Notre Dame’s season went off the track last season after losing to Navy.
Coach Brian Kelly said he doesn’t think that will happen again this season after Saturday’s 35-17 loss to the Midshipmen.
And the reason for Kelly’s optimism isn’t something that can be seen.
“I’d probably say trust more than anything else,” Kelly said for thinking his team can still make strides. “Coaches trust each other, the players trust the coaches. If you have trust in any business or organization on a day-to-day basis, it can’t help but to continue to grow in right direction. There’s a great deal of trust in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”
The Irish are also learning how to pick each other up in tough times.
Kelly said there isn’t one or two leaders on this team yet who can pick up everybody else, but he is seeing strides in that area.
“We are building leaders as we speak,” Kelly said. “That has a lot to do with game-day captains in terms of why I didn’t select captains for this football team. We’re still a work in progress as relates to leadership skill. They weren’t prevalent when we got here. We have to develop our leaders.
“I think they are emerging every single day, but I couldn’t give you one guy and say he’s it. I think we are starting to see signs of it from really everybody, including our younger players.”