RV SNY: 7 free agents the Giants should target, including RT Jack Conklin
Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton)
2/6/20, 3:53 PM
I'll admit that, when it comes to draft assets and resources, it's still very hard for me to embrace a trade back from the Top 5 without knowing the parameters of a proposed deal, especially when a team like the Giants desperately needs playmakers.
Not opposed, just not 100
Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton)
2/8/20, 7:22 AM
If Dolphins were to leapfrog Giants, presumably for Tua, that'd give NYG pick of Isaiah Simmons or their top OL, but put a dent in plans of those wanting Dave Gettleman to trade back.
In that case, if you want a NYG trade, you'd need 2 teams to want Herbert. Chargers and who?
Traina Giantsmaven SI.com: Reader Mailbag: The New Coaching Staff, Forgotten Players and More
Giants.com: Giants Huddle | Pat Kirwan
Sirius XM Host Pat Kirwan joins the Giants Huddle podcast to discuss the Giants coaching staff (Video)
Pflum BBV: The Chris and Joe Show podcast: EDGE and OL on tap for the Friday mailbag
Giants.com: Watch the premiere of "Giants Life: Blueprint"
Follow Coach Joe Judge's journey from Foxborough to East Rutherford, as he takes the reins at the Giants Facility. And take a behind the scenes look with Giants Personnel and Scouting at the Senior Bowl (Video)
Leonard NYDN: Get a grip! Giants QB Daniel Jones can’t be great until he solves his turnover problem
Brooks NFL.com: A revolution that'll change quarterbacking forever
“The top QBs in the game today are breaking traditional norms, and inherently changing the way scouts evaluate the position. Instead of looking for polished pocket passers with textbook footwork and mechanics, talent evaluators and coaches are more willing to take chances on raw athletes and build around their strengths as explosive playmakers.
"This movement has been in the works for years," an AFC assistant college scouting director told me. "It is the trickle-up effect. High schools and colleges are putting their best athletes at quarterback and letting them run around to make plays. The NFL has started to adapt because these guys are entering the league and making the same kinds of plays. Plus, the speed and athleticism of the defensive linemen force you to play with a mobile quarterback or a guy that gets the ball out of his hands quickly.
"Quarterbacks have to be more than traditional pocket passers to play in this league. You need athletes who can make plays with their minds, arm and legs."
“You want guys who make plays," an AFC college scouting director said. "If your quarterback can pick up a few first downs on his own and find different ways to help the offense score points, you can live with a few flaws. It's about doing enough to win games."
"Athletic quarterbacks put constant stress on your defense," a former NFL defensive coordinator told me. "They wear out your pass rushers with their deeper drops and scrambles, and their ability to buy extra time puts defensive backs in a bind. In the running game, a mobile quarterback evens up the numbers because the defense has to account for the quarterback run.
"If you face an athletic quarterback who can legitimately run and pass, you're really at their mercy."
Coaches and scouts at lower levels have long embraced the concept of putting the team's supreme athlete behind center. Considering the signal-caller's potential impact as the only skill player touching the ball on every snap, it just makes sense for that guy to be the most explosive athlete. Brian Stumpf -- who organizes Elite 11, the nation's premier competition for high school quarterbacks -- has observed the revolution from the ground floor.
"It's a combination of the best athletes being put at QB at a young age now, so they can develop ... and pass rush edge guys being so good ... and O-line play worsening each year. It's all coming together at the same time," Stumpf said. "I think (Tom) Brady, (Philip) Rivers, Matt Ryan even, are the last of a dying breed. The immobile pocket QB will be extinct soon."
Glazer The Athletic: Glazer’s NFL mailbag: What’s going on with Dak? Would the Chargers trade up for Burrow?
