Brian Kelly met with the media for his weekly Tuesday press conference as the Irish prepare to take on Stanford on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Down the Tunnel was there and sifts through the coach speak to provide you the key tidbits.
- Coach Kelly talked about the challenge Stanford will present this weekend. He praised their veteran players including quarterback Kevin Hogan and receiver Ty Montgomery. He also called Stanford’s defense the best in the country
- In discussing some of the turnovers from the Syracuse game Coach Kelly talked about the fumble on the direct snap when Golson was trying to spike the ball at the end of the first half. Kelly said that Golson heard the whistle blow and he stopped playing which is the way he was taught.
- Coach Kelly also talked about the play of the receiving corps through the first four games of the season. He was very impressed with the entire group and praised their perimeter blocking. Coach mentioned that Will Fuller is getting more and more confident every week.
- Everett Golson was the FBS Independent Offensive Player of the week however when Coach Kelly told Golson he wasn’t all that excited about it and maybe felt that he didn’t deserve it.
- Ben Council will be a part of the defensive rotation this weekend against Stanford
- Amir Carlise is clear for all activities and should be good to go this weekend. Austin Collinsworth should also be able to contribute this weekend.
- Jared Grace is continuing to make progress everyday but its unclear when he will have that “break through day”
- Coach Kelly stated that he has no idea what the process is this week with the academic hearings and also does not know when the decisions of the hears will be completed.
- Kelly make it clear that Notre Dame is going to need to get big chunk plays on offense if they expect to beat Stanford. Coming into the game Stanford has only allowed four plays of 20 yards or more all season long.
- In the most bizarre question of the day, someone actually asked Coach Kelly if he had any thoughts of inserting Malik Zaire into the game against Syracuse. Not joking. And to be expected Kelly stated the thought never crossed his mind.
- Kelly praised CJ Prosise’s skill set of having a burst, he can catch the football, and he can block very well. He still needs to work on route running and tracking he deep ball but Kelly is pleased with his play so far.
Its Michigan week and Brian Kelly met with the media today at the Gug to give his final thoughts on the victory over Rice before diving into this weekends big time showdown with the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium. Of course we all know that press conferences are notorious for being full of coach speak so we will do our best to sift through it and provide all the pertinent updates as the Irish prepare to take on the Wolverines.
- Brian Kelly kicked off the press conference with a bang by channeling his inner Rodney Dangerfield, wearing a sport jacket that was SNAZZY
- Kelly mentioned the great starting field position for ND against Rice as a huge factor in the success of the offense
- Kelly really gave a lot of praise to the special teams unit. Stated they put in great effort and that if the special teams unit can continuously provide that type of production the team is going to be in a very good position to win football games
- Gardner and Funchess are a one-two combo that provide a touch matchup for anyone. Kelly also brought up that Gardner has had great success against Notre Dame in the past.
- Kelly stated that he had no updates on the “Irish Five” and their status as of today but did say that the situation could change rapidly should he receive updates. Should he get information mid-week that some/all the players were able to return to the team he wouldn’t rule them out for the weekend.
- In regards to the communication with the safeties (or lack thereof) Kelly said that VanGorder was very vocal with the safeties. He than proceeded to say “I was in the quarterback meeting room and I could hear them ‘communicating’ VERY well during film study.”
- Having the all-time winning percentage is important to Brian Kelly as it shows the elite nature of the program and helps on the recruiting trail, however it does nothing to help this years team
- Torii Hunter has made great progress in his recovery and will be participating in some individual drills this week. Depending on how it goes he could be available next week for Purdue
- Jared Grace has made significant progress but is still not 100 percent and is still a few weeks away. Kelly is confident he will be able to help the team this season.
- Corey Robinson’s hand held up well following a minor surgery. The hand was a little sore after catching a laser of a pass from Golson but overall it held up really well.
- Kelly points to the new playing surface as a contributing factor in the success of the special teams
- The plan now is to continue using both Greg Bryant and Cody Riggs on punt returns. Kelly pointed out that Riggs is too valuable to lose and wants to make sure he doesn’t get hurt.
- James Onwualu was the special teams player of the week for the Rice game
- Kelly pointed out that while its not good that the series with Michigan is ending, that the silver lining is having the ability to play top notch programs like Georgia and Texas
Stay tuned to Down the Tunnel for all your Michigan week coverage.
Brian Kelly officially kicked off the 2014 Notre Dame Football campaign today with his annual pre-camp Press Conference. While a good bit of the presser was full of coach speak (are you really surprised) there was actually a lot of information provided about the 2014 football squad.
News and Notes:
- Notre Dame will have its media day on August 19th. I do believe that is also when the normal game jerseys as well as the Shamrock Series uniforms will be revealed
- No Captains were named However BK did say that he has an idea who the leaders are and that in most cases with this squad the leaders are also the best players
- Jared Grace is recovering very well from his broken leg suffered last season. He is running and the coaching staff is optimistic that he will be available for the season opener.
- Mike Heuerman had another hernia and had to have surgery. He will be out of action for about a month. Unsure if he will be available for the season opener but I would venture to guess he will be a few games getting back into shape.
- Tony Springman suffered a setback with his back and will be placed on medical scholarship. His playing career at Notre Dame in done. BK says he will start participate in team activities
- Nick Martin and Ben Councel have recovered remarkably well from their injuries suffered last season and have really set the bar on how to return from injury
- Fall camp with begin at Culver Academy on Monday. They have two fields side by side and provide many chances for team building
- BK mentioned that freshman Daniel Cage and Pete Moukwah are in the best position right now to back up Jarron Jones at the Nose Tackle
- BK will announce a starting QB as soon as he feels that either Golson or Zaire show to him that he is “the guy”
- Davaris Daniels has shown an improvement in leadership but consistency has always been his issue. BK looking for an improvement in that this season
- Cody Riggs is fitting in with the team very well since he has transferred to ND from Florida. BK said that when he arrived on campus he was a bit out of shape but he is all caught up now
- Sheldon Day and Chris Brown have been great leaders during the summer
- BK believes that Folston, Bryant, and McDaniel will all contribute to the offense this season
- BK REALLY REALLY likes freshman Durham Smythe. He raved about his strength and competitiveness on multiple occasions and said its going to be really fun to watch him play. Expect to see plenty of him as well as Tyler Luatua on the field this season. Luatua is up to 260 pounds and also received praise from BK.