Irish Hold Second Two-A-Day

The Notre Dame football team held their second of five two-a-days on Monday. Walking out in full pads in the first season, it was obvious the Irish were going to scrimmage. Lots of chatter and ribbing could be heard in anticipation of what was to come.

Irish Eyes wanted to know which side of the ball had the better day on Monday morning. Who better to ask which side came out on top than someone right in the middle of the action, defensive tackle Greg Pauly. This is Pauly's fifth fall camp so he's a veteran of the fall camp wars between offense and defense.

"I'd have to go with the defense this morning," Pauly said on which side of the ball performed better in the scrimmage. "The offense kind of got us last night. We came prepared this morning."

"They made a few plays on us, but we controlled the line of scrimmage I thought," Pauly said. "It's always a fun battle out there."

Coach Tyrone Willingham was made available after the second practice session on the day. Willingham was asked how he kept everyone excited about practice during the dog days of summer.

"As a coach, you try to find things and segments of practice that players get excited about," Willingham said. "You have the two-minute drill, the short-yardage drill, those are the areas that kind of take the mundane things of what you do, out. The players really get energized and charged for that. So we provide them with those kinds of segments, but it's still tough. That's what makes camp so difficult because you have to drive through those low points of injuries and fatigue."

The Irish are in the middle of fall camp with 15 days left of practice. Willingham was asked when the focus starts to turn to their first game of the season against BYU.

"I think we never stop thinking about BYU--but probably game week," Willingham said. "I'm always one of those who doesn't like to spend too much time on the opponent because I think your players get stale. You want them to be fresh in everything they are doing."

Irish defensive coordinator Kent Baer, never one to get too excited about anything, said his unit is doing fine in fall camp.

"I think it's going OK," Baer said of his unit's progress thus far. "We're getting a lot of work done going against each other. So far it's going OK. We've just got a lot to learn. We're throwing a lot of stuff at them. The offense is throwing a lot of stuff at us. We're just trying to survive. More teaching the fundamentals and technique more than anything else right now."

Baer also said that his unit will start to prepare for BYU starting next week.

"We looked at them a lot this summer," Baer said. "We've got some ideas, but we'll start a week from tomorrow. We'll really start game-planning on them once camp ends a week from today. We've got another week before we really get going on it."

Baer was asked when he'll start looking at some of the position on the defense that are up for grabs and when he'll start to sort out which players will start at those positions.

"Next week, probably the first part of next week, maybe Tuesday," Baer said. "When we first start putting that game plan in. That's probably where were at. Everybody is getting a lot of work right now. We need to start limiting some of those reps for guys we know aren't going to play and getting the veterans more work."


Missing from the afternoon session was senior running back Ryan Grant. Willingham said Grant shouldn't be long.

"Just a minor injury," Willingham said of Grant's absence. "He could be back tomorrow, could be another day, could be a week, could be two weeks. Just day-to-day."

Also sitting out has been linebacker Brandon Hoyte. Hoyte has been seen with his arm in a sling.

"Brandon Hoyte may be a little longer," Willingham said of Hoyte's status. "We'll probably look at him week-to-week."

The walking wounded continues to grow. Besides Grant and Hoyte, the Irish had a number of players sitting out or very limited in the afternoon practice.

Those out or limited were Abdel Banda, Jared Clark, Matt Shelton, Jamie Ryan, Anthony Vernaglia, Justin Tuck, Kyle Budinscak, Junior Jabbie and Jerome Collins. Top Stories