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Pieces falling into place for Notre Dame

Updated: August 18, 2011, 12:57 PM ET
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Midway through spring practice, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was asked if he worried about preseason expectations being too high for this season.

Kelly smiled. After a tumultuous first season with the Irish, the last thing concerning him was the pressure of fans wanting too much from the team.

"My players know I'll beat that out of them," he said.

Those who like to throw barbs Notre Dame's ways -- at least half the country, it seems -- might quip that ...

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