suntimes
CRISP 
Weather Updates

Notre Dame’s Matt LaFleur looks to develop QBs

Updated: April 2, 2014 11:29PM



SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame quarterbacks Everett Golson and Malik Zaire haven’t asked Matt LaFleur about Robert Griffin III all that often.

But on occasion, LaFleur has had the players watch film of the Washington star he once coached.

“I use some of that NFL tape that I have to show them some of the stuff we did with him because they do have similar ability, similar skillset in that both those guys can run and they can throw,” LaFleur said Wednesday. “Any time I can use that NFL tape, it’s a good teaching tool.”

LaFleur served as the quarterbacks coach for the Redskins from 2010-13. He now has the same role with the Irish.

“It’s been a lot of fun. These guys are younger guys. You really don’t take anything for granted about what they know,” said LaFleur, who joined Notre Dame’s staff on Jan. 24. “You can’t assume that they know anything. They are a blank slate. You can mold these guys more so than you can in the NFL.”

LaFleur’s other stops include Saginaw Valley State (offensive assistant in 2003), Central Michigan (offensive assistant in 2004-05), Northern Michigan (QB/WR coach in 2006), Ashland (offensive coordinator/QB/WR in 2007) and the Houston Texans (offensive assistant in 2008-09). He’s now tasked with helping the development of two players who didn’t see any game action last season.

“It’s the consistency with their footwork that needs to improve,” LaFleur said. “They are getting more familiar with the offense, what we’re asking them to do. From practice one to practice 10, there’s been a huge improvement in terms of they kind of know what we want and what we expect.”

That development has been across the board.

“From day one to day 10, (Golson) has improved,” LaFleur said. “The consistency with the fundamentals, the footwork, the timing and the decision-making that’s where I think he’s improved.

“…. Malik has done a nice job. Again, it’s the consistency. He knows he’s not there yet and we’re going to keep working to get better. Every rep,” LaFleur said. “He hasn’t been quite getting the same amount of reps as Everett, so he has to make sure each and every rep counts that he’s in there.”

By the end of camp, LaFleur wants a consistent level of play from both quarterbacks.

“I want to set a standard for how these quarterbacks are going to operate our offense,” he said. “It comes back to the whole consistency issue. We want to be consistent players out there that are going to be productive, that we are going to be able to manage and lead this team to a lot of points.”

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.