Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

With Temple and No. 14 Notre Dame set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC / 97. 5 The Fanatic), we scoured the internet (ran a Twitter search) to find the best semi-amusing ND blogger we could find. We came up with The Subway Domer, who's the A-No. 1 Tommy Rees supporter on the interwebs. Our chat with the Domer appears below, and I answer some Temple questions over on his site. Enjoy:

1. First off, I had no idea Tommy Rees was referred to as the Reesus. I'm not sure this is a question. Respond.

Obviously, there is a resurrection that is happening here. It's OK. It may take 2000+ years before some people accept Reesus into their heart. The prophecies were correct!

@TheSubwayDomer @tricerapops @kevib47 How's this for photoshop? ::Flex:: pic.twitter.com/LcqIAtwDCb

— Brendan McAlinden (@verypiratey) August 12, 2013

2. As far as Tommy's concerned, he had some moments last year when he came into games, righted the ship, swung some games, and really kept the National Title hopes alive. But you guys had to think he would fully take a back seat to Everett Golson this year, right? Now Golson's off the team and Rees is back under center. Odd as it sounds considering what he did at times last year, is this a disappointment?

Yes and no. Golson would have definitely been been the starter, and Irish fans (myself included) would have been extremely pumped to see Everett blossom and grow in Year 2. But ... things happened, and we have Tommy Rees. I am still confident that this offense will do pretty well this season. Tommy is a senior, he knows the offense better than anyone, and he has won a lot of games for the Irish. I'm sure there is a little disappointment, but if the wins start rolling in, no one will care.

3. Another Tommy question before we move on: How does the Rees-Brian Kelly dynamic play amongst the fan base? There are always coaches who get on players, but for casual observers of the program, this is an especially high-value source of entertainment.

Honestly, I don't know if the fanbase is really all that concerned with it. It's noticeable, but more in a way that says, "Tommy is a tough dude, he can take Purple Face." This is almost a non-factor in my thought process during a game.

4. The Irish defense is now without it's most high-profile player from last year in Manti Te'o, but defensive tackle Louis Nix is likely a top-10 pick and the defensive line is arguably still the best in the country. The defense carried the team to the title game last year. Is it still on that level?

I truly believe that it is. Te'o was a great linebacker at Notre Dame, but like most great linebackers, he had a lot of help from the big boys in front of him with their hand on the ground. The defense returns so much back, and the secondary should be even better than last year when the Irish had to piece together the unit due to injuries. It may sound strange since this defense lost the runner-up to the Heisman ... but they will probably be better than 2012.

5. We just mentioned him, and we can't get through this talk without addressing it: Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua/Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The Internet can be a cruel place, but for a good while, people couldn't get enough and the details only got weirder, which kept feeding at the beast. How was the whole thing received amongst the fan base? Were Domers just as morbidly curious and entertained as the rest of us, or was there a sense of embarrassment or sympathy or exhaustion or ... ?

No offense, but I have zero time for any of this. Didn't care much then and don't really care now.

6. We're around a year out from ND's announcement that it's joining the ACC in 2014. The football independence is still in tact but now comes with a mandated five ACC dates a year. How was the move viewed at the time and how is it viewed now, a year later? Was there ever a shot with the Big Ten? Was that preferable? Or did it not particularly matter once the Big East became a rapidly sinking ship?

There's mixed opinion about this whole ACC deal, but I personally welcome the partnership. Notre Dame will never join the Big 10. Geography is the only similarity for that type of alliance. The ACC and ND fit together quite nicely and is a better match in terms of academics, and overall mission. Notre Dame would join the Sun Belt before they join the Big 10 (there's a history of "screw you" there).

7. Let's go back to June, when ND still had 14 teams on its 2014 schedule and things with Arizona State were getting testy. Since then, the Temple game originally scheduled for next year at Lincoln Financial Field was pushed back to 2015. You're Jack Swarbrick: Who would you have dropped at the time? And you've still got one more team to axe from next year's schedule. Who would you like to see bumped now?

Temple was the right call then and is still the right call as to what team needed to be dropped. As for the next "cut," I would say it should be Rice, but it could most likely be Northwestern.

8. I'm not breaking new ground here. Notre Dame fans are perceived as arrogant. Give us your best arrogant response. Inject a little bit of religious fervor into this if you're so inclined.

I can't believe I'm wasting my time by answering questions from a Temple writer?

9. Perfect segue to bring this back around to Temple and close this up. Is this game already an afterthought for Irish fans? Like, "Yeah, we have a game against some Jewish school (kidding) but the season starts Week 2 vs. Michigan." Accurate, not accurate?

A little bit. Mostly, Irish fans are just excited to get the season started and get this weird offseason behind us. If this was the third game of the season, I think you would see us looking past Temple quite a bit more, but we love football and are just excited to start another run at the title.

10. Last one. We've known the spread was going to be quite large for some time, and that it was only going to get bigger. I'm writing this to you on a Tuesday and the line is currently Notre Dame (-29.5) or (-30) depending on where you get your numbers. That number is getting a lot of love here locally, and not for emotional, fan-related reasons, with Temple to cover. If you're putting down on this game, are you taking or laying the points?

