3. Marcus Freeman’s Scheme
By now, you’ve probably heard all that you care to hear about Marcus Freeman before he’s even coached his first game as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. That includes Brian Kelly’s recent slip of the tongue where he recently said Freeman would be the next coach.
Still, his influence and impact on the defense are going to be vital this season for Notre Dame.
The defense is going to take a different approach than under Clark Lea. That isn’t because Lea’s approach was bad, but these changes are only natural with a new coach in place. Freeman is known for his loose and free scheme that allows athletes to thrive in space.
This is a bit less methodical than Lea was. Which way is better will only be determined over time, but it will be one of the most important things that are going on this season.
Notre Dame’s defense should be great in 2021. If it fluctuates from that, you may want to look at Freeman for the cause. That, of course, could make him the hero or the scapegoat of the season. Either way, his importance can’t be denied.