Brian Kelly Talks Pinstripe Bowl Selection, Preparations

(Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports)
(Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports)

Brian Kelly spoke with the media on Sunday following Notre Dame’s first bowl practice.  Here are some highlights along with the full video.

  • Notre Dame’s first and primary goal with the Pinstripe Bowl is to send the team off with a win while serving as a momentum builder into the off-season.  Kelly did say that a win isn’t a catapult to an undefeated season by any means, but it cane set the tone for the off-season. 
  • The Irish practiced on Sunday during which Malik Zaire got “20 good reps”.  Kelly also mentioned Torii Hunter Jr and Max Redfield as freshmen who were able to get in a lot of work today in practice.
  •  The Pinstripe Bowl became Notre Dame’s 2013 bowl destination when Northern Illinois lost on Friday taking the Poinsettia Bowl out of consideration for the Irish.  Notre Dame had wanted to play in a bowl game that they wouldn’t have any alliance with as part of the ACC bowl tie-ins next year if possible, but the Pinstripe ended up being the best fit.  Kelly mentioned that with the Hawaii Bowl, the players wouldn’t have had much down time in between finals and the bowl game. 
  • In terms of logistics.  Notre Dame will get in 10 practices before the bowl, will fly out to New York on the 23rd of December, and then fly back after the bowl at which point the players will be able to head home should they choose.
  • Kelly confirmed that Louis NIx signed with an agent and is out of eligibility now.  Nix won’t be able to travel with the team, participate in any bowl preparations, or receive any of the Pinstripe Bowl swag the players receive.   Surprisingly, Kelly mentioned that he did not know that Nix had signed with an agent until after he had done so.   Kelly also confirmed NIx did get his degree already.
  • With regards to Stpehon Tuitt’s NFL decision, they have filed the paperwork for an evaluation but Tuitt is still going to class and no decision has been made.  Kelly said that in his opinion you go to Notre Dame to get a degree and referenced the return of Michael Floyd, Tyler Eifert, and Manti Te’o for their senior years.
  • Chris Watt’s MCL injury will require some immobilization and he will not be able to play in the bowl game because of it.
  • Ishaq Williams practiced today and looked good after being slowed with an injury the final few weeks of the season.  Corey Robinson injured his ankle against Stanford and was a little “ginger” in practice today but should be fine.
  • Kelly said that he hasn’t decided if he will promote from within or go outside of the current staff to replace Chuck Martin as his offensive coordinator.
  • Kelly won’t make a hire until after the bowl game.  In the interim, Kelly will coach the quarterbacks and Mike Denbrock will take the lead in organizing practices.
  • Apparently the swag bag that the players will be getting from the Pinstripe Bowl is pretty attractive for the players. Kelly wouldn’t go into specifics, but said that the players were out of the theirs chairs when they ran through all that they would be getting with the package from the Pinstripe Bowl.  Those packages tend to find their way on blogs though so I’m sure we’ll find out what is included at some point.
  • Everett Golson won’t be able to get any practices in with the team before they leave for New York with the way the schedule ended up working out.  Golson will be in New York on his own while the team is there for the bowl game and might be able to spend some time with the team while they are there, but any traveling on Golson’s part would have to be paid for on his own.
  • Kelly also said that he will be in Myrtle Beach on Monday to visit Golson.
  • Lo Wood and Alex Welch will remain with the team and practice and participate through the bowl game before they have their release to transfer for the 5th years as was reported last week.

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  1. With all the 2 tight end sets,you would think we would have a run the ball down your throat attitude on offense. We run the ball for some yards at times, but honestly don’t come across as a tough offense. If we need a yard I’m not sure we will get it, and that’s not acceptable with the talent and size up front.

  2. Brian Kelly has chosen his basic offensive identity, and you can easily ascertain it by closely examining the players he recruits. We’re not running Gus Malzahn’s offense, or Art Briles, we will run Brian Kelly’s offense. Being for or against the Stanford or the Auburn or Navy offense is like being for or against the Rocky Mountains. Your vote is interesting, but irrelevant.

    Kelly has been moving toward stasis in his design. They migrated away from the purer tripartite roles of the wide receivers, and have blurred the distinctions. Kelly is clearly committed to having the AT LEAST two TE set available, whether or not it is the base.

