Irish Go Live

Irish head coach Brian Kelly spoke briefly with the media following its 15-minute end-practice viewing period Saturday afternoon. The session included live, full contact action between both the first and second units and a mixture of (most) competitors throughout the spring depth chart.

Kelly on today's standouts in pads

"George Atkinson ran the ball very physically. He showed some patience. One of the things with George and the learning curve is that he was a little bit out of control. I think he showed great patience today.

"I really liked the way the corners are playing. They're competing for the ball. We're trying to push the ball vertically downfield and they're making plays (on the ball).

"The two things that stood out to me are (1) the ability to run the football: in our first 17 plays I don't think we had anything less than seven (yards) in the run game. So running the ball effectively, and then our corners playing the ball in the air. But it's the first day (in pads). Tomorrow it might be something else."

On how long the QB competition could extend

"I think it depends on how we progress. If there's more than one, which I believe there's going to be, then certainly we're going to take (more) time. Because then you're trying to think about are you playing one, are you playing two…are you playing three? As we go through the spring the process will continue to evolve; that's my take after the first couple of days.

Regarding Theo Riddick, the star of the media's viewing period

"The only thing is, we didn't give him a scholarship to (try to) run over safeties. He did a great job, got to the safety, and tried to run the safety over. Running backs are supposed to make safeties miss. (Riddick was tackled one-on-one by Zeke Motta in a mid-field collision. He later broke free for a 50+ yard gain down the right sidelines before Josh Atkinson angled him out of bounds.)

"But he did some good things today. He caught the ball out of the backfield, we lined him up as a receiver. He really gives us such great options with matchups out of the backfield, running the football, his background as a receiver. It really puts us in a good position.

On a noticeably absent trio

Senior running back Cierre Wood was in pads on the offensive sidelines but did not participate during the media's (final) viewing period to conclude practice. Also absent were 5th-year senior Jamoris Slaughter and redshirt-freshman DaVaris Daniels and Kelly offered updates on each:

Jamoris Slaughter: "Yes he did (take early reps). He didn't take late reps. He was up late changing diapers…welcome to the real world. But he's fine."

Cierre Wood: "Not as many (reps). He's got some soreness in his quad. He went live in our ‘Rodeo Drill' and looked really good. We know what we have in him. We really wanted to see George (Atkinson) today. This was his opportunity to get a lot of reps and it was nice to see him do a good job."

DaVaris Daniels: "He's got a leg injury. We think he'll be back on Wednesday. We'll nurse him through Monday (practice). He had a nice day yesterday (Friday). I wish you guys were out here yesterday. He did a really nice job for us. We're doing a lot with him, moving him around, but we were really pleased with what he did yesterday."

On the three returning QBs

"A couple of things. First, we're a lot more decisive with the football. We've had 56 turnovers (as noted on Thursday) in the last two years. Be the eraser of the bad play. If you get flushed or there's the potential (for a bad play), just erase it. Zero (yards) is a good play for us. They're starting to understand to throw the ball away from a covered player so the only guy that can get it is our receiver. They understand that if they take care of the football we have a chance for us to be very successful. Top Stories