Notre Dame was back at it this morning for another spring practice, now slightly less talented and deep on the defensive line.
Just one week until the Blue Gold Game finally concludes this tumultuous spring for the Irish.
Into the long deep darkness we shall stare after 7 more days.
Today's practice was fully open to the media, so the access today was better than usual.
Updates after the jump.
Last night in Chicago was the 54th Annual Rockne Athletic Banquet with Brian Kelly as the keynote speaker. The program is also hosting the coaching clinic this weekend so added to the uhh...big news story yesterday, these are some busy times for Notre Dame.
So busy that und.com wasn't able to upload a video practice report yesterday, which was good because we were planning on skipping posting anything due to the craziness yesterday.
At the Rockne dinner, Coach Kelly made some comments about how this could be the first time in 16 years that Notre Dame may string together three straight seasons of at least 8 wins or more.
Of course the crazies are all up in arms today about it. How predictable.
Lou Somogyi from Blue Gold Illustrated was able to clarify those comments with Kelly today:
There have been a couple of threads on the board regarding Brian Kelly's speech in Chicago last night (April 13) in which he seemed to tout 8 wins as a goal for 2012. I had a chance to ask him after Saturday's practice what he meant. Here was his reply:
"What I said was that Notre Dame has not strung together three years in a row of eight wins or more. So if we win eight games next year, or more, it will be the first time in 16 years." (Note: Actually, it's 18 years: the Irish had seven straight 8 or more wins from 1987-93, including 10-3 (1991), 10-1-1 (1992) and 11-1 (1993) before going 6-5-1 in 1994).
After a pause, Kelly then added: "When you shoot for 8 wins around here, you won't be around very long, believe me, trust me. My boss is up there (pointing to AD Jack Swarbrick, he already told me that. There are no 8-win seasons around here. Now, we can build toward that, and that's part of what we're doing, the building blocks of putting together a football program. We want consistency. The point of that whole statement was you need consistency, you need stability. Consistency is you can't have a 10-win season and then a three-win season (referring to the 10-3 record in 2006 and 3-9 in 2007). You've got to build consistency and that's what we're all shooting for."
Sounds a lot like a couple talking points from my four part series on rebuilding Notre Dame, right?
People who can't stomach or understand comments like this by Kelly have their head firmly buried in the sand---but that won't stop them from viciously telling everyone else how much they support lowering the bar at Notre Dame.
Prince Shembo had surgery on his turf toe injury and is expected to be out for another 6 weeks. They put a screw in his bone so that is a general recovery time for now.
Luke Massa has torn his ACL and will be out around 5 months.
John Goodman sprained his ankle and was in a walking boot for Saturday's practice. It doesn't appear to be too serious as Coach Kelly later stated Goodman could have played if necessary.
Cam Roberson has been in the lineup but is still suffering some lingering effects from his major knee injury.
Bennett Jackson is dealing with a little bit of a shoulder injury.
Troy Niklas missed practice with the stomach flu.
Practice Report from BGI.
Nice pop there by Kendall Moore to start things off!
Und.com practice report from Friday that wasn't posted until today. It follows around Chuck Martin.
"ESPN's not here today, stop trying to look pretty."
"That's it George, you've got great hands. I don't believe anyone who tells me differently."
"81,000 wanna yell and scream 'touchdown' and you threw it out of the endzone."
"Andrew, Andrew...when you extend it here in the zone around you why'd you...RUN!"
"We're going to lead the nation in pretty balls incomplete."
And the closer...
"I don't know why you'd want to do anything else."
Chuck Martin is all kinds of awesome.
Und.com practice report for today:
Oh, Golson fumbling a snap straight away?
Nix is so hard to block with just one man.
Wow, Tuitt abused Nick Martin and must had made walk-on Eric Lee pee a little bit.
I love Werewolf's energy! How is it different than Lynch you may ask? I don't know but I love that he plays pissed off and arrives to the scene in a bad mood. That's a good mentality to have as a linebacker.
Nice clinic on how not to tackle by Josh Atkinson.
Oh hell yes to the first play shown on the quick pitch to Riddick!
Rabasa sniffed out the speed option---that's nice to see.
Nice forced fumble by Run CMC---probably would have been reviewed in a game though.
Oh look, Werewolf standing someone up again.
Was that Rees on a designed QB keeper in an empty backfield? Ummm, don't ever call that in a game please.
Seriously, Werwolf is an All-American according to this practice report.
Riddick, still making people miss in a phone booth.
Has a DB ever NOT made the "no catch" signal on a touchdown catch?
Nice article from BGI's Dan Murphy after today's practice.
It's nice to see that the quarterbacks foregoing the red jerseys and facing live contact during the spring. That was an essential ingredient to separating the competitors.
Starting to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage now? Time for Rees to shine baby!!
As many believed, it seems Christian Lombard has nailed down a starting spot at what appears to be right tackle. I'm not too thrilled with Mike Golic possibly starting at right guard but he's got so much more experience than Nick Martin at this point. Good luck to both of them as they battle it out into the summer and fall.
The Schwenke splitting time with Louis Nix defense didn't seem to be just a fad from last week as the Hawaiian continues working with the first team at nose guard. If Schwenke can play like a starter next year that will be huge in this defense moving on without Aaron Lynch.
Post-practice article from Irish Sports Daily.
Lo Wood and Josh Atkinson still battling it out for the other corner spot. If Atkinson has the speed AND the size, don't you think he'll eventually take a lead in this race?
BGI piece on the Voodoo Child.
All the quarterback live at the Blue Gold game? Hooray!
ISD article on the quarterbacks.
I wonder how much Golson's touch on throws in the redzone will play into this QB battle?
Full post-practice interview from Brian Kelly following today's session.
Short Video with Gunner Kiel on his uncle Blair Kiel who passed away this past week.
Post-practice video with Manti Te'o on the departure of Aaron Lynch.
Braxston Cave on the work the offensive line is doing.
Andrew Hendrix video on the QB situation.
Everett Golson takes his turn speaking to the media.
Through the Grapevine:
Rees and Hendrix continue to get the bulk of the 1st team reps although Golson does get enough work there too. Rees is still the leader, but Golson had a really good day and Hendrix is pushing Rees constantly.
Lots of reports of Riddick looking like a legitimate big-time running back. He's basically splitting 1st team reps with Cierre Wood at this point and is looking mighty explosive.
Cam McDaniel had a really impressive practice.
It's looking like Robby Toma is going to be a serious player on offense.
DaVaris Daniels is clearly the one receiver with the most upside and playmaking ability.