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sort of a State of the Program here. agree/disagree?

by Jay ?, San Diego, Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:59 @ Jay

Q: What are your thoughts on this upcoming football season [for ND]?

A: I think the foundation of the program is as strong as it's been in a very long time. I have four years' worth of perspective, but even as I talk to people around here, although we've had some good teams, the foundational elements weren't there. By that I mean: the long term approach to recruiting; the physical development, nutrition, strength conditioning; the way we're scheduling our student athletes; and importantly, the talent and depth we've developed on the two lines, which is the cornerstone of successful football. All of those pieces are in place in a way that they weren't.

Three years ago I was down at the national championship game, down on the field, and Alabama ran out, and I said, Oh my goodness, we don't look anything like these guys. And I was on the field last year, and I said, you know, we're starting to look like these guys. Now we don't have their depth yet. They played nine defensive linemen in that game who were really, really good. But the foundation is being built.

If you focus on the last game, or the last season as the barometer, you're going to make bad decisions. But if you look at the program elements, whatever the weak link is is going to determine your fate, so you have to be sure you're addressing all of them. And that's what I feel good about right now. All of those elements of a strong program are there and getting better.

Q: Would say this process is more of a marathon than a sprint?

A: Well I'm not trying to send the message that we're not trying to win every game this season. We are. But whatever time it takes to get the foundation right, that's what it takes. Again, that's the goal. If you've got any holes, if it's in medical services, if it's in nutrition, if it's the offensive game plan, they will be exposed by college football, especially with the schedule we play. Our focus has been getting all the elements right, minimize weakness, and grow from that platform.

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