Tenuta Eager in New Role for the Irish

Newly hired linebackers coach John Tenuta met with the media for the first time on Thursday to speak about his role with the Notre Dame football team. Tenuta made it clear that he's a team player and embraces the opportunity to coach at Notre Dame.

For the past six seasons John Tenuta has been opposing offensive coordinator's worst nightmare in the ACC. The highly aggressive coach also kept many quarterbacks up nights and promises to do the same with the Irish linebackers and defense in the future.

"I'm an aggressive, attacking guy," Tenuta said. "Corwin (Brown) is too. We're going to attack. We're going to get down hill and make things happen."

But this time Tenuta won't be calling the shots as he had for six seasons under Georgia Tech. He'll be coaching linebackers and helping second-year defensive coordinator Corwin Brown prepare the Irish defense.

"Some of my ideas and most of his will go into spring ball and just work from there," Tenuta said when asked how the working relationship will work between he and Brown. "I've got to learn the players and see what they can do and adapt to that aspect."

"It's happened to me before in my career, but this is Notre Dame," Tenuta said when asked about not being the guy calling the defense. "When that opportunity came up for me, this is where I wanted to be. I'm still coaching. I love coaching, the passion for the game, the players, so that part is not a big deal. If people get into egos, that's when it creates problems."

"There's no question," said Tenuta when asked if he and Brown's defense can work together. "Just based on the people he's been around. Some of the people he's been around I've been around. All of it comes into play."

The Columbus, Ohio native says that while he has played a 4-3 defense most recently in the past, some of his packages are very similar to Notre Dame's.

"If you look at package, a lot of the fronts that I played, the ends drop and they were like a linebacker," he said. "I may be a 4-3 personnel guy, I've been a 3-4 personnel guy, the whole package meshes together so that's not a problem."

One area that Tenuta will bring to the Irish linebacker corps is some discipline and some aggressiveness. His Georgia Tech teams always tackled well under his leadership.

"I'm a no-nonsense type guy, discipline type guy," he said when asked about his coaching philosophy. "(I) believe in the little things. I'm a very big fundamentalist when it comes to football.

"The bottom line is you win with people. If you can get the players to understand what you're trying to do, now take what offenses are doing and how they're trying to attack you, and have your players understand why you're doing what you're doing. You win with people. There's some really good football teams because of talent. But the scheme comes down into play and sometimes you have the chance to out-coach somebody."

Irish fans can also expect to see a lot of confusion from the opposing team's offense according to Tenuta when speaking about how the Irish defense will look in the future.

"We want to confuse the front five, the offensive linemen, and never let the quarterback set his feet," he said. "To me, you have to be the one who dictates. Don't let them dictate to you."

The question will be can Brown and Tenuta form a great working relationship with not too many cooks in the kitchen. Based on Tenuta's responses today, he certainly seemed like a man eager to work with Brown in helping build a championship defense.

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