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Back to football: Practice report video

Aug 17, 2012, 2:21 PM EDT

Cierre Wood Pitt

Can we purge yesterday’s Shamrock Series uniforms and get back to football? Let’s hope so. Until early October, let’s just not speak of that helmet, which can go hide in the corner of the internet with the FreakBass video for all I care.

But on to football!

Yesterday, we got our first (and only) look at the assistant coaches, with local media getting their chance to catch up with the reassembled coaching staff, and a selection of players.

But before that, the Irish practiced inside the Loftus Sports Center. As usual, Jack Nolan and the team were there keeping eyes on everything for us.

Here’s the video. As usual, you’ll get my observations below:



0:15 — The honorable Jack Nolan mentions it’s the 15th practice of fall. By my very amateur calculations, expect the “installation” period of camp to be over. As head coach Brian Kelly mentioned, the Irish begin preparing for Navy on Monday. (As you’ll see later in the video, they might have started already…)

0:38 — Come on Jake Golic (88). You can’t dance along? And what’s up with that big cast on your right hand?

1:08 –Time to wake up, Kapron Lewis-Moore. Time for practice…

1:12 — Enjoy this time of year, Irish fans. Ben Turk (35) still hasn’t missed a punt yet. (Snark over.) Kelly mentioned yesterday that Turk has had a great camp.

1:14 — Set to the soundtrack of a Wes Anderson movie, we see Theo Riddick (6) working on the punt return drills we’ve heard mentioned. The senior will get another shot at returning punts this year, after short-circuiting last season early with a few muffed kicks.

1:26 — Great flow, Bob Diaco.

1:29 — Nice cut and run by Riddick, bursting through a hole.

1:32 — Our first Tommy Rees sighting of the year. The quarterback, exiled for game one, and basically held out of drills for much of camp, hands the ball of to Cierre Wood (20).

1:33 — Rapid fire edits! Tyler Eifert (80) beating Josh Atkinson (43) on the underthrown go-route. TJ Jones (7) beating Lo Wood (23) on the slant. Chris Brown (2) having a pass knocked from his hands by Bennett Jackson (2). Eifert beating Jalen Brown (21). That was so easy it should be illegal.

1:40 — Pass rusher Ishaq Williams (11) would’ve had Everett Golson (5) dead to rights before holding up. Getting some productivity in that area from Williams would be huge.

1:42Andrew Hendrix (12) hits Eifert for a nice gain.

1:47 — That’s Davonte Neal (19) catching the quick out.

1:49Manti Te’o sniffs out another screen pass, laying off George Atkinson (4), instead of putting him into orbit.

1:53 — If the Irish can get more of this out of Davaris Daniels (10), there could be some promise in the passing game this year. That’s just plain and simple beating Jackson one-on-one for a big play.

2:02 — Rapid Fire! Robby Toma (9) trying to put a juke on Ishaq, Golson properly executing the option (?!?) against Romeo Okwara (45), and Kapron Lewis-Moore (89) using Matt Hegarty as a turnstyle on his way to a sack of Hendrix.

2:15 — Is it possible for a wide receiver to be handsy? Well, John Goodman (81) definitely fits the bill, winning the war of hand-checking with Atkinson before making an easy catch on an underthrown ball.

2:17Daniel Smith (87) getting a nice release off the line of scrimmage and beating KeiVarae Russell (6) easily on the slant.

2:30 — Team Up-Downs. One thing I’ll never miss from my football career. And also a good look at part of the No. 1 unit: Shembo, KLM, Kona Schwenke, Stephon Tuitt, Te’o and Ben Councell (30).

2:44Cierre Wood (20) also getting some reps in the return game. Always a showman that Cierre.




  1. bernhtp - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I noticed the team practiced inside because it was raining. They should have taken the opportunity to practice in the rain. Ireland isn’t called “the emerald isle” because it is arid. Good chance of rain.

  2. runners00 - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Okay, I just read the Rick Reilly article. I mean, it is great in the sense that it raises good points about the state of the football program: we lost to Tulsa & South Florida. We allowed Southern Cal to run the last seven minutes off the game clock while trailing by two TDs. We’ve blown up the fundamentals, turning the ball over way too often and not staying in games we need to win.

