With Georgia Tech next on the schedule, there are fans that are looking past Georgia Tech and that’s ok. The ND Football team is definitely not doing that. Understanding the message from Coach Kelly, W.I.N. has two meanings. “What’s Important Now, What’s Important Next” is the message Coach Kelly is delivering to his team. This message sets boundaries as far as dealing with the pressure to stay in the moment versus playing for the future. It’s an absolutely brilliant message to deliver to a team that needs to be laser focused.
Coach Kelly Opening Statement
“Certainly coming off an improved performance, we want to build on that against a Georgia Tech team. Going on the road for a second week in a row, we certainly learned a lot about the procedures necessary to have an effective road game during this pandemic. So, feel a lot more comfortable certainly being able to take our team on the road after going through it last week at Pittsburgh.
The opponent itself, coach Collins has done a great job of transforming a triple option team into a pro-style offense and in a very short period of time. He’s got some some of the bigger offensive linemen that we’ve seen, and we thought we’ve had big offensive linemen, but these are so different than what Georgia Tech obviously has had in their program. Now he’s got some transfers from the SEC, some big, physical offensive linemen, he’s got a young freshman who’s going to be an incredible talent at tackle. He’s recruited very, very well and making this transition to a pro style, spread offense, led by two outstanding young players that are as good as any young players in the country and in the ACC.”
Shake Down The Thunder Sports Question
“Jay Bramblett has been doing a good job for you flipping the field this year. What has the been the difference this year in his conditioning”
Coach Kelly Response
“Another year, stronger in the weight room, I think all those things matter a lot. He’s extremely conscientious young man, who takes what he does very, very serious. I just think that this is the maturation of a guy playing in his second year and being a lot more aware of the routines that go along with being a full time punter.”
“Remember now, he was a quarterback in high school. He did punting as kind of his second role. Now that he’s fully engaged in just punting, getting into the routine, there were times last year that he did too much because he wasn’t used to not being fully engaged in a practice setting. He was used to being the starting quarterback, so there were clearly some times where he punted his leg out and coming into a Saturday he was tired. I just think the maturation, the understanding of how to prepare himself is the beginning of the show itself.”
What are you expectations from Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys and TaRiq Bracy?
Coach Kelly Response
“We’ll have TaRiq Bracy back (from illness that was not COVID-19). He was cleared. We’ll get him back this week. He’ll be able to weight train with us today and practice.”
“Lawrence Keys will be back into a competitive role. I think he was more of a we didn’t want to get him into too much action, although it ended up being that he got quite a few reps because we pulled a lot of those guys out. And good for Lawrence. I think he felt a whole lot better and he was excited that he got a chance to play and now we’ll get him back into the routine.”
“Braden Lenzy has the hamstring and so I don’t think that we’re going to see him at full strength this week. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s a lingering hamstring that we need to get him right. He is a speed player. He’s a guy that’s best when he’s able to go at 100%. He’s been a warrior. He’s been tough and gritty. Most guys that are ‘guys that have great speed,’ they don’t handle it the way he’s handled it. He’s handled this injury in a manner that he’s gotten out there and fought through it. We need to really think about getting him right before we get him back into a competitive situation.”
Coach, on Saturday you said, you needed to play at championship level. You kinda hinted being ready for Clemson. But you didn’t use their name, I am curious with your team at all have specifically talked about Clemson and said their name to them to them say if we want to beat them in November 7th we have play at this championship level?”
Coach Kelly Response
“I think it is implicit that our guys know who’s on the schedule and what we have to do to win a championship. Here’s what I said exactly. The acronym W.I.N. is what’s important now, but it also means what’s important next. Certainly we’re going to prepare the right way for Georgia Tech and that’s what’s important now, but the way you play and how you play sets you up for what’s next.”
“What’s next is you know what you need to do to win a championship and who you have to play down the road. So, that was implicit in that conversation without having to say, ‘Hey guys, in a couple of weeks we’re playing Clemson. Wink, wink, wink. We didn’t need to do that. Our guys are pretty smart. We’ve got a schedule up in our team room where they look at it every day, so I didn’t feel like I needed to do that. What I needed to tell them is that just focusing on winning is not enough. It’s the way you play the game and the way you compete and at what level you compete at is what translates down the road. That was really the gist of the conversation.”
Cheers and Go Irish!☘🏈🌩