Practice Reports 8/14

The Notre Dame football team practiced indoors this Tuesday afternoon at the Loftus Center. It was a perfect weather day in South Bend but rain did fall in the early morning hours. The Irish might have been giving Cartier Field a break from tearing it up. The players were in full pads. Here are some observations:

OFFENSE (by Mike Frank)

Colin and I switched today. We're both bored of looking at the same thing each day, and I think we quickly learned the grass is not always greener on the other side. Not much to really observe today.

The most interesting thing about stretching period was Asaph Schwapp, David Grimes and John Sullivan weren't doing the drills where they're turning sideways while running putting pressure on the knee.

However, when they went to individual drills, they all did the sideways stuff through the bags. I don't think it's anything at all to be concerned with.

The QBs didn't throw. They worked on their drops the entire first period. Powlus counts, the boys drop back, set up, act like they're going to throw. Pretty exciting stuff!

After the group meeting before individuals, there's usually a race to be first in line. Robert Hughes won for the running backs/tight ends, John Carlson was second. Schwapp seems to win this race often, which says a lot about him I think.

The backs did their usual stuff today. Running the bags, hitting the sled.

Schwapp always leads the charge with the sled and hits it first. He is such a powerful man. He just kills the sled. Everyone else kind of pales in comparison. Haywood commented "that's it. That's the way you do it."

Haywood did compliment Armando with "that a baby Armando." Haywood wasn't as chatty today as usual.

Then I went over to check out the O-line. The linemen were also hitting the sled and working on technique for drive blocking. Latina had a lot of positive things to say to most of them. He did comment that Turkovich got too high on one rep, but on that rep, Turk push Taylor Dever what seemed like a mile. There's no question Turkovich is playing with a lot of fire.

Latina also complimented Wenger a number of times. "I liked that rep, Dan. I liked that rep a lot."

I didn't get a chance to look at the tight ends today.

DEFENSE (by Colin Burns)

Scouts from the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts were spotted at practice today.

During stretching, DB coach Bill Lewis was going over to his players and telling them the coverages they would be working on today, such as Cover 3 and defenses against trips sets.

Head coach Charlie Weis and Brian Polian had a lengthy conversation during stretching.

The team appeared to be in high spirits. There was some joking around from Demetrius Jones and overall energy at practice. As for Jones, it's almost as if he's the vocal leader of the team, even as a sophomore.

After the team breaks the center huddle from Weis after stretching, the players chant, "Respect!"

This was my first time watching the defense. Usually, I observe the offense. Overall, the group was louder and faster than I've seen in two years. There was a high level of energy in the initial drills from all the players.

This was also my first look at a few of the freshmen. LB Brian Smith stood out because of his size and the way he moves. Smith showed good athleticism and quickness in the drills. Smith stands at 6-3 but moves well for his size.

The first group of DB's were the same: Lambert, Wooden, Zibby and Bruton. The secondary was working on side-to-side movement and then reacting to a thrown ball.

Defensive line coach Jappy Oliver was imploring his players to "Let's tear up this wall" on the sled. The sled is almost flush up against one of the Loftus Center's walls. Oliver wanted his players to stay low and pad level.

Corwin Brown was working with the linebackers, especially the OLB. Brown made Morrice Richardson do a drill over when the sophomore was less than stellar in working on getting into pass coverage. Anthony Vernaglia appeared to move the best of the group in this drill.

As for the inside linebackers, they were hitting the sled. The Smiths, Toryan and Scott, hit it the hardest of the group. Scott was working with the inside guys today.


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