Aug. 5, 2014
CULVER, Ind. -
Day two of the Notre Dame football team's preseason training camp at Culver Military Academy brought mostly cloudy skies and brief rain but good practice and camaraderie time for the Irish.
Per NCAA guidelines for the second day of preseason, Notre Dame practiced without pads with the session running for a full two hours. The Irish confined their practice to the FieldTurf surface at Oliver Field due to some heavy morning rains bringing the team closer together.
After lunch, the team got to enjoy some more fun bonding time as they enjoyed activities such as the ropes courses, obstacle climbs and zip line at the Culver Challenge Course.
"I think the tempo is really good, especially in terms of our 11 on 11 action. We're getting quality, quality rep work. The repetition of plays, both offensively and defensively is at a high level.
"We certainly need to continue work on execution and development of all our younger players on both sides of the ball. After two days, we've definitely seen signs that our spring and OTA work has definitely benefitted our guys. We've been able to do an awful lot and most importantly see a lot of retention on both sides of the ball."
WIDE RECEIVERS IN STEP
With offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock not at camp while recovering from surgery, head coach Brian Kelly has been covering the duties of his friend of almost 30 years. Junior Chris Brown says that Kelly's guidance and Denbrock's are comparable.
"You have to be precise (for coach Kelly)," Brown said. "He definitely wants it a certain way. He expects us to be great. Denbrock gets on us just as well - both of them are perfectionists. You have to be correct every time.
"Of course I miss coach Denbrock. I've been with him for the past few years. I`m looking forward to getting him back. It's good switching it up and seeing what coach Kelly has to say about his thoughts on offense."
The receiver corps lost its 2013 captain with the graduation of TJ Jones, a 1,108-yard receiver last fall and a Detroit Lions draft pick in May. Brown is one of the more experienced members of a relatively inexperienced group and finds himself drawing on Jones' memory regularly.
"Since I'm one of the older guys, I'm just trying to use what he taught me when I was younger to try and help bring us al together as a group," Brown said. "He taught me about route running, little niches, head fakes, all the little techniques that it takes to win. (As a group) we look good. We're coming out with the same mindset every day to work and get better."
STRONG AND TRUE UPDATE
Jess Atkinson of 3 Penny Films is once again documenting Notre Dame's preseason camp for a Strong and True program that will air on the NBC Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 25. On Tuesday, Atkinson mic'ed up running backs coach Tony Alford during practice and also got extensive footage of the team participating in the ropes course activities, including having both Cam McDaniel and Matthias Farley wear microphones.
Platoon Sergeant Brandon Kelly of the U.S. Marine Corps, his wife, Jaime, and their two children, Ava and Braxton, were able to catch Notre Dame's practice this morning.
Brandon, a 2002 graduate of Frankfort Senior High School in Frankfort, Ind., received a military care package from the Irish athletic department back in the spring that included Notre Dame merchandise such as an autographed football that was signed during the Blue-Gold autograph event.
In show of his appreciation for the care package, Brandon presented Brian Kelly with a flag that flew over Camp David. Brandon and his family chatted with Brian Kelly after practice.
Brandon Kelly returns to active duty on Wednesday.
Here's a twitter recap of the day through the eyes of the program, media and players: