Yesterday, Notre Dame’s Fall camp had their “opening ceremonies” of sorts with Brian Kelly’s press conference kicking off the festivities. The press conference covered a wide range of topics. Here’s the quick rundown of information I found most interesting:
- Kelly confirmed that Kolin Hill had been granted his release to pursue enrollment at a school in Texas.
- Michael Deeb is being forced to “retire” from football do to nerve issues in his elbow.
- Mike Heuerman also received a medical hardship because of 2 hernias.
- On the “recovering from injury front”: Nicky Baratti has “come back nicely.” Joe Schmidt is fully recovered. Jonathan Bonner’s a “full go” for Fall camp. Jarrett Grace continues to make strides. Jarron Jones will participate in Fall camp although they might take it easy on the big guy, and Drue Tranquill’s got no restrictions after “attacking rehab like no player we’ve had here in quite some time.”
- Kelly plans to “go live” on special teams during fall camp, which is unusual, but because the team’s breaking in a new kicker and punter, he sees no other option.
- Will Fuller and C.J. Prosises were both mentioned by name as possible return men.
- Both Ishaq Williams and KeiVarae Russell are still awaiting final decisions from the NCAA about their eligibility for the coming season. Kelly stated the situations are different, so while Russell is being permitted to participate in Fall practice, Williams is being held out until the team receives more clarification.
- There was a lot…and I mean A LOT…of talk about accountability. Yes, between coaches and players, but more importantly: peer accountability. Kelly made a point of noting it’s tougher to tell teammates you screwed up than it is to tell a coach or parent. He hopes that pressure pays off.
- Kelly expects the offensive line and running game to be a strength. He referred to Tarean Folston as a “feature back.”
- Kelly sees it as more likely that freshmen playing on the defensive side of the ball will get a chance to compete for playing time rather than the offensive side where all the positions are stacked with depth/experience.
- The one noted offensive player mentioned by name who could contribute early is Alize Jones.
- Finally, maybe the most interesting note, to me at least, was the announcement that Justin Brent has been moved to running back for the time being. That decision was prompted by the Bryant suspension.
Guess the Topic: A great quote from BK, can you guess the topic? (answer at end of article):
“It’s very important for us having not been able to really solidfy the #2 position in the spring for us to have that as a priority, if you will, as well as getting your #1 the proper reps, the #2 has to get a lot of work”
Gatorade Color of the Day: Yellow Gold
Kelly Wardrobe of the Day: Tans/Browns Gold. BK seemed to have a nice gold watch. A gold monogram lapel. A gold pocket square. And golden answers to some questions.
Coachspeak of the Week: I’m always impressed by the arsenal of canned phrases that coach-bots have at their disposal. Don’t have much to say? Add in a some coach speak. “Talk about Player A.” A: “He’s a real gamer. He’s excited and we think he could make a reason impact this year.” “Who’s your toughest opponent?” A: “Our next one.” Etc….This week’s best “coach speak” came when Tim Prister of Irish Illustrated asked Kelly to explain the significance of the team’s mantra this year “Culture beats scheme.” Kelly flipped on auto-pilot for a solid coach speak response:
“It’s not X’s and O’s. It’s not individuals. It’s not anything about singular. It’s “Team 127.” It’s the culture of this program, which means you hold each other accountable. You pay attention to detail. The mission is more important than keeping your guys happy. It’s really about that, and that goes to culture.”
What BK really meant when he said…
Finally, sometimes coaches have to be polite. They can’t say what’s really on their mind. Fortunately for y’all, HLS had a chance to ask BK what he really meant when he said:
When asked about whether this will be one of his best running teams, Kelly said: “I think we definitely have 2 of the elements that are required. One is a veteran experienced offensive line that’s physical at the point of attack, and a quarterback that can certainly even out the numbers. So, without knowing what happens, right, the first 5 games we might get teams that are putting 8-9 guys on the line of scrimmage and I’ve got a talented wide receiving corp and you’re just telling us to throw the football to them.”
What he meant was: By “8-9 guys on the line of scrimmage” I mean, like, if they have 8-9 guys on the field, maaaaayyyybe I’d consider running it. But 11 on 11? Run the ball??? LOL. I wish we could play with a Vortex football.
On whether they’re confident that Russell will be approved by the NCAA: “The information that I’ve gotten back from Jack Swarbrick and our athletic administration is that we’ve submitted everything. We feel confident in the information that we’ve submitted to the NCAA. And we feel very strongly about his eligibility.”
What he meant was: How embarrassing would it be if we screwed up a bunch of paperwork on this? I mean, who screws up paperwork? I wonder if there’s anyway we could cut a corner if we screwed up some paperwork…
When asked how happy he was with the team’s summer: “It was one where our guys…you know, I probably would have liked them to do a little bit better in the classroom, but overall they made good decisions. They were active in the community. They were attentive to all of the workouts. But I thought it was a very good summer from that decision-making standpoint other than maybe a couple of guys in the classroom.”
What he meant was: Did Jaylon Smith really intern with FIDM…or FIM…or whatever? What is this World coming to? I thought he was smarter than that.
When asked what Malik Zaire needs to improve upon: “He has a lot of thoughts going on, and sometimes a little bit too much going on. We really sometimes just have to get him focused on this simple phrase: “Do it this way all the time. There’s no other way to do it. Don’t vary from this.” And he’s getting better at that. Not because he doesn’t want to do it. He just has so much going on sometimes that we have to get him focused on “we just want you to do it this way.”
What he meant was: WHY CAN’T ONE DANG QUARTERBACK JUST DO WHAT I WANT AND NOTHING ELSE? THROW TOUCHDOWNS!!! DON’T TURN THE BALL OVER. GET ME A DANG BURRITO FROM CHIPOTLE WITHOUT ASKING WHETHER I’LL PAY EXTRA FOR THE GUAC!!
When asked about being the first coach to make it to Year 6 in a while: “Without being glib or wise-cracking for all those coaches that were here less than 6 years they all wrote books, right. They had many stories to tell. I’m on my sixth year. I could write several books with what I’ve learned.”
What he meant was: I’m being glib. And wise-cracking.
Answer to the mystery quote: According to my better half, he was talking about going to the bathroom.
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