Practice Report: 10/21

The Notre Dame football team was back in action on Tuesday afternoon after a long weekend off. South Bend is starting to feel like fall with a cool breeze. The Irish were dressed in full pads for their first practice this week in preparation for Washington. Irish Eyes was there for the first 20 minutes and a new kicker was also in attendance.

Charlie Weis told the media before practice that offensive lineman Paul Duncan's season is over after having hip surgery Tuesday morning. Weis also said that David Grimes would be doubtful for Saturday's game, but the senior receiver was out there running around seemingly pain-free.

The Irish seem excited to start shaking off some of the rust from a long weekend. Jonas Gray and Robert Blanton have now joined the handshake club before stretching along with David Bruton and Grimes and James Aldridge and Kyle McCarthy.

Corwin Brown and Sergio Brown enjoy busting each other. The defensive coordinator was getting after Brown before telling Gary Gray. Gray was confused and the coach said, "Just usual Fredo." To which, Sergio Brown responded, "Yeah but he walked off on that."

Offensive coordinator Michael Haywood and quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus went over some X's and O's with Jimmy Clausen. Haywood was especially chatty talking about the Rodgers brothers of Oregon State before challenging the defensive backs.

As Notre Dame broke from stretching the team chanted, "Fast start!!!"

There was a new kicker at practice on Tuesday, number 32. Notre Dame director of football communications Brian Hardin could not confirm the kicker's new identity, but it has been speculated that it could be David Ruffer who was a kicker at William & Mary before transferring to Notre Dame this year. The kickers never kick in practice, so no insight on his leg strength or accuracy.

After stretching, the defensive backs broke into backpedal-and-break drills with Coach Brown shouting, "Don't guess." The linebackers worked on taking proper downhill angles and form tackling. Harrison Smith was always an aggressive safety, but he seems to be embracing his role as a linebacker more and more. The defensive line practiced getting off the ball and using their hands.

The offensive line practiced combo blocking before working against different fronts. John Latina made the second group go back saying, "Soft, high, (expletive rhyming with gritty)." The tight ends worked on ball security and one-on-one blocking. It's interesting to see a true freshman in Kyle Rudolph as the undisputed leader of a position group. Bernie Parmalee seems to be pleased with the progress of Joseph Fauria. The wide receivers did most of their typical drills, figure-eights, four-cones. Barry Gallup is back after dealing with an injury and Duval Kamara seems fired up after his strong performance against North Carolina. Michael Floyd showed more emotion after completing a four-cone rep than I've seen from him at practice this year.

The running backs came out as fired up as anyone, bursting through agility drills and the Gauntlet. Freshman Jonas Gray seemed especially motivated going through the Gauntlet. The quarterbacks got their arms loose before working on their drops.


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