Practice Report: 11/11

Rain forced the Notre Dame football team indoors for its second day of work in preparation for Saturday's game with Navy. The Irish were dressed in full pads and the media was allowed to view the first 20 minutes. As always, Irish Eyes was there for your report.

Charlie Weis was having some trouble with his right leg and was massaging it as the team began stretching. His left knee was the one that was injured against Michigan and it seems that the right one was acting up because of the weight that it has had to carry.

It was one of the quietest stretching periods of the year as the team realizes that it has not done much in the last few weeks to get too excited about. Ron Powlus talked to Jimmy Clausen about the alignments of safeties and Rob Ianello and a member of the strength and conditioning staff were giving Duval Kamara a hard time about something, but not too much chatter from other areas of the team.

But after huddling around Weis at the end of stretching the team seemed to get a burst of energy and sprinted to their individual position groups.

Corwin Brown put the defensive backs through their typical backpedal-and-break drills and was encouraging Gary Gray and Robert Blanton to do the drills the way he wanted. The defensive line practiced getting off the ball with Kerry Neal, Patrick Kuntz, Ian Williams and Justin Brown leading the first group. The line then moved to the five-man dummies to work on using hands against defenders. The linebackers worked on taking proper angles before practicing angle tackles.

The quarterbacks worked on getting their arms loose and the tight ends practiced ball security and one-on-one blocking.

Mike Haywood put the running backs through drills that focused mainly on blocking. First, the backs carried bags with weights in them and slowly moved side to side while using the proper blocking technique. Then the backs worked one-on-one against a stationary rusher. Robert Hughes served as Steve Paskorz's stationary rusher and when the drill ended said, ‘Damn, Paskorz you knocked the wind out of me.' The backs then hit the one-man sled.

The offensive line worked on different schemes against different fronts. With Trevor Robinson starting at right guard for the injured Chris Stewart, Taylor Dever has seen more reps as a tight end in running packages. At one point John Latina was upset and shouted, ‘Too wide! Too (expletive) wide!'

The wide receivers did the figure-eight drill before doing four-cones. A couple of weeks ago you could see that freshman John Goodman was moving at a much faster pace than he had been at the start of practice. Now, it seems that Deion Walker's speed has increased dramatically when going around the cones and he looks a lot smoother doing it. Meanwhile, Goodman is still looking quick, but Ianello made him do the drill twice in a row after he slammed the final ball to the ground after catching it.

The kickers typically still go outside even when the team stays inside, but during stretching Clausen asked Ryan Burkhart if they were going outside and he told the quarterback ‘No.' So the kickers just stood around for the most part while the media was in attendance.


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