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Notre Dame Football: Updates from Brian Kelly about the Irish and Louisville

Is the COVID chaos calming down across the Irish squad?

NCAA Football: Camping World Bowl-Notre Dame vs Iowa State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly returned to update journalists Thursday ahead of the Louisville game.

Dropping Names

On quarterback Ian Book, Kelly put the focus on coachability and said, “I don’t know that there is any position scrutinized more than the quarterback, and therefore, it needs to constantly be evaluated and coached on a day-to-day basis… Whatever level people look at Ian Book and say, ‘He’s a B quarterback or a B+ quarterback,’ in his mind he wants to be an A+ quarterback. That’s great because it always allows us for coaching and teaching.”

The coach also addressed freshman wide receiver Jordan Johnson’s place on the Irish squad. Kelly praised Johnson’s impact but clarified the WR’s need to “climb over” more experienced players like Javon McKinley and Ben Skowronek. Kelly said, “In other years, he’s a guy who would have a chance to be on the field. He just needs to continue to work and do the right things on and off the field. He will get his chance and his time here at Notre Dame.”

Kelly also explained how Shaun Crawford should be most impactful at the safety position in the upcoming game and that Clarence Lewis will also be playing an integral role in the matchup.

The coach revealed Lawrence Keys III is out to follow concussion protocol.

A Sense of Structure in the Era of COVID-19

Kelly explained the team has no players currently in isolation or quarantine for the upcoming game against Louisville. The coach went on to describe the new sense of normality in the past week and said, “In terms of routine, this felt as back to normal as we’ve had. Even more so than the Duke week. This felt like a normal work week that you’d have during a non-COVID season. Our guys felt a lot more comfortable. We had a lot of tests that were negative and that wasn’t a topic of conversation.”

Taking on the Cardinals

When it comes to the Irish defensive game, the coach knows there is no reason to keep things complicated. Kelly said, “We’re going to be simple and we’re going to attack the line of scrimmage. We’re going to be a physical football team… You’ll see us really get back to the basic and fundamentals from a defensive perspective.”

On Louisville’s defense, Kelly called out the Cardinals’ tendency to “overload the box” and pack the line of scrimmage. He highlighted the need to #RTDB and the athleticism of the Louisville defense but acknowledged the Cardinals do not have the most threatening defense the Irish will face this season.

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