|Michael Conroy/Associated Press|
|Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will call the offensive plays during the 2014 season.|
One day after he announced he had hired Brian VanGorder as defensive coordinator, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced who would be calling plays for the Irish in 2014. He will do it himself.
Chuck Martin had been the Irish's offensive coordinator and called plays, but he left to become head coach at Miami (Ohio). It's unclear whether the Irish will have an offensive coordinator in 2014; if they do, he will have the title but not all of the responsibility. Martin also was quarterback coach, and Kelly said on Bill King's Sirius XM radio show that he already knows who he will hire for that position but won't make the announcement until next week.
Kelly called plays in his first two seasons with the Irish, then turned those duties over to Martin for the past two seasons.
On the show, Kelly said quarterback Everett Golson's return from a season-long suspension means that the Irish have the right person in place at the position, which in turn led to Kelly wanting to be more involved in the offense. Golson was suspended for academic reasons in 2013, but led the Irish to the national championship game in 2012. His mobility was sorely missed by the Irish in 2013. He should be one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation in 2014, and while he'll never be a top pro prospect, he can be a 2,700-yard passer and a 400-yard runner. His presence opens up the offense, and Kelly can be expected to take advantage.
Kelly said the skill-position players in place mean the Irish can be "more aggressive on offense." He also said those skill-position players mean this will be the "most balanced" team he has had at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame's leading receiver was senior TJ Jones, and the Irish also surprisingly lost tight end Troy Niklas to the NFL a year early. But there is a solid group of tailbacks, with sophomore-to-be Tarean Folston a guy to watch; his skill set is perfect for Kelly's version of the spread. There are some talented young receivers, but DaVaris Daniels' academic suspension bears watching. He is supposed to return in the summer; if he does not come back, there is no proven receiver on the roster. Ben Koyack has the potential to be a 40-catch tight end.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.