Quick-Hitters: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Head Coach Brian Kelly April 3 Spring Practice Press Conference
{{ timeAgo('2021-04-03 14:31:15 -0500') }} football Edit

Quick-Hitters: Brian Kelly April 3 Press Conference

Brian Kelly is evidently happy to have a full spring schedule that allows for experimentation. Saturday, Notre Dame's fourth spring practice featured specific situational work and live tackling. The Irish could do neither of those last spring.

"A really good day from that perspective," Kelly said. "We probably got in about half an hour of 11-on-11 work.”

Kelly met with reporters via Zoom afterward. Here are some of the topics he discussed.

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On The Quarterbacks

“Really, the way [offensive coordinator] Tommy [Rees] has it set up, which is what we wanted, is a battle between Jack Coan and Drew Pyne. Those guys are getting equal reps with the first and second groups. A good battle there. We’re in practice four, and we evaluate that day to day. One day we see some good things from Drew, then Jack does some really good things. That’s a battle that continues to take shape.”

On Freshman QB Tyler Buchner

“Today, we started to see some of the rust come off Tyler Buchner. Today was a really good day for him. He was much more comfortable out there. He threw the ball with a lot more confidence.

“I say this in that he hasn’t played football for a year. It was nice to see him out there, smile on his face, he had some confidence. All those mid-years, I commented after practice, what a whirlwind. We throw them into the deep end academically, in the weight room and on the field. They’re doing a terrific job. Tyler is no exception to that.”

On Offensive Identity

"With the certainty of the offensive line and quarterback and not knowing what we had at receiver, we were going to commit ourselves to being a team that was going to exert its physicality on the offensive line."

“We move into 2021 with less certainty on the offensive line and at the quarterback position. We know we have to score points. We’re going to go into this spring and find out where this offense will operate most efficiently. It’s really about trying to establish how will this offense serve itself best with the players we have and those who will be playing a great deal for us in terms of scoring points. It’s about scoring.”

On Defensive Differences With Marcus Freeman In Charge

“Our defensive structure will incorporate on first and second down more of a multiple look. We were much more of a four-down defense. We will have a hybrid of three and four down on first and second down. It’ll be more multiple on first down. In totality, there will be a lot more similarities than things that are dissimilar. Little nuances in terms of man coverage, that will continue to play out as we move forward.”

On The Wide Receivers

“What we’ve been looking for is consistency, and you know you’re getting that from Avery Davis. He has been a leader of the group. Two guys have caught my attention – this is only practice four, so I’m putting an asterisk next to it – [Braden] Lenzy and [Lawrence] Keys have been really good. They have to be consistent, because that has been the area they haven’t been for us.

“But they made a commitment in the weight room that’s different from what we saw in the past. These guys have been outstanding in the weight room, and you can see it in the way they’re translating that on the field. They’re explosive, they’re running outs, they’re breaking tackles.

Jordan Johnson, he’s doing a nice job. What I’m most impressed with Jordan is what he’s doing in the classroom right now. He has really turned the corner there. You can see that confidence showing itself on the football field.”

On The Team Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine

“I’ve had both shots.

“It is not mandatory, though we did outline the advantages. Between April 10 and 15, our players will have the opportunity to get the first shot and three weeks later have the opportunity to get the second shot.”

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