Tuesday was a hot one at the LaBar practice fields with temperatures hovering above 90 degrees as Notre Dame had its second practice of the week in preparation for San Diego State.
Earlier in the day, Charlie Weis said that he expected everyone - except for those who have already been declared out for the season with an injury - to be healthy enough for the opener. Weis said that Jashaad Gaines has been excused for a couple of days to go home and take care of a personal matter, but everyone else was expected to be ready to go.
I did not notice anyone missing from practice and players who have been hobbled in recent weeks, like Asaph Schwapp, Paul Duncan and Morrice Richardson, appear to be progressing well. Nobody seemed to be slowed during the form running period at the start of practice.
Corwin Brown was at practice in a sweat suit with one pant leg rolled up and the other down. Some of the defensive players tried to clown him about it, but Brown got freshman Darius Fleming to stick up for him.
Weis said that he could sense a different type of energy during Monday's practice and it was there again on Tuesday. The players are still loose, but there seems to be a different tone.
Jimmy Clausen shouted out of nowhere at one point, "Game week, baby!"
Later Clausen hollered a couple of rows down to Golden Tate, "Hey Golden," Tate responded, "Yeah?" Clausen then said, "We've got a game on Saturday." To which the receiver replied, "Yeah, buddy!"
At one point Ron Powlus explained to Clausen that the quarterbacks would be starting off with ‘linework'. Clausen noticeably unexcited about ‘linework' pretended that he could not hear what his coach was saying.
But when the team broke into position groups to do agility, the quarterbacks did what Powlus said, dropping back and turning side to side as they continued their drops. Later, the quarterbacks did some more drills to work on their drops before getting their arms loose.
The offensive linemen worked on their one-on-one blocking techniques. The wide receivers did some figure-eight drills before doing their four-cones drill and working on both stalk blocking and cut blocking. The running backs did some agility drills over bags and also worked on blocking techniques. The tight ends practiced catching and ball security and then blocking techniques.
The defensive line did a drill to work on changing directions before practicing to use their hands on opponents. The linebackers worked on filling holes at a downhill angle before practicing angle tackling. The secondary practiced their backpedals, angle tackling and man-to-man coverage skills.
Weis moved around a lot more than he did during preseason camp, moving from group to group quickly. He came by the defensive backs right when Brown was putting them through angle tackling. Brown did not like the tempo that Jamoris Slaughter displayed in the drill and said, "That's a lovetap, Jamoris." Weis chimed right in, "You're going to have to be more physical than that Jamoris."
Brown followed with, "You want to be called the Georgia Peach?"
Slaughter was much more aggressive on his next rep, which impressed Brown.