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Tuesdays with BK: Purdue edition

Sep 4, 2012, 7:52 PM EDT

Everett Golson Getty Images

If you expected head coach Brian Kelly to be excited about Notre Dame jumping into both the AP and Coaches Poll at No. 22, you might be disappointed. When asked if it was something he paid attention to, Notre Dame’s head coach was pretty succinct.

“White noise,” Kelly said. “White noise.”

With in-state rival Purdue set to come to South Bend on Saturday, Kelly had his usual Tuesday press conference where he updated media members on the status of the Irish and also shed some light on what’s going to happen at the quarterback position now that Tommy Rees is eligible to work his way back into the rotation.

Here’s the entire 33 minutes, courtesy of If you don’t have time to watch that, I’ll cherry pick a few sections I found interesting.



While both Carlo Calabrese and Tommy Rees were suspended for the opening game of the 2012 season, only Rees was exiled to taking individual reps during their time off. The logic behind it was obvious, considering the Irish staff needed to let Everett Golson battle Andrew Hendrix for the starting job, and give them both the necessary reps to beat Navy.

But with Golson now comfortably holding onto the starter’s job, the battle for No. 2 starts in earnest, with Rees now needing to get caught up on the field.

“I think both of them have to get some work, but Tommy probably needs the most work at this time,” Kelly said of his junior back-ups. “Both those guys will share reps. But it will be, for me, more about making sure that we get Tommy up to a level where he can be sharp if he’s in a position where he had to go into the game, and I don’t know if he’s got enough work yet.”

Kelly hasn’t made the decision on who would go into the game if Golson went down, but after watching Hendrix against Navy — where he put up decent numbers with 4 of 5 passing, but immediately pulled the ball down and ran at the first sign of trouble — Rees likely is the best choice if push came to shove. (After all, he did beat Purdue soundly last season.)

Kelly was pretty complimentary of the work Rees has done this fall when he’s been relegated to the sidelines and an advisory role to Golson, his fall camp roommate.

“Tommy is a very valuable player to our program,” Kelly said. He’s got a lot of experience and we are happy to have him.

“He’s a young man who really handled himself very well in a very tough set of circumstances. I think we all know that. He was a great teammate, that’s all I would tell you. He was a great teammate. He handled himself the right way.”


After stepping in a steaming pile of backlash with his field turf comments and previously speaking about needed to help make the home game atmosphere better at Notre Dame Stadium, Kelly deftly sidestepped any more trouble when given the opportunity to make additional suggestions for helping to make the home field a louder, more hostile, place.

“No way. No way,” Kelly said with a chuckle. “I think it’s up to me to provide a better atmosphere in that stadium. We win games, it will be nice and loud.”


There were a lot of concerns over the coverage the Irish secondary displayed when chasing down Navy wide receivers. When asked to comment on the play of Bennett Jackson and the secondary in general, Kelly helped explain the difficulty that comes along with playing a team like Navy.

“It’s hard because you’re defending man-to-man essentially on double and triple moves,” Kelly said. “So you look like a center fielder that’s had to back up looking for a baseball. It’s hard because you’re not in your back pedal, it’s not as structured.”

Kelly said everybody played disciplined for the most part and that freshman KeiVarae Russell slipped while in press coverage, leading to one of Navy’s long receptions.


While CBS might have whiffed on a few talking points during last Saturday’s broadcast, they brought up a really interesting tidbit when talking about Golson. In an effort to get his young quarterback to grasp the enormity of being the starting quarterback for Notre Dame, Brian Kelly pulled out the Heisman Trophy acceptance speech of Robert Griffin III.

“What I talked about was that playing the quarterback position at Notre Dame is more than what you do on the field,” Kelly said. “I used Robert Griffin as a great example as an ambassador of college football and I said, listen all you have to do is look at his Heisman acceptance speech and how he was able to articulate his experience and how it was more than just playing the game.”

Here’s a brief snippet of Griffin’s acceptance speech. Pretty moving stuff.

