Kelly not happy with Fighting Irish

March, 31, 2010
3/31/10
8:20
PM CT
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- As the mercury rose Wednesday at the LaBar practice fields, so did Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly's blood pressure.

Throughout the Fighting Irish's second day of spring practice in full pads, Kelly fumed about the slow pace and mental misfires, irritated with all the straggling.

"We're a work in progress," he said. "We stink right now. We're just so far away from where we need to be in terms of attention to detail. This was a step back for us today.

"We're not on the same page right now. You're an 18-, 19-, 20-year-old playing at Notre Dame and it's 70 degrees out and I have to motivate you? I gotta be out here motivating a 19-year-old Notre Dame football player to come out here and get after it?

Other than the perceived strides made by defensive personnel, Kelly provided plenty of scrutiny for just about every other unit -- starting with junior-to-be quarterback Dayne Crist.

Crist, who is likely Jimmy Clausen's replacement this fall, may have beaten the clock in terms of a speedy recovery from right knee surgery in November, but he's not anywhere near up to speed in Kelly's eyes.

"Sloppy fundamentally," Kelly said about Crist's progression. "He's about as sloppy (as can be). Footwork's gotta get better. He's got really good football intelligence, but maybe we put a little too much out there in terms of our offense. I got to look at maybe scaling this back a little bit. His weakness right now are fundamentals and stressing that every day."

The Irish have a week to digest the sweeping changes implemented at the start of spring camp before their next practice on April 7.

"We just have to get better," said freshman star linebacker Manti Te'o, whom Kelly publicly called out last week, saying the Hawaiian product and his 63 tackles (fourth-best on the team) "wasn't very good" last fall. "I just try to motivate my teammates. When I'm tired, I know the rest of my brothers out there are tired to. If I was tired, I'd want someone to help motivate me and give me a push. So I try to be that wind beneath their wings. Seeing them succeed will help me succeed too."

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