    There is one other thing that Kelly articulates more often and with
    more focus than most other coaches. He is highly cognizant, when structuring his offensive design and tempo, of the defense’s capabilities vel non. Next year, with some vulnerabilites at ILB and DL depth, he may feel he needs to score a bit more than in the past. We will have the ordnance and experience to play fast.

    Regardless, Kelly’s offense is the dog, and the OC will be the tail, not vice versa. Martin understood that, and so will the new offensive coordinator.

    In a separate post, I will document Golson’s improvement from his first 6 games to his last six in 2012. It is striking. And Kelly indicated that he grew as much again by the end of Spring practice.

    When night falls on the 28th we can shout: “The 2013 offense is dead; Long Live the 2014 offense.”

  3. I’d prefer a return to a more Pro style offense, whatever that even means anymore. I really do like watching what Stanford does. And I think you can do it with a mobile quarterback. Not sure who would be the OC to come in.

    But let’s get practical. Kelly probably hires from within, keeps a great deal of control, and looks for an up and coming assistant to fill the shoes of whomever he promotes.

    Does anyone see ND changing style much?

    1. C-Dog,

      With the QB’s that ND has, and has continued to recruit, it appears the spread is going to be around for a while.

      I for one really like the read option similar to what Auburn runs.

      It takes a lot of presure off the QB who has several well defined run / pass options based on how the defense reacts.

      It allows you to up the tempo much more on offense, and forces the defense to hesitate some in order to try to read the play, this gives your O-Line a little more leverage and that little extra split second to get out on their blocks better.

      Add in a QB with a stronger arm, and recievers who can get deep in a hurry, and you can really spread them out.

      It also makes you much better in short yardage and in the Red Zone. Two areas where we struggled this year.

      Not sure it’s as much as changing styles as it is finally being able to run it they way it is suppoed to be run.

      If ND is truely serious about playing in the National Championship game, and with the playoffs in play next year, you are now looking at having to win 14 games.

      I think that will take two QB’s who can both run the offense effectively, a true fullback, and quality depth on both sides of the ball.

      Will ND have those things?

      Not sure, but it seems they are at least headed in that direction.

  4. Cam Cameron (LSU)

    Cameron was fired near the end of the 2012 season by the Baltimore Ravens. However, he is still an excellent playcaller. He was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 2002-2006, and helped them to playoff appearances in every season.

    Cameron also has significant college experience. He spent 1983–1993 at Michigan and was the head coach of Indiana from 1997-2001. He will be expected to help turn around a Tigers offense that finished 77th in total offense last season, despite having good talent at every position.

  5. Al Borges (Michigan)

    Borges is a man who has spent a lot of time as an offensive coordinator in college football. He began his career in 1986 at Portland State. Since then, he has made several stops and been successful at every one. He helped lead UCLA in the late 90’s to an average of 31.9 points per game, and he called the plays that lead Auburn to a perfect season in 2004.

    After resigning from Auburn in 2007, Borges joined Brady Hoke at San Diego State and followed him to Michigan. Since then, he helped create an offense that allowed Denard Robinson to dominate and seemed to give Devin Gardner the same opportunities to succeed.

    1. Al Borges???

      Hello… McFly… you’re an idiot!…. Again.

      Michigan ranks 81st in total yardage in Div-I college football under Borges.

      His team also ranks 110th in the nation in sacks allowed.
      (ND Ranks 2nd)

      Gardner took a beating this like few others did this year.

      The Michigan faithfull wanted him run out of town on a rail.

      Next time you watch college football try turning on the TV, it helps.

  6. how do we get to this level?

    “Florida State has dominated college football in 2013, averaging 53 points per game while giving up an FBS-best 10.7 points a game. The Seminoles easily defeated all four ranked teams they faced this season, beating Maryland, Clemson, Miami(FL), and Duke by a combined score of 200-35.”

  7. Congratulations to ND & Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl invitation CFB game. It sounds exciting and may very well be a growing process in which Rutgers & ND’s CFB traditions which are rich, historic & fascinating will be revisited by the entire nation.

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