Practice Report: 4/15

It was a beautiful sunny day in South Bend as Notre Dame had its 13th practice of the spring and first in a week. The Irish were dressed in full pads at the LaBar Practice Complex and the media was allowed a bit more than the usual 20 minutes. Wednesday was John Goodman's day to work out with the quarterbacks.

The list of non-dressed players remains pretty much the same as Kerry Neal, Anthony McDonald, Darius Fleming, George West, Taylor Dever and Trevor Robinson did not dress. Former cornerback Terrail Lambert made an appearance at practice today.

With spring practice winding down, the list of players with the least gold on their helmets includes tight end Joseph Fauria and offensive linemen Michael Golic, Braxston Cave and walk-on Mike Hernandez. Somehow, Robinson also has a pretty silver-looking helmet.

Charlie Weis cracked some jokes with the defensive backs while Jimmy Clausen talked to quarterback coach Ron Powlus about some of the best players from his time down at the Army All-American Game.

Wide receiver Deion Walker and center Dan Wenger were back out there and both looked close to 100 percent. West received some encouragement from both coaches and players as he looks to be getting closer to full speed at the end of the spring.

It was odd to see wideout John Goodman and his blue #81 jersey throwing with the quarterbacks and their red jerseys. Powlus stood by Goodman throughout warmups to brush up some mechanics in his throwing motion and drops. Weis pulled his cart up to watch the quarterbacks before Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick jumped in.

After warming up, the quarterbacks threw to receivers and it was obvious that Goodman threw a much tighter ball with much more velocity than any of the walk-ons behind Clausen and Dayne Crist. Goodman had some issues with timing, but he can really sling it.

I didn't get to watch much of the one-on-one drills with the defensive backs, but the one pass I did see Goodman throw was a nice out pattern to Walker.

It is clear that the defensive backs are going to be super aggressive this year. A lot of the times during one-on-ones, the receiver had trouble finishing his route because the defender was so far underneath him.

The reason I missed much of the one-on-one period was because Weis kept the media inside for an extra period to see the Irish Eyes drill. Neither the offense nor the defensive held a noticeable advantage overall, but Eric Olsen did have a nice block on Tyler Stockton while Chris Stewart took care of Brandon Newman.

Newman responded by making the tackle on the final play of the drill to the hooting and hollering of the defense.

There definitely seems to be more attitude this year. At one point, Olsen trash-talked the defense about whining about holding while Emeka Nwankwo and Morrice Richardson argued for the chance to take the next rep.

It did not really matter as Nwankwo won out and got to go first and was whipped by Paul Duncan and when Richardson finally got his chance, Sam Young took care of him.

Others who stood out during the relatively brief session included Ian Williams, Ethan Johnson, Sean Cwynar, Stewart and Wenger.

The running backs look much better going through Tony Alford's new drills than they did at the start of the spring, especially Armando Allen and Jonas Gray. Alford got on Robert Hughes at one point for not finishing a drill.

The Irish will wrap up the spring with a light practice on Friday before the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Top Stories