Historically, Notre Dame hasn't covered the spread very well and this would look like another game that I would take the opponent and the points -- at least a couple of years ago. Temple is not a good football team, and Kelly really steps on the throat against those types of teams. I'll spot ya 30. [ducks]

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Head over to Subway Domer as we flip things around and talk Temple.

Top Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak adds muscle, looks for big season 2017

Top Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak adds muscle, looks for big season 2017

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The difference was striking.
 
When Mickey Moniak arrived in Philadelphia to sign his first professional contract six months ago, he was rail-thin and 170 pounds.
 
On Tuesday night, Moniak made a quick visit to the winter meetings to be honored as Baseball America’s high school player of the year for 2016. 
 
He’d added 20 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.
 
“It’s all muscle,” Moniak said proudly.
 
The Phillies selected Moniak with the first pick in the June draft and signed him for $6.1 million. Just a few months of professional baseball convinced the 18-year-old centerfielder that he needed to get stronger. He recently capped off his first year of pro ball with a three-week stint at the Phillies’ strength and conditioning camp in Clearwater.
 
“It’s something the Phillies wanted me to do and I knew I definitely needed it, too,” Moniak said. “I really enjoyed my first year. I got a taste of what it was like to play baseball for a job and it was a good time.
 
“There were a lot of positives that came out of the first year. I felt like I jumped in there and really competed. I hit well in July. In August, I started to fatigue and I wasn’t prepared for that, being my first season. But it was a good learning experience. I needed to get stronger.”
 
Moniak hit .284 with a .340 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, four triples, a homer and 28 RBIs in 46 games for the Phillies’ prospect-stacked Gulf Coast League team. That club, loaded with young Latin players and first-year talent from the 2016 draft, went 41-17 and advanced to the finals of the league playoffs before losing to the Cardinals.
 
After the playoffs, many of the players from that club participated in the Florida instructional league. Moniak played sparingly, however, after dealing with some soreness in his right hip. He was checked out by doctors in Philadelphia and there are no more concerns.
 
“It was just tightness,” Moniak said. “Everything is good. I’m 100 percent. They said it was either a growing pain or just tightness. I just have to stretch more.”
 
Moniak is an athletic centerfielder with speed and a good left-side bat. He has been compared favorably to former All-Star Steve Finley.
 
"Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft," Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies head of amateur scouting, said on draft night in June. "He's a true centerfielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star."

Moniak hit .476 with seven homers, 12 triples and four doubles at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California, during his senior season. He impressed a rival scout who saw him play five times during the season.

“The bat is good,” the scout said. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good centerfielder. He can run. The question is how many home runs will he hit? If he ends up getting stronger, he could be a corner bat that’s unbelievable. There’s no negative here. It’s a good pick.”
 
Now, Moniak is stronger. He looked sturdy in a dress shirt and tie at the winter meetings Tuesday night. He is eager to see how it all translates on the field in 2017.
 
“I’m excited for the season,” he said. “I’m just going to go to spring training and compete and hopefully end up in (Single A) Lakewood, stay healthy and hopefully have a winning season and win a championship. That’s the ultimate goal and if personal stats come with that, too, that’s great.”

Eagles Injury Update: Eagles get top running back, receiver back at practice

Eagles Injury Update: Eagles get top running back, receiver back at practice

The Eagles will get a boost on Wednesday as they begin to prepare for Washington and a chance to snap a three-game losing streak. 

Their top running back and receiver – Ryan Mathews (knee) and Jordan Matthews (ankle) – will both practice. 

Ryan Mathews, who suffered an MCL sprain against Seattle, has missed the last two weeks. Jordan Matthews, who hurt his ankle against the Packers, missed the Bengals game. It was the first game he had ever missed in his collegiate and NFL career. 

“He’s good to play,” head coach Doug Pederson said about Ryan Mathews. “We’ll find out today, but he’s cleared and ready to go.”

In the two weeks without Mathews in the lineup, the Eagles had their two worst rushing performances of the season: 81 yards against the Packers and 53 against the Bengals. 

Obviously, getting behind in those games skewed those numbers plenty. But it should still be a boost to get Mathews back. 

“We fell behind so it gets us out of that mode a little bit,” Pederson said. “But I like where we’re at. I do lean on that offensive line quit a bit. I do talk to them during the week and say hey this might be the week that we need to rush the ball 30-35 times and they’re up for the challenge, obviously. 

“With the addition of Ryan coming back, it gives us depth and a bigger [running back] back there and hopefully we can get back to running the ball like we did a few weeks ago.” 

With Jordan Matthews out against Cincinnati, undrafted rookie Paul Turner made the most of his opportunity. He caught six passes for 80 yards, while playing in the slot. 

Pederson said that even with Jordan Matthews’ returning, the Eagles will still try to find ways to keep Turner involved. 

The team will practice indoors on Wednesday because the fields at the NovaCare Complex are too saturated thanks to Tuesday's constant rain.