Scrimmage brings “key backups” up to speed
Brian Kelly has always felt that one of the strengths of this football team was the depth on the roster. Friday, the Irish coaching staff got a chance to see that depth in action, holding a scrimmage where most of the starters sat, and the key backups were put to the test.
“Today we scrimmaged with very few reps for the starters,” Kelly said. We went with what we consider our key backups today, guys that are going to have to fill in at some time in a starting role, that are going to be called upon at some time during the season to step up and play a very, very important role. That was today’s scrimmage. That was about our key backups getting in there so when we call on them --Next Man In -- they’re read to go.”
Kelly’s “Next Man In” philosophy is fairly common around college football, but it’s good to see that this coaching staff is dedicating real practice time to developing that second level of players, so that when injuries (and graduation) hit, the drop-off between the No. 1s and the No. 2s won’t be as significant.
Here are some other thoughts from Friday’s practice, the final day of training camp for the Irish.
On the battle for the number two quarterback:
On scrimmage standouts:
On the battle for the Dog outside linebacker spot:
Expect any battles on the depth chart to be concluded by Wednesday (at least for Purdue), as the Irish will begin to assemble scout teams and focus completely on the task at hand September 4.
“We’re going to seperate and go into demonstration squads by Wednesday,” Kelly said after practice. “Tuesday is kind of the last shot at trying to figure out where that starting unit is, because you do want continuity as well. I’ll take half of the week to make those final decisions to build the other half for continuity going into game week.”