Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Brian Kelly familiar with balancing attention
By Matt Fortuna
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This isn't Brian Kelly's first team to go on a big winning streak -- it's just his first at Notre Dame.
A 5-0 start with the Irish has brought the program a No. 7 ranking, along with a visit from NFL Films last week and a visit from "College GameDay" this week. But Kelly insists that the challenges, while different, existed at his previous stops at well.
"All of our players at Cincinnati lived downtown," Kelly said Tuesday of his previous school, which started 12-0 in 2009. "And they lived amongst neighbors and well-wishers, and that sometimes is even more difficult relative to keeping them focused. So I think each program I'm at has presented different challenges, but I will go back to the process and keeping them focused on the process on the day-to-day basis. Not only myself but a lot of our coaches. Our coaches understand that as well. We were singing the same tune and it's not different."
The difference with the Irish, he said, is that noise is present regardless of wins or losses.
"I think I'm seasoned enough to know what noise is and how that affects 18- to 21-year-olds on a day-to-day basis, as well as coaches," Kelly said. "So I think I'm aware of it. I think the difference is the noise is there regardless of whether you win or lose. It's there constantly. We've sold out the stadium since the '70s, so there's 81,000 people here every week. I don't think it ever goes down. It's always there.
"It's just making sure your football team is focused on their preparation. I don't think that that's much different in terms of what I've tried to do week to week, whether I was at Grand Valley State and we won 24 consecutive games and now the Detroit newspaper was covering us -- that was a lot of noise for us. It's just on a larger scale but it's still the same noise."