The end of last week saw The Irish football team complete their twelfth practice of the Spring session. It was the end of a week that saw them outside for the first time, until inclement weather forced them back inside. It was the end of a week that put the word “effective” at the fore of the discussion.
Last week was one of red zone work and special teams, with Coach Brian Kelly and his staff putting the offense through as much eleven-on-eleven work as they could. By my count, Coach Kelly used the word “effective” at least eight-seven times in his opening remarks to the press following April 4th’s practice. Coming off a season with a surprisingly-high eighty percent red-zone conversion rate, Kelly is clearly pushing The Irish to score more, and quicker.
Describing the red zone as “not an effective area” for the 2013 Irish, Coach Kelly is focusing on that now. “We have to be so much more effective,” he said. Hopefully, his efforts will have the team “effective and efficient.” As to that other bugaboo, special teams, the move outside allowed them to do “a lot of punt work,” though South Bend quickly chased The Irish back inside. Once inside, Jack Nolan and the NDFIDM team caught up with them:
In personnel news, Jarrett Grace is doing better than expected and the “rusty piece of rebar” that team orthopedist, Dr. Brian Ratigan inserted into his right leg has everyone “cautiously optimistic.” Joe Schmidt continues to impress, and has Coach Kelly praising his intelligence and work-ethic. Having gone from walk-on to likely starter at middle-linebacker, Schmidt has “worked his way up the lines of respect.” The quarterbacks are now “working through the nuances of the routes” with the individual receivers, meaning that they are learning the subtleties and differences in how specific players run standard routes.
In recruiting news, this was a nice weekend for The Irish, who landed a commitment from consensus 3-star safety, Nicco Fertitta. Hailing from Las Vegas, Fertitta is quick. He also evidently has a lot of know-how and leadership skills. It is, in fact, his role as a leader that is perhaps most interesting, as Fertitta could help convince his team-mates, Irish targets Alize Jones and Cordell Broadus.
Here’s how Coach Kelly felt about things following Friday’s session:
I don’t know about you, but Coach looks worn out. Sounds that way, too. I’m sure he and the staff are looking forward to the eleven minutes they get off following Saturday’s game before they start planning for June’s S-A-Q sessions.