Thursday, September 30, 2010

Press Conference Quotes: "Go Irish Beat Eagles" edition

Interesting tidbits from yesterday's pressers...

Apparently Robert Huuuuughes is moving up to the #2 back position this week. According to Coach Kelly:

We're still really high on Cierre Wood. This is not let's push Cierre to the side. He's a young kid now. [...] This guy's got four games and everybody wants to throw the poor kid under the bus. I think he's going to be a really, really good player. He just needs time. One of the things that Robert can do and utilize against B.C. is he's a big, strong, physical kid and he may be able to help us a little bit in pass protection. [...] In some instances. I want Cierre to know, hey there's no pressure on you, son. Go play. Sometimes he plays like there is all this pressure on him to be the next Heisman Trophy candidate. He just needs to go play and relax, and hopefully he'll do that.

Although you know, Cierre, nobody around here would mind if you were the next Heisman Trophy candidate.

On Dayne Crist's development...

I see it more so that he's throwing for over 300 yards a game. His interceptions, obviously, are not crazy. They're higher than I want. It's the combination of making four or five really, really good plays and maybe one or two not so good plays. So I think where we are in the development is obviously playing more consistently. How do you get consistent? You gain confidence. When he's confident now, he's really, really good. He loses a little bit of confidence at times, that's where we're working on the development of Dayne Crist, and that's what he has to bring to each and every game.
In other words: you keep your eyeballs in focus, Dayne Crist. You'll be just fine.

Regarding the somewhat stifled run game...

Well, I'll start with the last two games. The Michigan State game is a six man box, very difficult. They blitz the backers quite a bit, so that's why the ball was thrown as much as it was. When we needed to hit some runs, our version of running the ball is the shovel, the quick option out on the perimeter. Those become run plays out of that structure. They're not counted as such, they're counted as passes because of the shovel version. But I think that the Michigan State game was the circumstances more so than anything else. I think if you look at the Stanford game, there were time that's we got beat up front. And there were times that we probably should have run the football when we tried to throw it, because of, you know, so much drop 8. So I took some of the responsibility last week for not being more effective in the running game. I think Stanford needs a little credit on that as well. We expect to get back to a better balance this week.

Umm I sure hope so. Because the balance last week was -- how shall we say? -- non-existent.

On Notre Dame's tough schedule in the opening weeks of the season....
Moving forward, it will be a strength having a schedule like this moving forward. I think with our spring and summer preparation, coming into the year we're going to be further ahead when we play tough competition right out of the gates. Maybe it's not showing right now, new offense, new defense, special teams. At times we've been sporadic. But I'm still not in favor of throwing 1AA teams in there. I still feel like we should be playing the kind of schedule we're playing, and I think it's going to pay off for us.


Moving right along...

On dealing with losses while building up a program...
It's the same process that we're going through in terms of building our program and doing the thing that's we need to do to win for a long, long period of time. Every program that I've been involved with, they've won championships after I left, and I'm not leaving this one. I want to win them. But we're going to get to that level as well. The process is the same, it's just the expectations are different.
I really like how up-front he's being about all of this. I mean, yeah, every coach says they want to win a championship. Lots of coaches claim they're going to win championships. But Brian Kelly, man...he really fucking means it. You can tell.

I am in favor.

On Braxston Cave and Mike Golic switching it up at center....
Again, Braxston (Cave) is in his first year. There are some growing pains there. The one thing we need with Braxston is a little bit better job at cadence, and he's a little too consistent with some of the things that he does that gives the defense a chance to, as you saw against Stanford, they did a pretty good job of film study. They knew when Braxston was going to snap the ball. He's got to be more firm with his snaps. His snaps have not been very good. So some of our concern with Braxston is less about who he's blocking and how he's blocking. Though we always can get better there. We need a little bit better management of cadence and when the ball comes out and how it comes out. Dayne's had to catch too many balls below his knees, which takes his eyes off what we're trying to do offensively.
Hmm. I wonder how good those BC players are at their film study.....

Some player presser quotes

Dayne Crist, on becoming more prepared to attack a drop-eight package...

Right, and like I said, teams don't live in that world, really. You're not getting a great majority of those snaps unless, like I said, the situation calls for it within the game and within the score and everything like that. So if a team wants to go out and start the game and drop 8, we're going to run for 300 yards. It's one of those things where it's more a situational thing and something I think I was able to mature with a little bit and understanding that situation. Now coming back after talking with Coach Kelly and watching tape with him and doing what we need to do to correct our problems that we had with it, now it will be one of the situations where like I said we've got answers.

Kyle Rudolph, saying all the right things regarding our strength-of-schedule....

That's why we come here. We come here to play the best teams in the country. You know, three or four weeks before conference play, and you play 1AA teams and MAC teams and stuff like that that some of these other schools are playing against. With us, we're going to play the best week in and week out. And we're going to get the best from the people that we play week in and week out simply because we're Notre Dame. And that is something that is the reason we came here, and what we look forward to our schedule.

Dayne Crist, on how the team's handling the losses...
You can see the hurt that lingers after a game, and all the guys are like that, really. But by the same token, guys are also--we realize that we're right there. You know, it's one of those things where guys aren't coming back to practice on Tuesday still drooping over a loss. Guys are coming back battling on a Tuesday. We had a great day of practice yesterday. As soon as you're done with a loss, the first thing you want to do is go play. As soon as the clock hits zero, it's when do I get to play next? It's the first thing you want to do is get it out of you and go get a win. I think that's how guys are responding. I'm definitely proud of how guys are responding, but we need to make sure that we understand what that feels like, and we don't want to feel like that anymore.

You bring it, Irish.

And now, a word from Manti Te'o, on what cataclysmic weather patterns aligned to bring about week's tornado/volcano eruption of tackles:

I don't think I did anything different.

Oh. sure?

I just made the corrections to the mistakes I did in the past games.

Really? That's...that's it? You sure you didn't channel any energy from badass photo-shopped video game covers, or channel the power of your Samoan ancestry through your tattoo, or conquer with the spirit of Kamehameha, or--

Oh. Well, okay then.


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