Practice Report: 11/18

Freezing temperatures brought the Notre Dame football team inside on Tuesday as the Irish start their preparations for Syracuse. Charlie Weis made it clear that he expected a very good practice from the team since it was indoors. The Irish were dressed in full pads and Irish Eyes was there for your report on the first 20 minutes.

Injured tight end Mike Ragone was back in full pads but did not do any stretching or drills with the media in attendance. Ragone will not be playing again this season, but has apparently recovered from his knee surgery enough to start practicing again.

Also in attendance was right guard Chris Stewart who had arthroscopic knee surgery a couple of weeks ago. Unlike Ragone, Stewart was dressed in a shirt, sweats and a helmet and rode a stationery bike for the first 20 minutes.

Charlie Weis said earlier on Tuesday that offensive coordinator Mike Haywood would miss some practice time this week, but Haywood was out there today. Weis said that Haywood would miss a day or two later in the week.

During stretching Weis talked to receivers Duval Kamara and Rob Parris, who now become important weapons for the Notre Dame offense with Michael Floyd out with a knee injury.

When stretching concluded the Irish broke up into their typical position groups. The quarterbacks got their arms loose before working on drops and throws. The receivers worked on their starts before catching balls and running through the gauntlet and the four-cones drill.

The running backs did agility work over bags and figure-eight drills while the tight ends practiced catching the ball and one-on-one blocking.

The offensive line practiced combination blocks with an emphasis on working up to the second level. John Latina was not happy with the effort of Mike Golic, Jr. as a scout defender during one rep and said, "C'mon Golic." Taylor Dever and Braxston Cave were impressive during one rep, knocking over two defenders.

The defensive backs worked on backpedals with Robert Blanton working alongside David Bruton, Kyle McCarthy and Raeshon McNeil in the first group. Gary Gray worked with the next group. After doing an open field tackling drill, Corwin Brown had the secondary doing up-downs because it didn't move to the next drill, defending against cut blocks, fast enough.

The linebackers worked on angle tackling and filling holes properly with Toryan Smith taking the place of the injured Brian Smith. Kerry Neal looked OK as the defensive linemen practiced using their arms to get off of opponents and Jappy Oliver barked, "Big work day." Top Stories