CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Assessing Drew Pyne's 'natural leadership' as Notre Dame quarterback
Mike Berardino: Hello, friends. Hope you all enjoyed our coverage of the Blue-Gold Game draft. Certainly an interesting exercise all the way around and one I hope continues in the future. Let's get on to your questions.
Allan from Whiteland, Ind.: Mike, in your opinion, does Drew Pyne have a realistic chance to be the starting quarterback this season for Notre Dame? I just get the impression Pyne has a natural leadership quality that would play well as the starting QB. What say you? Thank you for answering my question.
Mike Berardino: Hey Allan. Thanks for stopping by. It sure looks like it will be the Drew Pyne Show at quarterback for much of Saturday's Blue-Gold Game. Remember having an "all-time quarterback" when you played touch football with your buddies? That's sort of how it will feel, at least in the first half, as Pyne bounces from Blue team to Gold team in his protective red jersey.
It's a shame Tyler Buchner rolled his ankle walking down the stairs at the Gug on Tuesday evening. Nothing serious, but it will keep this QB battle going into August, as it likely was going to anyway. Buchner's playing style and injury history thus far point to both quarterbacks seeing the field in 2022.
Pyne's improved mobility, based on my reconnaissance, has been one of the stories of the spring. And you're right about Pyne's natural leadership. There's an earnestness about him that comes across very well, regardless of his audience: teammates, coaches or media. Early August should be very interesting.
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Mike Berardino: Good morning, Lisa. First off, I greatly appreciate you subscribing to NDInsider.com and I'm so sorry you've run into these hurdles. I have passed your message along to my editors, and I would hope that you'll be hearing from them soon. Thanks for your patience.
Ry, Mars, PA: Mike, how have josh lugg and Michael carmody looked so far in spring practice looking forward to watching the spring game. Go Irish.
Mike Berardino: Hey, Ry. Thanks for the question about two of the more versatile pieces on Harry Hiestand's offensive line. Lugg seems to have made a seamless transition back into the right guard spot after starting last year at right tackle. Here's what Hiestand said recently when asked about his sixth-year super senior: "He’s who I think he is. We’ve known him for a long time. Super team-oriented guy that brings it every day. You can always count on him. He’s going to be there, ready to go."
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Carmody, meanwhile, has made a successful conversion to backup center this spring with Jarrett Patterson recovering from pectoral surgery. Carmody, your Mars neighbor, saw significant time at left tackle early last season before a nagging ankle sprain and Joe Alt's rapid improvement finally solved that riddle.
Hiestand said initially it was "very hard" for Carmody to switch to center.
"It wasn’t really fair, but he’s a very good athlete so he made the adjustment pretty good," Hiestand said. "He didn’t start snapping until JP got injured, so he had a short period of time to get ready and just did tons of it. But being a good athlete, he doesn’t have too many (snaps) that are hard for the quarterback and he has the ability to move in there pretty good. He made the adjustment. Great sacrifice by him. Not easy to do."
Mike Berardino: Thanks for the questions, everybody. Enjoy the spring game. See you early next week.
Staff writer Mike Berardino covers Notre Dame football for the South Bend Tribune and NDInsider.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MikeBerardino.