Morning Practice: 8/13

The Notre Dame football team was outside for the first of two practices on Wednesday, dressed in full pads for a second-straight workout at LaBar Field.

Today is the sixth day of fall camp, as the Irish get ready for the upcoming season.

Irish Eyes had a few staff members at practice. Here is what they saw.

Mike Frank

The team was in full pads, which surprised me, but with a two-a-day, and the heat in the afternoon practice, it was probably wise to have the morning be the pads session.

I was mainly by the wide receivers and the running backs today.

Overall, the team mood was somber. Hardly any talking. Hardly any emotion. This is to be expected to some extent due to the spirited practice yesterday, and the fact that it was 9 AM.

But, the coaches had a hard time getting the team excited and motivated. Offensive coordinator Mike Haywood had to stop drills twice to capture their attention. They started to pick it up at the tail end of our view session. My guess is the same thing was happening all over the individual drills as there just didn't seem to be much excitement on the field today.

I didn't see anyone missing from the WR, QB or RB bunch. Didn't see any injuries, either.

Receivers coach Rob Ianello was working his unit. I only saw one drop on the 4-cone drill, which is encouraging. Hopefully the drops we saw in practice yesterday were just a bad day.

Christian McCollum

Mike Golic Sr. joined his son and Irish verbal commit Jake, who was at practice today and yesterday.

Mike Haywood was especially chatty today. He likes to talk with defensive players during stretching. He made a comment to the reporters in attendance "You guys are the real troopers. Those other guys are still in bed." Later Haywood was joking with kicker Brandon Walker before the two talked about the prospects of ND grad J.J. Jansen making the Packers. Both Haywood and Walker seem to think he has a good shot.

Weis came over and joked with freshmen Dayne Crist and Nate Montana, apparently about their recent hair loss because he said to Montana, "It's one of the few times for the rest of your life that your father's got more hair than you."

The QBs and WRs ran through ball security drills over bags as Ianello and Powlus shouted "Quick feet, quick feet" "Move, move" "High and tight, high and tight."

The RBs went through a similar drill as Haywood commented, "You're getting better Luke" "You had a better day yesterday 25 (Jonas Gray)." Schwapp almost fumbled during the drill.

Jonas Gray had some freshmen moments. He hopped through a read and react drill,. which was not what Haywood wanted and he told Gray, "Pay attention and you'll follow." Later, Haywood used Armando Allen to show Gray what he wanted.

The RBs looked sluggish during their figure 8 drills where three backs dive and roll over and under each other. Haywood barked "I'm warning you, it's going to stop. That's all I'm going to say." "You have a little success one day and you want to take the next practice off. Well, it doesn't work that way."

Haywood gave the running backs a tip for running an inside zones. "Put more pressure on your opposite foot when you're running inside zone."

The tight ends and linemen worked on blocking drills. The OL split up with some hitting the sled and others working on staying low. Sam Young really shows his strength by lifting the sled very high in the air.

The wide receivers seemed to be doing a good job going through a four cones drill, catching four balls as we were leaving.

Steve Wiltfong

Whether it was all the hitting yesterday, or just the fact that it was 9 o'clock in the morning, there wasn't as much chatting during agilities and stretching.

Scouts from the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns were at practice.

"Whatya say Dayne?" receivers coach Rob Ianello said to freshman quarterback Dayne Crist during stretching. The two talked for a second.

Head coach Charlie Weis was joking around with sophomore cornerback Gary Gray before making his way over to Crist to talk with his freshman signal caller.

Crist stretches with walk-on Nate Montana. "This is one of the few times for the rest of your life that your father will have more hair than you," Weis joked.

Irish offensive coordinator Mike Haywood and kicker Brandon Walker talked about how they heard J.J. Jansen is doing well in NFL camp.

The team broke from stretching into their regular bag drills. "Stay off the bags!" Jappy Oliver yelled to the linebackers and defensive linemen.

"Eyes up," linebackers coach Jon Tenuta said. Brian Smith is the quickest of the group through the bags, and from what I've seen in limited time this fall, probably the best player on the defense.

"Set the tone fellas, focus, gotta get down," Maurice Crum said to the rest of the linebackers and d-linemen as they wrapped up this agility and speed drill.

Those position groups separated and I stayed with the linebackers.

Tenuta had them doing a downhill drill where they come through the line and hit the RB who is running a counter.

"Find the ball," Tenuta said.

"Good job," he said to Crum, as the fifth-year senior captain did it perfectly.

"C'mon Quinny, don't hop," Tenuta said to Steve Quinn as he cut to the ball carrier, who happens to be Tenuta standing in place and faking a cut one way or the other.

"That's it Harrison!"

"Don't hop, stay off my bags and away from me," he said to freshman Steve Filer, who came barreling through the bags which are supposed to be the o-line and almost ran up on Tenuta. I've noticed the freshmen have made mistakes but have all been going as hard as possible. Diving right in I guess.

Tenuta then talked to Brian Smith about not over running the counter. Tenuta approved of the way Toryan Smith and Scott Smith did the drill.

The next LB drill was a hit drill where the LB makes impact with a player that just made a catch.

"Fit him up, pads on pads, down hill," Tenuta instructed.

"Get your eyes up Harrison and hit him on the rise."

I noticed Anthony McDonald was not at the morning practice. Fellow freshmen David Posluszny's shorter height makes him look smaller than most of the group.

"I'm going to put my helmet on the ******* ball and I'm going to hit with my ******* shoulder pads because that's what there there for," Tenuta said to the linebackers during the drill.

On the way out, I saw the WRs doing the four-cone drill where they catch a ball on every turn. There were no drops among Richard Jackson, David Grimes, Robby Parris, Duval Kamara and John Goodman. Ianello was praising the freshman Goodman on the way out for his latest rep.

Lorenzo Reyes

It was mild outside for the morning session of the first two-a-day.

The players seemed tired from yesterday and from waking up, so there wasn't much chatter.

Coach Brown and Tenuta were going over something for a couple of minutes and coach Haywood joined in.

Haywood walked over to chat with the DB's as he usually does. He seems to like the group and maybe talk a little trash since he'll be facing them shortly.

Weis was making his rounds and stopped over with Dayne Crist for a moment.

After the huddle broke, the players went over to the bags and position drills. I was watching DB's and as I walked over there, I heard Tenuta say, "Bend your knees and get your *** down. Look like a football player."

Polian was animated during the DB bags set. "We don't jog out of drills, RJ, we finish them. Do it over. Nothing half-assed frosh."

Corwin was stressing the players to keep their eyes up. "Eyes up, eyes up. If you don't look at me, I'm going to throw this football at you," threatening them.

They then worked on their backpedal. "Set, hut. Change, change, break," Corwin would say.

"Take a lap Anello. I don't care, I don't want to hear it," he said to Mike Anello when he turned the wrong way.

They were working on breaking the jam and then tackling the sled.

"Good job, Rae. F****** play physical," Corwing said to Raeshon McNeil.

David Bruton is by far the most consistent in the DB drill and is the unit's leader.

"Hit the f******* bag," Brown barked at the players.

"You better get your *** going, Anello," Brown said because of his sluggish start.


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