Notre Dame Notebook: Injury Updates, Tackling, Offensive Line Improvement | Yardbarker

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly addressed the media in advance of the team's matchup against Navy.

On injuries to Braden Lenzy, Kyle Hamilton, Drew White, Isaiah Foskey, and Jonathan Doerer

“Everybody is playing except for Hamilton. All of them practiced yesterday. The only one that did not is Hamilton. Doing a nice job coaching though. I'd rather have him play, but he's done a nice job coaching.”

On the recovery of Kevin Bauman from a leg injury and Blake Fisher’s recovery from a torn meniscus

"I'll address the Bauman situation. He is in the lineup. He will play. He's on special teams as well. Moving really well. Pleased with his progress. Fisher is active right now and doing lower body exercises and moving around. hH's ahead of the curve relative to where this injury would normally be. Whether that puts him in a playoff, bowl game scenario, that's yet to be determined. But he's at least put himself in that consideration because he's a little bit ahead of the curve. He's moving around. He's in obviously every day in our strength and conditioning. He is at every practice. He's been really diligent from that standpoint. But of the two, obviously, Bauman will be playing this weekend.”

On what makes a good tackler and the improvement of DJ Brown

“I still think that there's some physical confidence in your ability to go and close space, go from speed to power. So there's confidence in your ability physically. If he was tackling less superior players, I think there's more confidence in tackling. I just think as you become more confident in your own ability, you become a better tackler. I don't mean a swipe tackler when you run up there and you try to throw your body, which we see, unfortunately, more and more. I'm talking about wrapping up and taking the ball carrier to the ground. That requires a physicality and an art that a lot of these guys hadn't been taught, so they're taught here to tackle properly. We don't want guys swipe tackling. I think DJ is just feeling more and more confident as he builds himself physically stronger, playing more football, where he can go out and go from speed to balance and make the proper tackle.”

On getting better at tackling during the season

“You're not bringing the guys down, but (cornerbacks coach) Mike Mickens starts virtually every practice with a form of tackling. They're tackling each other onto a mat. They're tackling and certainly not bringing them to the ground. In our bye week, we'll tackle and use what we call a sideline evasion drill where you tackle about nine yards out from the sideline, so it's a shorter area, you blow the whistle if they get in the other sideline. You're working on angles and you're working on live tackling. You've got to go fast in tackling, it's not something that you can do half speed. There's no doubt. So, using the speed and then being careful with it as well. But we do it every day. It's something that we work on every single day, you just don't get sometimes the opportunity to do that in an 11 on 11 situation. It is broken down into individual work."

His view of Jarrett Patterson saying Logan Diggs likes to get after the offensive line sometimes

“Logan is an interesting young man. He's quiet in some respects. But one of the things that he has a very strong opinion on is what goes on in front of him. He makes his opinion heard. And he's right. He's got a good football IQ and he's not afraid to talk those guys in the right way. He does it in the right way and they have a pretty good relationship early on in his time here. I hadn't quite seen that before, but Jarrett Patterson is right. It caused a little bit of an early pushback, but they've got a great relationship now."

On watching Chase Ketterer play for the first time

"I was watching (his son) Kenzel (Kelley) play New Prairie and New Prairie had an offensive lineman that we were looking at as well. Chase caught my eye. I just really liked the way he competed. I liked his athleticism. We're always looking for you know that preferred walk-on quarterback that can help us in triple option and I thought he'd be a great fit. So, I brought him back to Dave Peloquin and went through the process there and was certainly glad that night happened. Got a chance to see my son play and found our quarterback to help us with Navy. And he helps us in other areas as well. He's a really valued member of our football team.”

On Lorenzo Styles saying he didn’t understand the offensive signals early early in the year

“This will be chapters 10, 11 and 12 in my book. I don't want to give out too much. I started my career giving the signals myself on every play, so there's clearly a need to be clear in your communication. We use a number board and we use signaling as well. You have to be obviously locked in as a receiver because there are so many moving pieces. You're running back from a route downfield, we're trying to play fast, and the signal is being given at the same time. That's a lot. And for a young guy, he's done really well. But there's occasionally a miss here and there. So, it's our job to set up a system that we think is easily communicated and that's where it really gets interesting. That's where a lot of the stories start to unfold, because as you know, there's more than one signaler and they're not all live and many times we'll have guys running routes that were the dummy signals and have actually caught touchdown passes. So, that'll tell you a little bit about coaching as well."

On the play of Andrew Kristofic

"I think that in terms of what we've done from an offensive standpoint, on the offensive line, (Joe) Alt has been obviously a stabilizing force because that was a revolving door at left tackle. So, having some continuity there with Joe, but Andrew, obviously getting the opportunity for him to work closely with the guard and tackle has put that whole group together too. So, I appreciate you bringing that up because he deserves as much credit as anybody else in that left side really coming together."

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This article first appeared on FanNation Irish Breakdown and was syndicated with permission.

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