Last Full Open Practice Recap

It was cheekily called the “New and Gold Game” on Sunday evening as the general public was welcomed inside the newly renovated Notre Dame Stadium. This was the final full practice viewing before the Temple opener, although there will be one more short glimpse this Thursday prior to Game Week.

Let’s discuss the happenings from Sunday’s action.

We’ll lead off with comments made by Brian Kelly following the action. Another captain has been named! Junior running back Josh Adams joins the leadership unit along with DeShone Kizer, Mike McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson, Greer Martini, Drue Tranquill, Nyles Morgan, and Austin Webster. Yes, seven captains remains pretty silly.

There has been some staff movement. The hiring of Bill Rees (father of Tommy) was officially announced as the director of scouting. In a bit of a curious move, defensive line coach Mike Elston drops the recruiting coordinator tag and is now assistant head coach. Special teams coach Brian Polian will now coordinate recruiting.

Hey, remember recently I wrote a “To Redshirt or Not to Redshirt” article last week and wouldn’t you know it Kelly has offered some clarity on the situation. He mentioned Hinish, MTA, Kmet, Wright, Young, and Genmark Heath as guys they’ve decided will play in 2017. The latter is a bit of a surprise as I had him in the likely redshirt category but they appear happy to have JGH on special teams.

Not mentioned in that blurb was Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who will probably redshirt.

Kelly did mention that the defense will be ‘so much better’ up front and the general consensus on Sunday was that they looked quite stout against the run and impressive in getting after the quarterback. After the practice, Daelin Hayes was lavished with praise and even guys like Khalid Kareem and Ade Ogundeji too for their strength gains.

As an aside, the offense threw the ball a lot during Sunday’s scrimmage. I know the running backs have looked very good at times during camp but I still feel like there’s a disconnect out there. There’s something to be said for getting Wimbush a lot of “live” reps during a game situation but alternatively working within and getting more comfortable with the “real” offense. I understand not wanting to tip your hand before the season but there’s something curious about a Notre Dame program saying, “We’re pretty great at running and don’t need to work on it that much in these situations.” If you say so! I’ve read a lot of “the offense knows it can run the ball” and needs to work on passing. That kind of feels like the basketball team saying “we know we can bang down low we need to work on shooting threes” to me.

Surprisingly, the backs didn’t seem to do much in the run game during the scrimmage! However, there were numerous two-back sets (cool!) although it appears a lot of them are with a back in the slot (less cool!) and motioning before the snap. I think everyone would like to see more two-back sets but unless there’s something major being hidden it appears a tactic to set up the passing game more than anything else.

Don’t get all harrumphy on me now, though. There was a fullback sighting! True freshman tight end Brock Wright lined up at fullback inside the 5-yard line (Kelly said recently they will be going under center deep in the red zone) on an Adams touchdown run. The same formation (3 tight ends with Wright at fullback) also got stuffed on 4th & 1 too so it’s not a magical solution for everything just yet.

It’s been a relatively quiet fall for Chase Claypool. After the practice his improvement with consistency was cheered by Kelly and among the playmakers Claypool stood out on Sunday. That’s a good sign.

It wasn’t a great day in pass pro for right tackle Tommy Kraemer who was beat a few times for sacks–although a couple were of the weak no-contact variety. There still doesn’t appear to be much controversy about the redshirt freshman sticking with the starters as Liam Eichenberg and Robert Hainsey arguably struggled more against lesser competition.

We have another data point from Sunday that the Top 14 players on defense have been selected: Defensive ends Daelin Hayes, Jay Hayes, and Andrew Trumbetti + tackles Jerry Tillery and Jonathan Bonner + linebackers Nyles Morgan, Greer Martini, Drue Tranquill, and Te’von Coney + corners Julian Love, Nick Watkins, and Shaun Crawford + safeties Jalen Elliott and Nick Coleman.

No major surprises with the backups, except Hinish and MTA were the tackles which if that’s really the case of course they won’t redshirt, right? Also, Jamir Jones continued to be the backup at Mike linebacker even though Coney received a lot of reps at both Buck and Mike.

