Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's Duke Week press conference
The season marches on.
Despite the fact that Notre Dame suffered its second loss in three games last weekend, Irish head coach Brian Kelly arrived at the podium on Tuesday, ready to meet the media and preview Saturday's match up against Duke.
Here are the highlights from Kelly's address.
-- Kelly opened his press conference by acknowledging the hole Notre Dame has put itself in early in the season. "Obviously a bad start to our season," he said, adding, "I'm a 1-2 coach."
-- Despite the fact that his team rushed for only 57 yards and 2.3 yards per rush against, Kelly expressed confidence in his running backs and offensive line moving forward. "I believe our running game is going to be where it needs to be," Kelly said.
-- After he caught a 33-yard pass in the fourth quarter against Michigan State, freshman wide receiver Chase Claypool will likely see an increased role in the Irish offense, Kelly said. "That's a guy that we have to look towards getting on the field more."
-- Kelly said, considering Notre Dame's defensive struggles, he needs to oversee the defensive strategy, but doesn't feel the need to micromanage his staff. "I have to be in defensive meetings," Kelly said. "I have to be aware of what the game plan is."
-- Despite his consistent struggles against Michigan State, Kelly reaffirmed his belief that senior cornerback Cole Luke will make the plays he failed to make last Saturday in the future. "He's got to be able to play better for us," Kelly said, "and I'm confident he will."
-- Kelly was asked about the national television cameras repeatedly catching his stern interactions with his assistant coaches, specifically defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. "It's my office," Kelly explained. "If it was in your office they'd probably see your interactions."
-- Through three games, Notre Dame is one of only two teams nationally that has yet to record a sack. That fact is not lost on the head coach. "We've got to get there. We're aware of the situation," Kelly said. "But you bring pressure, you add pressure (on the defensive backs)." Kelly added that the defense has players capable of providing pressure, specifically freshman defensive end Daelin Hayes. "There's a lot of those guys. They're coming. They're going to get there."
-- Kelly said the strength of his team right now is its competitive resolve, despite the two early losses. "They've got pride," he said.
-- Asked about his relationship with defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, Kelly called them "colleagues in it together to get the most out of our players. He's coaching his butt off." The seventh-year Irish head coach added that, if he didn't see the defensive fundamentals being taught correctly, "I'd be over there with a hat and a whistle coaching it myself."