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Irish Insights


Thursday with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters today that quarterback Tommy Rees suffered a bone bruise on his knee in last weekend's 41-30 loss to Michigan.

But Kelly said Rees is fine for Saturday night's game, when the No. 21 Irish (1-1) play Purdue (1-1).

"There was nothing in terms of cartilage or ligament or strains," Kelly said. "It was nothing. It was just a bone bruise. He was fine all week. He looked good."

Kelly also said there was a chance freshman quarterback Malik Zaire, who was inactive for the first two games, could be available against the Boilermakers.

"Malik got some practice in, but we haven't gotten officially cleared yet," Kelly said. "He's day-to-day right now. It'll be a game-time decision on him."

Here are some other tidbits from Kelly's final media session before playing Purdue:

On former Notre Dame quarterback Frank Tripucka, who died Thursday: "I met him a couple of times at different events. Obviously, I didn't know of his status, but got a chance to when I came to Notre Dame, learned a lot more about him. I knew about (former Notre Dame basketball star) Kelly Tripucka. I didn't get the connection until I worked here at Notre Dame, and then I thought Kelly Tripucka and then found out about Frank and being the legend that he was. Obviously a sad time for the Notre Dame football family, just a great man and will be sorely missed."

On what he wants to see from his team against Purdue: "I want a smarter team and a more-disciplined team. I didn't think we were smart in certain areas and as disciplined as I would like. I need all 22 guys to play the game the right way, all the time. There were times where we didn't, as a group, so I'll be looking for that. We're demanding that from them. Those are the things that got us here and those are the things that will get us back to winning football games consistently."

On what he saw from his team during practice this week: "Well I think we didn't leave anything up to our players. As coaches, it was incumbent upon us that we demanded all those things. Sometimes when you're winning, you kind of let the players keep moving in the right direction. You're still winning. You kind of let things go. You chalk it up to that's the personality of this team.

"The coaches took over this week. We made sure that we did the things that we need to do. I'm sure that the players understand that that's the way that practice has to go and they embraced that. We didn't take it over in a sense that when we got here we had to show them how to practice, show them how to play the games the right way. We're not doing that. It was just a little bit where we had to insert our personalities a little bit, and I think that's good. That's healthy. It's enjoyable when you go out there and stop the play and run it again. Let's get this right. We made sure we did that this week."