The Fighting Irish do not have a game on Saturday, but as college football kicks off this week and classes start at Notre Dame along with the plan that Charlie Weis discussed with the media, this week can be considered the start of the regular season for the Irish.
It was a hot, windy day at LaBar practice fields on Tuesday as Notre Dame had its second day of practice this week. No sign of defensive end Morrice Richardson, who is out with a sprained ankle. But Weis said on Monday that he expected Richardson to be ready for San Diego State on Sept. 6. Also, no sign of receiver George West who has been out for a bit with a concussion.
It was a relatively quiet 20 minutes at practice while the media was in attendance. Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus gave some instructions to Jimmy Clausen and Evan Sharpley during stretching. Weis walked around and busted Notre Dame superfan Keith Penrod by asking, "What are you looking at?"
Later Weis joked with Illinois native Sergio Brown saying, "You Chicago guys are all alike."
After stretching, the team split up into their usual agility groups by position. The quarterbacks worked on their drops while the receivers practiced catching, cutting and ball security. The tight ends did a similar drill to the receivers while the running backs worked on footwork over bags. Powlus was heard in the preseason complaining that he no longer got to throw because the Irish have an even number of quarterbacks with Clausen, Sharpley, Dayne Crist and three walk-ons. But on Tuesday walk-on Nick Lezysnki did not work out with the quarterbacks, opening up a spot for the former Notre Dame signal-caller to jump in when they started throwing lightly.
The running backs did their figure-eight drill before working on ball security more while the receivers later did their four-cones drill. Later, Bernie Parmalee worked with the tight ends on their blocking techniques as Weis looked on intently.
Offensive line coach John Latina used to split the linemen up in groups by which side they lined up on, but now has them broken up by their spots on the depth chart. Latina takes the two-deep along with most of the other scholarship players while graduate assistant Kevin Loney takes the rest. Latina started his guys out by staying low and firing out before switching with Loney's group and pushing the sled. Latina sent Michael Turkovich back to push the sled again once.
Jappy Oliver put the defensive line through a drill to work on firing out of their stances and changing directions to chase the ball. The linebackers worked on angles and then form tackling where John Tenuta could be heard saying, "You've got shoulder pads on, that's what they're there for."
Corwin Brown put the secondary through its typical backpedal drills.