Monday, August 4, 2014
Irish kick camp off at Culver
By Matt Fortuna
CULVER, Ind. -- Brian Kelly spending the day with the wide receivers was probably the biggest oddity emerging from Day 1 of Notre Dame fall camp. Everett Golson returned to run the first-team offense Monday, the defense's "D-Boys" chant went on without coordinator Bob Diaco and the punt returners could probably do a better job of fielding undefended kicks, first day of practice or not.
Oh, and a pair of horses looked on at the new artificial turf fields here at Culver Military Academy, where the Irish will practice the rest of the week before returning to campus Saturday.
Everett Golson was running the first-team offense on Monday.
"It was good, it was fun for me," Kelly said after the two-hour padless session, the entirety of which was open to reporters. "Obviously you're in this business because you want to teach and being able to get in here and just give them a good base and foundation and some of the fundamentals, I think we've got really top notch athletes at that position. Just really spending a little more time with fundamentals on releases, transition, some of the things I think can really help them develop a solid foundation, they've got a great skill set."
Kelly said that his time with the receivers has not affected his ability to evaluate the quarterbacks, as the fifth-year Irish head coach subs in for offensive coordinator/outside receivers coach Mike Denbrock, who is out for the first several weeks of camp following an undisclosed operation.
Kelly said the program is happy to accommodate Denbrock however it can, as the staff is relaying video to him on an iPad. The date of Denbrock's return remains up in the air.
As for what else went down on Day 1 at Culver:
First things first: The Under Armour effect reared its head from the get-go, with players donning new practice jerseys. The blue (offense) jersey features a white stripe down each side of the torso, while both the blue and white (defense) jersey has ditched the three adidas stripes on each shoulder.
Jarrett Grace (leg) was mostly inactive, though he followed the linebackers from drill to drill. Mike Heuerman (hernia) spent most of the day riding a stationary bike.
Kyle Brindza had a noticeably stronger leg on punts than Tyler Newsome and John Chereson, with Greg Bryant, Tarean Folston and Florida transfer Cody Riggs in the role of punt returners. Riggs, by the way, ran with the second-team defense at corner, where he certainly passed the eye test, at least physically speaking.
Looking for a Heisman moment? OK, so it's practice. And Day 1 at that. But during a 7-on-7 play Golson had the ball slip out of his hands before recovering mid-air and taking off for a solid run. Everett Football? Yeah, probably too soon, though it's worth repeating that Golson ran with the 1s and looked sharper than Malik Zaire, at least on this day.