thankless job. Linemen know if they do a good job of blocking and tackling it will go unnoticed, but if he misses a tackle or a block, everyone notices.

Left tackle over all the offensive linemen has become a pivotal position whose purpose is to protect the QB blind side from dominant pass-rushers.

A left tackle’s responsibility is to block elite pass rushers and if that tackle makes a mistake, it can result in a sack or a fumble if the quarterback is hit from behind.

It is because of these turnovers that not only determine the outcome of any game but has made the position at left tackle an integral part of the line as the blind-side protector.

Most teams in the NFL generally slide their protection to the quarterback’s blind side, which is almost always the left.

So much has been given to former Steeler LT Alan Faneca and his abilities to protect the blind side, but my argument has been in the last three years as a Steeler did not do such a good job protecting Roethlisberger’s blind side when he was sacked 140 times from 2005-2007.

Now, this responsibility now belongs to Max Starks.

Starks, drafted in 2004, became a starter in 2005 playing R tackle.

In 2007, Starks lost R tackle to rookie Willie Colon, and played the last 4 games of the season at left tackle in place of the injured Marvel Smith.

Earlier this year, Stark signed a 4-year contact worth $ 26.3 million dollars as the Steelers’ left tackle alongside LG Chris Kemoeatu.

Less we forget, in 2003, there was another R tackle who signed a 6-year $26 million contract to move left and replace released tackle Wayne Gandy – Marvel Smith.

Smith had never played left tackle and it was unknown if he could but the Steelers gave him that contract and I don’t think the Steelers regretted the move.

Starks did play some left before being moved there permanently, so hopefully with the support of Chris Kemoeatu, the Steelers will not regret the $26 million they agreed to give Starks.

One of my co-workers, Todd, brought Starks to mind when he observed how Starks and Kemoeatu work well together.

Kemoeatu, a power run blocker loves to kill people coming around the edge whether its goal line or a trap play.

With one year as a starter under his belt, Kemoeatu has improved on his pass-protection skills to support Starks on passing downs.

At center, Justin Hartwig supports Kemoeatu by isolating the nose tackle or DT, enabling Kemoeatu free to support the blind side with Starks.

Hartwig is able to provide inside help for the Kemoeatu and Kemoeatu is able to protect Starks’ inside.

The three then work together to block the two defensive linemen while eyeing their other responsibility, the weak-side linebacker, which could leave Essex and Colon one-on-one.

Although it’s still pre-season, the left side has allowed one sack on Roethlisberger in 3 games.

The Buffalo game, Starks lined up with Doug Legursky at left, and struggled to keep clean QB Charlie Batch’s blind side as Batch found himself in hurried situations which resulted in incomplete or overthrown passes.

Today, it’s been reported Darnell Stapleton was put on the IR for the rest of the season.

Legursky looks to be on the depth chart and must be able to fit in left or right of the line.

Cohesiveness of the offensive line is paramount for a successful running and passing game if the Steelers expect to make it to the post-season.

The left side has got to continue to improve in keeping Roethlisberger clean by reducing the number of sacks this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri Tigers 2009 Football Preview: Running Through the Depth Chart

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Missouri Tigers 2009 Football Preview: Running Through the Depth Chart  | read this item

The Missouri Tigers have released their official depth chart for Saturday’s season opener against Illinois. Here’s a look inside and what it all means:

