Later in the week, Kelly got specific about his team’s mistakes. He blamed the embarrassing 31-17 loss on his older players – the ones he didn’t recruit.
“You can see the players that I recruited here,” Kelly said Thursday. “You know who they are. We’ve had one class … that I’ve had my hand on. The other guys here are coming along. But it’s a process. It can’t happen overnight. They’re getting there. We’re making good progress.”
According to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, the upper classmen were pissed and Kelly apologized.
With emotions piqued on the eve of a can’t-lose game against Navy, Kelly and the Irish aired concerns during the usual Friday team meeting — a gathering that included Kelly apologizing to his players, a source close to the team confirmed.
I can’t even begin to express my disappointment with Kelly and the Irish this season. Back in January I got giddy at the prospect of the Irish getting back to the BCS. They won’t sniff the BCS unless they win out, and that means beating Stanford, and that ain’t happening. The numerous mental mistakes – turnovers and penalties – have plagued the Irish all season, and to me, that’s on the coach.
That being said, it’s only year two of Kelly’s tenure in South Bend, so I’m not ready to do anything dumb like advocate firing him. [Chicago Tribune]