Brandt NFL.com: Most clutch players in the NFL
Jason OTC: Examining NFL Draft Capital in 2019 & Looking Ahead to 2020
Odegard Cardinals.com: Cardinals Must Capitalize On Kyler Murray's Rookie Contract
Cluff AZ Republic: Arizona Cardinals unlikely to release David Johnson despite speculation
Carucci Buffalo News: What to expect from Bills' decisions on pending free agents
Labbe Cleveland Plain Dealer: New Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods will stick with 4-3 defense
Williams Cleveland Plain Dealer: NFL Draft 2020: Day 2 safeties who could fit in the Cleveland Browns’ secondary -- Film Review
Frenette Florida Times Union: Jaguars fans’ anger at Khan could diminish in time
Reid Florida Times Union: Jaguars still have plenty of critical offseason decisions ahead
“The Jaguars have the second-worst cap situation in the league, joining the Minnesota Vikings as the only teams with no cap room. The Jaguars are just over $1 million over the league's projected $200 million cap for 2020.
If the Jaguars release cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus ($20 million cap savings), tight end Geoff Swaim ($4 million), linebacker Jake Ryan ($6 million) and wide receiver Marqise Lee ($5.2 million), they would clear $46.6 million in cap space.
Curran NBC Sports Boston: Timing is all wrong for Tom Brady, Patriots getting deal done before free agency
Sunday report the Patriots are willing to go north of $30M (presumably for 1-year’s salary) to keep Brady, which came from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, has been a source of irritation for the team this week.
My understanding is no parameters have been set.
Perry NBC Sports Boston: Quarterbacks say wherever Tom Brady lands, the Patriots system will go with him
Reiss ESPN Boston: Patriots backup QB Jarrett Stidham not focused on Tom Brady's future
Perry NBC Sports Boston: Patriots 2020 NFL free agency primer: Where do Patriots turn if Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins depart?
Mullin Phillyvoice: Eagles hire trio of former players to personnel department, add to medical staff
Domowitch Phil Inquirer: Top priority of Eagles’ revamped offensive coaching staff: more consistency from Carson Wentz
Branch SF Chronicle: 49ers’ George Kittle the Mic’d Up star of Super Bowl LIV
Branch SF Chronicle: 49ers’ tight end Garrett Celek retires after eight seasons
Condotta Seattle Times: Seahawks position overview: Seattle will have to do some work to keep its offensive line intact in 2020
Jones USA Today: Titans QB questions could put them in middle of craziest NFL offseason in years
Keim ESPN Washington: Redskins coaching staff includes two holdovers, lots of Panthers ties
Keim ESPN Washington: Redskins VP says 'all eyes' will be on work-in-progress Dwayne Haskins
Bullock The Athletic: Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons would be a strong option for the Redskins if they trade down
If the Redskins opt to trade back, Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons would give them something they’ve not had in a while: a linebacker with the coverage skills to match up against TEs and RBs. I broke down his game
Bumbaca USA Today: Preseason All-XFL team: Predicting which players will shine in league's inaugural season
Offensive Line: Isaiah Battle (LA), Matt McCants (STL), Willie Beavers (DAL), Demetrius Rhaney (Houston Roughnecks), Brian Folkerts (STL)
Defensive line: Shawn Oakman (LA), Jay Bromley (DC), Hau’oli Kikaha (DAL), Kony Ealy (HOU)
Safety: Will Hill (St. Louis), Matt Elam (DC)
USA Today: Different roads to the XFL: How the new league has helped resurrect some dreams, and keep others alive
Nisse NYP: The XFL is Kevin Gilbride’s chance for Giants redemption
Russell Washington Post: What brought former Redskins star Kurt Gouveia back to D.C. and the XFL? ‘I need football.’
Miller B/R: Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook: NFL Scouts Pick Top 2020 Free-Agency Signings
“The Big Board
1. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
2. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
3. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
4. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
5. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
6. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
7. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
8. Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
9. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
10. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina”
Zierlein NFL.com: My 2020 NFL Draft profiles are officially live now:
Baird Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio State football’s Chase Young, Jeff Okudah among highest pre-2020 NFL Draft grades
“Defensive end Chase Young received the highest grade of any player — 7.40. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown has a 7.16 grade, with OSU cornerback Jeff Okudah right behind at 7.15.
