Entering his sixth season in South Bend, Notre Dame's coach is 45--20 and hopes his new starting quarterback can bring the Fighting Irish their 12th consensus national title.
DAN PATRICK: Do you care about Deflategate?
September 7, 2015
BRIAN KELLY: No, not really. I know that the football having a little less poundage doesn't affect the game. I understand it's all about the cover-up, but it just seems to be about digging in the heels more than about the issue itself.
DP: Are deflated balls an issue in college football?
BK: Not at all. The game is not decided by that. There are not even kicking balls in college football. It really doesn't impact what we do.
DP: Have you ever considered fining players through a system like the one Virginia Tech reportedly had?
BK: It's not something that in my 26 years I would do. I have a ton of respect for [Hokies] Coach [Frank] Beamer. I would never question anything he does. For me, it's so hard on these kids financially. My kids here do not have that kind of money. We try behavior modification.
DP: What behavior modification?
BK: Getting up early for study table on Sunday. If you have to get up at five o'clock on a Sunday morning, you will start to make sure you don't skip class.
DP: How is it being featured on Showtime's Hard Knocks--style show [A Season with Notre Dame Football]?
BK: Well, I have a boom mike over my head right now. I went to the bathroom and had to unplug my wire.
DP: Have you ever seen the show Hoarders?
BK: I've heard of it. I don't get a ton of TV time.
DP: Well, Urban Meyer is a quarterback hoarder.
BK: That's one way to put it. Or, he's an outstanding recruiter and a great judge of talent. He's very fortunate he had the ability to move Braxton Miller [from QB] to wide receiver. That's a luxury.
DP: Tell me about your new quarterback.
BK: [Junior] Malik [Zaire] is a young man who plays with a great deal of passion and emotion and has great leadership abilities. He can impact our football team as a runner and as a thrower.
DP: Notre Dame will make the playoff if ...
BK: We stay healthy.
DP: That's all you're going to give me?
BK: It still comes down to quarterback play, Malik's ability to continue to get better and if we can stay healthy on defense. Those are the things that derailed us last year. We couldn't take care of the football, and our play at [quarterback] did not get better by the end of the year.
DP: Can you bang the phone down angrily when we hang up so I can get on the TV show?
BK: I can't do that because then it's seen as all I do is get mad. I got mad on the sideline one time six years ago, and I'm still trying to live that down.
Former NFL QB Kurt Warner doesn't think cutting down the preseason would reduce injuries. "If you go to just two games, that becomes more wear and tear on the starters," Warner said. "You're going to play those guys more than they would normally play." ... I asked Raiders QB Derek Carr why he stopped griping about taking hits to his brother David, who holds the record for most sacks in a season (76). "He said try playing the Chargers in Week 2 of your rookie year with Junior Seau and Marcellus Wiley coming after you." ... Former NFL QB Jim McMahon said many of his postretirement health issues were the result of untreated fractures. Said McMahon, "At some point in my career I had a broken neck that nobody told me about."