You could cut the atmosphere in the Fighting Irish camp with a knife this week. But unfortunately you'd have to dig those knives out of the backs of the players first, courtesy of their loose lipped coach.
After a season that began with sky high hopes and has dissolved into a week-to-week struggle to survive, it probably didn't help that coach Brian Kelly told the press he drew a line between his players and the ones that remain from the Charlie Weis era.
'You can see the players that I recruited here,' Kelly said on Thursday. 'You know who they are. We’ve had one class - that I’ve had my hand on. The other guys here are coming along. But it’s a process. It can’t happen overnight. They’re getting there. We’re making good progress.'
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Way to inspire your older players, Kelly. After hearing of it junior linebacker Manti Te’o took to Twitter to announce: 'Playin' for my bros and that’s it!!!'
The tension got so pronounced that a few of the veteran players had a word with Kelly during a team meeting on Friday, according to NBC Sports. Pressed, Kelly reportedly gave a sincere apology.
It's bizarre behavior because Kelly must know he has to motivate his team. Cohesiveness, more than any other quality, is what the team needs now and Kelly has instead left them divided and shaking their heads at his event behavior.