Apr 2, 2013, 7:35 AM EDT
I’m not sure if it’s me slacking or the FIDM team, but it dawned on me that I’m a little behind on the video breakdowns from spring practice. Let’s get right into it and breakdown the past two videos, which featured some interesting looks at the Irish getting physical and some clues as to what the offense might look like in the near future.
Again, anything shown on a team sponsored video has likely been cleared for public consumption, but at this time of year, any glimpse is better than none.
Here’s a frame-by-frame look at March 25th’s practice video, where we saw some physical work as the Irish donned pads for the first time.
0:11 — That’s Ben Koyack (#18) blocking a linebacker (I’m guessing Ben Councell), as George Atkinson bursts through the hole.
0:15 — Freshman Mike Heuerman (#9) goes head up with cornerback Lo Wood (#23) who makes a nice play on the running back darting through the hole.
0:18 — Impressive work by Ishaq Williams (#11), who stands up Troy Niklas (#85) in the hole and stops the ball carrier in the backfield. Any worries about Williams holding up as a down lineman certainly seem alleviated for one snap, as he did a nice job handling Niklas, a pretty imposing specimen.
0:21 — Looks like chaos. Safeties John Turner (#31) and Matthias Farley (#41) stackup against James Onwualu (#17) and Daniel Smith (#87) before Farley slips Smith and makes a nice play on running back Amir Carlisle (#3).
0:27 — Elijah Shumate (#22), Jalen Brown (#21) and Josh Atkinson (#24) go head up with blockers as Malik Zaire (#8) makes a deep handoff to Will Mahone (#32).
0:32 — Cam McDaniel (#33) does a nice job following the pancake block of tackle Zack Martin (#70).
0:36 — That’s Chris Brown (#2) running a pattern that ISN’T a go-route.
0:43 — A wide view of Manti Te’o’s replacement, junior linebacker Jarrett Grace (#59) taking on a block and making a tackle. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco looks fired up.
0:46 — If I had to guess, that’s a zoomed-in look at the exact same snap we saw at the 0:27 mark. (That’s why I make the big bucks, folks…)
0:51 — Senior tight end Alex Welch (#82) looks pretty mobile for a guy still making his way back from ACL surgery.
0:58 — Fun watching a lefty quarterback fling it around. Zaire seems to have a pretty throwing stroke.
1:03 — That’s Ben Councell (#30), Ishaq Williams (#11) and Romeo Okwara (#45) fighting blocks as they stack up Cam McDaniel.
1:09 — Jumbo edition, as Tyler Stockton (#92), Kona Schwenke (#96) and Sheldon Day (#91) win a battle at the line of scrimmage.
1:13 — Remember last spring when many expected Andrew Hendrix (#12) to be Notre Dame’s quarterback of the future? Now the third option, Hendrix delivers a strike to Troy Niklas.
1:17 — That’s Everett Golson throwing strikes on the move to James Onwualu (#17) and Corey Robinson (#88).
1:28 — Sheldon Day tosses aside Matt Hegarty, making his blocker look silly. Then George Atkinson returns the favor, hitting the e-brake as Day flies right by him, with a ridiculous juke move.
(Look carefully enough and we get our last look at Davonte Neal, who was quick to celebrate with Atkinson.)
Here’s a look at the mini-update from March 27.
0:08 — A nice extended look at Davaris Daniels (#10), who in all likelihood will be the Irish’s No. 1 receiver next season. Daniels does a nice job shaking Lo Wood, then does a nice job talking about it — mic’ed up at practice.
Daniels goes one-on-one with Eilar Hardy (#4) in a blocking drill, one of our limited looks at Hardy, who should be back to full health after a knee injury.
0:40 — Your standard blocking video. Not much more to add here, though we do get the feeling that freshman Onwualu is more than just a willing participant, as he gives Matthias Farley all that he can handle.
0:50 — Cam McDaniel sure looks good running the ball in daylight.
0:53 — That’s Everett Golson finding CJ Prosise (#20) on a short pass, then Joey Brooks (#81) making a nice catch on the out route.
1:03 — Don’t sleep on Luke Massa (#14) who shakes a DB off the line and makes an easy catch. When there wasn’t much depth last spring, Massa looked good until a knee injury sidetracked him.
1:11 — Bobby D coaching them up…
1:20 — A zone read look, with a really nice cut by Atkinson turning an almost TFL for Ben Councell into an explosive gain.
1:23 — Carlo Calabrese (#44) blows past Nick Martin (#72) and flushes Golson, who runs right into the waiting arms of Sheldon Day (#91).
1:29 — Nice catch, Mike Heuerman (#9). It’s really refreshing to see the way the snaps spread out during spring ball for the Irish under Kelly. It’s hard to imagine that Brady Quinn or Jimmy Clausen spent too much time throwing patterns to fourth-string freshmen.
1:32 — Golson likely wants that throw back, hitting Farley in the chest for an interception.
1:35 — Still feels like Hendrix takes too much time to pull the trigger, waiting to hit George Atkinson on the crossing route.
1:45 — Atkinson sure looks like his speed causes problems once he gets past the first level.
1:48 — Tommy Rees throwing the fade route to Corey Robinson. The bean-pole freshman makes a nice play on the ball.
