Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he wanted to work more 11-on-11 situations into practice this fall, and he was pleased with the results after Saturday's first practice.
"I liked the way we formatted our practice to get a lot more 11-on-11 football … allowing for us to do a lot more evaluation relative to the group," Kelly said.
The extra 11-on-11 drills is mainly focused on sorting out players' roles on offense than defense. But there is benefits for both units.
"Our defense, relative to where we are, we have over 2,000 live snaps cumulative on the defensive side of the ball on returning players. That's a lot of snaps," Kelly said. "The 11-on-11 suits the offense a lot more because of our lack of experience in some key positions versus the defense.
"But our defense is going to be able to get more of the depth work. On one side of the ball, it helps our offense and it helps the needs of inexperience (players), and on the other side it's really helping our defense build the depth."
The players also enjoyed having more time in 11-on-11 situations, feeling it helps them prepare for the season more.
"Eleven-on-11 is really the only time you go full speed, having those live reps where you are getting into the flow and speed of the game, it's hard to simulate game speed because it is so fast but going ones against ones, twos against twos, that's a good way to do it," said tight end Tyler Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger graduate.