After a one-week break, the Irish football team will resume spring practice on Wednesday. It will be the team's 10th of 14 scheduled practices for the spring before the Blue-Gold game on April 21st.
Among the top stories to keep an eye on:
On defense, the Irish will be implementing more with their nickel package. The team installed the new schemes in the final two practices before break. According to the players, the installation remained simple for the first two days. Now, will come the real test.
Also, the installation of the nickel could go a long way in determining who joins 5th-year senior Tom Zbikowski at safety. The Irish have six other safeties on scholarship and will have a 7th come the fall. There is certainly depth at the position, but figuring out who is ahead of the pack is the big question to be answered.
Defensive Coordinator Corwin Brown isn't underestimating the importance of this battle either. He said it simply at last week's media day, "At safety. If you get beat, the band will be on the field and if the band is on the field too many times, someone is coming off the field."
Brown emphasized that everyone at safety, with the exception of Zbikowski, needs to pick up his game.
On the defensive line, the question will be whether sophomore Chris Stewart will be back practicing. The offensive lineman turned nose tackle missed the last 3 and a half practices after rolling his ankle 11 days ago.
On offense, of course, there is the continued battle to replace Brady Quinn. Jimmy Clausen, Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Zach Frazer are each getting his chance to be the number one quarterback for a week of practices. Charlie Weis hopes to narrow the battle from 4 quarterbacks to 2 by the end of spring. His decision will not come until after he meets with coaches a month after the spring game on May 21st.