On August 2, 2013, Brian Kelly addressed the media prior to the start Notre Dame’s training camp:
– Kelly stated that Tommy Rees has been named the starter for the first game against Temple but made it clear that he has not been named the starter “for the entire 13 game season”. Although Kelly expressed confidence in Rees and specifically cited his strength gain and locker room respect, his lack of commitment to Rees for the entire season shows that Kelly still has concerns about Rees’ turnovers and leaves the door wide open for Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire. Kelly intends to rotate Hendrix and Zaire through first team snaps in practice and keep them off the scout team.
– Kelly fielded questions about the off season controversies that Notre Dame faced specifically Manti Teo’s phishing scandal, Kelly’s interview with the Eagles and Everett Golson’s academic suspension. Kelly told reporters that the team “moved on the next day” and players and coaches alike turned their full attention to winter workouts. Kelly cited the continuity of his coaching staff which had limited changes in the off season as a primary factor of the team moving forward and continuing to maintain the success of the program.
– Kelly quickly diffused any questions regarding his contract negotiations. Kelly called the new contract “imminent” and stated that the terms of the deal were outlined in December. The administration and Kelly’s representatives have been finalizing some final pieces which Kelly did not specify. Kelly’s statement and the contract delay could fuel speculation that the final pieces of his contract relate to Kelly’s inevitable next offer from the NFL.
– Position Battles:
- Linebackers: Kelly gloated over the wealth of talent Notre Dame had at inside and outside linebacker positions and looked forward to the battles between Ishaq Williams, Prince Shembo and Jaylon Smith, and the combination of Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox.
- Safety: Kelly expressed a high hopes in Mathais Farley, Elijah Shumate, Nick Baratti and other incoming freshmen at the position.
- Running Backs: Kelly loves the big-play ability of GAIII but wants him to improve his pad level and interior running. Kelly addressed the talent that recently arrived, but he did not want to spring them into the starting lineup until he observes them compete at the collegiate level. Kelly did emphasize that Cam McDaniel impressed coaches last season and left open that McDaniel may see carries in the fall. Kelly also left open that some of his running backs may play special teams or in the slot.
- Offensive Line: Kelly was non-committal about how the offensive line with shape out. He expressed confidence in Christian Lombard but did not identify a clear depth chart for the right side of the line.
- Offensively Kelly wants to score more points while keeping the team’s balance.
- Former ND Basketball Forward Joey Brooks will not return for the fall season. Kelly told reporters that the tight end position simply had too much depth and he did not want Brooks taking time from freshman Mike Heuerman and Durham Smythe.
- Kelly discussed the offering of additional scholarships to players on the roster as happened with Joey Schmidt in the off season.