Brian Kelly Previews Notre Dame’s 2019 Training Camp

Missed the BRIAN KELLY Press Conference? No worries, we have the highlights from the first official press session for training camp in 2019.  We’ll also have a separate post on players coming back from injuries heading into camp shortly as well.

On leadership & captains for the 2019 Season

“Captains will be named early in camp. Within the first week of camp. BK wants players to weigh in. There will be an announcement when they get back from Culver.

It has turned out that there will potentially be more captains than expected. Potentially six as in times past.”

On the development of backup quarterback Phil Jurkovec:

“Really good things. We knew the talent level that was there. He lost a little bit of confidence at times. He is going to be fine. He is the kind of guy that we feel is really going to blossom this year. He will get plenty of opportunities to grow.”

Specifically on Jurkovec’s throwing motion:

“We don’t touch throwing motions. I never had success with it. Let them be who they are. The focus has to be on footwork and confidence. We stay away from trying to make major arm angle changes to throw. We have not tinkered with his motion. He will have some good success this year.”

And on the development of Notre Dame’s QB1, Ian Book

“He needs to continue to work on his own craft. We have to address those internally. That has already begun. What we have seen is that he is a leader. He is doing a great job at leading. He is confident. He knows the technical things he needs to work on. But what I see is a young man that is really confident and holding others accountable.”

On Book heading into camp:

“Exposure among elite players brings self-realization that ‘I’m pretty good.’ The great thing about it is being aware. He came back and knows that he is really good at a lot of things and has to work in other areas.”

On the status of sophomore wide receiver Kevin Austin:

“He is still on our team, but it is a day-to-day process with him.”

Note: There has been speculation all summer that Austin is facing a Kevin Stepherso/Dexter Williams style “suspension”. 

On the center position – the only position with a new starter on the OL in 2019:

“Jarret Patterson emerged as someone we feel great about. Moves well. Smart. Good on protections. Ruhland had a great summer. So it is a bonus to have him. Center is now a position of strength.”

And on top reserve Josh Lugg:

“He is our Swiss Army Knife. Very versatile on the line.”

On Notre Dame’s challenges on the road this year:

Kelly said that Notre Dame has to be “Road Warriors” this year. “We have to play tough on all the away games. The players know the challenges ahead of them. BK says that the standard at Notre Dame is high. They are here to make the playoffs. They are here to win a National Championship. That is the standard at Notre Dame.”

On the interior defensive line:

“There has to be a rotation on the line. You cannot play the whole game. Even with Jerry, we had a rotation. Some younger guys are going to have to step up and give us quality playing time.”

“So, yeah, Myron and Kurt can’t play the whole game, and we’re aware of that. So some younger guys are going to have to step up and give us some quality playing time at that position, and we’re pretty confident that somebody’s going to be able to do that.”

On the competition at linebacker:

“The linebacker position is going to be exciting. We’ve got a lot of good players there that have to be able to show themselves and have some production. Again, we’re going to put them in a number of positions to do so, so that will be one that requires a lot of attention, but one that we’re looking forward to.”

On how they will prepare to find the starting linebacking coprs this summer:

“I have worked our schedule to make sure we get more reads for key linebackers to see them flow to the football. That’s an important part of our evaluation, giving them the opportunity and giving Clark enough evaluation to both chart to see how their production is as well as see it and make some evaluations as to how that’s all going to pan out.”

On the safety positon:

“I think what has to happen is there has to be some form of the second group there that you feel confident that you can put in there because they need to breathe. Part of our challenge will be establishing a second rotation at the safety position.”

Specifically on sophomore Derrik Allen:

“Got a lot of reps in the spring. He will have to be part of the rotation evaluation. He will have an opportunity to make a statement.”

On Troy Pride potentially moving to the boundary this year:

“I think we all know about Troy’s experience, his ability to run. We feel like his assets for us clearly are experience. He is the most experienced player. That short corner position requires somebody with a lot of experience because you’re going to get the most action.”

“We want to keep our options open. We need to develop more than just Troy Pride at that position because we’re going to be doing some different things at that corner position. So we’ll start him there, but he’s obviously had a lot of experience playing the wide field too.”

On the depth behind Pride fighting for the field postion:

“We want to give everybody an opportunity, and we want to match up the other corners. Donte Vaughn is almost 6’3″. We want to be able to match him up with a partner. So there’s a lot going into the way we’re thinking about it.”

On replacing both special teams kickers in 2019:

“It has been an ongoing process. We are not just dealing with this now. Jonathan has had a really good build-up. We have seen the confidence build up necessary. He is going to get a lot of work. He doesn’t have the veteran presence. We will put him in situations to see what he can do. We have seen progress.”

On the biggest thing he has learned in 10 years:

“Ten years anywhere is a journey that you just have to be able to learn, keep working on yourself and keep pushing the envelope. Never get satisfied. We got a taste of being in the playoffs, but I want to with the darn thing. Never get to the point where you think you know it all.”

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