Thanks for stopping by this week's chat. For those who missed it, the transcript is available here.
Will Deeds (Panajachel, Guatemala): Hey Matt...love the chats...I'm an underclassman checking in from Guatemala. Do you see Golson taking the next step in his progression this offseason? What kind of season do you see from him next year? I'm sure it helps to have Keil in the wings pushing him to get better.
Matt Fortuna (2:03 PM): Wow, that's quite a trip, Will. Yeah, I think Golson will only get better from here. The staff sounded relatively pleased with how he handled the title game (relative to the rest of the team, at least) and he made great strides even from Week 1 to the end of the year. And yes, I would think having Kiel and other talents back there would only help, and, like always with Brian Kelly, I won't be surprised if more than one guy plays next QB next year.
Thomas (Gas City, IN): Matt I love your coverage. When I come up for the spring game, or my anual trip up for a home game next season, what changes, if any, should a prepare myself to see inside ND stadium? Any insider info into jumbotron, field turf...?
Matt Fortuna (2:27 PM): Thanks Thomas. While down in Florida I asked AD Jack Swarbrick about the surface and he said he doesn't think there will be any changes. That would mean, at the very least, five more years of this surface, since ND Stadium replaces it every five years and this past season was the last of this five-year cycle. Going off that, I'd be surprised if a Jumbotron was there next year.
Clifford (Denver): Tuna - I truly belive we'll miss Eifert much more than Te'o next year. While Te'o was the undisputed leader and deserving of a 1st round pick, I feel like he greatly benefitted from Diaco's scheme. With Nix and Tuitt occupying two blockers and Danny Spond setting the edge, I feel like Te'o was the direct benefactor and his production is more easily replaceable than Eifert, who created huge matchup problems for opposing defense. What do you think?
Matt Fortuna (2:30 PM): Clifford, yes and no. Considering the number of bodies and recruits coming back to a very good defense, I can see why the loss of Te'o wouldn't hurt as much. That said, his leadership is not easy to replace. In terms of simply production and value on the field, though, I can see how Eifert is more indispensable. We don't know much about his backups yet, and he was a constant threat every single time he was on the field, a great weapon for a young QB to have at his disposal.
Ryan (Williamsport, PA): What do you think are the chances Greg Bryant grabs the starting job? From what i've seen the last year, it doesn't look like GA3 is ready to be an every down back, and Cam didn't get very many touches, but looked good when he got a chance.
Matt Fortuna (3:01 PM): Ryan, as I said before, I think he has a good chance. GA3 certainly has the inside track, but like you said, we don't know how he can handle that big of a workload just yet. Amir Carlisle will figure into the picture, too, as well as McDaniel and William Mahone. Lots of bodies, not a whole lot of experience. I do wonder if ND will be as liberal with its position switches this year given the depth it has in some spots. McDaniel, after all, was used on both sides of the ball last offseason.