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Irish Insights


Adding layers

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly started the next layer of the Irish's spring quarterback evaluation Saturday.

Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel worked with the checks in the system for the first time in the Irish's 12th spring practice.

Kelly said the checks are new, and while he expected the quarterbacks to struggle at times with the calls at the line, he just wants them to be in command when making decisions.

"It's like anything else," Kelly said. "If you're confident and you walk up there and you know what you want to do and you're making the check, you're commanding your presence, that obviously goes a long way to the unit. That was the thing that we wanted to see (Saturday), who commands that respect. As I told them, even if you're wrong, go out there with a certainty that you know what you're doing."

Hendrix said the checks were different and admitted to making mistakes, but the quarterback made the calls with confidence.

"It was the first time I had to do it from the white board, and it's a lot different when you go out on the field," Hendrix said. "You got pressure in your face, guys yelling at you in the back. It was a good opportunity to get live checks in the books.

"You have to press the override button a little bit when you are not really sure. You can't let them know that you are not sure, because then the trust level is not where it should be. Even if you have the wrong check but you are confident about it good things are going to happen."

Along with adding the checks to the play calling, Kelly has also been getting his quarterbacks prepared by allowing them to be tackled during certain portions of practice.

Kelly said the quarterbacks have been live during 11-on-11 scrimmages, and the quarterbacks will be allowed to be tackled in Saturday's Blue-Gold game.

"It's exciting. I love going live," Hendrix said after practice Saturday. "When you know you are not going to get hit, you can relax a little more. But sometimes when you are live, you start to get a little intense, and that's the best training for the season."