Brian Kelly addressed the media on Saturday after Notre Dame’s latest practice. Here is the full video of the session along with some highlights.
We also posted the video of Saturday’s practice highlights last night along with some notes in case you haven’t seen them yet.
On Nick Martin at center. Kelly said that they have seen a steady player and praised his temperament so far this spring. He said that he hasn’t been too high or too low so far. He needs to work on consistency with snapping and protections, but he’s been solid.
On Everett Golson this year vs. last. “I don’t know that you can even put him in the same category of where he started last year to where he’s at now.” Kelly praised Golson’s command of the offense and said that now they have to work with him on not wanting to do too much. If you have been watching the practice videos, you will notice he is scrambling and throwing on the run more than we saw in 2012. My guess is that is what Kelly is referring to.
On the frequency of multiple tight end sets this spring. Notre Dame has been utilizing the tight ends more in spring because of the injuries at wide receiver. There have been a bunch of bumps and bruises so far amongst the wide receivers while all of the tight ends on the roster have been healthy. With that in mind, the Irish have been using a lot of multiple tight end sets in practice.
On the development of Ben Koyack. Speaking of the tight ends, Kelly said that Ben Koyack has had a really good three weeks. They are lining him up inside as opposed to outside where Tyler Eifert used to primarily line up. His confidence has been higher this spring after it took a hit with some inconsistencies catching the football his first two seasons.
On the development of CJ Prosise. He was lined up as an outside receiver after playing primarily inside so far this spring. As a result, he had some inconsistency catching the football in practice Saturday. Kelly said that Prosise is going to be a great player but still needs a lot of work. Considering he spent his freshman season on defense that much was to be expected.
On the middle linebacker. Kelly said that the staff is really happy with Jarrett Grace right now but they have not identified a starter at the position to this point. He also mentioned the two seniors – Carlo Calabrese an Dan Fox – Kendall Moore, and Joe Schmidt.
On Elijah Shumate. Kelly gave the sophomore props for his tackling abilities. Matthias Farley has been helping him out this spring. “He’s our guy back there,” Kelly said which was about as definitive as he’s been about a position battle this spring.
On Chuck Martin. Chuck Martin has been calling all of the plays and Kelly expects that will continue in the fall. Kelly ssaid that he knows Martin knows exactly what he wants to do with the football and is comfortable with him calling the plays. It wasn’t a 100% “Chuck Martin will call all of the plays,” but it definitely sounds like Martin is getting more responsibilities this fall.
On the special teams. Because the Irish have been indoors so much this spring which has made it difficult to gauge where Kyle Brindza is as a punter. Bob Diaco is working with him one on one though. The Irish have spent a lot of time on punt, punt return, and punt protection this spring though. Most of the evaluation on the punting position though will take place in the pre-season.
On the development of George Atkinson. The coaching staff was a little concerned throwing the football to George Atkinson last year but that has been the biggest area of improvement in his game this spring. He still needs work in that department before the fall along with work on lowering his pad level, but Kelly said he is really pleased with his development this spring.
On the remaining practices. There isn’t anything specific on the agenda for the Irish over the final week of spring practice. Kelly said that the staff is just focusing on getting in more work over the final week. So in reality there probably are areas the Irish will be working, but Kelly isn’t going to say what they are.