  • The depth chart confirms what we all suspected the last few weeks: true freshman T.J. Moe will skip a redshirt season. Originally recruited as a defensive back, Moe, a converted high school quarterback, made a splash during preseason camp as a wide receiver, albeit slightly under the radar while he continued to rehab his surgically repaired right foot. Moe’s invaluable versatility renders his role on the team as somewhat of a mystery. In addition to wideout, he’s also seen reps with the punt return unit and could even get a chance to reprise his high school duties in the light of Blaine Dalton’s dismissal from the program.
  • A pair of fellow true freshmen appear likely to receive playing time. As expected, offensive linemen Jack Meiners and Justin Britt will forgo a redshirt season as they are currently listed as backups at right tackle and left tackle, respectively. Pinkel’s delight over each’s physical development notwithstanding, Meiners and Britt were in limbo as recently as a few weeks ago due to the demands of their respective positions. But an injury to starting right tackle Dan Hoch opened up an opportunity for both to increase their reps in practice over the last couple weeks of preseason camp. Meiners and Britt become the second and third true freshmen to play offensive line during Pinkel’s tenure, joining Hoch, who last season was the first to do so.
  • In the wake of Dalton’s arrest for DWI over the weekend, sophomore Jimmy Costello is officially the backup quarterback. True freshman Ashton Glaser assumes the No. 3 spot. Although Pinkel’s decision to dismiss Dalton put an abrupt end to what was becoming a tightly contested race for the right to back up Blaine Gabbert, the staff often hinted that Costello would emerge the winner over Dalton because of a more consistent camp.
  • Sticking with the theme of true freshmen, Kendial Lawrence is listed as the No. 3 running back. The spot was previously reserved for sophomore converted safety Gilbert Moye, but that was before Lawrence’s arrival on campus. With the top two spots locked down by starter Derrick Washington and backup De’Vion Moore, Lawrence stated his case with a bevy of impressive performances in camp. Meanwhile, Moye was stricken with problems holding onto the football, though some of those instances have been attributed to the spirited play of the defense.
  • After receiving a demotion to the second-team offense due to a number of drops, senior receiver Jared Perry finds himself atop the depth chart once again. He is listed as the starting X-receiver.
  • Sophomores Terrell Resonno and Dominique Hamilton are listed as one and two atop the depth chart at defensive tackle, a position left vacant by former Tiger Ziggy Hood. As of now, Resonno gets the nod as the starter alongside nose tackle Jaron Baston, but expect each to receive plenty of time as Pinkel and his defensive staff swap players in and out along the entire defensive line.
  • Speaking of which, at defensive end, redshirt freshman Aldon Smith is technically listed behind starter Jacquies Smith, but this particular section of the depth chart may as well be filled out in pencil. The trio comprised of the Smiths and Brian Coulter, the other starter at end, has been one of the main story lines during camp, and each player brings his own facet to what should be a much improved pass rush off the edge this season.
  • The impact of true freshmen is felt on defense as well. Donovan Bonner, a safety in high school, begins the 2009 season backing up one of the best linebackers in the country, All-American Sean Weatherspoon. Once merely an afterthought lost in the shuffle of MU’s linebacker depth, Bonner came out of nowhere during camp and is starting to draw comparisons to Weatherspoon at this early stage of his career.
  • In the secondary, there’s no real surprises to speak of. Carl Gettis, now a third-year starter, joins the promising Kevin Rutland at corner, while sophomore free safety Kenji Jackson will be paired up with fifth-year senior Hardy Ricks, who has reportedly looked comfortably at home at the strong safety spot after spending past seasons at cornerback. If there’s one tidbit worth noting regarding this group, it’s the staff’s decision to replace injured safety Jarrell Harrison with Munir Prince, the Notre Dame transfer who had previously been receiving reps at corner. Harrison, a juco transfer who was listed as a backup at strong safety, dislocated his right elbow during camp’s final scrimmage on Thursday and is expected to miss at least three weeks.
  • On special teams, a long and largely deadlocked battle for the right to succeed Jeff Wolfert has finally unfolded. Grant Ressel, a former walk-on, has been handed the duties on field goals, and Tanner Mills, the ex-letterman soccer standout at nearby Columbia College, will handle kickoffs. Rounding out the kicking trio will be punter Jake Harry IV, who averaged 40.7 yards per attempt while playing in 12 games last season. If you followed the Tigers through camp closely enough, you’d sense the uncertainty that Pinkel and his staff feel about those responsible for succeeding Wolfert, who ended his career as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. Don’t be surprised if personnel gets interchanged if one or the other shows a case of the yips early on.
  • Like Wolfert, former great Jeremy Maclin left vacant a number of jobs that apparently won’t be filled by just one person. During the three weeks of camp, an inordinate amount of players have gotten reps to succeed Maclin on kickoff and punt returns. Though I would suspect each of these two spots to be experimented with on a probationary basis, Gettis will get first crack on punt returns while the kickoff responsibilities will be passed on to backup free safety Jasper Simmons and Moore, who provides an interesting package of Maclin-esque straight-line speed and breakaway ability. Moe and fellow wide receiver Brandon Gerau may also get the chance to return punts.
  • One other thing to point out: True freshman L’Damian Washington, thanks to an extremely strong camp, seemed destined to share Moe’s fate of forgoing a redshirt season, but he was left off the first regular season depth chart. This is not to say that Washington won’t be given a chance to contribute in 2009. Per NCAA guidelines, if Washington were to play even a single snap, he would be ineligible for a redshirt season. By the same token, however, since redshirts are not confirmed until after the season ends, assuming he spends time taking up space on the sideline, a decision on Washington could be delayed until any given point during the season.
  • Courtesy of Power Mizzou, you can take a listen into Pinkel’s Monday press conference with the media, wherein he discusses the team’s latest injuries, Saturday’s game against the Illini, his expectations for Blaine Gabbert, and the staff’s gameplan to compensate for a group of inexperienced kickers, among other things.

