Chat with Matt Fortuna
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Notre Dame blogger Matt Fortuna stops by to chat about the Fightin' Irish's football season.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate.
Send your questions now and join Fortuna Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Matt Fortuna (2:02 PM)
Welcome aboard, all. Let's see what's on your minds today ...
Kenny(Bx) [via mobile]
With the possible departure of Schiano from Rutgers, do you see Hamilton , Fuller or any of the other RU leans, leaning toward ND? What's your depth chart at QB Aug 3oth of this summer? Thanks
Matt Fortuna (2:06 PM)
Kenny, that will be interesting to see. Rutgers' new coach -- if it even has one within the next week -- will certainly have his work cut out for him in trying to keep the class together. The first thing on my mind was whether Jersey native Bob Diaco would have a chance to be that new coach, as several writers have thrown his name out there as a potential candidate.
Matt, do you think riddick will go back to wide out? we have enough depth coming in this year at running back. and where will golic jr start next yr?
Matt Fortuna (2:11 PM)
Matt, I agree the Irish could use his skill set at wideout a little more, but it seems like he's more comfortable in the backfield. And there really isn't any proven talent behind Cierre Wood, either. I'd expect to see him all over the field. No word yet on Golic Jr., though if he's back I could see him starting at right guard.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even Though you Cover Notre Dame Football, Who do you think will be Super Bowl XLVI Champions?
Matt Fortuna (2:13 PM)
Patriots. Patriots. Patriots.
In 2011 we had rock music and towels at the first night game since before I was born. Foresee any big changes or adjustments in Notre Dame stadium for 2012?
Matt Fortuna (2:15 PM)
Kris, the night game was, by all accounts (minus the score), a big success. I would not be surprised if ND has another one this year, which is where we'd likely see whatever new additions there are to the game-day atmosphere. I don't think Ozzy will make it this year though ...
Tim (Texarkana, TX)
With a new secondary, hopefully a new quarterback (sorry Turnover Tommy), and a tough schedule...how good should Notre Dame fans expect the team to be next year?
Matt Fortuna (2:20 PM)
Tim, ND fans will expect a lot from their team every year, but since you asked me ... I think they can be a pretty good team, just short of BCS-bowl level, if they avoid sloppy mistakes and have the right answer at QB. That schedule is too much to overlook, however, especially with a re-tooled secondary facing a couple of big QBs.
Ryan (North Canton, Ohio)
Any word on whether Greenberry is going to stick it out with the Irish or go elsewhere like USC? I hear he is only a soft verbal to ND.
Matt Fortuna (2:22 PM)
Ryan, EVERYONE is a soft verbal until they sign.
Jeremiah O`Donavan Rossa (Shamrock Texas)
With Greg Schiano's departure from Rutgers. The Rutger's boards are abuzz with speculation about Bob Diaco being a potential replacement. With his Jersey roots, and good recruiting skills who knows? I hope he stays at ND! What do you think?
Matt Fortuna (2:27 PM)
Jeremiah, he's a fast riser who will likely land himself a nice head-coaching job in the future, but I'm not sure if it will happen yet. I'd expect Rutgers to go after names like Mario Cristobal or Pat Flaherty to be higher on their board, though who knows what will happen with signing day right around the corner.
Hi Matt:My condolences. I am sorry for the loss of JoePa, I hope it gets better for you.
Matt Fortuna (2:28 PM)
Tom, no need to apologize to me. Sad to see how he went out. The game is better for having had him.
While Kelly has had some early success, he has had some big question marks as well (Turnovers, special teams, QB's). The schedule really starts to ramp up this year with 3 to 5 really tough games depending on who you ask. Is it possible that the Irish could be a lot better this year and have the same record? If thats the case, does Kelly start his time on the hot seat after the year? I really hope the athletic department gives him time to get his system/players in place but I know its ND and people are quick to judge and pull the string on you. Thoughts?
Matt Fortuna (2:32 PM)
Doug, if ND is better next year, I have a tough time seeing them lose five games, regardless of schedule. The extension should serve as a little bit of assurance that the path he's on so far is good.
Blake (Griffin, CA)
Nick Montana is going to play JC ball next season. Why would he do that?
Matt Fortuna (2:32 PM)
Is your name really Blake and do you really live in Griffin? Because that's pretty cool.
Shane Buck (La crosse, wi)
If Diaco goes to Rutgers who would be options to replace him in the short period of time?