We can probably pencil in C.J. Sanders to retain his role as the main kick returner but Chris Finke may have won the punt return job for the fall.

Perhaps the day’s most important news? The new digital press conference background! Look at that beauty! If that background says anything it’s “we’re winning the national championship.” Is that just me?

If you’ll forgive me some quick uniform talk is needed. Last year, the Irish wore their 2015 socks (they had a “V” pattern on the back) in the opener at Texas as you can see HERE. A week later in the home opener they switched to the new 2016 socks HERE which have two thin stripes at the top. As of right now, the 2017 uniform is the exact same as last year, socks included. We’ll see if they switch for the opener or thereafter. I’d hate to criticize Under Armour after they just debut a sharp “Rockne Heritage” uniform but a couple small tweaks to the standard sets would be welcome.

By |2018-05-09T22:26:03+00:00August 21st, 2017|Football|18 Comments

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Brendan Rdannan14The commenter formerly known as occtipusCardsfan14Concrete Charlie Recent comment authors
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hooks orpik
hooks orpik

“We’re pretty great at running and don’t need to work on it that much in these situations.” If you say so! I’ve read a lot of “the offense knows it can run the ball” and needs to work on passing.”

Sadly, this sounds familiar to last year with the uncertain QB “controversy” taking the preseason emphasis and the offense being unable to establish an identity quick enough. The offensive line was just supposed to be a team strength and was going to be good enough no matter what happened.

Of all the issues and challenges for the team right now, the running game still seems low on the list though. Fully hoping/expecting that a vet group will be ready to go and have a great game against Temple to really get off on the right foot, since they will have to be dominant against Georgia to have any chance of controlling the ball and game and staying close.

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

We are favored against Georgia. I’m not saying I expect a win but I think the fanbase is too pessimistic. Georgia is having serious O-line issues. Now USC is a team that the experts seem convinced will kick our butt.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

That’s valid, almost everywhere that’s already chalked up as a loss. The ND/UGA line seems bananas to me, though. Hopefully early in the season they won’t be all that sharp, but it’s not a matchup I’m looking forward to. Would love to have the pessimism be unfounded, and we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

I’m seeing a very confident group of coaches. They don’t appear to be full of brovado, just understatedly confident of their product. I know we went 4 and 8 last year, but this coaching staff seems pretty convinced the team will be able to perform. I always have to remind myself about not getting sucked in during this time of year, but I’m getting pretty excited about what we have as a team.

gambit1077
gambit1077

Irish in at #28 in the AP Poll to start the season. Also some voters think Alabama might be pretty good for once.

http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

That was the lamest “highlight” video I have seen since the USC game. It was shorter than all those Northwestern Mutual commercials we can look forward to seeing 1000x starting in a couple weeks.

Cardsfan14
Cardsfan14

Seems like ND has been a lot more tight lipped with their own highlight videos and the premium service highlight videos from camp this year compared to recent years.

The commenter formerly known as occtipus
The commenter formerly known as occtipus

I really wanted to see like 6 more tweets where CBK kept getting smaller and the press conference background just kept expanding.

dannan14
dannan14

So, I’ve been back in the Bend this past week for my mother’s retirement party and some long overdue time with my family. My parents and I took in a bit of the game and checked out the 7th and 8th floors of Corbett. Needless to say the new luxury seating is grandiose in a big way, but believe it or not the extra two inches for regular bench seating is nothing short of phenomenal. I mean, instead of sitting in someone else’s lap it’s like you have your own seat.

The video board is perfect. No complaints at all. However i do agree that the north rim of the stadium needs some sort of scoreboard. Sitting in the south end zone my eyes were not naturally drawn to tge boards under tge press/luxury boxes. Also, moving the flag pole to the south end zone was atupid…it’s just in the way.

The commenter formerly known as occtipus
The commenter formerly known as occtipus

“I mean, instead of sitting in someone else’s lap” wasn’t that the best part?

dannan14
dannan14

Depends on whose lap it is :p

Brendan R

#18SAD