Copyright by Global Electronic Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes.Com
August 28, 2001
By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) – Tuesday is the first day of classes at Notre Dame. It was supposed to be an off-day for the football squad, but after viewing the tape of the first scrimmage of the pre-season Bob Davie changed his mind.
There will be practice.
Davie gave his players the day off on Saturday, in an apparent attempt to get their legs back before Sunday's practice; but after the scrimmage, Davie and his staff realized there just is too much work to do before the Irish take on Nebraska at Lincoln on Sept. 8.
In past seasons, when things haven't gone right for Davie and his Irish, he has resorted to using a fateful word. That word, again, was in his vocabulary. And it seemed awfully early to be hearing it after Monday's practice, awfully ominous.
"The kids were excited about scrimmaging, there was intensity, but we were discombobulated," Davie said.
For those who need a definition of the term, Davie went on: "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot with self-inflicted mistakes. So, it was what we really thought. When you look at it on tape, you could see with about every snap, we had some kind of mental breakdown."
Davie put his squad through easy paces on Monday—no pads, no hitting.
"Today was a day just to correct things from the scrimmage tape," he said.
"Tomorrow (Tuesday) we'll just get down to the Nebraska game plan. We just have to keep working and we have to eliminate mistakes.
"The coaches have to coach better and the players have to take accountability in it. We have to get some things corrected.
It looks and sounds like a frustrating time for Davie and his coaches. They thought they were farther along. Irish fans better hope this is only a glitch, only one bump in the road.
"I would hope that we would be further along right now, particularly on offense," Davie said. "We had a pile of errors that kept us from having any kind of continuity.
"It wasn't so much effort, it wasn't so much the physical part of the game, it was just the errors. That's really frustrating. We tried to be extremely organized in this camp.
"[The mistakes] jumped out at you more on the offensive line. We really had a lot of mistakes on defense, too, but it didn't seem to hurt the defense quite as much. And I think when you don't have Julius Jones, you don't have Tony Fisher and you don't have David Givens and Arnaz Battle (all out with injuries) you're limited. You better execute perfect to create plays.
"Without those big playmakers, it really jumped out at you that you weren't executing at a high level."
J.W. Jordan was the only serious injury from the scrimmage. He will be out four to six weeks with a knee injury. Davie said he will try to work in Ryan Scarola at center as a backup to Jeff Faine. John Teasdale also will work a bit as a backup center, but Davie really needs Teasdale to get better at guard, particularly since Sean Milligan is hampered by a chronic knee problem.
Davie and his squad will go at it again on Friday—another nighttime scrimmage to try to get ready for their showdown with the Huskers.
Davie did not officially release a depth chart on Monday, as we expected him to do; but IrishEyes doesn't anticipate any changes in the No. 1s from the ones we reported Sunday night.