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Pinstripe Bowl practice report breakdown

Dec 18, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT


I’ve heard from a few people that they actually missed my practice video breakdowns. So let’s fire up the YouTube machine and over-analyze what’s going on being closed doors at Notre Dame’s practice!

As usual, here is a time-coded, cheatsheet that’ll get you through an interesting practice report.

0:10 — It just feels like Finals Week after listening to  Jack Nolan‘s tone of voice inside Loftus. Nolan reminds us that football is only a portion of life for Notre Dame student-athletes, especially this time of year.

0:34Brian Kelly and interim offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock talk things over. I still expect the interim tag to be removed from his name after the bowl, with Kelly potentially hiring a quarterback coach.

Right now, it’s Kelly coaching the quarterbacks, a natural transition for the head coach, especially working with freshman Malik Zaire.

0:40 — That’s sophomore Ronnie Stanley getting the opportunity to breakdown the team. A good bit of leadership for a young player that’s had a really impressive (and below the radar) season this year.

0:54 — Lefty Malik Zaire slings an out pattern to running back Greg Bryant, who is looking healthy after battling a knee injury for much of the season.

(It’s also worth noticing the new green cleats several members of the Irish are breaking in. Might that be a hint at the uniform coming for the Pinstripe Bowl?)

0:59 — Freshman Devin Butler does a nice job breaking up a pass headed for DaVaris Daniels. Butler had an impressive debut season as well.

1:05 — I’m at a loss as to what kind of drill this might be, but it looks like the Irish are working on special teams blocking and coverage, as Bryant is working as a return man.

It looks like Romeo Okwara might have lost contain there.

1:09Tommy Rees goes deep to Chris Brown, who gets a step on Bennett Jackson and connects for a big gainer. That’s Max Redfield (#10) working with a secondary that includes Austin Collinsworth, so this might be evidence that Redfield is getting his shot to run with the 1s.

1:16 — Yikes. Redfield reaches for Ben Koyack, missing the tight end. Koyack gets behind Redfield and connects on the pass.

(For the doomsday folks out there: This is a drill. Not the end of the world or an indictment on Redfield’s talent.)

1:24Andrew Hendrix hits freshman tight end Mike Heuerman (#9) on a wheel route up the sideline. Is this the last completion we see from Hendrix in a Notre Dame uniform? There’s talk of Hendrix playing out his eligibility with another program, though it hasn’t been decided yet.

1:34 — Freshman Rashad Kinlaw (#36) jams converted DB/WR Josh Atkinson at the line before letting Atkinson get inside him for a catch on a slant route.

1:43 — Rees goes bombs away again, this time connecting with Daniels over the top of Butler, a big gainer. Against one of the worst statistical passing defenses in college football, the Irish will likely try and stretch the field in Yankee Stadium, if the weather allows it.

1:55 — Slot receiver CJ Prosise gets separation from KeiVarae Russell, making a nice catch.

2:00 — For Irish fans wondering if Amir Carlisle has changed to defense, fear not. That’s Cole Luke wearing his #3 jersey in practice, which he swaps out for #36 in games because of special teams duties.

Luke makes a nice tackle on Will Fuller.

2:06 — Good tackle by Joe Schmidt, running down the screen pass.

2:15 — Kelly talks about getting a chance to scrimmage and tackle during bowl prep, while expressing regret that he didn’t do that during the long layoff before the BCS Championship game.

From the sound of it, nobody got hurt, so that’s a plus.

2:28Corey Robinson posts up and makes a catch on a Rees pass.

2:35 — If you’re looking for a reason why Chris Brown maybe didn’t make the forward progress some people expected, this pass route could be Exhibit A. This advanced pattern just doesn’t feel natural for the speedster, and Bennett Jackson was with him step for step.

2:43 — That’s George Atkinson split out wide making the catch against the No. 1 defense.

3:15 — Looks like another carry for Greg Bryant.

3:57 — A very nice catch by Troy Niklas in traffic.

4:20 — It sounds like the focus will soon turn to Rutgers, with the Irish getting a few bonus two-hour practices after finals to prepare for the Scarlet Knights.


  1. dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    How is NY, the land of best escorts and cocaine due to the whales penchant for dirty life. Where are they practicing in Ishaq Williams house or what?

    • danirish - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Awwww, Shad dup!

  2. mediocrebob - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Wonder when Chris Brown is going to break out. Also have yet to see Rochell, and with another year in the program, could be another sleeper.

    That’s as direct as I get since I’m scared of the Internet bullies.

    • dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      It’s ok, don’t worry my little baby, I protect you. MUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH, XOXO!

    • getsome99 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:53 AM

      CB2 is basically a deep threat. Rees’ inability to move around the pocket and consistently launch the deep ball effectively hurt Brown’s production this year. Golson will have a lot of weapons at his disposal next year.

      • mediocrebob - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        Yeah but that was his game as a freshman. Use the speed and get by the defense, much like Fuller this season. But I figured there’d be some development to his game.

    • ndgoldandblue - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Stop. We’ve got your back as long as you’ve got ours. Don’t pay any attention to Hargis. Guy’s an idiot.

    • getsome99 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Brown’s role the past 2 seasons has been the same as GAIII’s role his first two seasons. He’s homerun hitter of the WR corps. There were too many wasted opportunities during the few times his number was called and the slow start to the run game didn’t help them in play action either. I think it’s a credit to our depth at the position and a nice luxury to have when you have good run blocking TE’s who play like WR’s in the passing game. I don’t think it’s all his fault and with the stable of backs we’ll have next year along with Golson back at QB, I think he deserves another shot at being a playmaker in this offense. If we wants to be a complete every down WR, he needs to work on catching short passes and YAC. But the competition will be stiff with that group.

  3. threehills45 - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Just wanted to add my name to the list as someone who enjoys your practice breakdowns, even just so I don’t have to check for any missed videos. Even if you don’t have time to do a full breakdown, a video round up is always appreciated.

    • dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I just thoroughly enjoy when Keith breaks down. He hasn’t had too many lately I’m wondering if he was finally able to get on Xanax through Obamacare or something.

  4. irishpuma - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    What we are practicing tackling!!! what an idea!!

  5. wisner74 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    I don’t consider myself a doomsdayer, but I am beginning to wonder whether Redfield simply isn’t as good as we are all hoping he is.

    • danirish - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      He does look a little lost but I believe he will be all that. He is one of those that I wished we had beaten the crap out of some teams so that he could get real playing time, not a play here or there but real time running the defense.

      I hope you are wrong…

    • irishpuma - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      Come on Wisner your the guy defending a lifetime 2nd stringer but giving up on a 4 to 5 star that has received almost no playing time. Premature much!! This kid has skills lets give the 18 year old some time to mature. You had no problem giving the 22 year old ex con enough rope to hang the whole team.

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