Brian Kelly met with reporters this afternoon to discuss yesterday’s resounding victory over the Navy Midshipmen. Kelly covered the health of the team, the running back position, and a few other topics.
-The only injury from yesterday’s game was suffered by Shayne Simon. Simon suffered a dislocated patella. He will be receiving a MRI this afternoon to determine the severity of the soft tissue injuries sustained from the dislocation.
-Brian Kelly discussed the continued progression of Jafar Armstrong’s return from his core injury. Kelly noted that just because Armstrong is on the field does not mean that he is back to his previous level. In Kelly’s eyes, Armstrong’s level of play has increased each week but there is still room to grow. In Kelly’s words, “Jafar is giving us what he has.”
-The running back position was covered extensively today. Kelly continues to praise the running backs for being assignment correct in pass protection and blitz pickup. Kelly made the tongue in cheek remark that “we don’t have Adrian Peterson back there.” The coaching staff plans to use three to four backs down the stretch with Tony Jones Jr. continuing to be the starter.
-Kelly was asked to discuss the long-term health of the running back position in the years to come, which he declined to do. He remarked, “C’Bo Flemister is growing up and maturing. Tony Jones Jr. continues to be a tough, hard-nosed guy, Avery has given us a little.”
-Kelly praised the offensive line for again controlling the line of scrimmage yesterday.
-Kelly discussed a few of the youngsters on the defensive line. He described Jacob Lacey’s play as “outstanding.” He described Howard Cross III as “having heavy hands and someone I think will be a really good football player.”
-Turnovers helped to change the complexion of the game in Kelly’s opinion. He discussed how Navy had not seen a defense as fast and physical as Notre Dame’s all season, which he felt led to Navy turning the ball over.
-The topic of Clark Lea’s success on 3rd and 4th down against Navy was brought up. Kelly feels the continuity of the scheme the past several years has allowed his players to play much faster on the field. He also mentioned the physical ability of the defense has improved, which has allowed for more disruption against the triple option than in years past.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish left no doubt in yesterday’s victory about who the superior football team was. Since the game winning drive against Virginia Tech, this team appears to be having more fun on the field and playing with a laser-like focus. Hopefully we continue to see the same Notre Dame team in the coming weeks. Go Irish!