Lead photo courtesy of Columbia Daily Tribune

NFC East: Who Will Take Home The Title This Year?

Published on: 31st August, 2009

NFC East: Who Will Take Home The Title This Year?  | read this item

Arguably the toughest division in the NFC, the NFC East, has some of the top teams in the NFL including the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants who all finished in the top 15 last year on both offense and defense. 

That is, except the Washington offense, which ranked 19th.

The NFC East sent two teams to the playoffs including the Philadelphia Eagles who played in the NFC Championship Game to the Arizona Cardinals.

Which of the toughest teams will win the NFC East this year?  Here are the picks:

4. Washington Redskins: The Redskins did not do a lot to improve their team. They will still perform hopefully a little better this year with more experience. They will ride the arm of Jason Campbell who gets more comfortable each year. 

Campbell has the support of Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El.  The Redskins have a two-headed monster in running backs Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts.

The Redskins defense ranked fourth last year. They return big men inside in Cornelius Griffin and Albert Haynesworth and used their draft choice on Brian Orakpo. 

Orakpo will most likely start this year while assisting London Fletcher at linebacker. Do not forget about the corners, DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers.

The Redskins have an easy schedule because they got last place in their division last year. They play St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Denver, and New Orleans at home.  The only real challenge is New Orleans. On the road, they travel to Detroit, Carolina, Atlanta, Oakland, and San Diego.

3. Dallas Cowboys: Yes, he caused a lot of problems and has a big mouth, but the cutting of Terrell Owens could play a factor in the offense this year. Tony Romo will still have Roy Williams, formerly a Detroit Lion, and Jason Witten to throw to. 

He will also have Jon Kitna as a backup in case anything happens. Romo will have help with Marion Barber and Felix Jones in the backfield.

The defense ranked eighth last year and signed all their draft picks. Michael Hamlin will probably start at free safety which could be a great move or a risky one. The professional game is much faster than the college game and will be quite an adjustment for Hamlin. 

The Cowboys have a good linebacking group with Anthony Spencer, Bradie James, Keith Brooking, and DeMarcus Ware.

The schedule for the Cowboys has some tough games and some easy ones. They travel to Tampa Bay, Denver, Kansas City, Green Bay, and New Orleans while hosting Carolina, Atlanta, Seattle, Oakland, and San Diego.

2. New York Giants: Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs are the biggest assets on the Giants this year. 

The loss of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer could prove fatal. They do still have Shaun Bodiford, David Tyree, Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham. That may not be enough to win the division though.

The Giants finished fifth in overall defense last year. They have a great defensive line with Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora and also have good support with Antonio Pierce and Kevin Dockery.

The Giants have a decent schedule. They host Oakland, Arizona, San Diego, Atlanta, and Carolina, but will travel to Tampa Bay, Kansas City, New Orleans, Denver, and Minnesota.

1. Philadelphia Eagles: The team with the X-Factor usually wins the NFC East. This could be a stretch, but Michael Vick will be the X-Factor this year. Yes, it is preseason, but he looks really good so far. 

Having Vick and Donovan McNabb in formations together will help boost this offense.  That is saying a lot since they finished ninth last year. 

They also have great wide receivers, led by Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson. Backing them up is Jason Avant and Jeremy Maclin. Do not forget about Brian Westbrook at running back either.

The Eagles finished third last year in total defense. Look for them to retain that strength. They have a strong secondary with Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Quintin Mikell, and Quintin Demps. 

