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Kelly focused on process over production as Irish get set to begin spring practice

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly didn't spend anytime Tuesday talking about depth charts or position battles. Instead, it was about resetting how this program operates and he plans to be a part of that moving forward.

Kelly emphasized he wants his team focused on the process versus production this spring.

"If you get caught up in that in 15 practices and lose sight of who can pay attention to detail, right, who has winning habits that's going to show up for you in the fourth quarter, who's got that grit that you need to come up with to stop a drive, those are more important to me than getting a pecking order at the rover position," Kelly said.

The word "process" was thrown around a lot Tuesday but Kelly also repeated the word "grit," specifically referring to how he wants his team to have a certain edge or toughness about them that seemed lost last season.

"Who has winning habits that's going to show up for you in the fourth quarter, who's got that grit that you need to come up with to stop a drive," Kelly said. "To see those guys fight through those kinds of situations and handle themselves with great focus, with great attention to detail. Grit, grit. Grit is sustained effort over a long period of time. And having some adversity."

In the eight weeks since Kelly has hired his new staff, he's seen a change in how his team is preparing, with more rigorous strength and conditioning programs, and now he says it's about translating that onto the football field.

"Where we can now go to our guys and say listen. you're tired in this moment, you've been there before, what got you through it? And so we can use similar talks that we've already had over the last eight weeks and now just transfer it into a football related situation," Kelly said.

Kelly also talked about how he wanted to be more involved with his team, specifically getting up for their 5:45 am workouts, something he says he's enjoyed these past eight weeks and will continue to do so moving forward.

"You can't get up at four-thirty in the morning if you don't like it. If you don't love getting up and spending time with your players and not energized to do that, you can't do this job. But I can't wait to get in here in the morning, I can't wait to spend time with our guys, they're incredible to work with, there's such a desire to want to be great!" Kelly said.

The most interesting take was how Kelly plans on being involved in the offense. He says it's Chip Long's offense to run and that he [Kelly] will be there to assist in anyway he can.

"I think that over the last few years it's been a committee running the offense. There is no committee now. It's one guy that can kind of turn it loose and run it. When I was at Cincinnati, I was the guy. I was running it by myself. So I think going back to what I believe is the most efficient way to do it and get out of the way and let Chip run it," Kelly said.

Notre Dame begins spring practice Wednesday at 7:30 am.

 

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