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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Marcus Freeman's Press Conference

December 6, 2021

It’s not often Notre Dame holds a press conference that is hosted by Brady Quinn and opens up with the band playing the Notre Dame Victory March. They only save that for special occasions and officially announcing Marcus Freeman as the 30th head coach of the football program counts as one of them.

There’s always discussion about a new coach winning the press conference when he’s introduced and Freeman can now check that box. Whether it was him getting emotional about his family, calling this the opportunity of a lifetime, or relaying his message to “challenge everything” in order to be better, he came across as someone who understands and appreciates everything about the situation.

I don’t think any Notre Dame fan could walk away from watching it even more excited than they were already.

Here’s some quick thoughts on what he said:

- There were about a dozen things he said today which indicated this was an obvious hire to make for Jack Swarbrick, but the fact that when he was asked about adjustments the first thing he mentioned was recruiting says it all about why he’s a good bet to help take them to the next level.

- What he said about not naming a defensive coordinator until after the bowl is how everyone should look at any staff changes. There is no need to make any decisions on that kind of thing until after the bowl when the priority is getting the team ready for Oklahoma State and trying to secure recruits during the early signing period.

- "If you can't recruit, you're probably not going to be best for our program." It’s an absolute requirement that Freeman’s staff can’t have any passengers who don’t put in the work in recruiting.

- No one is going to be perfect and everyone has to adapt at some point. How quickly someone adapts is important. He said he thought he could "change" Notre Dame when he arrived, but he now understands you have to "embrace" Notre Dame.

If Brian Kelly figured that out quicker than he did, it would have taken him a lot less time than seven years to stabilize the program.

- His response about the offensive scheme is exactly why Tommy Rees is a good fit to continue to lead the offense. It’s about production and Rees has shown he is willing to change to suit the personnel to get that production rather than be married to a specific scheme.

- I think the number one priority for Notre Dame fans in a head coach is to have someone there who is as passionate as they are about the program. Freeman is that guy and he made that clear in his first introduction as head coach.

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