Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Quick Notes: Chip Long

April 21, 2017

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long met with the media on Friday morning. It was clear he was pleased with the offensive progress he has seen over the spring.

On Tight End Alize Jones
“He’s growing up each and every day,” Long said of Jones. “He’s taking care of his business and isn’t on any list. He learned a valuable lesson last year, and he doesn’t want to repeat it. He has come with a purpose each day, and he is in my office all the time. He wants to be a great player. He has to understand the process, and he has done a good job of buying into Coach (Brian) Kelly’s process this spring. You can see the fruits of his labor. He’s one of the more physical guys out there.”

On Quarterback Brandon Wimbush
“Brandon can make all the throws,” stated Long. “The biggest thing is his footwork and getting him more confident with that. There isn’t a throw he can’t make. His velocity, the way it comes out of his hands, is tremendous. He throws a nice deep ball, and he is doing a nice job with his presence in the pocket. He has done a nice job throwing on the run, but there is still a lot go for him.

“Once he gets his footwork down and cleaned up, the sky is the limit for him.”

Next Step for Offense
“Keep building on what we have,” said Long. “The summer is when our leaders take over. We have a good sense on our side of the ball of who our leaders are. It’s time for them to grow and our youngers guys to be great followers. You can be a tremendous follower and all the great teams I have been part of half the time team was made up of great followers.”
On Grasping Tempo
“It will probably take until August when they get in better shape,” explained Long. “They have picked it up extremely well. It’s usually a major battle. They have embraced it and done a nice job. They did a nice job all winter in the weight room. Most places you are lifting most of the time and not getting conditioning before spring ball starts. They had that, and it’s helped a lot.”  

Run Game
“Each and every day,” Long said of seeing progress in the run game. “That offensive line – Coach Hiestand has done a tremendous job. The way those guys go about each day and the pride they take and the overall ability has been fun. To see their excitement and the way our backs are hitting it, they are doing a great job. That’s where the offense starts.

“We are going to be physical and start with the run playaction.”  

On RB rotation
“It’s not difficult,” said Long. “We run them a lot. We utilize two of them a lot of the time, so having depth is critical to keep them fresh during the game. We are pushing a lot of plays, and it starts with the run. Keeping each other fresh helps a lot.

“You want to start with a guy like Josh, but having guys like Dexter, Tony, and Deon can change the pace of play. Josh has elite speed, but he has size and then you can bring in a guy that’s a little bit different. You can’t have enough running backs in this offense.”

On Tight End Brock Wright
“He’s figuring things out,” laughed Long. “He probably had his best practice the other day. He’s been out of high school for four months, but he’s one of the hardest workers. All the mid-year offensive guys have been tremendous. His potential is through the roof, and he’s a great kid.

His head was spinning, but he’s settling in and playing with more confidence.”

On WRs
“I think Coach Alexander has done a good job of teaching them what we want out of that position,” Long said. “They have done a good job of understanding the offense. We have to keep getting in the weight room. We have to get strong and do a great job when teams want to press us. They have done a great job so far. If you are a big receiver, you have to be physical.

“We have some young guys, and they need to understand situational football. They have to keep building their overall knowledge of the game. We have a lot of work to do there, but we are in a great spot.”

On Ian Book
"I thought Ian had one of the best springs on our offense,” said Long. “The last two weeks, he has been tremendous the way he has executed the offense. I have been around few redshirt freshman who have been able to raise their game like that in a matter of weeks. He is a lot more confident and a very active thrower. He throws a very catchable ball. He makes things happen.

“It gives me great peace going into the summer.”

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