Diaco happy to be at Notre Dame

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Diaco happy to be at Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Bob Diaco believes several coaching jobs are available but insists hes not involved in the conversation for any of them.

Notre Dames assistant head coachdefensive coordinator said in a media session on Monday afternoon he isnt in direct contact with any schools about coaching vacancies -- Wisconsin included.

Media reports have linked Diaco, 39, to interviews for openings at Temple, Cal and Boston College, where he reportedly was a finalist.

But Diaco, who recently received the Broyles Award for being the nations top assistant coach, said hes happy to be part of Brian Kellys staff and is focused on the teams Jan. 7 matchup against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game in Miami.

I really believe I have the best assistant coaching job in America, Diaco said. I love who I work for. I love where I work. I dont want to change who I work for and I dont want to change where I work. The commitment to the players and the daily process, and the focus on that, now shifts to Alabama. Because its already in our DNA to work that way, that just doesnt go away. You still stay focused.

Were focused on our preparation for Alabama and the national championship game. And I feel like I love the job that I have.

Diacos defense ranks as the best in the nation in a number of categories.

Notre Dame heads into its 13th game having yielded just 10.3 points per game, which is first among FBS schools. The Irish also lead the nation in red-zone touchdowns allowed percentage, points allowed per red zone trip, fewest rushing touchdowns, total red-zone TDs allowed, and so on.

He attributes it to talented, intelligent players who are dedicated and focused and a cut above the rest. Diaco also believes the dynamic between he and Kelly, who previously hired him at Cincinnati and Central Michigan, is a key component.

Its Batman-Robin, Diaco said. Obviously, hes Batman. Its the best. I know what hes thinking before hes thinking it. Im on it. He doesnt have to come talk to me. He does, and he can, and he knows Im not going to be sensitive about it.

Diaco is serving in his first season as Kellys assistant head coach. He won the Broyles Award this season and was nominated in 2011. Earlier this month, Kelly said he wasnt surprised when he heard news Diaco is being courted --- at the time it was Boston College --- because of his coaching ability.

Hes the finest defensive coordinator in the country, Kelly said. Bob is a bright football coach. We have conversations about it. All I could tell you is that it doesnt surprise me that hes a part of it.

Diaco hasnt denied it, either. The attention, he admits, is flattering. But it wont be a distraction when it comes to Notre Dames upcoming title game.

Its an honor to be in the conversation, Diaco said. Im very proud of that and Im honored by it. So, I dont hide or run from it either, but it hasnt been a problem to manage any of that.

58 Days to Kickoff: St. Viator

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58 Days to Kickoff: St. Viator

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: St. Viator

Head coach: Dave Archibald

Assistant coaches: Chase Murdock (DC/LB), Kyle Jenkins (DL), Gregg Kirkwood (DB), Frank Laterza (Asst. DB/ST), Bob Lamick (OL), Casey Lynde (WR), Al Panzeca (RB), Dan Hall (K), Mike Tubridy (Football Operations)

How they fared in 2016: 6-5 (4-3 East Suburban Catholic Conference), made the Class 6A state playoff field, defeated Rockford Boylan then lost to Lake Forest.

[MORE: 59 Days to Kickoff - McHenry]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Rolling Meadows

Sept. 1 – Lake Forest

Sept. 8 – @ Marian Catholic

Sept. 15 - Benet Academy

Sept. 22 - Carmel

Sept. 29 – @ Marian Central Catholic

Oct. 6 - St. Patrick

Oct. 13 - @ Nazareth Academy

Oct. 20- @ Notre Dame

Biggest storyline: Can the Lions make a deeper run this fall?

Names to watch this season: senior QB/K Bryce Hellgeth, senior DL/OLB Michael Wittich 

Biggest holes to fill: The Lions will need to find a go-to receiver with the graduation of standout tight end Cole Kmet (Notre Dame). St. Viator will also be inexperienced on the defensive line.

EDGY's early take: The Lions had a nice season in 2016 and return 12 starters back (seven offense, five defense). If St. Viator can fill in a handful of key spots, they have a great shot of getting back into the playoffs.

Anthony Rizzo fires back at Miguel Montero: 'That labels you as a selfish player'

Anthony Rizzo fires back at Miguel Montero: 'That labels you as a selfish player'

Anthony Rizzo pulled no punches in firing back at Miguel Montero after Tuesday night's rant.

Montero didn't even wait to get changed after the Washington Nationals stole seven bases, immediately throwing pitcher Jake Arrieta under the bus for not holding players on.

Rizzo — the face of the franchise and one of the leaders in the clubhouse — hopped on David Kaplan's radio show on ESPN 1000 Wednesday morning and aboslutely ripped Montero:

Here are Rizzo's complete comments:

"He's obviously frustrated. Whenever anyone steals seven bases, Miggy gets frustrated. It's his second time barking in the media and not just going to his teammates. It's something as a veteran like he is, you'd think he'd make smarter decisions about it."

Rizzo said he was not aware of the Montero rant in the clubhouse Tuesday night and only heard about it afterwards.

"I had no idea aobut it until I got back to the hotel and saw all this stuff. I got a couple text messages from a couple of my friends just kinda asking, 'What the hell is this guy doing?' Listen, we win as a team, we lose as a team. If you start pointing fingers, I think that just labels you as a selfish player. I disagree. We have another catcher that throws out everyone who steals and he has Jon Lester who doesn't pick over. It's no secret. I think going to the media with things like that, I don't think it's very professional."

So how does Rizzo handle it from here?

"Something like this, it's out in the public now. Things that get handled with coffee or in the clubhouse are things that people never know about. Sometimes, they get out. But this was obviously all over 'Sportscenter' last night and whatnot and we're talking about it today. We win as 25, we lose as 25. To call your teammates out via the press, I mean, what's the point?"

Rizzo is dead on in referencing Willson Contreras, who is throwing out 34 percent of runners attempting to steal against him, even serving as Lester's personal catcher. Contreras may have one of the best arms in the game, but he is catching the exact same pitching staff Montero is and has found a way to nab 16 would-be basestealers out of 47 attempts.

Meanwhile, Cubs numbers list Montero as 0-for-31 in throwing out basestealers.

The league average caught-stealing rate is 28 percent.