Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Brian Kelly Preaching Peer Accountability

July 21, 2020

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly joined the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning to speak about the chances of the season and how his program is handling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On Notre Dame's message to players:
"’What's your priority?’ If you want to play college football this fall, you'll have to do the things you've done over the last four weeks and the numbers speak for themselves. We've already said you can do this, but you've done it in a confined environment. They've had to do the things necessary. It's staying out of the bars. They've stayed away from parties - social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. All the things we already know. 

"They'll have to continue that and there is going to have to be peer accountability. Guys will have to say, ‘you can't do that because I want to play this fall. If you do that and you get me sick, I'm not going to be happy.'

“A big dose of peer accountability and a good dose of guys wanting to play this season is really going to be about what happens when the season starts.”

On the season starting on time:
"I'm optimistic we're going to start. Then students get on campus and our guys move off-campus. Essentially, we leave the bubble and start the season, unlike some of the professional teams like the NHL or the NBA. They move into a bubble and start the season. College football leaves the bubble and starts the season. We'll get to the starting line and we'll see what happens after that." 

On offseason:
"We're in strength training and conditioning. It's really about four weeks in. Most football programs would normally get about eight weeks in prior to their first padded practice. We still have some work to do relative to the time off. Remember, no spring practice, no real designated offseason. These guys were deconditioned a little bit. We're getting back there, but we still need a little more time to condition our athletes." 

On protocols program is following, NCAA or Notre Dame:
"Notre Dame's - this has really been driven by each institution. Certainly, there is an eye towards the state's CDC guidelines. The NCAA has one, in particular, the 72-hour testing mandate, where all teams must be tested 72 hours prior to competition. 

"By and large, it's been about the institutions putting together their own procedures and protocols as it relates to how to keep their football team safe and healthy.”

On non-conference games being canceled:
"As an independent, we lose some of those natural rivalries we've played for years. Certainly, the USC game, Stanford and we will not play Wisconsin. We have a collateral agreement with the ACC and we'll lean heavily on that. Jack Swarbrick has been involved in that in terms of setting up the schedule. 

"We feel confident we're going to have a very competitive schedule using the ACC as a really good partner in this moving forward. 

"There are other conferences that have come out not wanting to give up those non-league games and those stay on the table for us as well. We'll see how that plays out over the next couple weeks." 

On SEC potentially saying they will play football regardless of what other conferences do:
"There are some natural rivalries the SEC and ACC have - the South Carolina/Clemson game. Kentucky/Louisville. Florida against Florida State. We have Arkansas on our schedule this year. That's conceivable those games may want to stay on the schedule. The SEC is evaluating the landscape in our country and where we are. I think the ACC may be doing the same as well. I think you'll see some things start to clear up over the next week." 

On chances of playing Alabama:
"We have them scheduled down the road in a couple of years. I think that was going to suffice for us and certainly, those are the kind of games we want to play. We have Ohio State coming on our schedule, Wisconsin and Alabama in a couple of years. I don't believe that was going to happen. 

"When you're an independent and you have an open schedule, everyone is going to look towards Notre Dame as the first one you fill it with." 

On having NFL aspirations:
"I think I did at times. I don't anymore because I have a better sense and understanding of what the NFL model looks like. I much prefer to have - this isn't to be said in a manner that I want control - but I do like the fact I can have say over my roster. I do have say over who I recruit on a day to day basis. 

"In some senses, you probably wouldn' have it and I certainly wouldn't have it as a first-time head coach. Having 30 years in college football invested in having those kinds of decisions, it's really difficult to move in another direction."

On dual-threat quarterbacks having success in the NFL:  
"It's interesting we have these conversations because for the last three to five years everyone had been saying 'You will never go to the college-type quarterback in the NFL. He'll never make it. He'll never get through the season.' 

"Now it's the best athlete, right? If you're in high school, who touches the ball every time? It's not the cornerback. It's the best athlete as the quarterback. Whether it's Cam Newton or (Lamar) Jackson and (Patrick) Mahomes just got paid. He's a pretty good athlete. It's going to be about a guy who can extend and keep plays alive outside the realm of what the guy drew on the board. We're only as smart as the guy who can keep the play alive and that's a quarterback that's a dual athlete." 

On the first game being September 5th or 6:
"We really don't know now. Once we had the non-league games taken away from us, our calendar will probably be decided a lot by what the ACC schedule looks like. Sometime next week, we'll have a better understanding of when we start." 

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