Brian Kelly Talks Bye Week Improvements

Brian Kelly met with the media on Thursday to talk about his team’s final preparations on Syracuse and how they used the early season bye week to their advantage this year.  Here’s the full video courtesy of the fine team at WatchND along with some notes and observations.

  • In talking to a couple of the players, Kelly said that some of them have hearings next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Kelly is not certain that all five will be going in front of the same committee – he also doesn’t know the ratio of faculty/students on the committee.
  • Notre Dame wanted to do three things with the bye week: 1) get some guys back healthy 2) get some specific positions re-examined and get some continuity there and 3) continue to build more continuity with a young football team. Kelly said he felt they accomplished all three and are ready to play this weekend.
  • Your starting offensive line for Syracuse from left to right LT – Ronnie Stanley, LG –  Nick Martin, C – Matt Hegartty, RG – Steve Elmer, RT – Christian Lombard.  Hegartty will get some assistance from Nick Martin on making the calls.
  • Kelly said that Jaylon Smith has made great progress with playing inside after playing outside and focusing on contain as a freshman but praised his film study and work ethic for learning his new position.
  • Austin Collinsworth improved in practice everyday but he will have a limited role in his first action of the season.  His snap count will be in the teens and max out around 20.
  • Torii Hunter really progressed well later in the week.  Kelly said that Hunter specificially broke through on Wednesday on one particular play where he came down on his leg that was injured and came away fine.  After that catch Kelly said it looked like he broke through that mental barrier.
  • Cole Luke is cleared to play this weekend after having the concussion against Purdue,
  • Cody Riggs is the first graduate transfer to go through the accelerated MBA program so Kelly really wanted to make it work for him.  Kelly noted that it is a very heavy work load and right now it’s really only academics and football and nothing else.
  • Speaking of Riggs, Kelly said that Keivarae Russell went out of his way to help Riggs get up to speed and took him under his wing this summer.
  • While the staff is very pleased with Everett Golson’s protection of the football in the passing game, but they did work with him on how he carries the football in the pocket and when he is running with it.  That said, Kelly said that they do want Golson as a part of the running game, but they do want to keep him away from “high collision” hits.
  • Kelly talked a lot about being an inexperienced team and using the bye to really work on their strengths and weaknesses.   The early bye week was very beneficial in helping the Irish continue to build on the strengths and address weaknesses given the relative inexperience on the roster.  Kelly said next year with a veteran roster that having an early bye wouldn’t necessarily be as beneficial.

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  1. Toulmin, first you are right, we should have a competent experienced backup and would have but for Kiel’s departure (which, if I were his dad,
    I would have encouraged him to do.)

    Next Fall I think we’ll have Zaire ready to go.

    Second, Jaylon Smith is just a gift that keeps on giving. On one hand, he
    plays “effortlessly.” But that sells his work ethic short. Kelly is very judicious in his press conference statements. His messaging is often
    delivered to the sportswriters but intended primarily for the team and certain players. What is cool here is that he is not complimenting Smith
    for his (alleged) 3.9% body fat or 4.4 time, but for his work ethic.

    It’s a powerful message to the whole roster. “If the kid with the 4.4 and 3.9 is working so hard, shouldn’t you be working hard also??????”

    Smith also is praiseworthy for having taken Drue Tranquill
    under his wing.

    Fort Wayne? What’s in the water there????

    A Northern Fort Myers? Which gave us Deion Sanders, Noel Devine and Sammy Watkins, three pretty fast mammals.

    1. Duranko,

      I am usually the pessimist on this board but at QB ND has an adequate back up in Ziare right now. The area that I am worried about is LB and D-line. I would think you would be singing Ziare’s praises. Keihl is proving to be a great college QB in his first two games, but EG is looking awesome. I still think the youth of this football team gets exploited. We shall see that is why they play the games.

      I guess it’s snowing somewhere because I am more optimistic about an ND football item than you.

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