Matt Fortuna (2:34 PM)
Good question. I know Tom Bradley's available, for one. It would be tough to pry another coach from another staff this late in the offseason.
What are youre thoughts going into spring as to the top two qbs expected to compete for the starting job?
Matt Fortuna (2:36 PM)
Andrew, Rees and Hendrix certainly have the leg up going into spring given the experience, but I see it being a free-for-all. I'm anxious to see what Golson can do after all the hype.
Irish fan (In)
Greetings Matt!First and foremost- Happy belated Birthday! I have many questions for you- I hope that you would consider touching on many topics other than just ND football. First could you tell me does the BCS stand for blind corrupt system or broke credit-less system. Or is it some other variation? IS it just me or did the NCAA teach us all a few things this year:1) ITS OK TO CHEAT AS LONG AS YOU DONT GET CAUGHT 2) IF YOU GET CAUGHT PENALTIES WILL NOT BE TO SEVERE 3) IF YOUR IN A MAJOR CONFRENCE YOU GET SPECIAL TREATMENT 4) MOST IMPORTANTLY IT IS WORTH THE RISK TO CHEAT AT ALL COST- NEED PROOF SEE OHIO STATE AND USC.5) IF YOU?RE FROM THE SEC YOU ARE GAURENTEED SPECIAL TREATMENT.DO you agree with any of these statements?
Matt Fortuna (2:42 PM)
Irish fan, lots to cover here (including the thank-you for the birthday wish.) Also, there are actually six questions there (I see what you did, trying to avoid putting a number near all of them.) The BCS as we know it is likely gone in a few years. As for the others ... 1) If that's your priority, so be it, though I personally prefer integrity. 2) Penalties will usually be more severe if you don't cooperate with the NCAA or be pro-active in your self-punishment, as OSU found out. 3) Don't see that. 4) See all the above answers. 5) The SEC has the best players and most of the best coaches. Hence, they often win the biggest prize every year.
Matt Fortuna (2:43 PM)
What just happened? I blacked out ...
Brian (Vincent, NJ)
Why do you think Charlie Weiss failed at ND and why does he think Kansas can be better?
Matt Fortuna (2:47 PM)
Brian, in a Q&A with the Chicago Tribune last month, he said chemistry was the No. 1 thing he never got right, particularly with his staff. He wasn't much of a schmoozer, either, which is needed for this job. And he didn't put much emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. He hopes given a second chance, at a place with lower expectations, in a conference that doesn't play much defense, he can learn from his first time around.
By all acounts Goodman is a nice kid and good around the lockerroom, but what does he really add on the field of play?
Matt Fortuna (2:48 PM)
Robb, there's a shortage at receiver, especially from the upperclassmen. It seems as though he could never put it all together, but he has sure hands and could provide a steadying force for a young unit playing with who-knows at QB.
Matt Fortuna (2:50 PM)
I have time for a few more ...
Matt, Want to know what part of the team (qb, secondary, o line, etc) will be most improved over last year? Second. which do you think will be the biggest letdown compared to the rest of the team?
Matt Fortuna (2:55 PM)
Tom, I think QB will be the most improved. There is, of course, plenty to improve on, and the o-line and secondary will be replacing multiple starters. I'd be worried about the secondary, which replaces three starters and will face elite QBs like Matt Barkley and Landry Jones.
Biggest Playmaker for next year, gogo.
Matt Fortuna (2:55 PM)
Irish fan (In)
I just read your response to my first barrage of questions- hilarious, thanks for taking the time to answer each one of them. I agree integrity is important- hence forth the fact that I am a diehard Irish fan.
Matt Fortuna (2:57 PM)
Never again, Irish fan, never again.
Is there any news about the punter? Ben Turk was pretty bad last year.
Matt Fortuna (2:58 PM)
Bill, I think Turk improved over the course of the year, and I liked him in the bowl game. He gave ND a great chance to win at the end there by pinning FSU deep, but the offense couldn't get it done.
Can you see Aaron Lynch becoming a dominant DE in 2012?
Matt Fortuna (3:00 PM)
Davey, absolutely. Scouts love him. Opposing QBs fear him. He has all the physical tools to become elite; he just has to keep his head on straight and avoid all of those after-the-whistle penalties that hurt his team and frustrate his coaches.
Matt Fortuna (3:00 PM)
That's all from me today, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the weekend.