“This moment is unbelievably believable,” Griffith said during his acceptance speech. “It’s unbelievable, because in the moment, we’re all amazed when great things happen. But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work. The great coach Art Briles said, ‘Great things don’t come without great effort,’ and we’ve certainly worked for this.

“That’s why everybody associated with Baylor University has a reason to celebrate tonight. I’d like to thank my teammates. As we say, the hotter the heat, the harder the steel. No pressure, no diamonds. We compete, we win. We are Baylor. Baylor we are and Baylor we’ll always be. But it’s up to us to define what that means. And this Heisman Trophy is only the beginning of this process.”

Great, concise words by one of college football’s best players of recent memory.

  1. dudeacow - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Keith, I just want to let you know what a great job you do. For my ND football fix, I check Inside the Irish, ESPN, Bleacherreport, Irish Eyes, Irish Sports Daily, and and I find your posts the most informative, well-written, thorough, and funny. Keep up the good work!

  2. gtizzo - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    CBS and there commentators sounded unprepared, and completely unprofessional. They lacked knowledge of the Irish team and its players. At least they got a majority of the players names right…I guess that left that to Tom Hammond to screw up.

  3. cpfirish - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Yea what is the deal with NBC. Tom Hammond is the best they can do? Mike mayock does a good job..

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      Hammond looks like they do his makeup at the local mortuary.

    • gtizzo - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      Hammond I could almost live with but Pat Hayden? I’m glad he moved on to be AD at USC. Putting him in the both to cover ND games was insulting. He was the one who lead the infamous “come back” in 1974. Mayock is alright, but I would prefer an ND alumni.

      • dickasman - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:27 AM

        I agree, while I like pat haden, there was just something soooo dam wrong w having USC graduate. I agree, I don’t see why we can’t have nd graduate up in the booth. Perhaps Allen “dickasman” pinkett?

        Seriously, who can we get? Aaron Taylor? Tim brown? Who else is there? Pete bercich?

      • dickasman - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        You know who I think would be good is good ol rocket ismail

  4. idratherbeinsouthbend - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM


    I know after reading keith’s article, you’ll want to lash out….but let’s see how much you’ve really grown as a person over these last few weeks. Excercise restraint in all things that may give you heartburn or indigestion within Keith’s article.

    • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    • fentocamarillo - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Idratherbe….I must have missed the “Headline News” this morning. Hell did freeze over???? There is less than a zero percent chance that Nude can exercise sufficient restraint when it comes to TR. But, the challenge has been issued, hasn’t it? Let the games begin!

      • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

  5. cpfirish - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Wish Charlie Jones was still alive! He was the best play by play ever. Wow that was a day or two ago..

  6. cpfirish - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    I am wondering if BK is going to let EG through a few more passes this game. Like going over the middle and down the field. If not i still don’t think Purdue can stop our running game. I am okay will EG throwing the quick strikes. I was very happy with EG the first game.
    And to NUDEMAN. TR is done. Mop up duties now bud.. Let’s pray EG doesn’t get hurt..
    Go Irish!

  7. mtflsmitty - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Sometimes things just work out. Big brother has 2 tickets for ND/Purdue. And now I have a client meeting in Chicago on Friday. Clean livin’, boys (and Jennifer). Clean livin’.

    • Jennifer - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:41 AM

      Thanks for the inclusion mitfismitty. Glad your ‘Clean livin’ paid off and hope it rewards you with a good seat and a blow-out! I’ll be rattling around the place myself!

  8. joeschu - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Just watched… I think way too much is being made of the Rees situation. BK, deservedly, heaped praise on the guy for showing maturity and a team-first attitude, but also was quite clear that Everett is showing the kind of poise, maturity, and leadership he wants out of that position. I think it has to be a total disaster for Everett or a massive blow out before you see Rees get a ton of snaps. At least I’m going to tell myself that, because this is the year of optimism.

