Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has never been accused of being a humble guy, and nothing he said after Saturday’s loss to Duke will change that perception.
During his postgame news conference following the 38-35 loss to the Blue Devils, Kelly said that “Every position, every position, all 22 of them” will be evaluated and that no job was safe, per 247 Sports.
But when it came time to evaluate the team’s coaching, he had a slightly different take.
“Actually, that’s probably the one area that I feel better about today,” Kelly said. “We did what I wanted today in terms of coaching. And coaching had nothing to do with the outcome today. I was pleased from that perspective. Obviously, we put our defense in a bad situation today and they gave our offense a chance to win, quite frankly. Those turnovers were deadly and obviously the kick off return for a touchdown just put us in a tough situation.
“There are things that I want to get better at defensively, there’s no question. But that’s the least of my concerns after today.”
A quick Twitter search of the term “Brian Kelly” reveals fans of the Irish aren’t taking that answer very well.
And they shouldn’t.
Kelly is the main man. Everything that happens under his watch falls under the “coaching” umbrella. His team just got beat at home to a 21-point underdog, and it is playing without the necessary edge to beat much better teams than Duke.
That’s all on Kelly.
Barring a seismic shift on Notre Dame’s putrid defense, it’s hard to imagine the Irish will finish above .500 right now, especially considering some of the games left on their schedule.
Kelly is responsible for bringing in talent, cultivating that talent and getting that talent ready to play. If coaching had nothing to do with the outcome, then coaching wouldn’t be needed. Players could just coach themselves.
His comments were asinine, and his players deserve better than to be thrown under the bus like they were.