Tuesdays with BK: Navy edition


As he does every Tuesday, Brian Kelly threw on a suit and addressed the assembled media for his weekly press conference. On tap this week, a date with the pesky Naval Academy.

Here’s a snippet of what BK said:


As usual, here are a few observations:

During an interesting exchange, Kelly was asked about the difference in using a 3-4 alignment against the triple-option as opposed to using a 4-3, with Eric Hansen asking if in theory, a 3-4 is a better fit against Navy’s attack.

Kelly agreed:

“I think you could probably make the case for it. We’ve defended in four
down and three down. We’ll continue to blend and mix up,” Kelly said. “It still comes
down to assignment football, getting off blocks whether you’re in the
three down or four down. Provided you start with the premise that you’re
fundamentally sound. After that, three down, four down, you’re still
defending inside out across the board.”

I’m glad that Kelly made it known that he’ll vary the looks against Navy’s option, something the Irish didn’t seem to do last year. As Kelly said, assignment-correct football is more important than alignment, but giving the Navy offense varied looks and reads is a smart move.


For all the talk that’s been around about Kelly getting into the ear of this player or that one, number one on the list might be a guy you never suspected: Back-up quarterback — and chief signal caller — Brian Castello, who claims he’s the most yelled at player on the roster.

“That’s probably true. I would probably give him that,” Kelly said. “He’s way too smart for me anyway.

“Funny story, we have pass pictures that we give out. It’s probably that
thick, it’s probably 35 pages of pass pictures, all of the diagrams of
every play. He will digest those and find any error in them within 30
seconds.  So if you need your taxes done, that guy — or maybe you don’t want him to do your taxes, but he’s pretty good.”

Castello works as a grader/corrector in Mathematics department, so I’m guessing he’s one-part back-up quarterback, one-part Good Will Hunting.


Kelly expanded on a bit of coaching jargon this afternoon when he talked about Carlo Calabrese’s difficulty playing the curl routes against Western Michigan.

“His responsibility is the curl,” Kelly said. “If you have a drive route underneath or
you have a divot route that is at your level and then bouncing out on to
the flat, you want to chase that because they want to throw the ball
over on the curl route, and he got baited a couple of times.

“The funny thing about it is after the game we ran the same route during
the week and he didn’t fall for it. But that is the nature of football.
18, 19, 21-year-olds not getting caught up in the emotion of the moment,
but staying with what they’ve been coached. He didn’t handle the
emotion of the moment, and consequently there were some completions
there that shouldn’t have been made.”

Carlo has made some great strides this year, but difficulties playing the pass are part of the evolution of becoming a complete linebacker.


Zack Martin is shifting back to left tackle, regardless of whether or not Taylor Dever is healthy.

“We’ll move Zack back to left tackle, and Romine will battle that out,” Kelly said of the right tackle battle.
“Romine’s had two very good consistent weeks. Taylor’s been out, so you
can imagine there may be a little bit of rust there. So both those guys
will battle that position and Zack will move back over to the left,
backed up by Andrew Nuss.”

Good for Matt Romine, who is playing well enough to push for playing time on the right side, and good for Kelly in letting everybody on the roster know that competition battles happen every week and at every position.


Think Shaq Evans is kicking himself? With injuries to both Mike Floyd and Theo Riddick, Shaq would likely be playing meaningful snaps instead of getting only practice reps with the scout team at UCLA.

If there’s reason to be hopeful that Kelly won’t see massive attrition after this season, it’s because he’s shown a willingness to play and develop depth and competition, things that the Charlie Weis regime didn’t seem to stress as much.  

Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”