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Spring Practice: Day One report breakdown

Mar 3, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT


Well, it’s finally that time of year. (Again.) Let’s get to over-analyzing practice videos!

With the Irish taking the practice field bright and early Monday morning, our friends at released their first practice video of the new year. Let’s spend an unhealthy amount of time talking about what we see here:


0:06 — Wha??? That’s not Jack Nolan. You’re right, it’s Megan Bastedo, our newest reporter for Fighting Irish Digital Media! With fancy diplomas from Notre Dame and Syracuse, I think it’s safe to say that she’s got us covered, delivering us the sights and sounds of spring practice.

A little disappointed that we didn’t get an indoor weather report (you know Jack would’ve worked one in), but all in all a great start by Megan.

In case you couldn’t tell, this is all in good fun. You could? Okay. Just making sure. 

0:26Brian VanGorder and Brian Kelly talk presumably about practice plans. Gotta love the color copier being utilized. And the green and gold. Well played.

0:32 — New paint job for the Loftus turf? It looks good.

0:35 — Quarterback Everett Golson stretches his hip flexor.

0:39 — Our first look at Jarrett Grace and his surgically repaired broken leg. He’s without a helmet, but good to see him getting loose with the team.

0:44 — Recognize the guy with secondary coach Kerry Cooks? It’s new graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy. The former Irish captain has hung up the NFL pads and begun his college coaching career. Standing behind them is David Grimes, another former Domer as well.

0:50 — Kelly talks things through with new offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock. Walking behind them is new quarterback coach Matt LaFleur.

0:56 — Addressing the team, Kelly talks about precision and speed during his introductory remarks. Interestingly enough, he also talks about some new coaching points, likely infused by VanGorder and LaFleur, who bring some great experience to the program.

“Attention to detail. Let’s start fast and get this thing rolling,” Kelly said.

Also worth noting: That’s former walk-on linebacker Joe Schmidt (38) breaking down the team. Look fast enough and you’ll see Schmidt anchoring the No. 1 defense at inside linebacker as well.

1:37 — Golson works the zone read with Tarean Folston (25). That’s exactly one more time than we saw that play last season.

1:43 — Golson hits Chris Brown (2) on the inside screen before the offense gets down the field. If you are being overly obsessive, we get a hint at what the first-team offensive line looks like.

Mike McGlinchey (68) is lined up at right tackle. Christian Lombard (74) is at right guard. We see Ronnie Stanley (78) kickout out on the blindside at left tackle and then Steve Elmer working back towards the middle of the field (79), while Matt Hegarty (77) runs down the field.

Is that the No. 1 offensive line right now? Probably.

1:46 — The fiery intensity of BVG is palpable.

1:53 — Working pass rush drills are Ishaq Williams (11), Jarron Jones (94), Sheldon Day (91) and Romeo Okwara (45). That very well could be the Irish’s four-man front, with Day shifted inside to defensive tackle.

1:56 — Don’t faint. That’s Greg Bryant (1) and Folston (25) working at the same time. That doesn’t mean they’re playing together, but just doing a drill.

1:58Max Redfield (10) certainly looks the part.

2:00 — Don’t just focus on Golson making the throw. Be happy that Malik Zaire (8) is taking the rep right next to him, throwing against air.

2:05Harry Hiestand is ordering around his troops.

2:10 — Folston breaks a run against air defense.

2:13 — Really nice work by KeiVarae Russell (6), breaking up a pass to Chris Brown.

2:16 — Gotta keep your feet, Justin Brent (11).

2:20 — That’s more Chris Brown than we saw all of last year. He makes the catch in front of Cole Luke (3).

2:23Greg Bryant has some nice hands. Let’s see if the Irish can throw the ball to the running back this year.

2:26 — A nice bullet from Golson to Ben Koyack (18).

2:29 — Ditto on the throw from Zaire to Brown, who catches the ball in front of Matthias Farley (41) and Schmidt (38).

2:30 — That’s a very nice job by Zaire making that throw on the run.

2:38 — And Jaylon Smith (9) catches an overthrown ball and takes it back for a touchdown.



  1. dudeacow - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Who is this imposter? Bring back Jack!

  2. dudeacow - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Biggest takeaways:

    Charlie Fissienger (sp?) looks smooth in those mental reps.

    Eric Lee looks like he put on some more good weight.

    Glad to see John Chereson getting in some good work.

