Notre Dame football coordinators with reputations

NOW: Notre Dame football coordinators with reputations

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- While third year Defensive Coordinator Al Golden looks to building upon a successful 2023 season, new Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock looks to bring the explosive playstyle he showcased at LSU, here at Notre Dame. Either way, it's a new season for both.

Ranking fifth in overall defensive was impressive. But if you let Golden tell it, that 2023 season doesn't matter moving forward.

"Whatever we accomplished as the '23 defense, you know, you don't get to carry it forward. I think the challenge for our group now is who are we? Who are our leaders? What do we do best?" Golden said.

Something the 2023 defense did best was put safety Xavier Watts in the right place, at the right time, allowing him to come down with seven interceptions.

That level of production earned watts the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Watts could've used that as a reason to declare for the NFL draft, yet he decided to come back for a fifth year.

"I just get another chance to play college football at the end of the day. I mean, just another opportunity to go out there and just play football. I mean, that's the most exciting thing for me. I mean, I got guaranteed 12 games," Watts added.

So does new offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock bringing his explosive play style to an offense that relied heavily on the production of the tight ends and run game.

Despite having high expectations from the receiving core.

"We want to be an offense that is up on our toes and in people's face. When we play, we, we don't want to be back on our heels and adjusting to everything that the different we want to dictate the style of play with how we plan to do that you got to be aggressive, you got to be aggressive and how you call it. And you got to be aggressive and allowing the people that you're playing with to make plays and give them opportunities to make plays," Denbrock said.

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