It has been warm at practice all week, but Thursday was the warmest day yet.
Thursday means music at Notre Dame football practice and despite last week's loss at Michigan State, Pastor Troy and ‘Crank Me Up' were sandwiched between Bon Jovi and Springsteen. It sounded like the players even got some more of their music added to the playlist.
Charlie Weis continues to move around better with his heavy brace. The entire group, players and coaches, had more energy at the start of practice today than any other day this week. Jon Tenuta stopped by Jimmy Clausen and Evan Sharpley during stretching with what sounded like a couple of trivia questions. Bernie Parmalee and Jappy Oliver seemed to be having the most fun of anybody joking around with each other.
Luke Schmidt was not out for the start of practice again on Thursday, but Will Yeatman was. Schmidt has been bothered by headaches and he has practiced all week, just not during the media portion. Thursday was our first look at Yeatman since the news from the weekend as he has been nursing a left shoulder injury during the week along with Schmidt. After seeing Yeatman work out, it would be hard to imagine him playing this week even without the arrest. Yeatman avoided using his left arm almost entirely.
The tight ends worked on ball security, catching and blocking. Weis said that he had some contingency plans for the position and it was clear from Thursday's practice that the Irish do not intend to be left light at the position with Yeatman's absence.
The quarterbacks did their usual linework before getting their arms loose. The running backs got loose over some bags and then placed a strong emphasis on catching the football. The wide receivers practiced their starts and then catching the ball. The offensive line went over their assignments and angles against different fronts.
The secondary practiced backpedaling and defending passes. The linebackers worked on controlling blockers and later on their hands for interceptions. It's fun to watch Tenuta throw bad balls to his unit because he just wings it at them sidearm. The defensive line focused on executing swim moves with a running start and out of their stances against bags.