News and Notes 8-20-2005

*The Notre Dame football team is going through their fourth two-a-day session of fall camp on Saturday. The freshmen are not practicing today because of orientation activities on campus. They will be back with the team for tomorrow's practice.

Because of some rain overnight, the morning session was held in doors at the Loftus Center. The early evening practice will be either at the Loftus or Cartier Field pending the weather.

*One of head coach Charlie Weis's goals is to take Irish football back to its glory days. In doing this, Weis has brought back familiar faces to the program. One of them is Ron Powlus, who in his first year holds the title of Director of Personnel Development. Powlus is Notre Dame's career leader in passing yardage, pass attempts, completions, and touchdown passes.

"The feelings I'm getting now is a lot of the reason why I wanted to come back," Powlus said. "The excitement with the team, the coaches, the whole university…that's what I wanted to get back here. That's what I missed."

With his new job, the main focus is on recruiting and helping players with any questions they might have. Powlus said the younger guys might have a question or two about class and their schedule and he'll give them the best possible advice seeing as how he went through a college football player's life for four years. One thing Powlus is certain of: the program has an unquestioned leader.

"There is not question about who is running the show out around here," Powlus said. "I think that's a good thing. The players need to see and the coaches need to see that. Everyone needs to know Coach Weis is in charge and there is no question about it. There is no one else but him to answer the questions. I like the attitude he brings to the practice field."

*The word "installation" has been used repeatedly by the coaches during the first two weeks of fall camp. This is nothing unusual for a new staff. Both sides of the ball have to learn the new plays and schemes being implemented. On offense, it's learning from what Weis want to do. On defense, it's from Rick Minter.

The learning curve is not quite as steep for those on special teams. Players can pick up what special teams coach Brian Polian wants to do in a hurry. It especially can help with younger players eying game action.

"Guys are able to establish themselves quicker on special teams than offense or defense because a young guy may take a little bit more time digesting all the information that is given to them on offense or defense," Polian said. In the kicking game, the installation is not as cumbersome as on offense or defense. You can get a guy taught what to do if they have the opportunity to show early whether or not physically they are capable and willing of running down there and doing what you are coaching them to do."

*Polian is also the defensive backs assistant to Bill Lewis. Polian works the secondary during practice, attends all the meetings and watches the film. Apparently, some poster on an Internet site who attended the open practices last week thought Polian had a different job description.

"I actually got a chuckle when somebody pointed out to me that there was a post on an Internet site that somebody thought I was a manager," Polian said. "They couldn't understand why a manager was yelling at a safety. I'm a manager with a whistle and script."

*Practice is closed to the media tomorrow. For that reason, News and Notes will not be appearing tomorrow but will return packed with information on Monday.


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