August 10, 2008 // Notre Dame Football

Observations from Sunday’s Fan Appreciation Day

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend Sunday’s open practice for Fan Appreciation day, but Domer81 from the UHND Forum was and posted his thoughts earlier tonight.  Here’s what he posted.

  • Before the coronation of Mike Floyd, you better not overlook Deion Walker. He is a fast, smooth receiver who caught a lot of balls in traffic today and caught a long bomb, quickly separating away from the defender once he caught the ball. Maybe the coverage necessitated he get a lot of looks, but he looked better than Floyd today.
  • Floyd reminds me of a slightly larger David Givens. While not as sleek as Walker, he caught everything thrown to him and has a nice combination of speed and size.
  • Kyle Rudolph is going to be better than both Yeatman and Ragone. He blocked well and caught a couple of nice balls in practice. He looked faster than Ragone, whcih surprised me.
  • Dayne Crist struggled all day.
  • Don’t look for much help from Newman and Williams this year. They may have been able to overpower HS kids, but need a lot of work on their quickness at this level.
  • Ethan Johnson has a nice combination of size and speed. He may have a chance to get into the rotation as a tackle, mainly because he’ll have more quicker than a lot of the guards he’ll face this year.
  • Jonas Gray looks like a slightly bigger version of Reggie Brooks. man is he built. He has to learns to just let it rip, instead of trying to juke at this level, but he looks very impressive.
  • Robert Blanton is the closest thing to Bobbie Taylor that Notre Dame has has since Taylor left. He had two picks and it wouldn’t surprise me if he presses McNeil, or Gray by the end of the season.
  • Notre Dame’s defense went up against 3-receiver sets by pulling a linebacker and using three safeties (Sergio  Brown on the slot guy, Kyle McCarthy and David Bruton). This surprised me as I thought they would use Gary Gray, or keep Harrison Smith in.
  • Notre Dame’s offense spent a lot of time in 3-receiver sets (no fullback) and spent a portion of practice running reverses out of this formation.
  • Both Steve Filer and Darius Fleming have really nice combinations of size and speed. I doubt they have the size to make a big impact this year, but you can tell they are really athletic and have bright futures.
  • Clausen showed nice zip of the ball and put the ball in some tight spots. Kamara is still dropping passes.
  • They had a scrimmage session of all runs and ND had a lot of success running behind Young and Stewart.
  • ND’s defense spent a lot of time practicing blitzes and attacking gaps. They put 4 barrels up and put a guy on the strong side and a slot guy. Then, they work on who is going to attack which gap depending upon what the call is. Tenuta was very instructional during this tiem.
  • Weis got all over Golden Tate for not immediately running faster out of his stance on a deep ball thrown down the sideline. George West, David Grimes and Robbie Parris cuaght whatever was thrown to them. West had a chance to make a spectacular grab and Weis kidded him that catching it or not was the difference between him being on the front page of the sports page.
  • Ryan Burkhardt out kicked Walker. Walker missed two field goals with the wind behind his back, while Brukhardt nailed everything.
  • Harrison Smith played on many different personnel groups. He played – SAM linebacker when ND used 3 linebackers. Played 3rd string safety when ND played nickel and also played weak side second team jack linebacker.
  • ND is using Justin Brown both as a tackle and a defensive end.
  • Crum and Brian Smith are locked in as the two inside linebackers, although in Tenuta’s scheme they will be moving from their original alignment and attacking all over the place.
  • Young (Dan) McCarthy looked healthy and was running as 4th team safety. He’s got good size and speed as does John Goodman, who is a bigger, faster version of Robbie Parris.

Comments to this Article

  • JC commented on August 11th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    We may need Deion with sticky fingers on the other side of floyd.

    We still need a real full back that can do more than block!

    I hope we play the best players like the coaches are touting and not favorites.

    favorites loose ball games!

    [Reply]

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