    We are getting decent recruits. We simply must play much, much better. And I’m sorry but it’s a bit disappointing that Kelly has no starting quarterback. We have a five-star recruit (and the number one QB in the nation last year); we have two very strong quarterbacks in Golson and Hendrix; and we have last year’s starter, but we have no decision on who is getting the starting job even though all the guys played in the spring and have played for the first two weeks of fall practice.

    Whatever. The best guy should win — and the kid should have time to work w/ the first-team offense before the Navy game.

    • bernhtp - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Who says there has been no decision about the starting QB? You just don’t know what it is because BK doesn’t want/need to publicly discuss it. There is already a separation in snap percentage with the first team and this will increase in the next week. However, the #2 still needs lots of reps for all of the obvious reasons.

      • papadec - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Right on bern – nothing to be gained by giving the opposition defense anymore time & practices knowing who will start @ QB.

      • runners00 - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        To hide the quarterback from Navy? Really? You actually think that they’ve named a starter but haven’t announced it to the media? Come on, now.

  3. jomilly - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    bern/papa, absolutely crazy!!!! If we have to worry about Navy knowing our qb, we should expect a long year. I agree it should be done by now. should we also hide who our the rest of our starters are, maybe that will help also.

    • bernhtp - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      Who says it has anything to do with Navy? While it might, I bet it has more with maintaining the competitive fire than anything. Anyway, what benefit does the team gain in telling you?

      BTW, learn to press the correct reply button to maintain some semblance of organization.

    • nudeman - Aug 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      We’re holding back on the decision because we don’t want NAVY, EFFING NAVY to know?

      Come on

      Maybe I’m on the wrong page, but I thought this was a University of Notre Dame page

      • bernhtp - Aug 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM

        I’ll let Kelly answer the question:

      • bernhtp - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        One needs to respect all opponents. For example, said that their practice coverage will diminish because it’s preparation for Navy. Regardless, the team already knows about the starting QB from what they’ve seen, Kelly will formally tell the QBs about the decision on Monday along with their roles in Navy preparation, and will likely publicly disclose it on Tues during his weekly press conference.

      • irishbornraised - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        bern, that’s a 40 minute clip you just posted, mind telling us where to skip to?

      • bernhtp - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM

        Irish: the relevant section is at 4:58.

        The link I posted actually was set to start at that point, but apparently WordPress removes the time-start arguments when it converts the link. I really don’t like WordPress for blogging. I has lots of problems like this.

  4. jomilly - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    makes tons of sense bern, they should never say whos number one for “competitive fire” hate to tell you that once you are the starter, you have to keep your job. But go on with your semblance of organzation you tool!!

  5. cameronemclaughlin - Aug 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Golson looked slick running that option.

    I’m expecting whoever comes out of top of this QB competition to have a huge game against Navy.

    • irishbornraised - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      The other side of it is that Okwara didn’t look too good/ didn’t have his backup in the right place. I’m more worried about defending the option than running it. Really don’t want to give fuel to Rick Reilly’s fire with another loss to Navy.

  6. idratherbeinsouthbend - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    I think that press conference yesterday made it all but certain that EG is the starter. He spoke on the improvements that EG has made multiple times and made no comments on AH. Probably the most glowing statement was the 126 pass attempts with only ONE interception…but he also made other comments about comparing QBs and picking the starter that would lean toward EG as well.

    As for not naming the starter, I’m with Bern. No need to tip our hand to anyone, Navy or otherwise. It’s not that we NEED that competitive advantage over Navy, but why make their job of preparing easier?

    The truth is, we all want to know, but the only people that NEED to know are BK and the players. He also said in multiple statements yesterday that the reps in practice will begin to shift from 50/50 to a heavier dose for the guy they pick, but that ratio won’t skew too far and it will still be a competition.

    But, i think its a lock for game one….EG is the starter.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      This is some semblance of organization :)

      • bernhtp - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        Watch it! You might become a tool also.

    • bernhtp - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      In his statements on Media Day, Kelly said that he will be talking to the QBs about the starting role and practice reps for the week on Monday. I imagine he will announce it publicly in his weekly press conference on Tues.

      I’m mystified by the confusion and hostility.

    • runners00 - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      I mean it’s worked so well so far in BK’s tenure: hiding the starting quarterback. He didn’t announce Crist till about a week before South Florida last year. That worked out pretty well.

