Following Flynt - Notes From The Gug

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In preparation for Saturday's Shamrock Series game against Maryland, Harrison Smith and Tommy Rees sat down with the media at the Isban Auditorium in the Gug this afternoon. Here are a few highlights from the press conference:

Smith on his development at Notre Dame: "There's a lot of things that go into maturing and develoing as a player, physically and mentally. Halfway through last year is when I really had a lot of confidence on the football field. Really knowing what I'm supposed to do and where I'm supposed to be...This staff does a great job at getting across to the players exactly what they want to."

Smith on responsibility and leadership: "You just have to know exactly what you're doing every time. When I make a call or if I speak up, people are going to listen, so it better be right. Spending extra time going over plays and watching film. Things like that, just so you know every call to make."

On the off-site "Shamrock Series" home games...
Rees: "Getting the opportunity to play on the east coast and in a different venue where a lot of people don't get to play is definitely a special thing."

Smith: "They're exciting for fans that don't always get a chance to travel here, just because we have such a broad fan base. Having a home game in a different stadium gives it a different feel, but every time I think it's been great for the team and the fans." 

Smith on Manti Te'o being limited in practice with injuries: "I actually try to give him a hard time when he's not practicing. I kind of try to joke with him. He always wants to be out there because he knows how practice affects the game...but he's still been out there, he's still going and taking every rep he can take."

Rees on Mike Golic Jr.: "He's done a great job. Throughout the year the QBs rotate through the top two centers just to get some familiarity. I've worked with him a bunch in the past and there's really not a transition period."

Rees on QB chemistry with center: "It's a lot more than just getting the snap. There's a lot of communication that goes on with the center. Like I said, I've worked a lot with Mike in the past."

"We have the whole 'next man in' philosophy. I think he came right in and did a good job. Obviously you don't want to see [Braxston Cave] go down...but you feel happy for [Mike] coming in and helping us win."

Smith on defending two-quarterback situation: "They definitely are different. One of them likes to throw more and one likes to run more...there is a little bit of difference in the preparation. If you want to be successful you have to stop the run and stop the pass depending on who's in."

Smith on being the 'old guy' veteran: "I get that a lot. Almost daily. I'm actually not the oldest guy on the team, but I'm definitely one of them. They like to call me Grandpa."

Rees on team chemistry: "I definitely think we've come together and strengthened. All the way from the top to all the guys on the team. We've built a chemistry here. Everyone's playing for each other. I think success is kind of a product of that."

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