How was Terrail Lambert today?"He looked okay. He moved around okay, and it is early in the week. We'll monitor him as he goes."
The defense has played well except for some fourth quarter let downs. What is the problem? Are they just worn down?"Coaching-wise, we just have to do a better job. You know, getting the guys going and putting them in better positions to make plays. Our kids are doing fine and playing hard."
Do you feel your guys have responded to you pretty well?"They have responded to themselves more than to us. What we do is, we have one way we try to play all the time whether it is in practice or in games, scrimmage. We have a way that we are in meetings and that is the way you always go. Go hard or go home. So that's what they do. There are times when we do it better and there are times when we don't do it as well, but that's what we do. They're working. I like our kids."
Have you seen any guys who look like they doubt what is going on?"Nope, we don't have that. Nope, we don't have that."
Players talk about how you and Coach Tenuta being guys who really keep the defenses on edge. Do you feel as a coach you have to tend to that?"Like I said, there is a way we like to play. There is a way I think football should be played. There is a way that Coach Tenuta believes football should be played. So that is something we don't talk about unless it needs to be addressed. We get into more of executing your assignment because we talked about that back in the spring. After the first day, that is something we really don't like to discuss and we shouldn't have to because there is one way to play this game, and I don't care who you are playing. I don't care if it's Navy or SC. I don't care."
Have you had to bring it up this season?"No, because we play hard all the time, and if we don't, it's because it's something that we didn't do well as coaches to put our kids in a position to be ready to go."
What have you seen from Ray Herring that has allowed him to get more playing time recently?"Well, he's made plays and put himself in position to make some pass break-ups; to make some tackles; to make some calls and adjustments and that's part of it. He's gotten better at that and those are things, you know, regardless who's playing, we would like to think if you are out there, you should make the play because you never know when somebody's going to get hurt and you never know when someone's going to get tired and you never know when someone's going to have a bad day. If that person has a bad day, the next guy should be there to step up and pick up the slack and go from there."
(Question could not be heard.)"It's very important. It's very important for a number of reasons; one, because this is Notre Dame."
Is there a number two?"Nope, that's why we come here. You come here so you can get everybody's best shot. You come here because you want people to challenge you; because you want people to hate you; because you want the scrutiny and the attention and you want the focus. You don't come here to hide. If you've got anything about you, you want it. Now, when it doesn't go your way, you don't like that. But at the same time, you know, guys come here for one reason, because you expect to be the best. You get everybody's best shot and you are certainly going to get ours and that's why people come here. Is it hard? Absolutely. Absolutely. If you have anything about you, you don't want it any other way. I like our kids."
Is it about getting back to that standard?"Getting back to that standard is a work in progress. We're making progress. We ain't where we want to be yet."
How hard is it to handle things when they aren't going well?"It's tough. It's tough, but at the same time it reveals things about you. It reveals things about the type of people you are with. You know, when times are at their hardest, that's when we look for the chinks in the armor; the character flaws; the guys who are quitting. Our kids came in and they were great in the meetings and they were great on the field and in practice today. So we are just going to work and keep going, you know, work and keep going. Is it hard? Yes. But anybody can whoop and holler when it is going well; anybody can. So it's good. It will teach you something about yourself in life. You have to be better for it. You've got to."
If this team beats USC, does that mean ND is back?"Absolutely. We need to beat USC anyway. One, because USC doesn't think we can beat them. They may say all the right things and they may not. I really don't know because I don't follow the papers, and I don't read what they say because it doesn't matter. Regardless of what they say, it doesn't matter. We gotta go out there at kickoff time and we have to play. Do we need to beat them? Why? Because we're Notre Dame. That's why we need to beat them. We used to beat them and we've got to get back to that. They do a good job; they're a good team."