  7. tlndma - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    It looks like Golson’s the guy. I see no need for Kelly to make an announcement about it. That said, I don’t think much is gained by not saying who it will be.
    There seems to be much less film and much less time for the media, at practices this year. Can our opponents really gleam that much information from a few practice videos? Are our weaknesses so obvious that a couple of plays on video will tip the scales against us? Or, is Kelly gonna have some suprises and changes that will make a big difference come Sept. 1 ?
    For whatever the reasons it sure seems like a much more covert operation this year.

    • bernhtp - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      I really don’t see a big difference between the information last year and this except that more of it comes out nicely packaged through

  8. nchdomer - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    The selection of a QB has probably already been made and the team likely knows who it is, even if not official. The reason I would suspect behind not announcing the starter has more to do with the quarterback competition and less from a strategic advantage standpoint. In other words, until you know for sure who the starter is, you will give that much more effort trying to become the starter. Once a starter is named, human nature being what it is, the non-starters might have a slight drop off in their effort knowing they can no longer impress the coaches enough to change the decision (at least for the moment). The delay in the formal announcement gives everyone hope and keeps them competing at their highest level. At least that is my take on what is happening.
    I think this will be an exciting and surprising season. My hope is that the turnovers decrease and the head-scratching coaching decisions disappear. Until the 4th quarter collapse, ND was clearly better than Michigan last year. And the team should have beaten FSU and was in the game against USC. Bad luck and prevent defenses hurt the Irish. Kelly and Diaco do seem to be growing as coaches. Quietly there seems to be changes taking place in coaching philosophy (e.g. recognizing the value of a running game) that were not evident in year one when they seemed entrenched in their coaching decisions. Would very much like to see this coaching staff succeed.

    • irishbornraised - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      This was probably neutralized by last year’s QB situation
      At least there’s an upside

  9. mcirish27 - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Hahaha, forgot about freakbass. Yikes, nightmares….

  10. nudeman - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    1) Irrelevant when they announce. Decision is done. Just listened to Podcast
    Barring a broken bone in the next 2 weeks, it’s Golson. 100%

    2) Once again I heard the name “Rees” and “meaningful snap” in the same sentence, as in “he’ll never take another one”. Consensus is (per Sampson and Prister) that the offense has moved so far past what he can do that there’s no turning back. Pocket moving, throwing on the run, etc.

    3) Re #2, any tears I shed will be tears of joy.


  11. mtflsmitty - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Driving home with my son after his first scrimmage of the year. He looks over at me with sweat-soaked hair and pads still on and says, “Almost time for the Irish, Dad. I can’t wait.”. Immediately made me think of diving over backs of leave and the voice in my head urging, “Pinket over the top!”. Ugly helmets? Reilly? Announcing starting QB too early/too late? Who cares!? ND football again in just 14 days! It’s all about what’s possible again!

    I can’t wait either, son.

  12. ajw21 - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    The fans want to know who the qb is? Kelly doesn’t care. Why name a starter before the game plan practices start? It doesn’t do anyone any good. The players can read between the lines. They know who is starting and Kelly doesn’t need to announce it. Its not about keeping Navy confused. Why announce a starting before the week before? Not naming a starter keeps everyone competing focused. Don’t gripe about not knowing yet cus your impatient.

  13. turknd - Aug 18, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    10 & 2

  14. irishbornraised - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    A BK Qb doesn’t necessarily need to be a speed demon, just needs to be able to buy time and make throws on the run. Also, The deep ball makes this offense look like a totally different scheme from what’s happened with TR.

    • nudeman - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Irish offense under TR

  15. irishbornraised - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    This one’s pretty much out in left field
    Who knows?

  16. 1historian - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    I know I am violating some unwritten rule by saying one more thing about the uniflrms.

    Here goes.

    IMO the classiest uniforms in all of sport, pro and amateur, are the home uniforms of the New York Yankees.

    The pinstripes, no numbers on the back, and basically like that for about 60 years. Still far and away the classiest.

    • runners00 - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      Obviously. I don’t even think it’s close and I admit this as a Minnesota Twins fan.

    • nudeman - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Top 5 uniforms all sports, no particular order
      NY Yankees (though I detest all NY teams)
      Montreal Canadiens
      Chicago Blackhawks
      LA Dodgers
      USC (pains me to do that)

      Close but not quite
      Boston Celtics road
      Toronto Maple Leafs home
      SF Giants
      Chicago Bulls
      U of Texas home (love that burnt orange)

  17. bernhtp - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Good article on Golson.,0,5300686,full.story

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