Practice Report 8/15

The Notre Dame football team practiced outside at Cartier Field on Wednesday, the first practice of two today. A lot of the first-team players were not at practice this morning, allowing the others to get more reps. The ND staff wants to get a look at the second team and beyond to see who can help this year, and to give them special instruction.

(Offense by Steve Wiltfong)

Saying that, of course all four quarterbacks were in attendance. Given the morning off of the practice field was running back Travis Thomas, tight end John Carlson, receivers, David Grimes and George West, tackles Paul Duncan and Sam Young, and guard Michael Turkovich. Everyone else on the offense was accounted for.

Following stretching, the offense sprinted over to the south field for agilities. "Plant and move," receivers coach Rob Ianello yelled as the quarterbacks and receivers weaved through the bags. On the wet grass, freshman Duval Kamara struggled to move through on one rep. Walk-on Brandon Erickson was right on his tail. "Come on Duval, Erickson is kicking your ass," Ianello yelled. On the next rep, it was Erickson who slipped and fell right as head coach Charlie Weis was walking over. "Are you dreaming of the Jersey Shore," Weis joked. Erickson is from Marlboro, N.J.

Hord, Gallup, and Parris were the first WRs through drills.

Offensive coordinator/running backs coach Michael Haywood was stressing to the RBs to squeeze the ball at all times. He reminded them that the RBs put it on the ground once yesterday. "Ball security is the issue," Haywood said as the RBs were doing monkey rolls.

There was a folly at practice today. Running through the gauntlet, freshman Robert Hughes took a shot in his manhood. He was writhing in pain on the ground as James Aldridge and a few other backs started cracking up. The next time through, Haywood told Hughes, "You have to step downhill and bend that front knee and you won't get hit in the jewels." According to Eric Frank, our new photographer and video man, this happened to Armando Allen the other day.

I saw the offensive linemen working on agilities from across the field. On my way out, I saw them working on double teams. Exploding into the defensive end and creating a hole together.

(Defense by Mike Frank)

The entire first team D was off. I was told they were watching film and doing mental stuff. They'll be back at practice for the second practice, which is closed to the media.

So, gone today was all the first team D. Excused from practice were Trevor Laws, Pat Kuntz, both Justin Brown and Dwight Stephenson on the defensive line. Maurice Crum, Joe Brockington and Toryan Smith at ILB. Vernaglia and John Ryan at OLB

Tom Zbikowski, David Bruton, Ambrose Wooden and Terrail Lambert in the secondary.

When the second team D did line up in the first team drill where they move together as a unit and then Bill Lewis throws a pass which they are supposed to intercept and take it back to the house. Those on the second team were Paddy Mullen, Ian Williams, Kallen Wade on the defensive line, Morrice Richardson, Scott Smith, Steve Quinn and Kerry Neal at linebacker, and Darrin Walls, Sergio Brown, Kyle McCarthy and Raeshon McNeil in the secondary.

Third team consisted of Andrew Nuss, Neil Kennedy, Emeka Nwankwo on the line, Kevin Washington, Aaron Nagel, Steve Paskorz, Brian Smith at linebacker, and Leo Ferrine, Jashaad Gaines, Harrison Smith and Munir Prince in the secondary.

There really wasn't a lot to see today.

The linebackers were working on engaging a block and the under arm rip move. Coach Corwin Brown was working very closely with Kerry Neal and Brian Smith in this drill. He took the outside backers while Coach Brian Polian took the inside backers.

The inside backers were working on hitting the sled and staying low. Coach Polian said numerous times, "You have to keep your pad level low. It's our only chance when taking on a guard."

He also spent a lot of time talking about a solid base and not getting your feet too far out in front and too far outside.

The defensive backs, as usual, were just working on their backpedal and moving left and right based on which way coach Lewis directed them.

And of course, the defensive linemen were hitting the sled. Once again, coach Oliver was working hard to get them to stay low. Keep their back and butt down.

I expect today will be mostly fundamental work with the young guys. They'll probably give them a lot of reps in team.


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