NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - The main theme throughout the entire coaching staff was optimism but also happy to have so many returning players to lead the team.
Offensive Coordinator Chip Long is impressed with his returning starters so far through fall camp.
With a returning quarterback, four out of five linemen, strong receivers and in the backfield, Long says they have been able to step up and help out.
Three out of Notre Dame’s seven captains are from the offense, but Long says leadership is exhibited throughout all of his players and that the key is to stay healthy.
“You can get pretty young pretty quick in the matter of a week here, especially during a 1-on-1 period,” Long said. “We don’t get really injured playing football. We do when we get 1-on-1 for whatever crazy reason. It’s great. I feel like we have a consistent leader in each group. We have three captains on the offensive side of the ball but the one guy here every single day is Jafar Armstrong so. I tell him, ‘You don’t need a C on your chest to be a captain. You keep doing what you’re doing.’ There’s leadership from all aspects of this side. They just have to consistently bring it and play their game. Playing well is leadership to me.”
The other four captains come from Clark Lea’s defense and strong leaders often result in strong players.
It’s no secret that the Irish have some powerhouses on the defensive front.
But now’s the time for Lea, Head Coach Brian Kelly and the other defensive coaches to narrow down their starters.
Now while Lea was tight lipped on who exactly would be fill the open roles, he says that with his d-line and linebackers there is constant friendly competition.
“It’s a talented group and everybody has the ability to have a role in the game,” Lea said. “I think in a lot of ways the way we’ve formulated things with our d-line, we’re looking to do the same. So we’re not having two guys take the brunt of the snaps this season. You know that we have rotations and that we have specific skills that are executed on in situations. It’s going to be all hands on deck. The guys have bought into it and they are supporting each other. We talk every day and it’s compete with each other not against. It’s been a good camp. We’re starting to get a picture of kind of where the pieces fit.”