  3. 25kgold - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    I’m still looking for Tommy on the filed -_- has anybody seen him?! PLEASE tell me he’s gone 0_0!! Wait!!! No, that’s not him…..Oh my, look—nope, not him neither.

  4. 25kgold - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    *field (Dammit)

  5. fnc111 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    What is Vegas going to set as the O/U for ND wins this year? I’m interested to see where they start it at….

    • onward2victory - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      Good question, I would guess 9.5 (excluding bowl game) considering how difficult their schedule is. And being an over-optimistic Irish fan I would be one of the suckers to take the over.

  6. onward2victory - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    Bryant looks smooth, can’t wait to see him in the BG game.

    I also really like Keith’s theory that the dline will be Okwara, Jones, Day, and Ishaq. That could be a really solid front line IF they can stay healthy. The depth behind them is what’s really scary.

    • mediocrebob - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      If Springman and Hounshell are ready to go, I’ll feels lot better about it. I think we’ll see Trombeti(?) and Rochell quite a bit as well. And then the freshman DTs that are coming in. Hopefully at least one is ready.

  7. bernhtp - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Ishaq lining up at DE with the 1s didn’t surprise me. What did was Mike McGlinchey at RT with the 1s. Even more intriguing is the possibility of McGlinchey playing some TE. Dave Casper, arguably ND’s best TE ever, was an honorable mention All American at DT and then was moved to DE for his senior year. The oline is really stacked with talent down to the 3-deep.

    • onward2victory - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      And you have to think that Q Nelson is gonna crack the 2 deep as well.

      • bernhtp - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Q Nelson might be good enough to crack the 2-deep, but I doubt that his red shirt will be stripped off unless he exceeds expectations and somehow deserves to start. Very unlikely, IMO. Elmer played a bunch last year, but I doubt that he would ever see the field if he were entering as a freshman this year. Hiestand has recruited and developed really impressive depth.

      • onward2victory - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Yah I mean it would be great to keep Nelson redshirted in order to have him an extra year, but I think the staff has to strategically get several true freshmen quality playing time every year in order to prove to high profile recruits that they won’t be “Redfielded”.

  8. knuterocknesghost - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Dear Bernhtp:

    Casper started varsity play as a sophomore as on offensive tackle in the 1971 season as a sophomore (freshmen could not play varsity until the 1973 season) when Jim Humbert went down. He got an honorable mention for All-American in his junior year still playing tackle. He then was converted over to tight-end for the start of the 1973 season. As a freshman he started out on defense as a linebacker. He was headed for Northern Illinois as a recruit from northern Wisconsin when the head coach there, a good acquaintance of Ara’s, saw how talented Casper was and, out of concern for Casper who he thought deserved to play his college ball in a bigger arena, called Ara to tell him he should give Casper a serious look. It was a far different world in CFB then.

    Me too as far as BK’s mentioning McGlinchey being talented enough to play a blocking TE. If he could be athletic enough to run pass routes, it’s almost hard to imagine a defense looking to cover a 6-8 300 lbs TE.

    And I think Ishaq is going to play up to his potential after seeing so many teammates invited to the NFL combine. He’s gotta be thinking “that can be me too”.

  9. knuterocknesghost - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    In his first press conference to kick off the spring training season, when asked about the status of ND players who were limited or denied any contact because of injury, BK rang off the list of players and left out Springman’s name. He had to be reminded by a reporter who followed up and asked about Springman. Not a good sign for Tony.

    • knuterocknesghost - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      The reporter’s question was about players who were injured last season, and for sure his name should have been on BK’s mental list of who he remembered as being a concern.

    • bernhtp - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      I’m most concerned about Grace and recovery from a 6-pount multiple-compound leg fracture. I hope he will play again, but Jarret is still hobbling almost six months later.

      Springman reportedly had an infection setback from his ACL repair. The recovery here appears more likely and well understood.

  10. yaketyyacc - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:37 AM


  11. chaunce922 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Golson and Zaire looked good.

    I know its only a few instances and not much to go on, but it looks as though Zaire’s arm strength is almost that of Golson and the delivery appears very natural and smooth.

    At this point whoever is grasping the offense and not afraid to throw the deep ball should forsure get the starting job.

    Golson deserves a chance to earn it back but i wont be mad at either getting the nod, will wait to see more practice footage and for more information to leak.

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