Both of those former Buckeyes opted to forgo their senior season to enter the draft. They are widely expected to be the No. 2 and No. 3 players selected in April’s draft, behind LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow, a former OSU quarterback, received a draft grade of 7.07.
By comparison, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and OSU alum Nick Bosa took a 7.00 grade into last year’s combine — tied for highest overall. Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Penn State running back Saquon Barley all had grades of 7.40 in 2018.”
Brugler The Athletic: 2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Snubs and surprises from the invite list
Duffy Eagles.com: Fran Duffy highlights 22 of the top NFL Scouting Combine snubs
Renner PFF: Buyer beware on these 2020 NFL Draft prospects
Pflum BBV: 2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
Giants Birthdays 2-08
Mike Busch QB UDFA-South Dakota State 1987 NYG 1987 2-08-1962
Capital Journal.com: 7-10-2018
“Mike Busch was hired as principal of Stanley County High School at Monday's regular meeting of the Stanley County School Board.
Busch has coached football previously at Mobridge and at T.F. Riggs among other places. He played quarterback for the New York Giants in 1987.”
Don Harris DB W-WAS 1980 NYG 1980 2-08-1954
Chris Peace DE/OLB W-SD 2019 NYG 2029 2-08-1996
Bruce Caldwell B UDFA-Yale 1928 NYG 1928 Born 2-08-1906 Died 2-15-1959
Society of Baseball Reseach:
“The pride of Ashton, Rhode Island, stood 6 feet tall and was made of 190 pounds of rippled muscle. He was a blond-haired, freckle-faced boy with a good-natured smile. Behind his friendly face an above-average mind was at work. Coming from a home with no economic advantages, he rose to academic heights and professional success; he became an All-American college football player at Yale, played in major-league baseball and football, managed prizefighters, and briefly was more famous than Babe Ruth in the year the Bambino hit his record 60 home runs.
He lived a cosmopolitan life but always remained a country boy, returning to the small town.
In his lifetime, he wore the flannels of the 1928 Cleveland Indians and the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers, the shoulder pads of the New York Giants, the bars of a lieutenant commander in the US Navy, and the robes of a judge.
Bruce Caldwell was not the typical Yale boy. He wasn’t the well-to-do and well-prepped student who normally came to wear the Elis’ blue quilted football jersey or the baseball uniform with the Handsome Dan patch over the heart.
Instead of the leafy suburbs, Caldwell came from the impoverished American melting pot. He was born on February 8, 1906, in Ashton, Rhode Island, a mill village a few miles north of Providence. His father, James Young Caldwell, came with his family from Scotland when he was 5 years old and went to work at 9 as a weaver in the Ashton Mill on the banks of the Blackstone River, one of the conduits of the Industrial Revolution. James also pushed a broom at the Central Grammar School in nearby Valley Falls.
Bruce’s mother, Harriet Amanda Jackson, was born in Ashton. She and James had two children, Bruce and a daughter, Eva. At St. John’s Episcopal Church, the family heard the homilies of the Rev. William Pressey who baptized and confirmed the reserved youngster.
James and Harriet named their son after Robert Bruce, the 14th-century Scottish king. Bruce was a good student and a fine athlete at Cumberland High School, from which he graduated with 31 classmates on June 23, 1923. Though he stood out physically, Bruce was no dumb jock. He was a member of the National Honor Society. At the high-school graduation he participated in a debate the US government should own and operate coal mines.
Ashton is a part of the town of Cumberland. The town is not without its distinctions in baseball culture. Outfielder Rocco Baldelli and the Farrelly brothers, who wrote and directed the baseball-themed film Fever Pitch, grew up there. So did Bruce Caldwell. But the memory of Caldwell, one of the greatest Rhode Island-born athletes ever, is unknown to most people in his home state. His deeds blow anonymously by like a summer breeze.
