Notre Dame's fall camp got under way yesterday, with head football coach Brian Kelly addressing the media to answer questions on the upcoming Emerald Isle Classic game against Navy, the current status of the quarterback issue and many other issues on Friday.
Here were the main areas of focus:On the teams current health issues if ND had to play tomorrow:"Let me go through my medical here. (Austin) Collinsworth is the only one. Austin Collinsworth is the only player that's out. We have a couple players that are limited in terms of what they can do. Luke Massa has made great progress, and I think that's pretty much it. So Collinsworth would be the only one that cannot answer the bell tomorrow."
Kelly continues to hold the cards close to his chest when it comes to the starting quarterback to open in Dublin, Ireland, against Navy.On whether he could elaborate on who he has in mind as starter in Ireland:"I don't want to make this more than it is. I have not decided. The question was asked, do you have an idea? I've got an idea, but an idea is all I have. It's not like it's this guy and we are set for it, or I would be less than honest in answering the question relative to reps. I've got an idea, but we have to see how this plays out."
"We have to rep these guys, we have to give them a lot of work, a lot of situations. We'll be doing a lot more 11 on 11 where we have to put our players, in particular the quarterback, in as many situations that put 11 players out on the field at one time. Half line, seven on seven, inside drill, all great drills, don't get the quarterback to the level that we need to."
"So a lot more 11 on 11 reps for this football team to help us answer that question."On whether we could see two QB's play against Navy in the opener in Ireland:"I think everything's on the table. I don't know if we've taken anything off the table relative to the quarterback position. Ideally, I'm like everybody else in this room. I'd like to have one quarterback and have him be the guy, but we won't know until we get out there and put the pads on, get live action and see how these guys react to those scenarios and situations."On what he has seen over the past four months to give him an idea of who the starter at quarterback should be
:"Nothing that I've seen with my own eyes. As I mentioned, evaluating everything since the quarterbacks have stepped on campus. I think it's akin more so than to what happened in the last four months. I got a report from our strength and conditioning coach based upon non‑football related activities, and that's hard to stretch into how they're going to look on the field."
"As I mentioned, I've been around the building a lot and gotten a chance to interact with a number of the players. So I think we take all of that and put it together, and that's what's given me some ideas to how this thing may shake out. But the ultimate decider will be what they do out on the practice field."----------------------------------------------Read More:Notre Dame suspends starting Quarterback for season openerNotre Dame players make annual awards watch lists----------------------------------------------
On whether he would want the week one starting QB to be the starter for the season:"If he plays well against Navy. If we get the guy and he starts against Navy and he doesn't play very well, I don't want him to start next week, nor do you. But I would like, like everybody else, to prepare somebody and have a great game against Navy and then make it a difficult decision what you do in week two."
Earlier in the week, on a local South Bend radio talk show, Coach Kelly was asked about upgrading the playing surface in Notre Dame stadium by a fan;
"FieldTurf is coming," Kelly told the station. "It's something that’s eventually going to be in the stadium. We had a lot of construction in there this year, which kind of put us back a little bit, but that’s coming." Notre Dame Stadium has had a natural grass surface since it opened in 1930. The team practices on FieldTurf. However, when asked again on the playing surface on Friday, Kelly felt the need to clarify his previous statements:"Yeah, I want to go back on that one a little bit and add one word. I said FieldTurf is coming. I want to say I hope FieldTurf is coming. As you all know and I've said this a million times, that is above my pay grade. I'm not the one who is rolling out the turf. I know you guys know that."
He continued: "So certainly Jack Swarbrick that is his domain. I do not want to do Jack's job. I've got enough to do with my own. But I think I've made it clear to all of you that I hope that's where we go, but that is clearly not my decision."
Click the video below for the full press conference.Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony