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Brian Kelly Notebook: David Bell, Offensive Line, Normal Practice Week and More

Brian Kelly covered a number of topics in the final press conference before Notre Dame takes on Purdue
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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly met with the media on Thursday to discuss Purdue, give injury updates and talk about the first normal week of practice. Here is some of what he said.

On containing Purdue wide receiver David Bell

“He creates issues, right? If you play him man to man, his runs after the catch are deadly. You have to employ a variety of looks. You've got to be in some bracket coverage. You've got to be in some trail coverage. You've got to be able to play some robber. It's really about a variety of different looks, so it really stresses what you do relative to your normal coverages. If you just played him in man, you're going to obviously be in a very difficult position, so mixing it up, playing some bracket, doubling him, making it difficult for him to know what he's getting, and for the quarterback, especially in third down situations.”

On the first normal week of practice this season

The first two weeks of the season were not a typical in-season preparation. We were coming off a long camp with Florida State and we were really in a maintenance mode relative to that week leading into Florida State. We had been in a long camp. I wanted to make sure that we didn't have camp legs, so you're not really ramping things up going into that week. You're trying to manage things. Then we came off the short week going into week two, so you're really affected for two weeks with the Sunday game and this is really the first week where we're really in the routine. We're able to get after it the way we normally do. Tuesday and Wednesday were what we're used to in terms of traditional practices on a week leading into a Saturday game. It might have felt ramped up to the guys, and I can understand that. but all I was doing was getting us back to where we really should be relative to our preparation and I've always believed that you don't raise your level of competition. You just raise your level of preparation and we raised our level of preparation this week.”

On recruiting Jack Kiser

“I remember going down. We took the helicopter down to see Kiser. I think they were in the playoffs or deep into the playoffs, or maybe they had lost the first round. I can't remember specifically, but it was a quick trip down certainly. To have that kind of player in this geographical area, you want to make sure that you're making them feel it and so, getting on a helicopter, making our presence known in the area was really part of the whole process. We wanted him to feel special and how much we wanted him to come to Notre Dame. He's obviously a great player, but he's such a great fit, grade student and so well regarded. I remember that clearly about the recruitment of him.”

On which quarterbacks are getting the most practice time

“All three of them are getting reps. Jack (Coan) still continues to be the starter, so he's getting the bulk of the reps, but I think I said this after the game: We'll continue to grow the package for Tyler, as it relates to his skill set. So, that continues to grow. Drew (Pyne) needs to get those reps to keep him sharp. It's a management of those three and we feel very comfortable with it. We don't feel like we're shorting anybody in one particular area.”

On the offensive line rotation

“I think they're getting so many snaps and Zeke Correll and Cain Madden need a blow. Andrew Kristofic is probably the first guy in and then I think Rocco Spindler and John Dirksen in that order. I think you'd probably see Andrew as the first man in and we really like what he's been doing. He's been playing some center, he's been playing some guard, and we really like his development, so expect to see him playing some guard on Saturday."

On the kickoff returns

"I think I mentioned this in the first game. We lost some key return men to injury, so I chose to fair catch those balls (against Florida State) in lieu of not taking anything less than the 25 yard line on the fair catch. I think we were in a better position of going into the Toledo game. We want to continue to work towards being a better return team and I think we will be.We want to give Chris Tyree a chance to return. So, I think the answer to the question is once we are able to develop the new personnel on this group, the return team, we will feel a whole lot better about our chances to be a really solid unit.

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