Practice Report: 9/4

Afternoon showers forced the Notre Dame football team inside of the Loftus Sports Center on Thursday as the Irish dressed in shorts, shells and helmets for their second to last day of practice before the season-opener against San Diego State. The media was allowed to view the first 20 minutes and IrishEyes was there for your report.

Since Notre Dame practiced inside, the voices of Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen bounced off the walls of Meyo Field inside the Loftus instead of over the east end of campus. Most of the players seem to enjoy the New Jersey recording artists as much as their head coach does. Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate were among many players who sang along loudly during the form-running period and virtually the entire squad seemed to have an extra bounce in their step.

The music prevented the media from hearing much of what the players and coaches talked about during stretching, but Charlie Weis said that on Monday the team was ‘chirpy', that has continued throughout the week and Thursday was no different.

Ron Powlus had family in attendance and former quarterback Jim O'Hara was also there along with former running back Reggie Brooks.

The team broke up into position groups for agility drills. The running backs worked on footwork over the bags and then practiced their cuts against both bags and cones before catching footballs. The backs also worked on ball security, carrying the ball through a gauntlet with Michael Haywood setting the tone with big hits on everyone through.

The offensive line worked on their footwork running over bags before practicing against different defensive fronts. The quarterbacks did some more linework, dropping back and turning on the instruction from Powlus, before getting their arms loose.

The wide receivers practiced their starts off the line of scrimmage and then worked on catching balls with interference from a defender. The receivers did another drill to practice catching deep balls with one hand, David Grimes, Duval Kamara, Robby Parris and Michael Floyd were a few of the wideouts that made the drill look easy. As he has all week, Barry Gallup practiced with the receivers.

Jon Tenuta put the linebackers through their usual angle drill to work on coming down hill and then practiced catching the football. The defensive backs went through their backpedal drills and then practiced their inside-outside tackling combinations. The secondary did the same drill that the receivers did to practice catching the ball with interference, but with not nearly the success rate of the wideouts.

The defensive line practiced firing out of their stances and changing directions before working on using their upper bodies to get off of blocks. Morrice Richardson said earlier in the week that he was 100% and while he doesn't look perfectly healthy, he is definitely getting close.


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