The defense is not amazing, but they are consistent.

DeSean Jackson and draft pick Jeremy Maclin will help the special teams with their kick returns. They have lightning feet and great moves. Look for Jackson or Maclin to return a few for touchdowns this year.

The schedule could hurt the Eagles, but they should be able to lock up some big wins.  They head to Carolina, Oakland, San Diego, Chicago, and Atlanta. The Eagles will host New Orleans, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Denver.

Tedy Bruschi: A True NFL All-Star

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Tedy Bruschi: A True NFL All-Star  | read this item

Look up the definition of a TRUE NFL role model and Tedy Bruschi’s face should be right there. I was trying to think of some ways to describe him and there’s so many like fighter, overcomer, legend, happy, champion, leader, good role model, veteran, pro bowler, hall of famer.

The list just goes on and on, the NFL will definitely miss him he was one of a very few select people who were well respected and liked by all. There’s no doubt in my mind he will someday be a Hall of Famer.

He was a leader and a major part of the 3 super bowls the Patriots won. No one will ever forget his accomplishments.

I’d like to take a few minutes to look back on some of his amazing career and accomplishments.

Begin Slideshow

Week Four Preseason Oakland Raiders To Watch For

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Week Four Preseason Oakland Raiders To Watch For  | read this item

Continuing in my preseason series, I bring you the third edition of my “players to watch” series.
Last week, I failed to submit an article. I knew the starters would get a lot of play, so there was no need to address any back-ups, or “bubble” players to watch for.
As many of you know, offensive guard Marcus Johnson was cut, as well as center Jonathan Compas, wide receiver’s Will Franklin and Shawn Bayes, and newcomer defensive tackle—forgive me, I cannot remember his name—oh yeah, Joe Cohen.
So then, there were 75. seventy-five vying for fifty three spots. But, eighty guys who forgot to show up last week…oh yeah, we are moving on…whatever.
So here we go, one more week of meaningless nonsense, and then on to San Diego, where we will get our first “real” glimpse of the running attack…FINALLY!
Without futher ado, I give to you four players to watch this week, who will be playing their hearts out in hopes that the other guy gets cut instead of them.
Here we go.

Begin Slideshow

SEC’s Impact Freshmen To Watch

Published on: 31st August, 2009

SEC's Impact Freshmen To Watch  | read this item

The 2009 college football season is upon us.  With that comes fresh faces dotting every team looking to make a splash.  The SEC has a myriad of new guys hoping to serve their team and make a name for themselves.  The league seems to bring in fabulous freshmen every year making the conference even more talent-rich. 

Skill position players tend to provide the most impact their freshman year.  They rely on their natural ability more-so than lineman as they do not have to lean on their fundamentals and chemistry as much as linemen do.  With that said, the players I have chosen who I think will provide the biggest impact this year are mostly offensive and defensive backs and receivers.  

 

1.  RB  Bryce Brown (Tennessee)

The do-it-all running back will have to split carries with a couple other guys early but should be the man midway through the season.

2.  RB  Jarvis Giles (South Carolina)

Giles gives Spurrier the serious running threat he has never had.

3.  TE  Orson Charles (Georgia)

Just a beast physically, he will offer QB Joe Cox a big target at the notoriously popular TE position for the Bulldogs.

4.  CB  Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina)

Gilmore is a physically gifted athlete who will start right away in the Gamecock backfield attempting to fill-in for a couple of NFL departed defensive backs.

5.  WR Chad Bumphis (Mississippi St.)

The ultra-quick wide-out will start right away, attempting to play the Percy Harvin role in Dan Mullen’s first Bulldog system.

6.  WR Marlon Brown (Georgia)

May take a game or two to step in and make an impact but Brown has all the tools a wide receiver needs and he has AJ Green to help guide him along.

7.  WR Rueben Randle (LSU)

Might just be the most talented wide receiver in the freshman class, Randle should help the Tigers inexperienced quarterbacks from the get-go.

8.  RB  Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt)

Joining a bevy of running back depth at Vanderbilt, Stacy has risen to the top of the group and should lead the Commodores improved offense.

9.  RB  Trent Richardson (Alabama)

Even with all the talent at running back at Alabama, Richardson should provide a punch and contribute right away for the ground-seeking Crimson Tide.

