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Irish Insights

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Finding an identity

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame begins to prepare to follow up last year's 12-0 regular-season run and appearance in the BCS championship game when camp opens in Marion.

Having the first four days of fall practice off campus will give the players and coaches time to find a new identity this season.

"We have different people, a lot of guys left the team," Nix said. "We rebuild our brotherhood, the way we look at things, the way this team is formed. Every team is not the same. We go about things differently. We see mistakes that we've done in the past, and we try to build off it. I think this team, we just want to get better than we were last year, 12-0 is great, 13-0 would have been better."

The four days at Shiloh Park Retreat and Conference Center will be as much about what happens off the field as on it, according to left tackle Zack Martin.

"I think the biggest thing is bonding as a team," Martin said. "We have a lot of new guys on the team. I got to know a lot of offensive line, but I didn't get to know really any of the other freshmen that well.

"So getting to know some of those guys, and being able to be around just the football guys. Not walking around, seeing people around campus or South Bend, just seeing this group, I think will be really fun."

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