Practice Report: 4/14

The Notre Dame football team practiced inside the Loftus Center on Monday. The Irish were in full pads, as they wrap up the final week of spring practice.

Irish Eyes had a couple staff members in attendance.

Lorenzo Reyes

The mood was upbeat and there was a lot of chatter during stretching.

While the squad was stretching, OG prospect Chris Watt was looking on and having a conversation with Rob Ianello. Later on, Charlie Weis stopped by and had a few words as well.

Coach Ron Powlus, as usual stopped by Jimmy Clausen and Evan Sharpley during stretching. I saw Powlus diagramming some sort of defensive scheme in the turf and overheard them talking about the "strong-side blitz."

Weis, Mike Haywood, Ianello, and Powlus all stopped by the QBs and seemed to be giving Sharpley a hard time about going two ways with baseball and football.

Corwin Brown stopped by Gary Gray and Darrin Walls to talk about jumping routes.

As the huddle broke, I saw the defense work on the pursuit drill. The first team look was interesting. Harrison Smith was an OLB, while Kerry Neal was a DE along with Morrice Richardson. At the nose tackle spot, Justin Brown was taking the reps.

Jon Tenuta and Corwin Brown were barking out instructions.

At one point, Kyle McCarthy looked across the field and saw the offense doing up-downs. "Man, this is a lot better than up-downs," he sighed.

The linebackers were working on getting their hands up, hitting a wooden sled.

"You guys have to start knocking 300-pound linemen over now, shoot your hands up," Tenuta yelled.

They then worked on making angled tackles. It seems to me as though Tenuta is working Harrison especially hard, trying to maximize his ability.

At one point, Brian Smith was about to be the ball-carrier who was going to get tackled. "Give the ball to someone else," Tenuta said. Smith looked relieved and took a breath. I overheard him say, "I love it when he does that. 64 is f****** banging hard out there," talking about Tom Burke, a walk-on LB.

Then they worked on picking off passes. If the players dropped one, they had to do push-ups.

In this drill, Harrison excels because he basically drops back into coverage and picks off a pass, running it back. He uses his footwork and speed to effortlessly get to the ball.

Sam Werner

During stretches, Ron Powlus, as usual, went over reads with Jimmy Clausen. At one point Powlus even bent over and diagrammed a play in the turf for Clausen.

At one point, Powlus, Ianello, Haywood, and Weis all congregated around Clausen and Sharpley and were joking around.

At the end of stretching, Eric Olsen let loose in a dead-out spring to his position drill.

The running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks did a sort of relay race. It was, with a few exceptions, quarterbacks and receivers against backs and tight ends. Clausen led the race for his team and James Aldridge led for his. The two exchanged some words before the race.

Once the race started, the players had to do the routine bag drills as quickly as possible and get to the other end. Once all the players finished, they had to turn around and do it again.

Despite a late push by James Aldridge's team, the QB's and WR's won the race and got out of a drill. There was some disagreement over the results, and the players bickered for a bit. Weis quickly came over, quieted them down, and made all the players do the workout.

After that, the wide receivers worked on their jumps off the snap, while the RB's worked on their cuts.

The RBs dropped a lot of balls during their catching drills, causing Haywood to say, "It's like you guys are at your first day of practice today."

As the media was leaving, AD Kevin White was walking in with University President Fr. John Jenkins. Top Stories