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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brian Kelly Press Conference – Tuesday August 24

Wow. Has Coach Kelly lost weight or what! He looked fit, trim, and extremely healthy Tuesday. Quite a difference from Coach Weis showing up in sweats and looking haggard. An unflattering SAS post was made on April 4th, comparing Coach Kelly and Coach Weis with pictures. I guess Coach Kelly read the article!  Glad he has time to follow us.

Great press conference. You could here the questions! What a concept! You know longer have to guess which player is being discussed!

So, the offensive and defensive coordinators will be in the booth. Fine. Who calls the plays? Of course, Coach Weis did (except for half a season), will/does Coach Kelly? I’ve never picked up on that. Guess I should get in the film room and watch some Cincinnati Bearcat tapes.

Staying with the coach’s thread, the most amazing thing that Coach Kelly did was bring in coaches who he had previously worked with or who were at Cincinnati with him. Coach Weis in his first year hired coaches on recommendations and over the phone. It was a last minute slapped together coaching staff. Of course Coach Weis wanted it that way being a micro-manager.  Only good can come from intimately knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your assistants. Plus, they know exactly where you (Kelly) is/are coming from. Lots to be said about that in the business world and life as well. The coaches and Head Coach familiarity concept is worth at least one close-extra victory for Notre Dame.  It is that important. Go IRISH.

It appears that Coach Kelly has gotten off on the professional right foot with the local Press Corp. Maybe a first heart breaking loss and a snippy reporter question will change that, but it’s not like Coach Weis dropping into the chair and saying, “OK fire away.” No adversarial or confrontation attitude yet.

Going back to Coach Holtz and the Davie-Willingham debacle, I seem to remember that rank and seniority had its privileges and the upper classmen got the starts. Coach Kelly is adamant that the best players take the field. This has created great competition and pushing and shoving to get on the depth chart and then be number one and starting. Seniority does not matter. He has that luxury being a new head coach.

Special Teams should win at least one game for us. Hopefully Ben Turk has improved and can kick the hell out the ball. Poor punting and kicking has cost Notre Dame a number of games over the past five years.  David Ruffer should be putting it in the end zone as well. It appears a toss up between Brandon Walker and Nick Tausch, nice to have two guys competing. Again Coach Kelly mentioned Armando Allen returning punts, Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood will be returning kick-offs. I am going to be so pumped over watching those guys given some blocking and having a little room to run.  Wish the reporters had asked a few more questions concerning Special Teams.  It is too often an after thought with coaches. 

Cierre Wood is the # 2 Back, good for him. Speed surely kills. Sorry Jonas Gray and Robert Hughes.

Coach Kelly mentioned that in a 20-minute timeframe, 60-65 plays are run at practice. Are you kidding me? Man that is fast, can’t wait to see that come September 4th. It was fast during the Blue-Gold Game, but gee it was raining and Coach Kelly wanted to get it over with, especially before the heavy rain hit.

Last point. Be interesting to see if NBC cooperates with TV time-outs. Coach Kelly relies on the no-huddle and hurry up. Commercials just give the defense the chance to regroup. This is something new for him, TV and commercials. How many games were televised at Grand Valley State or Central Michigan? Maybe NBC should work the time-outs when the Notre Dame defense is on the field? :+)

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