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The 2010 season: It starts today

Aug 6, 2010, 12:38 PM EDT

Brian Kelly has just stepped away from the podium, officially kicking off the 2010 season and fall camp for the Irish. It feels like just yesterday I was live-blogging the demise of the 2009 Irish, but at the same time these past seven-plus months have felt like an eternity as we waited to see what kind of football team Brian Kelly would produce for the Fighting Irish.

Here are a couple rapid fire bullets that I pulled from Kelly’s opening remarks. (The quotes may not be perfect, as I’ll never have a career as a stenographer.)

* It’s pretty clear that this coaching staff is chomping at the bit. Kelly even said as much. In his 20 years as a head coach, pretty much every year he’s said “he could’ve used a couple more days… That’s not the case here.”

Back in June, offensive coordinator Charley Molnar told me that every morning when he wakes up and every night when he goes to bed, he’s thinking about Purdue. Sounds like he’s not the only coach.

* BK volunteered that the 2010 football team has some strengths, some vulnerabilities, and some question marks.

Strengths: The depth of the football team. On the offensive line, “I believe that we have ten guys that can play championship football.” At running back, “Great depth at the running back position, all have unique styles.” On defense, “we have playmakers on the perimeter that can do some great things for us.”

Vulnerabilities: The experience at quarterback. The depth on the defensive line. The consistency and performance of the secondary. On the defensive line: “Sean Cwynar has to come up big for us. Hafis Williams has to come up big for us. Brandon Newman has to come up big for us.”

* The initial depth chart was distributed, but Kelly added that the depth gave good reason to not get too focused on who was listed where. “You’re going to see a lot of players,” Kelly said, “So I wouldn’t get too married to the two-deep right now. That’s a starting point only.”

When asked about the best positional battles that’ll take place in fall camp, Kelly pointed to the inside linebacker position next to Manti Te’o. “McDonald, Posluszny, Paskorz, that’s going to be an interesting one.”

While going back to the 10 players for five spots on the offensive line, he also mentioned the competition at safety. “McCarthy, Motta, Slaughter, and Harrison Smith. That’d be another area.”

* If anybody is worried that some of the disciplinary hiccups that took place over the summer would roll into the football season, fear not: “We’ve already handled it internally,” Kelly said. “We’ve already addressed it.”

* One of the more telling things Kelly mentioned was just the focus that he and the coaches were showing towards reminding the players just how important it was to be a part of the tradition of Notre Dame football.

“I think I’ve already gt the message across to them,” Kelly said. “We’re here for Our Lady. We’re here for Notre Dame. There’s only one way to play this game, with great passion and spirit, to play for your teammates and your university… The rest of it takes care of itself.”

  1. TLNDMA - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I thought the most telling comments from Kelly were when he was asked how the team was adjusting to the new staff’s styles and methods. The players seemed to adjust quickly and did not fight against change. This seems to suggest that these kids want to win badly and are willing to put their egos aside to accomplish that. It seems there are some natural leaders on this team Teo, Stewart and Crist.
    How about Stewart doing 23 pullups at 360lbs. YIKES!
    Kelly also said “the goal is to win every game.” That works for me coach.

  2. terry - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    4 weeks and counting. Labor Day weekend is going to be fun.
    But not for Purdue
    38-10

  3. Kimo Maui - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Notre Dame is already a 10 1/2 point favorite against Purdue…and we just start practice today! Go Irish!!!

  4. Chucket - Aug 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    To win for our University is great! But I have a deeper preoccupation. The entire football scenario (at all levels, all) results in polarized factions with gloating at the winners’ side, and loathing at the losers’ side…love/hate?
    There is NO place where EVERYBODY (from both sides) celebrate excellence on the field. No. It always ends up with one winner and one loser…and one side hating the winner, and the winners gloating over the smashed loser.
    As long as this occurs this way (adversarial style) there will never be harmony. Never.
    Why do sports occur in an adversarial mode instead of a harmonizing mode? Why can’t there be a sport where EVERY participant WINS? Why must there always be one crushed victim in all contests?

  5. Fish - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    Go look up the word “competition” in the dictionary. Do you know anything about sports? That’s why sports are so great, that’s why there fun. That’s why we work so HARD to at them. That’s the difference between Joe Montana and Ryan Leaf.

  6. SpankMonkey - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    ND …. please go away. No one give a $hit anymore except catholics and their pedophile leaders.

  7. ourlady$ - Aug 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Welcome back, the beginning of a new era! Don’t expect a miracle, but expect a National Championship!

  8. JamesDean - Aug 10, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    lol….takes one to know one…..turd.

  9. DocHR - Aug 11, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    Chucket, please, we get it. Sports isn’t the be-all, end-all for you. Sports glorify competition at the expense of a more peaceful world, one in which all the participants get a trophy (re: youth soccer leagues). But please, post about ND football. We’re just here for the fun. Don’t become the running joke of this blog.
    I’m with you: I want world peace, I wanted single-payer health care, i fight for the little guy. But this is ND football. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I come here for the fun.

  10. Coley - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    Kelly really seems to get what an Honor it is to play for the IRISH and is teaching that to the team. Notre Dame holds itself to the highest standards. Charicter, advance student, citizen and then football player.
    I love rooting for a team with such class. Best of IRISH luck this year, to coach Kelly and the team.
    -Always, NOTRE DAME

  11. Sgt. Moon - Aug 16, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Comment to SpankMonkey… With a name like SpankMonkey, the last thing you should be concerned about is pedophiles. Are any animals safe around you?

  12. indy - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    We will see! I have been a ND fan for longer than I can remember. I was excited when Charlie arrived, too excited that is for sure. Now I believe that Kelly will change a lot of things at ND but I am not going to be to over confident until I see this team improve and become the powerhouse they used to be.
    Crossing my fingers and saying a little prayer that we can once again where our ND appearel with dignity!!!

  13. dan e. - Aug 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    go irish

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