Brian Kelly addressed the media for about 15 minutes on Wednesday and thanks to the University’s YouTube channel, we have video of all 15 minutes of it. For those of you at work or who don’t have 15 minutes to watch, we have the Cliff’s Notes edition as well.
First off, we’ll start with the video…
Now some notes…
- Kelly said that this week of practice will be more about being physical than playing fast as it was last year at this time. He said they know they can play fast so they want to focus on being physical. Most of practice has been focused on running the football on offense and stopping the run on defense. That ought to be music to a lot of Notre Dame fan’s ears.
- Today was a day for players to build their resumes, but wasn’t necessarily a “moving day” for players to win jobs.
- Kelly said he couldn’t single anyone out until he saw the practice film, but he liked the way they ran the ball and flew to the football on defense.
- Kendal Moore won’t get a look at the WILL position, but is fighting with Anthony McDonald for the backup at MIKE behind Manti Te’o. Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox are fighting for the WILL position right now with Carlo in the lead and Fox right on his heels.
- Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter are both going to play a lot of reps and will play fairly equal reps. Kelly went so far as to say as who the starter is “immaterial” at that position.
- Right now Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees have shown the ability to play smarter because the Irish have been focused on playing smarter, not faster right now. If they were playing faster, Kelly said Everett Golson and Andrew Hendrix would have a chance to make more of an impact.
- The three safeties right now have the nickel position fairly well in hand, but both Lo Wood and Bennett Jackson are progressing nicely. Wood has been more consistent, but Jackson has “flashes of greatness”.
- Notre Dame gave some young players chances on special teams today – Cam McDaniel and DaVaris Daniels especially. Of the young kids getting a chance on returns, Kelly said, “there was a lot of teaching today, it wasn’t pretty at times.”
- TJ Jones has been as consistent as any of the wide receivers after five days of camp at both the X and Z receiver position. John Goodman has been good over the last five days as well and is battling with Jones for the starting spot opposite Michael Floyd.
- Kelly spoke very highly of DaVaris Daniels in terms of him being a great player for Notre Dame at some point, but cautioned that he had a lot to learn in a short period of time to make an impact this fall.
- On Darius Fleming, Kelly said, “He’ll be one of the more explosive players in the country this year.”
- Sean Cwynar will give Notre Dame 30 really good plays a game which will lighten the load on Louis Nix. It sounded almost as if Kelly was saying Nix would be the main guy in the middle with Cwynar providing relief, but that could be me reading a little too much into his comments.
- Kelly gave Ethan Johnson a lot of praise for the work he’s done in the weight room this year. Kelly mentioned Johnson wasn’t squatting at all the year before he got to Notre Dame which is more than a little surprising.