Notre Dame defensive end Ethan Johnson was in shorts for Saturday's practice, and offensive tackle Tate Nichols had a brace on his left knee. Also, inside linebacker Anthony McDonald was not present during the portion of practice open to the media.
During the practice, I kept an eye on Notre Dame's defense.
The Irish began with the usual tempo drill.
The first team featured linemen Kapron Lewis-Moore, Kona Schwenke and Sean Cwynar, linebackers Darius Fleming, Prince Shembo, Manti Te'o and Carlo Calabrese, corners Robert Blanton and Gary Gray and safeties Harrison Smith with Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter rotating at the other spot.
The second team had linemen Aaron Lynch, Stephen Tuitt and Louis Nix, linebackers Ishaq Williams, Danny Spond, Dan Fox and Kendall Moore, corners Bennett Jackson and Lo Wood and safeties Dan McCarthy and Austin Collinsworth.
And the third team was made up of linemen Chase Hounshell, Tyler Stockton and Hafis Williams, linebackers Steven Filer, Troy Niklas, David Poslunszny and Justin Utupo, corners Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson. I was unable to see who the two safeties were.
When the defense broke up for individual drills there was a change in pairings at inside linebacker for the first two groups.
The pairings for the inside spot were Te'o with Fox, Moore with Carlo Calabrese, Utupo with Posluszny, Jarrett Grace with Anthony Rabasa and Jonathan Frantz with Joe Schmidt.
While Te'o and Fox were matched up during the individual linebacker drills, when all four linebackers started working together the inside pairing went back to the matchups from the tempo drill.
Te'o and Calabrese were grouped with outside linebackers Darius Fleming and Prince Shembo in the first group. Calabrese and Fox are battling for the starting spot along side Te'o, and the drills during the open portion of practice could be an indication that Calabrese is more likely to start over Fox.
The second group of linebackers had Moore and Fox on the inside with Danny Spond and Ishaq Williams on the outside. On the first snap with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco lofting a ball, Moore and Fox collided with each other going for the pick.
Diaco encouraged all linebackers to play that way and not worry about running into each other instead focusing on going for a ball all out when it's in the air or on the ground.
The third group of linebackers was Utupo and Posluszny on the inside.
Before practice Mike Golic arrived with his wife and daughter on bikes. Golic and his wife pulled up on a tandem bike.