Notre Dame football defense has 'a lot to improve on' says Marcus Freeman

Notre Dame football fans who thought Al Golden and company were going to dine out on their performance in 2023 have another thing coming.
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Were you among the Notre Dame football fans that thought Al Golden and the defense was going to rest on its laurels and lean on its reputation to start the 2024 season, rest assured, head coach Marcus Freeman wants you to know that’s not the case.

The Fighting Irish coaching staff is well aware there’s work to do. Well aware that as good as Xavier Watts and company were, there’s room for improvement. And that improvement is expected (nay demanded) as they prepare for fall camp.

"There is a lot to improve on," Freeman said of the Irish defense in an earlier media scrum. "As you look at it statistically, we were really good defensively. But there are details in what we’re doing that we’ve got to continue to fix. We’ve got to tackle better. We’ve got to continue to find ways to play multiple/different coverages effectively."

Notre Dame football will be expected to improve in light of breakthrough 2023

"What you have is a group that’s coming back, a veteran group that’s coming back and understands a lot of what (Golden) is looking for," Freeman explained. "So now you can start working on the next level."

There’s experience everywhere on the Notre Dame defense. Benjamin Morrison is one of the best cornerbacks in the country. Xavier Watts is one of the best safeties. Howard Cross III is one of the best defensive linemen. Jack Kiser fits the bill at linebacker.

This is a veteran group that is adding young talent at every position as well. But talent isn’t the real reason that Freeman thinks this defense is only going to get better.

"Where we were at year one, we couldn’t do everything that (Golden) wanted to do," the Notre Dame football head coach added "Then you progress to year two and you can play more schemes defensively. Now in year three, you can disguise a lot more.”

In other words, Golden is about to unleash the Kraken on the rest of college football this fall.