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Spring Practice: Day Two report

Mar 23, 2012, 4:41 PM EDT


After doing my best to glean as much information out of three minutes of practice footage, we’re back at it with another bullet-point edition of’s wonderful practice reports. After giving us a brief overview of some of the obvious storylines this spring, Jack “Take the Charge” Nolan breaks down the linebackers, giving us a nice look at Manti Te’o’s gang, and defensive coordinator turned associate head coach Bob Diaco, whose hair is already having an outstanding spring season.

As we did last time, let’s run through this video and point out the things that may or may not interest you:

  • 0:15 — As Jack Nolan models another wonderful Adidas fleece, I noticed the weather in South Bend should be a little over 10 degrees warmer than the weather in Los Angeles, where showers are also expected. In other news, blue-chip running back Ty Isaac is in Los Angeles visiting USC this weekend.
  • 0:50 — Say what you will about fifth-year senior Mike Golic, but he’s shown good leadership. That’s him breaking down the team with their ND Football jump.
  • 1:02 — In the first seconds of the linebacker preview, you see the exact difference between Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese. Fox looks comfortable in a coverage drill. Calabrese not as much.
  • 1:24 — That’s Danny (or now Dan?) Spond getting Bob Diaco‘s heart pumping with proper “block destruction” technique. I swung and missed on my Spond predictions last year, but a few more two-second clips and he’ll get me back on his bandwagon.
  • 1:30 — Ishaq Williams looks really impressive in shorts. Still learning, but you can’t teach the size and athleticism he has.
  • 1:50 — After seeing Brian Kelly get into the QB race, we get Diaco’s submission. Is it possible that Diaco has shot forward in time from the late 50s, where he and Don Draper swam together at the athletic club?
  • 2:06 — I really think the coaching staff did a good job getting preferred walk-on Joe Schmidt to Notre Dame. He’s lacking elite size, but he’s the kind of player that helps you win football games. Plus, he’s from a really good Orange County high school program. That can’t hurt.
  • 2:11 — Manti Te’o looks pretty good in coverage drills. Carlo, not as much. Fox, the best of the group.
  • 2:40 — Kendall Moore won’t make a living playing in coverage. But I’ve got a feeling that when Te’o graduates it’ll be Moore that steps in and makes plays immediately. He’s going to be a good one, just needs to stay patient.
  • 2:47 — For a converted defensive lineman, Justin Utupo looks pretty good in coverage. Another guy I think could end up having a nice career.
  • 3:20 — Nice to at least get a look at Jarrett Grace, Ben Councell, and Anthony Rabasa.
  • 3:30 — Nolan mentions the defense has gotten better in each of the last two seasons. This year, they’ve got to get some turnovers. That’s been the big difference.
  • 4:55 — Quick, don’t blink or you’ll miss ones vs. ones. That’s Theo Riddick looking mighty comfortable taking a handoff from Tommy Rees. That’s the type of explosion you didn’t see when he was getting run down by a Navy defensive back.
  • 5:02 — Welcome to college football, Jarrett Grace. See that tight end that just ran by you down the seam? That’s Tyler Eifert. You may want to keep an eye on him, and maybe even get an autograph later.



There should be plenty more highlights this weekend, when the Irish put on gear for the first time, in front of an elite crew of junior recruits no less. Saturday’s workout will likely give us a look in the trenches, where the right side of the offensive line is being rebuilt.

  1. barneysbullet - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    “Theo Riddick…type of explosiveness you didn’t see against Navy’s D-backs.”

    Maybe it’s just our defense that makes him look good….hmmm? 😉

  2. jimbasil - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM


    Every year, before with pads workouts, I read and hear comments from those who are allowed to visit ND practices the players look bigger or so’n’so is looks SEC big – phrases like that, and so far I don’t hear/see those types of comments. Is it now a norm to see ND players looking the physical part of big time college players or is it the opposite?

    Has Weis and Kelly done a thorough job in recruiting big physical players and that is what ND is now?

  3. dickasman - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I hear theyve been playing a lot of “let’s get physical physical” and “Eric Prydz call on me” videos in the locker rooms.

  4. dickasman - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    How’s Daniel smith looking? Is he still injured?

  5. degosavage23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Judging by what I’ve seen on the field and the clips in the video, I am much more comfortable with Fox than Calabrese. Riddick looks great at his natural position, great burst out of the backfield, speed around the edge. Manti looks like Manti, no surprise there. All-around defense looks good in drills, but in my opinion they need to be more concerned about picking the ball off than batting it down, we need to be much more successful in creating takeaways this year to help ease the pain of the turnovers (although hopefully those will be way down this year). I’m just ready to see the 11-on-11 drills in full pads and tackling. Wouldn’t you agree Nude?

    • jimbasil - Mar 23, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      I’ll take batted away passes if the other team can’t score because of it.

  6. degosavage23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Smith’s not hurt but we haven’t seen much of him in the videos thus far.

  7. nudeman - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Calaberse bad in coverage?

    Dog bites man.


    Thumbs down button is just below

    • dickasman - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      Is that same as like when marv Albert bit the flight attendant from way downtown?

      Nude just make sure Davonte stays in shape. I dont want him enrolling all pudgy

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Will do what I can but I think his dad has a pretty tight grasp of that situation
        Probably no need for me to make an in home visit

  8. irishdodger - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Can any of our LBs provide adequate pass coverage?

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM


  9. danno27 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Keith I’m sure you intended to use the photo of Diaco from last year’s spring practices, but I’m not sure why.

    UNLESS, it’s because we’re lacking some – turnover[s]?

  10. modellforprez - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    does NBC own notre dame how come they get their own thingy majiggy and the 500 or so other colleges get nathan but penetration smell that john q. smells like teen spirit ala uncle jerry. ohh whatchi gonna do now

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Dogg, think you’re on the wrong board

  11. mungman69 - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM


  12. fnc111 - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    To think if Kelly wouldve built an offense around a stud QB like Crist for two years where this program would be right now. Mediocre TR and mediocre BK have not helped at all. Wonder if this defense will ever create turnovers? If they don’t we will be lucky to go 6-6 with zero quarterback this season. Lynch and co. Can help this team by setting the table. 8-4 if the D steps up. Gunner has to learn fast, that’s my gut feeling, or Kelly will be looking for a TV job or another coaching gig soon.

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Keith says if TR can improve on the deep ball (unlikely) that ND will be “just fine” with him as QB

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