Observations from Tuesday’s Practice – 8/12

Jonas Gray - Notre Dame Running BackHere’s some comments and observations after watching all of the videos on UND.com of all of the offense vs. defense plays and individual drills.

  • In a drill where the wide receivers had to fight a jam at the line, Duval Kamara had very little trouble while Golden Tate struggled.   Tate is going to need a lot more work with this as he continues to learn the position so look for the staff to line him up in the slot where he won’t have a corner jamming him at the line.
  • Running though the RB Gauntlet drill, Armando Allen looked the best to me with Hughes a very close second.  Jonas Gray going through once and had to run through it again.
  • Surprised at how good Barry Gallup looked at running back.  Granted, he was running against the third team defense, but he looked good in the open field.
  • Brian Smith really stands out – even when he is not making plays. He already looks like one of the leaders of the defense and is very vocal.
  • Steve Filer is going to be playing this year in some capacity.  In the Irish Eyes Drill (also referred to as the Oklahoma Drill) he looked pretty good and he had one great stop in the backfield on a run blitz on Barry Gallup.
  • Robert Hughes definitely looked like the best running back on the field and saw most of the carries with Allen seeing the second most.  Hughes looked quicker and more decisive than a year ago.  Hughes had a GREAT touchdown run where he cut back and turned the corner for a touchdown.
  • Hughes also looked pretty good on a draw.  With his footwork, he could be a very good runner on the draw.
  • Armando Allen seems to be running with more authority and with more strength in his legs.
  • Jonas Gray had the play of the day with a 40+ yard run where he reversed field and ran away from the defense.  It’s going to be hard to keep him off the field this year, he looked really good out there today.
  • Steve Paskorz had a nice run from the fullback spot.  It would be nice to have a FB who can run the ball again.  Weis feed Rashon Powers-Neal the ball at the goalline before his suspension in 2005 and since then we haven’t seen any running ability from the position.
  • There wasn’t a whole lot of passing, but when there was, the passing game didn’t look to sharp.
  • The defense definitely got the best of the offense at the goal line in the goal line drills.  The defense swarmed to the running backs most of the time.  Not sure if this is reason to be optimistic for the defensive or worried about the offense.
  • Weis got mad at the players on the sidelines during the goal line drills for not making enough noise and supporting the 22 guys on the field.
  • In the last of the goal line drills, the offense had 3 plays to score.  On the first play Aldridge got stopped short of the goal.  On the second play, Aldridge fumbled with the defense recovering to end the drill.
  • At the end of practice Brandon Walker had to make a 41 yard field goal to prevent the team from running which he nailed by a mile.  Walker has been inconsistent so far in camp and reports are Burkhart has looked better so far, but Walker had the better day.
  • After Walker kicked the “winning” field goal, Weis wasn’t pleased with the reaction from the sidelines and had the team celebrate again.  During the second celebration, a couple of the Notre Dame defenders chased down defensive coordinator Corwin Brown and tackled him in celebration.  Say what you want about Weis and his practices in the past, but at least from what we could all see today they were more intense while also more light hearted at times than what we’ve been privy to in the past.

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  1. Hopefully the staff will find ways to get Golden Tate the ball. Plenty of smallish receivers have thrived (including a certain Domer under Lou Holtz that you all may remember), so this staff needs to find a way to do the same. Offense is a simple concept-put the ball into the hands of a guy that knows what to do with it!

  2. I’m really bummed Aldridge isn’t the number one running back. A few years ago it seemed like he would have so much potential. Although I know they say the injury has a lot to do with it, I’m still disappointed. Thank God ND is deep at that position!

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