Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's Syracuse Week press conference
The show goes on.
Even without departed defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, Notre Dame's season continues on Saturday, as the 1-3 Irish head east to meet Syracuse and attempt to snap a two-game losing streak.
But first, head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the highlights from Kelly's weekly press conference.
-- Despite Notre Dame's 1-3 start, Kelly said that he does not expect it to take long for the Irish to get back to winning ways. "I expect it to happen this Saturday against Syracuse," Kelly said.
-- Kelly reiterated that junior quarterback DeShone Kizer has not played up to the standard of play that Kelly and Kizer expects from him. If he did not have such whopping potential, the bar might be set lower. But Kelly said that Kizer's turnovers are unacceptable. He added that Kizer will be the starting quarterback against Syracuse, however.
-- How is Notre Dame's defense going to look different under new defensive coordinator Greg Hudson? "We're going to play with enthusiasm," Kelly said. "We're going to play with the passion that was missing." He added that many more players are going to play on the defensive side against Syracuse.
-- Kelly said that he doesn't think that he's too critical of his players in press conferences following games. Specifically, he said that he was more critical of his coaches following last weekend's loss to Duke than the players. "I don't think that I'm too tough on them," Kelly said. He emphasized again that all players and coaches are on notice, himself included.
-- Kelly spelled out a few players who, in his mind, needs to play more going forward. "Jay Hayes had zero reps (against Duke)," Kelly said. "That can't happen." He also pointed to running back Dexter Williams and linebacker Greer Martini.
-- Kelly said that the defense will be his vision moving forward, but defensive coordinator Greg Hudson will be charged with infusing energy and enthusiasm in his group. "We'll write the music and he'll be the lead singer," Kelly said.
-- Kelly's sideline demeanor will change, he said, though not in the way many might expect. "I think I've got to be a little more fiery on the sideline, quite frankly," Kelly said. "I'm going to try to turn it up a little bit." He added, "I've got to be who I am." But that doesn't mean crossing a line with his enthusiasm. "I don't have to be a lunatic on the sideline and throw chairs and that kind of stuff," he said.
-- Hudson will be working closely with linebackers coach Mike Elston on game day, Kelly said. "Elston will oversee the game from the coaching box overhead, while Hudson will be stationed on the field.
-- Kelly said that he initiated the conversation with athletics director Jack Swarbrick to fire defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. He called Swarbrick and asked for approval and Swarbrick provided it.
-- Kelly said that he and his staff have made some positional changes with players, though he declined to share which players will be moving positions.