Notre Dame officially began the Marcus Freeman era on Saturday when the Fighting Irish held held their first practice of the 2021 spring. There will be similarities on defense from what Notre Dame fans have seen in recent seasons, but there will also be plenty of differences.
Some of those differences won't be obvious on film, as they are more about how the players are coached, how they go about their business on a day-to-day basis and the expectations placed upon players philosophically, schematically and from an execution standpoint.
Senior linebacker Bo Bauer addressed some of those differences in a post-practice interview. You can listen to his comments here:
In the first portion of the interview Bauer talked about the demand for high effort, but also the notion that this defense will allow players to play a bit more free. Bauer praised former coordinator Clark Lea, but you could see there is some excitement about the focus on less scheme, fewer checks, less complexity and more focus on attacking.
Bauer then talked specifically about Freeman and how he's gone about running practice and also how he develops off-the-field relationships with players.
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