10. WR Nu’Keese Richardson (Tennessee)

The tiny jitterbug will not only get plenty of touches early due to the Volunteers depleted wide receiver group but will also have a chance to shine on special teams.

Honorable Mention:  Russell Shepard, Craig Loston (LSU); Montori Hughes, David Oku (Tennessee); Andre Debose, Jelani Jenkins (Florida); Branden Smith (Georgia); Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama); Darius Winston (Arkansas); Pat Patterson (Mississippi); Auburn freshman receiving corps

Ranking the ACC Coastal: Six Significant Factors, One Ticket to Tampa

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Ranking the ACC Coastal: Six Significant Factors, One Ticket to Tampa  | read this item

Football season is right around the corner and below you will find predictions about how the teams in the Coastal division of the ACC may finish. (Check my other articles for the Atlantic Predictions)

This list rates the teams in order from last to first in how they may finish in their division. No attempt is made a predicting a teams win loss column.

Warning, this isn’t your average mainstream media predictions. You may find my list in a significantly different order than most out there right now.

Six factors were used in the making of this list and here they are:

2008 wins – in order to be favorable the team must have won at least eight games

How they performed in second half of 2008 – The win/loss columns from the second half of last season.

ACC away schedule – a simple measure of how difficult the teams ACC away schedule is in 2009

Living up to expectations – Historically how the team typically performs compared to how they are expected to finish in their division.

QB Experience – does the team start a junior or senior?

Defense – Does the team have a top 25 defense nationally and do they return most starters

Begin Slideshow

DVD Review: ‘Echoes Awakened’

Published on: 31st August, 2009

DVD Review: 'Echoes Awakened'  | read this item

Echoes Awakened is the companion DVD to Jim Dent’s new title Resurrection, about Ara Parsegian’s first season at Notre Dame. The DVD has a great concept: Dent had already interviewed many key figures for his book, so why not put them in front of a camera and let them tell the story of 1964 themselves?

The DVD starts with an introduction by Lou Holtz. If you could only say two truths about Coach Holtz, they’re these: he loves Our Lady’s University and he can sell anything to anyone. Holtz’s excitement is tangible as he explains why the 1964 season was one of the greatest moments in Notre Dame football history.

Player, coach, and media interviews are intertwined with narration by Brent Musberger. Say what you will about Musberger, but his voice has become one of the iconic sounds of college football, and that voice helps make this DVD.

Together, the likes of Nick Rassas, Tony Carey, Ara Parseghian, and others guide the viewer through the 1964 season, from the reorganization process that began with Parseghian’s hiring to the heartbreaking loss to USC at the end of the year.

For those who have read Resurrection, it was nice to put current faces and voices to the names featured in the book, like Rassas, Carey, John Huarte, and Ken Maglicic. Huarte’s forehead may be a little longer than it was 45 years ago, but the quarterback is still as handsome as his college days, with a golden voice to match. It’s a wonder why he isn’t a broadcaster these days.

Echoes also gives viewers a chance to hear from a few people who were perhaps overlooked in Resurrection, like center Norm Nicola and offensive coordinator Tom Pagna.

The DVD ends, like the 1964 season, on a bit of a sour note. Several players are still bitter over the shoddy refereeing in the USC game that they feel cost the Irish a National Championship. It’s hard not to get caught up in their emotions, even all of these years later.

Echoes Awakened is the perfect companion DVD to Resurrection, and a great look at the 1964 for any fan of the Era of Ara.

Echoes Awakened is due out on DVD September 1 and is available in the Notre Dame Bookstore. Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin’s Press for sending a review copy.

Five Things To Watch For the 09 Green Bay Packers

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Five Things To Watch For the 09 Green Bay Packers  | read this item

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With the conclusion of Week 3 of the NFL preseason, the starters for the 32 teams have seen the most extensive playing time they will see until the games begin to count for real beginning September 10.  

As far as the 2009 version of the Green Bay Packers, things couldn’t look rosier. 

Aaron Rodgers has had as close to a perfect preseason as you can, throwing six touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The transition to the new 3-4 defense has gone off smoother than anyone thought, with the starting defense forcing multiple turnovers in each game thus far. 

