Brian Kelly started off the press conference by complimenting Rice on their performance last year with a 10-4 record. In his opening statement he mentioned a few Rice players that his staff and himself have taken notice of. “I think everyone knows about Jordan Taylor, outstanding Wide Receiver, one of the better ones we will see all year.” Kelly also mentioned Rice QB Driphus Jackson calling him a “multi-dementional quarterback” that vastly improves their running game. On the defensive side of the ball Kelly pointed out that the reason that they were so good was due to their stinginess. “Forced teams to throw the ball on them” also not afraid to load the box and stop the run.
Majority of the questions that Brian took today were taylored to the personnel that would be playing against Rice. One of the biggest questions that was asked was the status of the players that were named in the investigation. He quickly confirmed that all four players would in fact not be playing in the home opener this week. According to the two-deep depth chart that was given out it was noted that Romeo Okwara was slotted over Andrew Trumbetti. When asked about the switch Kelly stated that “You will see Trumbetti starting there” and that both players will see time at that position.
On the topic of Everett Golson it was asked what he had seen of him since being named the starter at the quarterback position. “I think he has been, as a quarterback, more decisive and believes what he sees from the defense.” “As a leader he has been consistent on being the vocal leader on the offensive side of the ball” It was made clear that they will keep the redshirt on Everett during practices and that the offense will be squared around read-option.
“I think he has been, as a quarterback, more decisive and believes what he sees from the defense”
More from the offensive side of the ball it was obvious that Brian Kelly expects multiple players to make bigger impacts this year. From a receiving stand point he expects CJ Prosise, Amir Carlisle, and each running back to catch a lot of balls. As far as Chris Brown and his improvement “We need him to finish plays this year. He is going to get open, physical with press coverage but his big goal will be finishing plays” Corey Robinson had a pin placed in his tumb but was back at practice catching footballs and will be ready for Rice.
Defensively there was not a lot of surprise as far as announcements made today besides that a lot of young guys are going to be playing. “There are going to be a lot of third down guys. Jhonny Williams, Nyles Morgan, Greer Martini are going to be in on third down for us in pass rush situations” Farley is staying put at the nickleback and safety position but it was made clear that putting him on a island was not ideal. When asked about Cody Riggs and his impact on the team it was nothing but positive reviews. “Great player, hardworking kid. Always comes to practice ready to work.”
“There are going to be a lot of third down guys. Jhonny Williams, Nyles Morgan, Greer Martini are going to be in on third down for us in pass rush situations”
Wrapping up the conference Kelly was asked a few minor personnel / rotation questions when it came to the offensive line play. Matt Hegarty and Connor Hanratty will rotate at the Left Guard position. Mike McGlinchy will the the next man in at the Right Tackle position with Quenton Nelson looking to take a redshirt. Special teams looks to have a few starters contributing along with other players that will definitely be helping at other positions. As far as expectations for Golson for this season as a starter Brian Kelly noted that he will need to be eased into the game. “We just have to get him back in the flow of the game. He has not taken a live snap since the Alabama game, so we will have to get him in the groove of things.”