1:53 — Nice timing from Zaire, who throws in rhythm to Onwualu in the flat, who beats John Turner to the corner.
2:07 — That’s Grace vs. Hegarty going head-up.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:59 PM EDT
As Notre Dame and Navy meet for the 88th straight time, we reach a familiar time of year and a particularly scary Saturday for the Irish. As ghosts and goblins prepare to roam the streets in search of trick or treat, the Irish coaching staff receives its annual scare in the form of a triple-option offense and a football team with nothing to lose.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
With a little over 48 hours until Notre Dame and Navy play, the final pieces of installation around going in before the chess match between two coaching staffs take place. For the Irish, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gets his first chance at stopping the triple-option in over a decade.
Oct 29, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 29, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
For a man that’s had more success against Notre Dame than any of his predecessors over the past two generations, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo certainly doesn’t think he’s figured out the Irish. In fact, for his Midshipmen team to win, Niumatalolo acknowledges that it takes more than just his team playing near-perfect football. He needs Notre Dame’s help as well.
Oct 29, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
With last night’s announcement had all eyes on the first announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings, the immediate concern is Navy. While we can spend the next five weeks worrying about the view from 30,000 feet, credit Brian Kelly for understanding that the Midshipmen present the most clear and present danger.
Oct 28, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
The first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday evening. And Notre Dame has some work to do. The selection committee’s first ballot has the Irish slotted in at 10th in the country, a middle-of-the-pack one-loss team according to the 12-person voting panel.
Oct 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
With a week off between Florida State and Navy, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff had an extra week of preparation for Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack. Allowing his team to leave campus during the university’s fall break, Kelly afforded his players a chance to recharge their batteries after being on campus since June.
Oct 27, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Among the many reasons Charlie Weis lost his dream job coaching Notre Dame was the Irish’s stumbles in November. Even with a guaranteed 10-year contract, Jack Swarbrick couldn’t watch Notre Dame melt down in November for another year, with Weis’ final two seasons ending with Notre Dame going 1-9 after Halloween. That’s a scary movie franchise that needed killing, no matter the expense.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Before we have an Irish-free Saturday, let’s get to some questions. For those of you wondering what you should do on a day usually committed to football, the world is your oyster. Or you could watch some of Notre Dame’s opponents do battle.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
When Brian VanGorder’s name surfaced as Notre Dame looked for a new defensive coordinator, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of buzz behind the hire. While VanGorder fit many of the criteria that went along with a Brian Kelly hire, the big-picture reaction wasn’t one of universal support.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
There is no football game this weekend. For a Notre Dame football team that just played three-straight tight games, that’s a good thing. (For Irish fans, it’s a victory as well. Go buy a pumpkin and get outside in the fall weather.) As promised, let’s look back at the first eight weeks of the season. Notre Dame sits at 6-1, with a place in the College Football Playoff still very much in play.
Oct 23, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
For the second time in a week, Notre Dame’s recruiting class landed a playmaking linebacker. During a press conference streamed live on ESPN.com, Florida’s Tevon Coney pledged his commitment to the Irish, picking Notre Dame over finalists Miami and Florida.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
With Notre Dame’s scheduling agreement in place with the ACC, Jack Swarbrick and the Irish athletic department can find some certainty in their future slates. That certainty was announced Tuesday, with dates for five ACC games in place through 2019 and matchups set through 2025.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT
After eight weeks, the forecast for the first College Football Playoff is coming into focus. After falling to Florida State last weekend, the Irish lost pole position. But as a one-loss team now likely competing for one of the final spots in the four-team event, Notre Dame remains one of the top dark horse candidates.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the ACC has reversed course, deciding that the pass interference penalty was on C.J. Prosise after all. And that they’ve acknowledged that the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty they missed for P.J. Williams removing his helmet should’ve set up Notre Dame with a 1st-and-goal at the 9-yard line.
We’re moving on. (I promise.)
Oct 20, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Usually, Brian Kelly gives his team 24 hours to celebrate a win or get over a loss. That rule was likely tested — and you couldn’t blame him if it was slightly relaxed — after Saturday night’s 31-27 loss.
“We need to give our kids a break. They’ve been going since June,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Our first bye week we kept them here to stay on top of their academics. We’re going to give them a little time off. But we’ll come back recharged, ready to go.”
Oct 19, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Upon second inspection, Brian Kelly hasn’t gained any clarity on the offensive pass interference call that took a game-winning touchdown off the board. While the head coach has moved on, with the Irish getting some much-needed time off during fall break, Kelly’s opinion on the play — now that he’s realized the penalty was on Will Fuller, not C.J. Prosise — is even more muddled.
Oct 19, 2014, 2:37 AM EDT
With 13 seconds left, Corey Robinson caught the 4th-down pass from Everett Golson and walked into the end zone, all but uncovered. And for a moment, it looked like Notre Dame pulled off a win for the ages.
Oct 18, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
It’s finally here. Not just the biggest game of the year, but the ultimate test for this Notre Dame football team. Entering Doak Campbell Stadium against the defending national champs and Heisman Trophy winner, we’ll see if the Irish have what it takes to upset the Seminoles.