Kelly & Staff Start Work On New Masterpiece

While the Brian Kelly era began in the spring, the real start of Brian Kelly's tenure as head coach at Notre Dame begins when the Irish take the practice field for the start of the 2010 season. While many look at rosters and preseason depth charts, Brian Kelly looks at an empty canvas that will have his mark with many different brush strokes and brushes used.

Over the course of history, there have been many great painters and football coaches. While football does not get the talk of the greatest works of art, there have been some football masterpieces painted over the history of this great game. Brian Kelly and his staff enter camp with brushes in hand and an empty canvas ready for paint to be applied in many different styles and with many different brushes.

Kelly will start with a flat brush putting a lot of paint on his canvas rather quickly. Kelly knows what he is getting with the Kyle Rudolph's and Manti Te'o's and is able to place them into position on his canvas early. However, while the flat brush is good for such quick work, it also allows a painter to place some straight lines and nice thin lines on the canvas. It is here where Kelly and his staff must work their magic for the Notre Dame masterpiece to take shape.

With players like Trevor Robinson, Ian Williams, and Brian Smith, Kelly can lay down the fine lines and give his masterpiece the structure needed. It is also here where assistant coaches Mike Elston, Tim Hinton, Bob Diaco, and Charlie Molnar really come into play. Each has been with Kelly for three or more seasons and know what to do and expect during each practice. Also, add into play the knowledge of graduate assistants Jon Carpenter and Michael Painter, and you see why Kelly has enough people with experience in his system to feel confident in what they will be putting together.

Next Brian Kelly will add some paint with the bright brush. This is where Kelly will look to control and add the interesting effects that will separate the Irish program from recent years. With players like Michael Floyd and Armando Allen at his disposal, Kelly knows he has some offensive weapons others will have problems matching up with. This is where Dayne Crist will be looked upon to provide the leadership and ability to power the Irish offense, the staple in the success Brian Kelly has enjoyed over the past several years.

The filbert brush will next be used to soften the edges around the canvas as players are moved around, placed into positions for success, and pushed harder than they have ever been before. Coaches who are new to Kelly's staff will play key roles here as they were each brought into the fold for specific reasons. This area while often overlooked, is a key area of the masterpiece if the Irish are to move past the 6-6 mark of last season.

Last and not least, the round brush will be used to provide very fine detail to the masterpiece. Brian Kelly has shown over the years his ability to work within a small space and this year's Notre Dame program has several key areas that are small in many areas, but part of the bigger picture of any success that will be seen this fall by the Irish.

Is it football season yet?

Yes! will be on hand providing coverage of each stroke as Brian Kelly and his staff start painting their Notre Dame masterpiece for 2010. Top Stories