Coach Kelly met with the media following practice on Monday and discussed a few different items of interest. The full video is available at UND.com.
Let's get right to it.
Coach Kelly spent the first couple of minutes of the presser talking about using practices to get back that "game intensity." He said that the team has captured some of that back through scrimmage periods in practice. This included a 45 play live scrimmage this past Saturday.
I'm a fan of fast and physical practices that simulate a game like environment. We once learned the hard way how crucial this is at the college level.
Starting tomorrow will be like an "in-season" practice in preparation for Florida State. Following practice today the team will take a break until they report to the bowl site on 24 December where practice will resume.
I know that all staffs use bowl game practices to get a lot of extra work done for 2's and 3's etc. In some ways they are like pre-spring football and in that respect those extra bowl practices are crucial to program development. BK vaguely mentioned FSU prep to open the presser as well so I hope that tomorrow isn't literally day one of installing the game plan for the Seminoles.
More after the jump.
Charlie Molnar is focused strictly on his new job at U Mass. The other offensive coaches have "picked up the slack."
It seems unclear what Molnar's role will be during the bowl game, or if he will even have any role at all for that matter. BK didn't say, and I haven't seen it elsewhere, but If he's strictly focused on U Mass I honestly wonder whether or not he's even going to make the trip. If not then I will be curious to see how the play calling process is altered. Does anybody know the answer to this?
We'll have another coach on board for the January 4th recruiting.
Translation: The dead period ends on January 4th. We will have a new staff member hired to replace Molnar before that date. In all likelihood this has already happened and the announcement is on ice until after the bowl games to keep the distractions to a minimum on both ends. How long until rumored names start to leak?
In response to a question about how Tommy Rees has been looking in practice.
Cliff's notes- Tommy has improved in the areas that the staff wants him to including: decision making, putting the ball in a good spot and being patient when 8 drop into coverage. Andrew just continues to learn more and more of the offense. He is getting more comfortable with protections and the technical aspect. It has also been great for Everett Golson who has also gotten a lot of work that he didn't get late in the season when he was focused on scout team.
OK here's my interpretation of a 30 second quip on the QB situation. I like Tommy, and yes dammit he's getting better. He's going to get better every day until he graduates. Hendrix is a straight baller, I just need dude to be able to run the entire offensive package. Right now he's still a little raw but he's getting closer. Don't sleep on EG!
What do you guys think? Obviously, I had a little fun with the interpretation but that's pretty much how I see BK's thoughts on we are with the QB's at the moment.
In response to a question about when BK might use Hendrix in the bowl game.
BK talks in circles for a minute then says "we know he's gonna play." Yammers on a bit for another few seconds and invents the word "eventualize" which was money. He then comes back to "I know he's gonna be in the game."
BK isn't going to say at this point who is getting how many snaps and what, if any, plan actually even exists at this point to split the reps between Rees and Hendrix. Based on what I mentioned above I think that Hendrix is more likely to start against Navy next year than Rees is. The kid can just flat out play, and if he can get a full grasp on the offense he could be truly special. At this point I think that BK agrees with that minus the "Don't sleep on EG" wildcard. For better or for worse the 2011 campaign essentially belongs to Rees and I think BK wants to allow him the opportunity to finish that. But we'll see plenty of #12 against FSU early and whoever moves the offense the best will likely get the majority of the reps. Regardless the competition will be wide open going into spring ball.
In response to a question about what makes the Florida State DL so effective.
Chuckles then responds with "Athleticism, they don't stay blocked."
Man I hope a certain backup center brings his A game. I'm a little nervous.
In response to a question about Tyler Eifert's pending decision to enter the NFL Draft.
"We've had a number of conversations" and a decision will come "very quickly."
I expect that Eifert will announce shortly after the bowl game. This will also directly ripple into the current recruiting class....
Question about Louis Nix III being excited about getting a chance to play "at home in front of his parents."
Kelly starts by pointing out that Aaron Lynch and some of the other "young players" from Florida are also excited. He then goes on to say that Nix had a great year but must continue to focus on being a better player "during the week." He then adds on by saying that "there is no mistaking the way he plays the game on Saturdays, it's fun to watch." BK also quips that they just have to keep him "within himself because as you know he can get excited" and he's "using a lot of outlets to be excited."
Translation- Louis Nix III is a bad mofo, and has a gigantic personality. Who doesn't love Jellyroll T-Bone McPorkchop? That nickname is one more noteworthy example of MotS winning the internet.
In response to a question about Theo Riddick's future at running back.
Bk explains that the initial move to WR was based on numbers in a spread offense. "If we can continue to recruit depth at the wide receiver position hopefully we can settle on a long term commitment to the running back position for him."
If the staff can get the numbers at receiver right with this recruiting class Theo will spend 2012 in the backfield with Cierre Wood. Toma Time!
In response to possible replacements for Molnar.
"I like to keep things in house if I can. If I can I like to bring someone that I have a relationship with. We have talented coaches that are capable of more in leadership positions."
Translation- I expect that one of the current position coaches takes on the additional OC role then a position coach will come in to fill the gap for Molnar with the QBs.
On rumors that Tim Hinton will be joining Urban Meyer at Ohio State.
"The first guy I would be talking to is Urban Meyer and I have not talked to Urban Meyer."
It sounds more and more like the comments that Hinton's brother made have no legs.
The presser wrapped up with Kelly saying that Ethan Johnson is 100% and that they have been turning up the heat in the Loftus Center to start getting acclimated to the warmer Florida weather.
As a side note, while I was watching this presser I randomly remembered that Charlie used to spend the first several minutes of his pressers talking through all the starters for the other team. In retrospect that seems a kind of strange does it not? What was he trying to exhibit there?
What do you think?