Practice Report: 3/30

It was a warm, sunny Monday afternoon at the LaBar Practice Complex as the Notre Dame football team went through its seventh practice of the spring in full pads. The media was in attendance for the first 20 minutes of practice.

Chad Klunder and Reggie Brooks led a large group of prospective international students into practice. Charlie Weis stopped by to entertain the group for a few moments before taking pictures while the team stretched.

Eric Maust and Golden Tate were at practice on Monday after returning from Pittsburgh with the baseball team over the weekend. George West, Trevor Robinson, Kerry Neal, Anthony McDonald and Darius Fleming continue to go through drills without full pads.

It is obvious that the three new position coaches have their units' attention.

Running backs coach Tony Alford is right on the players as they go through his cone drills and he has made it clear that he does not want his cones touched. When the backs work on ball security, the coach does not give them a courtesy tap as they run by, he really tries to knock that ball out of there.

It has been mentioned repeatedly how offensive line coach Frank Verducci is a true teacher and wants to make sure that all of his players take a mental rep on each snap. But one thing that has not been brought up as much is Verducci's attention to detail with every single snap. Verducci does not just stand back and blow his whistle, he hustles around and makes sure that he is in perfect position to see what is going on with each rep up close.

Randy Hart's group of defensive linemen is always one of the most, if not the most, energetic unit on the field everyday. Hart just demands that his players move at a faster speed and they seem genuinely excited about every drill.

At tight end, Joseph Fauria looks better and better each day. He looked skinny and stiff last year, but he seems more solid while being more fluid at the same time.

I stayed with the receivers for the most part on Monday and Rob Ianello did not disappoint. On multiple occasions, Ianello said that he could get a better effort from his young children, Zach and Ashley.

When walk-on quarterback Brian Castello tripped over a bag in agility drills, Ianello was stunned.

"Are you (kidding) me 15?" Ianello shouted. "Zach can go over the bag. He'll be here later, he'll demonstrate."

The walk-ons do not take reps during every drill at practice, but walk-on receiver Sammy Vos seems to have worked his way into the group of scholarship wideouts. Vos was taking reps when the other walk-ons were not and his scholarship teammates were cheering him on.

When Ianello put the receivers through a drill to cut opponents, Tate kidded with Ianello by telling him that the drill was not good for his throwing arm.

When Ianello asked which arm he threw with, Tate replied, "Both."

But Tate went through the drill and delivered a more spirited rep than John Goodman. After Goodman's rep, Ianello said, "I think Ashley ran into me harder than that in the living room last night. She's two."

The mood of practice was rather quiet and Ianello said, "I'm not quite sure that a blind man would know he was at a football practice today."

Tate responded by yelling during his next turn on the bag. Ianello made him go again.

"That was more noise than contact," Ianello said. "This isn't Harry Met Sally."

It is doubtful that any of Ianello's players understood the reference.


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