Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman met with journalists Thursday with a bye week behind the team and a Shamrock Series matchup against the BYU Cougars ahead. The coach talked roster moves, offensive awesomeness, and more.
All About the O-Line
On the telltale signs of a cohesive offensive line considering the coach’s defensive background, Freeman said:
“...you understand there’s going to be some consistency in what you see. There’s pros and cons to every scenario and there’s some thoughts in the thought of rotating guys and keeping them fresh, but there’s also a thought in having consistency with the guys you have in there, and that’s what I think you see in our offensive line, is they’re continuing to improve because it’s a consistency in knowing who’s in the game, who’s beside you, the ability to work together and there’s also a confidence, I think, it builds in your quarterback, and so, I’ve been really pleased with the development of our o-line.”
Into the Transfer Portal
On the status of defensive tackle Jacob Lacey, Freeman said,
“He’s no longer part of the team. He’ll look to transfer, probably at the end of the season after the semester’s over, and that’s about it.”
Working the Kickoff Game
On the punter Bryce McFerson’s health, Freeman said,
“He’s finally healthy, and really… what we did is… I think we probably had him doing a little bit too much in terms of punting and kickoffs which ultimately led to the strain of his hip flexor/groin area, but he’s healthy now and so we’ve kind of said ‘let’s let him focus on punting, right now,’ until his body is in a position after a year of training in the weight room with coach (Matt) Balis to be able to handle punts and kickoffs, so we haven’t really done kickoffs with him, just really focusing on points. Right now we’re really pleased with how Jon Sot is putting the ball but Bryce will travel and he’ll be the backup punter.”
The Defensive Tackle Question
On the status of the defensive line rotation following Jacob Lacey’s departure, Freeman said,
“I think you’ll see Chris Smith playing a little bit more, who again, it’s just a position that’s extremely deep, and the defensive tackle position right now is one of the deepest positions we have on our team. Chris Smith will play a little bit more. But you’ll see a guy like Gabe Rubio playing more. Jason Onye will now probably move from scout team. He’s moved from scout team to getting reps with the defense, and so, again, Lacey was a great player. Lacey did a lot of great things for us, but it’s a deep position. He made a decision that ultimately he felt was best for him and we’ll respect it”.
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