As a halfback at Yale, Caldwell was a fast, physical ball carrier who cut well and punished his tacklers. (The 1927 Elis were retrospectively named the national champion by the College Football Researchers Association.) In his sophomore year he had been knocked out of a starting role by injuries. At the start of the 1927 season he was the sixth-string halfback. By season’s end he had been named an All-American by the Central Press Association, the Hearst Newspapers, and New York Sun sportswriter Lawrence Perry. This despite the fact that he was suddenly kicked off the Eli team with two games left.
Socially, Caldwell was out of place in the Yale backfield. His teammates prepped at the blue-blooded academies of Andover, Exeter, Hill, Hotchkiss, Carteret, Loomis, and St. Mark’s. Bruce graduated from Cumberland High, where he earned recognition for perfect attendance. At Yale he cleared tables at the Y Club in exchange for his meals and worked summers at a loom in the Ashton Mills to repay the loans for his Ivy League education.
On November 8, 1927, the Providence Evening Bulletin startled its readers with the news that their local favorite had been declared ineligible. Before enrolling at Yale, he had entered Brown University in the fall of 1923 and played in two Brown freshman games. Yale’s regulations, in an effort to end what was called tramp football in those days, barred students from a particular sport if they had played in freshman or varsity athletics in the sport at any other college. Caldwell had played two minutes for the Brown freshmen.
Though barred from the Eli gridiron, Calwell remained at Yale and in the spring he returned to the Yale baseball team, coached by Smoky Joe Wood. A second baseman, he could hit for average and power. Major-league teams were interested in him. He finished the baseball season with a .413 average.
After the last game of the season, Caldwell signed with the Cleveland Indians for a $3,000 bonus and a contract calling for $600 a month. His coach, Smoky Joe, had advised him. (Wood had played as an outfielder for the Indians after his arm went bad while he was with the Boston Red Sox.) The Indians were in fifth place at the time and the team’s first-year general manager, Billy Evans, was trying to strengthen the team. Wood predicted that within a couple of years Caldwell would rival Rogers Hornsby as a batter. (Caldwell certainly outranked the Rajah as a scholar; he graduated from Yale magna cum laude.
At the time Caldwell signed, the Indians needed a hitter with star potential. That season they were hot in April, good in May, and sinking like a stone in June. They had lost 21 of their last 27 games, including 11 losses in12 games, in the month before Caldwell signed. Caldwell seemed like an offensive cure, a puzzle piece to help right the team.
The Sporting News suggested that Caldwell’s fielding might be a hindrance: “It is said that the boy is a natural hitter, but only an ordinary fielder. That he will never become a major league second baseman is certain, and Billy Evans intends trying him at first base.
Cleveland tried Caldwell and six others at first base that year, including 34-year-old George Burns and the versatile Lew Fonseca. That didn’t leave much room for the subpar fielding Caldwell, except as a pinch-hitter. Between June 30 and September 7 he played in 14 games, pinch-hitting in all but one.
Suddenly the outlook brightened. Manager Roger Peckinpaugh installed Caldwell in right field on September 8. He started in four consecutive games and went 4-for-14. He singled and tripled against the Chicago White Sox. He singled, doubled, and stole a base against the St. Louis Browns. He handled seven fly balls in the field without trouble, and recorded one assist.
But the skein was a farewell jaunt. Caldwell’s cumulative batting average was .222. It was clear that he was not going to bring the offensive thunder that he had demonstrated in New Haven. His future with the Indians may have been bleak, but football beckoned. Caldwell signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was to be paid $500 per game plus 25 percent of the net profits.
Caldwell said signing with the Giants for just one year was intentional. “I always liked baseball better. … That’s why I haven’t any plans beyond this season with the Giants,” he told F.G. Vosburgh of the New Haven Journal Courier. “After the football season is over, I’m going to start thinking about the baseball season with the Cleveland Indians … and most of all, I want to make good as a big-league ball player. It’s the game of games for me.”
