Vollers Hurt; Special Teams Emphasis

The Irish have practiced rather injury-free so far, although tackle Kurt Vollers was wheeled off in a cart near the end of Friday's practice session. Head coach Bob Davie also told why he has put such an emphasis on special teams again this year. Quite simply, they can score points.

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August 17, 2001

 Quick Hits From Camp: Vollers Hobbled; Special Teams Can Pile Up Points

 By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) – Some quick hits from the practice field.

 Kurt Vollers was hobbled near the end of practice and was wheeled to a tent by cart. Bob Davie said it looked like a twisted ankle.

Head athletic trainer Jim Russ said it didn't look serious. It turned out to be a sprain.

The only other injuries are to RB Terrance Howard, who pulled a hamstring while working out at home before reporting; and safety Glenn Earl, who Davie said "tweaked" a quad, also before reporting

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 SPECIAL TEAMS: Davie worked on special teams for the first time Friday, but it won't be the last—by a long shot.

Davie waited for the second day of practice before drilling special teams because he wanted to go through their importance at meeting of the whole team Thursday night. At that meeting, a highlight film of last year's outstanding effort on special teams was played, with some NFL special teams play spliced in as well. Coaches spoke about its importance in winning.

There may be no freshmen who break the depth chart or get on the field at their position this season, but Davie expects several to contribute on special teams.

One of the things he's doing, for instance, is trying the hand of every freshman offensive linemen at long-snapping.

 The team started with the basics on Friday, emphasizing field goal and point-after protection in the morning and kickoff and kickoff returns in the evening.

Davie noted the Irish were 45 of 46 in extra points last season with one blocked; and 8 of 14 on field goals, with two successful fake field goals for touchdowns. He said if you average those points out, it comes to about 6.8 points per game.

 "That's a chunk," he said.

The team spent 25 minutes working on special teams in practice and Davie said it will be like that until the season starts.

"We made drastic improvement on special teams in 1999, but we like to believe we could be better," Davie said.

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 POOCH PUNTS: Chris Olsen, the New Jersey quarterback who committed to the Irish for next season, was at practice for the second day in a row Friday with his father, who is his high school coach. Olsen looked good; he's about 6-4 with a good, muscular build. He and his father took lunch with the team, Dutch treat, of course as per NCAA rules. IrishEyes talked to him and we'll have a story later.

. Former Irish standout tailback also has been at practice the last few days, prepping for his new duties as an analyst for Notre Dame football broadcasts….

 A report in the Richmond (Va.) Times said ND athletic director Kevin White was a leading candidate for new AD at Virginia. White told the South Bend Tribune, the report was "silly." He repeated his previous assertion that the ND job would be his final one…

 The Notre Dame media guide is out. It's a beauty with a portrait of the four captains in the new jerseys on the cover. Some have said Anthony Weaver doesn't quite look like himself in the artist's version. We'll have to ask Anthony about that. At 477 pages, the book is 8 pages longer than last year's, and is 3/16 of an inch thicker because of the heavier stock used.

 By the way, last year's ND media guide was voted the second best among all NCAA Division I schools by the College Sports information Directors of America. The guide, of course, contains all sorts of tidbits, including the fact that Arnaz Battle's favorite pre-game meal is French toast.

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