Mar 30, 2012, 3:24 PM EDT
For Notre Dame fans looking to get to know new safeties coach Bob Elliott, today is your day. After having coached and mentored co-defensive coordinators Bob Diaco and Kerry Cooks, Diaco was brought on to replace Chuck Martin, who transitioned to the offensive side of the ball. Elliott certainly is bona fide, having coordinated some of the nation’s top units at Iowa and Kansas State.
Tasked with replacing Harrison Smith with three safeties — Jamoris Slaughter, Zeke Motta, and Austin Collinsworth — that all earned significant playing time last season, Elliott will hopefully develop a position group that’ll need to help stabilize the cornerback position, where both Gary Gray and Robert Blanton are being replaced.
Working inside at the Loftus Center thanks to the spring’s first poor weather, today’s report is more of a compilation reel of the safety position. As usual, here are some thoughts and observations to get you through.
- 0:15 — No weather report, no problem, for Jack Nolan. Sporting double-adidas with the Mike Brey inspired mock-neck and that funky mustard gold, Jack keeps it fresh, per usual.
- 0:50 — You tend to forget, but Zeke Motta sure looks good in his uniform. He’d be one of the first guys I’d have getting off the bus.
- 1:16 — Nice to hear from Bob Elliott. Haven’t had the chance to talk to him yet, but have heard nothing but good things out him.
- 1:48 — No mention of fifth-year safety Danny McCarthy. I’m still waiting for the lightbulb to go on for him, even if I’m all alone sitting in this dark room. Either way, he was an amazingly talented two-way prep star.
- 2:35 — There’s McCarthy (#15) in warm-up drills.
- 2:42 — We’re supposed to be watching Jamoris Slaughter swarming to the football, but that’s a pretty impressive throw by Gunner Kiel across the field, showing a ton of arm strength.
- 2:54 — That’s Matthias Farley (#41) getting coached up. He’s a pretty physical looking player, as we noticed a few practice reports ago.
- 3:20 — That’s Elliott (back to us) tight ends coach Scott Booker, and director of football ops Chad Klunder yucking it up after practice and talking Kardashians. (You aren’t the only one who is surprised that I just typed that. I’ll defer to Jon Hamm on the subject.)
- 4:25 — Great moment with Elliot and Zeke Motta, who drops a throw at the end of agility drills. “Zeke, you’re going to get about 10 to 15 chances at interceptions this year,” Elliott said. “You’ve got to get them all.” Truer words haven’t been spoken about an Irish defense desperately in need of forcing turnovers.
- 4:42 — Elliott coaching up the Irish defensive backs on taking a proper angle. It might seem basic for some Irish fans, but when Denard Robinson is running around in the open field, this is a good lesson to fall back on.
- 6:40 — Gotta hold onto that one, Danny.
- 6:48 — Bengal Bouts champ Chris Salvi (#24) and Robby Toma (#9) in a nice little collision.
- 6:55 — That’s werewolf Austin Collinsworth (#28) delivering the blow with CB Josh Atkinson (#43)
- 7:00 — My guy Luke Massa (#14) winning the collision with Zeke Motta. Gotta believe the odds-makers got that one wrong.
- 7:10 — Jalen Brown (#21) and Daniel Smith (#87). Jalen has the look of a football player. Now we’ll see if he can play.
- 7:15 — The rematch goes to Zeke, powering Massa back.
- 7:22 — Nice rebound by Josh Atkinson too, standing up Collinsworth.
- 8:15 — Scott Booker getting excited. Nice to see.
- The good, the bad and the ugly: The 86th annual Blue-Gold game 60
- Five things we learned: Gold 36, Blue 34 76
- Pregame Six Pack: Finishing spring practice strong 3
- Even without guarantee, Kelly expects Golson to return next season 107
- Grace opens up about the long road back 44
- Irish QB battle with (understandably) head into fall camp 12