While the team looks ready and raring’ to go, there are a few things we should be looking for as the regular season starts to get under way:

1.  Aaron Rodgers for MVP?

If the preseason is any indication, it looks like Rodgers is ready to make his first Pro Bowl in 2009. With his sound decision making and still unappreciated deep ball, Rodgers looks like he is ready to become one of the NFL’s elite this season. 

However, questions linger about his ability to pull out wins late, and he hasn’t had the chance in the preseason except in practice.

With the Chicago Bears coming to town in Week 1, he should get the chance early. He answered questions about his durability last year, but now he needs to show he can remain healthy consistently from year to year.

2.  Defensive dominance for real?

The performance of the number one unit has raised the eyebrows of many a Packer fan this preseason. But who knows if they can put together a full four quarters of a dominating performance?

They struggled with a big receiver like Larry Fitzgerald, but compared to last year, it seems like great leaps have been made. They’re swarming around the ball and Aaron Kampman doesn’t seem like he has missed a step in his move to linebacker.

3.   A.J. Hawk’s last stand?

The Packers’ first round draft pick from 2006 is facing a crucial season. 

When the Packers decided to go from a 4-3 to a 3-4, many figured Hawk would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. 

Well thus far, in the preseason, and with Nick Barnett finally about to return from off-season knee surgery, Hawk could be one of the odd men out in a deep linebacker corps. It is rumored, according the Green Bay Press-Gazette, that the Packers are considering Barnett and Brandon Chillar for their inside linebackers for the nickel package, forcing Hawk into a reduced role. 

For someone who was considered “the sure thing” in the 2006 draft, Hawk’s performance has been underwhelming for sure.  He needs to change that this season.

4.  Is Ryan Grant back to 2007 form?

Despite rushing for over 1,200 yards last year, there is no doubt RB Ryan Grant’s holdout for a new contract at the beginning of training camp, plus a lingering hamstring injury at the start of the season caused him to stumble out of the gates. 

Grant has now gone through a full training camp and appears to be in the best shape of his life. He was the most dominating back in the NFL at the end of the 2007 season, and if he can return to that form it will take that much pressure off Rodgers and the passing game.

5.   Return of the Lambeau Mystique?

There’s no doubt that Mike McCarthy puts this one near the top of his list of things to do this year. 

Packer fans expect their team to win every single game at home like they did during their run of glory in the mid-1990s. 

With the fans now solidly behind their new quarterback, thanks to the antics of their old one, opposing teams could fall victim to what NFL Network called the best home field advantage in the NFL. With a tricky home schedule, especially later in the year, winning games at home will be key to the Packers’ playoff chances in 2009.

Book Review: ‘Resurrection’ by Jim Dent

Published on: 31st August, 2009

Book Review: 'Resurrection' by Jim Dent  | read this item

Inept coaching. An administration de-emphasizing football. Highly-touted recruits who didn’t produce on the field. The team’s best talent rotting on the bench. Dwindling fan support.

What has been true of the past decade of Irish football was true in the 1950s and early 60s, as Notre Dame followed Frank Leahy’s tenure with a series of under qualified coaches and dismal records.

That is, until 1964, when the administration broke its tradition of hiring alumni of Irish descent and signed an Armenian Presbyterian to be there new head coach. If he could succeed and run a clean program at Northwestern, there’s no reason why Ara Parseghian couldn’t do it at Notre Dame.

Resurrection: The Miracle Season That Saved Notre Dame follows Parseghian and some of that rotting talent as they put together one of the most memorable years in Notre Dame’s long history.

Resurrection follows the miracle theme by highlighting, among others, Tony Carey, All-American Nick Rassas, NFL legend Jack Snow, and Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte, all of whom rarely saw the field before Parseghian took over. Jim Dent, author of The Junction Boys, does a fantastic job of intertwining the players’ and coaches’ stories with the events of the day, like the mourning of JFK and the advent of the British Invasion.

If you’re a fan of the Era of Ara like we are, there’s no reason not to love this book (especially thanks to a cameo appearance by Coach Yonto that’s sure to elicit a smile from those who knew him). In building a chronological library of Notre Dame football history, Resurrection picks up where Shake Down the Thunder and Leahy’s Lads left off.

Resurrection is due out September 1 from St. Martin’s Press and Thomas Dunne Books. Thanks to both for the advance copy.

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