Caldwell had an off-and-on season with the Giants. Often hampered by injuries, he played seldom, often riding the bench entirely in a game. Complete statistics for the period are not available, but Caldwell appears to have gained less than 100 yards rushing. He completed one pass and had two pass receptions. A shining moment came against the Green Bay Packers when he scored the Giants’ only touchdown in their 6-0 victory on a 30-yard pass reception. Against the Giants’ intracity rival the New York Yankees, Caldwell ran for a touchdown and drop-kicked a field goal as the Giants won, 10-9. (The game was played at Yankee Stadium, then five years old.)
But the competition in the NFL was tougher than in college. Caldwell was slowing down under the pressure of larger, stronger, and older opponents than he faced in college. This was grind-it-out football in light pads. You played both ways. You got hit, hurt, and continued to take the handoff, progressing a yard at a time. In the game against the Yankees, three different Giants took the ball in the last three yards gained before Caldwell plunged over. This was slug-it-out warfare.
The transient nature of pro football was no doubt evident to someone as intelligent as Bruce. Five days before the Yankees game he said he much preferred horsehide to pigskin. For the second time in three months, he was making other plans.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, The Giants played in the mud before a tiny Polo Grounds crowd of 3,000. It was a wet, frustrating 0-0 tie with the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Unable to gain traction, both teams spent the day burying their faces and cleats in the mud, poking fists, attempting vainly to force fumbles. There were 29 punts. A missed field goal in the opening minutes was the only legitimate scoring attempt. The Giants tried an aerial attack, tossing 12 passes in their last possession, but they couldn’t reach the red zone. Caldwell injured his leg on the first play of the day and left the game.
The Giants played again two days later, and Caldwell rode the bench as teammates Hinky Haines and Bill Eckhardt scored touchdowns to lead the team over Pottsville, 13-7, before 20,000 at the Polo Grounds. Haines swept around the ends with immunity. Eckhardt consistently ripped through the Maroons’ defense for good gains. Caldwell had plenty of time on the bench to contemplate his future.
Caldwell sat out the next game, on the 11th, and played briefly on the 18th after injuring his ankle. On the 25th the Giants played the Providence Steam Roller in Providence, more or less Caldwell’s home turf. The Steam Roller, who eventually won the league championship, blanked the Giants, 16-0. Caldwell was on the field in three quarters but carried the ball just twice. The first time he barely reached the line of scrimmage. Before the game the hometown crowd honored him and presented him with luggage. It could well be that he used the luggage to pack up and leave the Giants. He had just two weeks left as a New York Giant.
On December 2 the Giants lost to the Yankees again. Caldwell started the game, playing the first half until Mule Wilson took his place, and “failed to make any headway against the Yanks,” said the New York Times. He started his last game as a Giant the following week against Frankford in the cold and snow, but carried the ball just twice before he was replaced.
It was almost a ceremonial ending. Caldwell was still a name. His status was featured in the newspaper accounts, “Led by Bruce Caldwell, former Yale back, the Giants could not get started. …”
Had the Giants kept him on the team just to sell tickets? His return to Providence had set an attendance record. And the Polo Grounds crowds were consistently averaging 20,000 despite what emerged as a disappointing 4-7-2 record, good for only sixth place in the 10-team league.
The parting came on December 11, 1928, when the Giants released Caldwell. The next day, the New Haven Journal Courier wrote that team officials believed that Caldwell was “not … rugged enough to stand the pro game.”
“Caldwell is well liked by everyone on the club,” team secretary Harry March told the paper. “He has a fine disposition, a good football brain and is an all-around gentleman on and off the field. He is just too fragile for the heavy going.”
Within two days, the papers announced that Caldwell would take a stab at professional hockey, having secured a tryout with the Providence Reds of the Canadian American Hockey League. But little is known about his tryout with the Reds.
One thing went right for Caldwell in 1928. He had put his $3,000 signing bonus from the Indians into radio stock and it had doubled in five weeks. He cashed out quickly.
