Practice Report: 10/28

The temperatures dropped just below 40 degrees and the Notre Dame football team was inside on Tuesday as the Irish had their second day of work this week in preparation for Pittsburgh. The Irish were dressed in full pads and the media was allowed to see the first 20 minutes.

Charlie Weis informed the media earlier on Tuesday that receiver David Grimes had told the coach that his back was 100 percent. Weis said that he would have to watch Grimes during practice. Grimes looked fine, but he looked fine during practice last week as well. Grimes and Barry Gallup, who is coming off of a foot injury, watched the rest of the receivers go through the figure-eight drill, but participated in the other drills while the media was there.

It is scary, but Michael Floyd looks better each week during practice. The receivers went through the four-cone drill and the freshman blazed through the cuts faster than I've seen him before. Classmate John Goodman also went through the drill very easily.

Weis said that they would limit contact for linebacker Brian Smith, who suffered a mild concussion against Washington, and that was evident. Smith joined the linebackers in the first drill that works on getting downhill at an angle, but was held out of the angle tackling drill that followed. The linebackers then worked on taking on blocks, another drill that Smith did not participate in.

Right guard Eric Olsen was the other Irish starter who got dinged up against Washington. I did not see Olsen at practice today. The offensive line worked on assignments against different fronts and although I didn't make it over until the second group, I saw Sam Young, Dan Wenger and Mike Turkovich, but no Olsen. The group consisted of Matt Romine, Andrew Nuss, Thomas Bemenderfer, Trevor Robinson and Taylor Dever. Since I didn't get to see the first group go, it'd only be a guess to say that Robinson was pulling double-duty.

The quarterbacks did nothing more than loosen their arms, while Mike Haywood put the running backs through various agility drills and the Gauntlet. The tight ends worked on ball security and one-on-one blocking. Freshman Joseph Fauria looks to be getting better at blocking, but we won't no for sure until he gets in a game situation that truly matters.

The defensive backs worked on their backpedals before doing open field tackling drills. The open field tackling drills were not full speed, but David Bruton's closing speed to the ball carrier was still evident. Also clear was the fact that Robert Blanton loves contact. The freshman always seems to bring a little more than others in these types of drills.

The defensive line worked on getting off the ball before practicing to use their arms against linemen. Kerry Neal worked with the first group and John Ryan, who did not play much against Washington, did not seem to be slowed by any injury.

The kickers began the practice working outside, but since they almost never kick in front of the media, I doubt we missed much. Top Stories