Brian Kelly believes in getting physical. It's a gambit that puts him at odds with Notre Dame’s last coach as the team heads into the game on Saturday against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.
'That’s where we started this journey, is to begin with recruiting on defense and playing a tougher style of football,' Kelly told the Sun Times. 'To do that, you’ve got to be able to control the line of scrimmage. You also have to do it physically. You have to develop in the weight room, develop a work volume that allows you to do that and play consistency.
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'All those things are coming together for us. When people talk about ‘What’s truly the foundation?’ it’s exactly that. The foundation of this program has got to be built on being able to control the line of scrimmage. That’s how you build consistency.'
The new attitude is evident in players like linebacker Manti Te’o: 'We are not out to prove something to people that we don’t even know. We are out to prove stuff to each other, to the people in this building, and that’s all that we care about,' he told the press.
Kelly reportedly scheduled an extra day of hitting last week to make sure his players got the message about creating the kind of physical identity Notre Dame mostly has lacked in recent years.
'You get what you demand,' is how Kelly describes the process of creating a more physical attitude.
'The big picture looks really good to me, and the big picture starts with developing a toughness, a mentality, both on the offensive and defensive line,' he said.