Caldwell stuck with his plan to make it as an Indian, though it was clear that he wouldn’t be with the big club until his fielding improved...”
John Cannella G UDFA-Fordham 1933 NYG 1933-1934 Born 2-08-1908 Died 10-30-1996
“John M. Cannella, a former Fordham football star who worked his way through law school playing tackle for the New York Giants, then survived the rough and tumble of Tammany Hall politics to spend more than 30 years as a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan, died on Thursday at North Shore Hospital in Glen Cove, L.I.
A longtime resident of Douglaston, Queens, he was 88 and had been active as a senior judge in the Southern District of New York until 1994.
By 1963, when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the bench, Judge Cannella had displayed a certain nimbleness in his career.
The son of a Manhattan shoemaker who became a bailiff, he had dreamed of becoming a doctor, but after he completed a pre-med course at Fordham in 1930, the reality of Depression finances forced him to switch to a less costly career.
Fortunately, Mr. Cannella had a marketable skill to help pay his law-school bills. At Fordham he had been one of as many as 10 linemen who formed the original Seven Blocks of Granite, a designation later dusted off for the 1936 edition that included Vince Lombardi.
After playing two seasons with the Giants, Mr. Cannella received his law degree from Fordham in 1933 and joined a law firm closely connected with the Democratic political machine. But with New York City under Republican control, he had to look to the Federal level for an assist into public service, becoming an assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan in 1940 and later serving as a lawyer with the Internal Revenue Service in New York.
When William O'Dwyer succeeded Fiorello H. La Guardia and restored Tammany's influence over patronage in 1946, Mr. Cannella was on his way, becoming Commissioner of Water, Sewer, Gas and Electricity in 1946, then Commissioner of Licenses in 1948, and winning the first of a series of municipal judicial appointments, to the old Court of Special Sessions, in 1949.
After his appointment to the Federal bench in 1963, Judge Cannella handled a number of celebrated cases. It was he, for example, who imposed a 2 1/2-year sentence on Clifford Irving in 1972 after the author pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with his bogus biography of Howard Hughes.
In 1981 Judge Cannella upheld the right of New York City to stop collecting dues for the teachers' union because of a nine-day strike in 1975, and in 1985 he issued a crucial ruling that cleared the way for Carl C. Icahn's takeover of T.W.A.
In 1987 while presiding over the early stages of the Wedtech corruption trials, Judge Cannella was dumbfounded when Representative Mario Biaggi, the Bronx Democrat indicted on bribery and other charges in the case, entered a thunderous plea of ''absolutely not guilty.'' Until then, Judge Cannella mused, he had been aware of only four pleas in criminal cases: guilty, not guilty, remains mute and nolo contendere, or no contest.
''Now I have heard a fifth one,'' he said. (The novel plea proved little help to Mr. Biaggi. He was eventually convicted of 18 felony counts, sentenced to eight years in prison and released for health reasons after serving two.)”
Jim White RT/LT UDFA-Notre Dame NYG 1946-1950 Born 2-08-1920 Died 4-1987
Edgewater recalls Football Hero of WWII Era
“With the fury and excitement of the 48th Super Bowl just a few miles away in Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, it brings to mind the superb athletic accomplishments of an Edgewater man who was born in Edgewater Feb. 8, 1920 and no doubt played football in Edgewater more than 80 years ago.
He is James Joseph William White – Jim White, a popular athletically inclined teen whose interest and football skills won him a position on the legendary Fighting Irish football team at Notre Dame University in 1942.
Jim was a big guy—6 foot two, weighing 219 pounds, when Frank Leahy, Notre Dame football coach, assigned him to left tackle on the Irish powerhouse. Jim was considered one of the finest tackles coach Frank Leahy had at Notre Dame in the 1940s. White was instrumental in leading the Fighting Irish to the national championship in 1943 and helping his quarterback, Angelo Bertelli, win the Heisman Trophy. White was honored for his outstanding line play by finishing ninth in the Heisman voting himself and being named a consensus All-American.
There was no Super Bowl back then, but there were outstanding players and teams who were recognized as consensus players and a consensus team, chosen by votes from sports writers and members of news organizations that followed sports and formed opinions as to who were the best players and what team would consist of these players.
Thus there were chosen by a consensus of writers, editors and experts of various degrees. The players were known as All-Americans and the consensus team named in 1942 was known as The 1943 College Football All-America team, composed of college football players selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers. The organizations choosing the teams included: the United Press, the Associated Press, Collier’s Weekly magazine, the New York Sun newspaper, and Sporting News.
The 1943 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1943 college football season. The Irish, coached by Frank Leahy, ended the season with 9 wins and 1 loss, winning the national championship by consensus. The 1943 team became the fourth Fighting Irish team to win the national title and the first for coach Leahy. Led by Notre Dame’s first Heisman Trophy winner, Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame beat seven teams ranked in the top 13 and played seven of its ten games on the road. Despite a season ending loss to Great Lakes, Notre Dame was awarded its first national title by the Associated Press.
As the world continued to be enveloped by war from Europe and North Africa to the Far East where we were at war with Japan since they bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, the war had a larger and larger impact on the home front of the United States. On the campus of Notre Dame the U.S. Navy had a growing presence in the lives of the students, including the now-acclaimed football team. The fighting Irish were going to war.
Notre Dame and the Navy have a relationship that goes back to the 1920s. Since their first clash on Oct. 15, 1927 in Baltimore, the Irish and the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. have annually met in a variety of the top venues in the East and Midwest.
By 1953, it was agreed that the Midshipmen would visit Notre Dame Stadium every other year, while from 1960-74 Philadelphia replaced Baltimore as the new neutral Navy road venue in the series.
Why such a committed and unceasing rivalry, especially since Notre Dame won 43 straight games versus Navy from 1964-2006, an NCAA record against one opponent?
The answer harkens back to another July day, back in 1943.
In need of better cash flow as a private school, Notre Dame president Rev. Hugh O’Donnell offered the school’s facilities to the armed forces as a training ground. During World War I (1914-18), the Army operated a Students Army Training Corps (SATC) program on the Notre Dame campus. This combined military training for students who also were majoring in their college courses.
However, in the early 1940s, the Army did not respond to O’Donnell’s invitation, but the Navy did. In Sept. 1941, it established the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) where approximately 150 Notre Dame students per year enrolled.
In early 1942, Notre Dame turned over four of its resident halls to the Navy for its training, which also was known as the Midshipmen’s School. With the United States fully engaged in World War II by 1943, the Navy needed more men to serve and it again teamed with Notre Dame to form an additional program.
In 1943, Notre Dame defeated the teams that finished No. 2 (Iowa Pre-Flight, a semi-pro World War II outfit), No. 3 (Michigan) and No. 4 — none other than the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
A 9-1 season concluded in 1943 Notre Dame suffered a 19-14 loss to the Great Lakes Bluejackets. Great Lakes, which finished No. 6, also a semi-pro operation during the war years, was comprised of seamen (hence Bluejackets). After the 1943 season, Notre Dame’s Coach Leahy and his entire staff volunteered for active duty in World War II. They joined — what else? — the Navy. So it’s no surprise that Jim White got into the war in the Navy. But he was still got to play some football in, in 1944 as a member of the College All-Stars in a game with the Chicago Bears.
Jim White turned pro at the end of the war when his tour of duty with the Navy ended. He was recruited by the New York Giants and played on that team from 1946 until 1950.”
NYT (1-30-1946) JIM WHITE SIGNED BY GIANTS ELEVEN; Notre Dame's Brilliant Left Tackle in 1943 Served in the Pacific With Navy
“The New York Football Giants yesterday laid one of the foundation stones in the new structure they are building for the 1946 season. They signed Jim White, key lineman of the great 1943 Notre Dame football team that beat Army, 26--0.”