Brian Kelly opened up his weekly presser with a bit of humor in regards to his jacket that he chose to wear. It was a blue plaid jacket that he won playing in a golf tournament with coaches from the Michigan area. Moving on to more serious matters Kelly started by reflecting on the performance on Saturday against Rice. He said that it was a point to get the players out there and let them play free during the Rice game. It was not all praise he noted that there were definitely points of emphasis that they needed to focus on and clean up this week.
One of the bigger observations from the game on saturday was the disconnect between Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate. “I think coach (Brian) VanGorder, if you were here at our meetings yesterday, made it clear during the meetings how he wants those guys to communicate.” he added ” I was in the quarterback meeting room and I could hear our safeties communicating very well during film study.” When it came to Max he noted that with recent developments in Collinsworth being out for two weeks that he needs step up.
The topic of Jarrett Grace came up and Brian Kelly confirmed that like every previous week he is getting closer and closer to playing. “we’re seeing significant progress in his gait, and in the way his foot strikes, and those body mechanics that are so important to him to be at 100%.” It was also asked if they thought that Grace would be able to be effective in this new defense since not playing in it. Kelly said that the expectations for Grace are high but they realize it is going to be a season long process.
“I think coach VanGorder, if you were here at our meetings yesterday, made it clear during the meetings how he wants those guys to communicate.” he added ” I was in the quarterback meeting room and I could hear our safeties communicating very well during film study.”
Other defensive topics that were covered were mainly on the analysis of how certain players responded to live action. Brian complemented Cole Luke on his performance playing the number 2 corner position. Saying that they are finally seeing the sense of urgency that he was missing last season after being buried on the depth chart. Sheldon Day started off really well and by the end of the game his performance dropped off. “His energy level is so high, his motor is high, so it’s just a matter of building that up each and every week. We started in game one, somewhere in that 50‑play range.”
Of course the biggest bright spots for Notre Dame Saturday was the brilliant performance that Everett Golson put on. When asked if the win and coming out with such a dominating performance went to his head Kelly said he saw the right things. “The first thing you want to see during film study is how you’re going to handle the critical analysis. I thought he did a very good job. I thought he was attentive to those things he needs to get better at, and I think with success, you don’t want to be infected with it.”
On the topic of the running back position it was prevalent that there was no rush to name a number one. Each running back had a good game and showed that having two fresh legs on the sideline at all times is going to be critical. Greg Bryant came away with the only rushing touchdown between the three but also made a impact on the punt return game. Kelly noted that the position of punt returner would be one they continue to rotate. “ I think we’re going to continue to use both. Cody is taking a lot of snaps right now, and we want to make sure that we keep him healthy for the entire season. We cannot afford to lose Cody.”