Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly opened his first preseason press conference by addressing the quarterback competition, the difficult schedule that lies ahead and says "Success for us is winning."
While a variety of topics were touched on by the 50 or so media members in attendance, but by far, the most asked questions were about the QB.
Kelly admits he has someone in mind, although he's not tipping his hat just yet. "I have an idea, that's all I have," Kelly said.
He says that he will try to keep reps between quarterbacks pretty even the first week of practice,. "I think early on we've got to be able to see three quarterbacks. As we move closer to finding if there is a separation, then we'll start to separate the reps. But we don't go into practice once saying, okay, he's getting 80%, he's getting 20, or he's getting 70/30. We're not at that point. It's going to take some time for us to figure that out in terms of who is going to get those reps, and it's probably going to take us a little time. But ultimately we want to be able to give the quarterback, you know, for Navy a lot of reps leading into the game. Where we start is we've got to be able to evaluate them based upon what they did this summer then start to close in on what that pecking order is. So I don't know the exact date, but we'll know it when we see it," Kelly said.
When someone asked a question about Andrew Hendrix, Kelly was quick to point out that it is still a 4-quarterback battle.
"I think you could add all the quarterbacks, if you really want to get into it. Tommy Rees has errors that he's got to improve. Gunner Kiel, specifically he needs to keep playing, keep getting reps, keep learning the game. He's got tools to play the position at the highest level. I think it's just a matter of him maturing and playing the game. Getting as many reps as possible" Kelly said.
He also said he's not counting out the possibility of playing two quarterbacks this season, but he would definitely prefer for their to be one guy to stand-out and own the job.
While fans and media want to know who the starting QB will be as soon as possible, Kelly isn't giving a deadline yet. "Honestly, I would tell you it's going to take some practices for us to even get the reps to separate. So for me to have a date in mind. I mean, ideally we'd like to in a week's time say all right, here's your quarterback. That's what everybody would want to do because then you get the continuity with your offense. We just have to take this one practice at a time before we get into those specifics," Kelly said.
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