Notre Dame football and head coach Brian Kelly kicked off the start of fall camp today with the annual, “about to start camp” press conference. It was a typical Brian kelly press conference (that’s a good thing) with plenty of information, deflection, jokes, and blame.
Here are some of the highlights:
Right away, Brian Kelly mentioned One Foot Down’s resident Social Media Coordinator Phil Mosey’s strong work.
This season on The Irish Bachelorette... pic.twitter.com/MPyhDpI4lW— Phil Mosey (@getphillyyy) August 2, 2016
While Kelly gave a shot out to Phil the other day on Twitter:
The mention today just makes the whole thing nice and laidback- OH MY GOD OUR GUARD IS DOWN. Brian Kelly the politician.
At some point the questions and hawks would start circling the quarterback competition, and for the most part, Kelly deflected most questions with the standard “competing” talk. When asked if there were any players that would side with one quarterback or the other, Kelly said, “They could care less.” The OFD commentariat can handle this one.
One really interesting nugget that he did drop was that he felt Zaire got short-changed in the spring. He stated that the plays called for Zaire weren’t exactly the right mix for his skill set. I found it a bit odd that 1) Kelly admitted to that shortcoming as a coach 2) Why this hasn’t been asked before and 3)How this even happened to begin with.
All the quarterback talk will heat up more and more, but Kelly seems committed to the process.
Brian Kelly really playing it safe w/ QB stuff: “I haven’t resisted any temptation.” Says it’d be foolish to say 1 guy will start all year.— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) August 5, 2016
“You can’t be a leader if you’re not picking up from behind … last one out, first one in.” Kelly on what “Leaders Eat Last” means— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) August 5, 2016
Per usual, Kelly was pressed about what players stepped forward as leaders on the team. The obvious candidates of James Onwualu and Mike McGlinchey were mentioned, but the way Kelly talked about the team in general gelling and doing more of the things it needed to do as opposed to what he saw in the winter and spring was far more interesting. This team is going to need more step up, and Isaac Rochell was another guy that Kelly has pegged to do just that.
Asked about #Notre Dame leaders, Brian Kelly cites LB James Onwualu, CB Cole Luke, DE Isaac Rochell, OT Mike McGlinchey, WR Torii Hunter,QBs— Tim Prister (@timprister) August 5, 2016
Besides the usual, Kelly really gave some glowing remarks for the special teams units. He really likes CJ Sanders (as do we all), but had mentioned that there is real competition for him at kick return. Justin Yoon and Tyler Newsome were given high praise, although there was no mention of Newsome’s strong short game.
Under The Bus
There was some confusion as to what position Donte Vaughn was playing.
Brian Kelly clarifies: Donte Vaughn is indeed a corner, not a safety.— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 5, 2016
Brian Kelly the politician, of course blamed Bertsch.
I'm pleading the 5th here...— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) August 5, 2016
- Crawford seems to be one of the hotter names on Kelly’s brain.
- Plan for Wimbush is to redshirt.
- Grant Blankenship is seeking a transfer.
- Kelly is proud of Alize’ Jones for holding himself accountable.
We will have more on this press conference and some of the player interviews in just a bit.