    I really like that BK withheld everyone from the media this week and called the ranking white noise. The previous regimes weren’t as diligent as they needed to be in guarding against overconfidence, and I think that culture leads teams to seize up under adversity. Let’s hope this squad shows more poise. I also really like that he withheld what they were working on this week. I’m firmly in the camp that we saw about 1/10th of the playbook on Saturday. You saw 4 staples:
    1) Jump ball fade to Eifert in the end zone
    2) The 3-layer flood sprint out where Koyak had the drop and Hercules nearly scored
    3) The zone read option, although Everett pre-determined “give” every time.
    4) The jailbreak flanker screen to TJ

    The best part: they didn’t have to show any of the wrinkles on those plays. They didn’t have a single play-action pass, they didn’t do anything downfield with Riddick or Eifert leaking out on the backside, and they didn’t give any sort of sluggo look off that quick-screen.

    I’m really impressed (again, an optimist) that BK is playing the longer game here. He knows he’s laying down tape and he’s giving teams the keys he wants to give so that the wrinkles are there when he needs them. If the O-line keeps playing like this, we may not need those wrinkles for a while. The longer you hold stuff like that in the pocket, the better the chance of cashing in on a big play when it counts.

  9. mtndguy - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I’d rather see Hendrix pull the ball and run at the first sign of trouble, than see Tommy Rees throw another interception. What’s so bad about someone like Hendrix, who has the ability to run, to do just that, run?

    • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      If that’s all AH was doing that would be fine
      But he was panicking and running when the pocket wasn’t collapsing

      • waydomer - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        So Nude, does this mean that you think TR should be the number 2 guy, and the main guy if EG goes down?

      • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM


        No. NFC. Not even close.
        And the “main guy” never again.

        AH, despite the flaws would be the best choice
        If they can put in a game plan that emphasizes safe throws and the running game for EG, then they can do it for AH.

        But let’s face it: If the situation is such that they’re down by 10 in the 4th quarter, neither is a great choice.

        And I didn’t even mention “his” name.

    • dmac4real - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      AH is a robot.

  10. 1historian - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    nudie – are you sure you weren’t loadofwash in another dimension? (Long ago and far far away!!)

    CBS’ coverage was amateur hour. Most of the last quarter was cameos and shots of the crowd WHILE THE GAME WAS GOING ON (hint hint)

    BK is getting smarter every week – both as a coach and handling the press.

    Week 1 – we kicked butt on a clearly inferior team.

    Week 2 – A team not as good as us but can give us a LOT more trouble than Navy. They will have chips on their shoulders – as they should if they read anything like this blog.

    • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      I’m not connecting the dots in your question (as to whether I’m loadofwash)
      – Because I leveled a mild but obvious criticism at AH?
      – Because I said on the broadcast Danielson was actually pretty good? (He was) It was Lundquist who stunk
      – Because of something else?
      – Because of EVERYTHING else?

      For the record, I am not loadofwash, but I do like that name
      And you’ll also note that I have taken no bait on a certain QB
      Keeping my word, son

      By the way, re: AH, I have started to see comments on other sites that echo my sentiments about him being miscast at QB.
      I believe the more we see of him, the more steam that will pick up.

  11. roughingthecenter - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I still think I’d rather have AH as the backup than TR. Even though he’s robotic and scrambles at the first sign of trouble. He also did seem to spark the team against Stanford last year, even though he had limited experience. Don’t forget he barely threw the ball in high school so he’s more of a project QB. Watching Rees against good competition was insanely frustrating. The good news is that there’s at least two backups with valuable experience.

    Even with all of TR’s god awful plays from last year, the play that put me over the edge was against Stanford. Right after Fleming’s pick on a 3rd and goal, Rees scrambles and has ~5 yards to the end zone, no one near him, by the time he travels 4 yards towards the goal line, a defender caught him from behind. I’m convinced he is the only QB in the country that wouldn’t have scored there. Mobility is so important. Even the elite passing QBs have decent mobility, not necessarily speed, but the ability to extend plays.

    • nudeman - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      No comment

  12. loadofwash - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Who gives a crap. This team blows.

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