Notre Dame Football: Coach Brian Kelly Press Conference Review

Oct 15, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly walks into the stadium for the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly walks into the stadium for the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Brian Kelly addressed the media in a press conference on Friday following another successful spring practice.

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In the post-practice press conference, seen on, Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly spoke about the install of the new defense and how it affects what they do on a practice-to-practice basis.

“We’re moving into a new phase defensively, where everything is about fundamentals, working on tackling, run support, stripping the football, said Kelly.

“It’s really about building that consistency in approach….they know what the programming is going to be about every single day, offensively and defensively,” stated Kelly.

Daelin Hayes is going to be counted on by his coaches, teammates and all of ND Nation to provide Mike Elko’s defense with a pass rush, something that seemed nearly non-existent under Brian Van Gorder. Kelly also spoke about Daelin’s sophomore counterpart.

“I think Daelin Hayes continues to get better and better, the more football he’s exposed to,” mentioned Kelly. “I think Julian Okwara is coming on and giving us the kind of edge presence that we expected.”

The strong side defensive end position is also a concern with the departure of Isaac Rochell. Kelly spoke about the emergence of the two top candidates at that position.

“Andrew Trumbetti is getting better and more consistent as a pass rusher for us. Khalid Kareem’s done some nice things for us,” explained Kelly.

Jamir Jones put on 18-pounds of quality mass over the offseason. Kelly spoke about increasing his play going forward.

“I think we’re going to get Jamir Jones activated a little bit more. He’s up to 242-pounds. I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to hold him back from being a bigger guy,” Kelly said with a laugh.

There seems to be some clarity and good news concerning one of the more talked about players they have, in terms of injury questions. “Daniel Cage has had his best spring,” announced Kelly.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced that Kelly had felt DeShone Kizer may not be prepared to play in the NFL. Apparently, Kelly didn’t agree with those stories.

“I think the headline could’ve been ‘Kelly see’s Kizer as the best quarterback in the draft’….but it wasn’t seen that way and there’s nothing I can do about it. I think the world of DeShone. I think he’s going to be a great quarterback in the NFL,” expressed Kelly.

Several times throughout the spring’s post-practice press conferences, coach Kelly has mentioned Miles Boykin’s emergence within the receiver group. Once again, he expressed that he has been impressed with the 6’3″ target out of Illinois.

“He’s putting a lot in the bank of trust. We can trust that he’s going to go out there and give us the kind of performance that’s going to lend itself towards playing time,” Kelly implied. ” He’s been very consistent as a pass catcher. His traits have been very evident.”

Javon McKinley came to South Bend after completing an immaculate career that put his name in a few California high school football record books. Kelly spoke about how he’s been performing after bouncing back from a fractured tibia last October.

“The nice thing about Javon is we’re probably going to be able to play him in the spring game in a limited fashion…we want to get him competing….we have a high opinion of him,” Kelly insisted before mentioning that he has some work to do. “He’s rusty.”

As Kelly explained, McKinley was able to receive more reps than usual in Friday’s practice due to a minor hamstring injury which kept Equanimeous St. Brown out of practice for precautionary reasons.

Kelly addressed the safety positions which are going through major changes as a result of the new defense install. Once again, he applauded converted cornerback (who was a converted running back), Nick Coleman.

“We’re playing the safety position quite differently than we have before. Nick Coleman is the guy that has done some really good things for us, fundamentally,” Kelly stated.

Isaiah Robertson enrolled early as a 4-star wide receiver/safety out of the Chicago area. He arrived at the first spring practice at over 200-pounds and has been impressing the staff.

“I think (Isaiah Robertson), the freshman, he started at a level not knowing much and he’s grown considerably over the last few weeks,” Kelly boasted. “(He’s) done a nice job of picking things up…I’m pleased.”

“He is well ensconced in that rotation. He’s a guy that anything we wanted to call him a #1, we could call him a #1,” Kelly remarked.

The head coach stated that Jones Jr. wasn’t held off the field in ’16 due to not being prepared or able. “That was a conscious decision on our part, not to play him more so than he wasn’t necessarily ready to play. So, he’s in it, he’s going to be a part of it and you’ll see a lot of him this fall,”

Sophomore Spencer Perry who came to South Bend from prep powerhouse IMG Academy, told staff recently that he was no longer going to be a part of the program and that he planned to transfer, an action he was granted.

“Spencer has been a great kid. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He expressed to me that he felt like athletically, he needed to find a place that would better suit him” Kelly explained.

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Another practice, another success, it seems. Stay tuned for more post-practice press conferences at The Notre Dame football program has gone through major changes in staff, player personnel and focus. 2017 could be a successful year for the Irish.