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September 24, 2016

Brian Kelly

South Bend, Indiana

Duke - 38, Notre Dame - 35

BRIAN KELLY: Congratulations to Duke. They deserved to win today. They had a grittier more determined approach to finding a way to win. In college football it's find a way to win. And my hat goes off to them and Coach Cutcliffe finding a way to win today. So congratulations to them.

As for our group, there's not a lot of things to really point out, other than the obvious, three turnovers. All of them impact the game, sloppy turnovers, kick off return for a touchdown and the inability to mount anything consistently throughout the game.

Once you feel like you've got something going pretty good, we tend to make a mistake and let teams back into the game. So, I told our guys essentially that we're going in the wrong direction. We're not going to continue to go in this direction, we'll have to re-evaluate what we're doing, who we're doing it with, and how we're doing it, all of those things.

So, again, I think that they competed, they want to win, but we're not doing the things necessary to win games. It's hard to point them all out to you in a press conference right now, but we'll have to do some, we'll have to do a lot more work to get this group to start winning. So, questions?

Q. You mentioned that you're going to evaluate who you're going to do it with. Do you mean like personnel changes?
BRIAN KELLY: Oh, yeah, there will be personnel changes, absolutely.

Q. And what about the defensive coaching leadership? Are you still --
BRIAN KELLY: Actually, that's probably the one area that I feel better about today. We did what I wanted today in terms of coaching. And coaching had nothing to do with the outcome today. I was pleased from that perspective. Obviously, we put our defense in a bad situation today and they gave our offense a chance to win, quite frankly. Those turnovers were deadly and obviously the kick off return for a touchdown just put us in a tough situation.

There are things that I want to get better at defensively, there's no question. But that's the least of my concerns after today.

Q. Does the fact that you're 1-3 coax you to maybe say, go with Donte Vaughn maybe at this point even though he's not absolutely cooked all the way?
BRIAN KELLY: Absolutely. And not just Donte Vaughn. Every position, every position, all 22 of them, will be evaluated. Each and every position. There is no position that is untouchable on this football team. And that's the quarterback, all the way down to, maybe, the long snapper's okay. We're not going to touch him. But everybody else is vulnerable.

Q. Just a comment about, please, the last time that you last actually couple times you had the ball, what you were hoping for and what you saw those last couple of possessions.
BRIAN KELLY: Poor execution. Poor, poor execution. I like what we called. I liked the looks that we had, and we did a poor job executing.

And now we, listen this is not all on our players, we still have to coach better as well. There's a lot that we have to do. Because we have got some young players that require really good communication and really good coaching, too. So, I'm a 1-3 coach, we're all 1-3 coaches, so we're in the same boat as all of our players. So let's be clear on that.

Q. In addition to Vaughn, who has to be on the field?
BRIAN KELLY: Guys that have fire and grit and, we had one guy in the entire football team that had emotion and fire. That is Dexter Williams. He's the only one. He's the only one that I saw. One guy.

So, if you want to play for me moving forward, you better, I don't care what your resume says, I don't care if you were a five star, if you had a hundred tackles or 80 receptions or 30 touchdown passes, you better have some damn fire and energy in you. We lack it. We lack it. Severely.

Q. You talked about a sense of urgency. You came out with a sense of urgency. So what, the next step is to continue from that sense of urgency?
BRIAN KELLY: There's just not a continuation, there's no consistency in it. There -- they can't burn for a long time. There's no passion. There's no passion for it. It looks like it's hard to play. Like we're pulling teeth. You're playing football for Notre Dame. It looks like it's work. Last I checked they were getting a scholarship to play this game. There's no fun, there's no enjoyment, there's no energy. We got to look for the guys that want to have fun and play this game with passion and energy and that's where we got to go.

Q. Is there any reason you can put your finger on as to why they would lack that passion?
BRIAN KELLY: I must be doing a poor job. I've got to do a better job of finding out what those things are that are putting our football team in that position. But we got to have more of it.

Q. I think you had too many men on the field in that one sequence. You had 12 men on the field. You had to call the timeout, which is a timeout, obviously, you would like to have had at the end of the game. Was that just a matter of at that point you're starting to shuffle a lot of defensive players on the field?
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, we're moving too many guys in and out. And what happens when you run in and out of the game, you're calling it from the sideline, but it is a responsibility -- and this goes hand in hand with what we're talking about -- there's only so much you can do. You then have to echo that going into the game. It's a speed package. You're a part of the speed package, you have to echo that going into the game. Poor communication going into the game results in having 12 guys on the field.

Q. What went into putting Malik Zaire out there in a non-quarterback role and how long have you been planning for that?
BRIAN KELLY: We have got some plays, but that's short lived now, too. After him taking the ball and not throwing it away after we sprint out and moved the pocket for the specific reason that if there's any kind of pressure, you can throw the ball away. So, you won't see that again.

Q. How would you evaluate DeShone just as a whole today?
BRIAN KELLY: Below standard. It's not acceptable, his play.

Q. Are you saying Wimbush could play this year?
BRIAN KELLY: That's a possibility. That's a definite possibility.

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