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Hot topic

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the revelations from a Sports Illustrated article in which former NFL agent Josh Luchs details how he paid college players and broke other NCAA rules were not surprising.

"I don't think it shocks me," Kelly said. "I can't say that I've been living in this world of coaching with my head in the ground. You're concerned about it every day. That clearly is a hot-topic issue. That everybody is really discussing.

"When you really get down to it, you've got to be able to trust your players that they're making good decisions, because there's so much time for them to be away from you. Boy, it's hard to be standing around every corner and seeing who they're talking with. You got to hope you got the right kind of kids, and they are making good decisions."

Here are other topics Kelly discussed with reporters on Thursday:

On running back Cierre Wood's development: "I think Cierre has always thought about scoring touchdowns. And that is, probably, the one thing he doesn't need to think about. That will happen naturally because of his ability. It's the little things that allow him to be on the field to score touchdowns. It's pass protection, catching the ball, taking care of the football, it's the little detail things. There is no reason in my mind he can't be a premier back at the University of Notre Dame. He's got to do the little things right, and he is starting to understand that. I think that is important."

On scripting plays to get a feel for what the defense will do: "What I try to do is if we try to feature a formation so I can get a look at what some defenses are doing, we will generally throw out a few formations to get that look we are looking for. It sets the table for the rest of the calls. The scripting is just a few plays, but it is scripted to show the hand of the defense. So we can get a feel for the rest of the play calling, and that is generally the first season."

On getting defensive players to buy into a system that only works if everyone does only his job and doesn't freelance: "It starts with you have to trust each other. You have to build a trust in that guy next to you. That's the summer workout, the offseason, that's getting your team to buy into team. It starts with trusting each other, and then, obviously, day to day banging of that 1/11th (each player can only be responsible for his 1/11th of the defense). Do your job. I think the defense is shown that way to our kids every Sunday. It starts with trusting each other then we talk in those terms. The defense that we play requires that."

On whether not having tight end Kyle Rudolph will force quarterback Dayne Crist to read defenses better: "I know losing a guy like Kyle, it's a security blanket. You know where he is. He's 6-7, give him the ball, get it out of your hands. But he's made such great progress seeing the field, I don't think losing Kyle is going to be the thing that puts him over the top. I think losing Kyle Rudolph is obviously a blow. The nice part about it is that Dayne understands that one guy can't make this offense run. I think it's still about Dayne's progression as a quarterback and seeing everybody."