By Brad Thompson–
When Notre Dame started spring practice on Wednesday their quarterbacks were outfitted with a new gadget. In order to properly evaluate the quarterback competition between Dayne Crist and Tommy Reeves, Coach Brian Kelly decided to install cameras in their helmets.
According to Kelly, “To make this a real competition we have to look at every area of their decision-making.” Kelly also said that helmet cameras wouldn’t be used in the fall and that helmet cameras are just “another teaching tool.”
As cutthroat as college football is and considering how much Notre Dame has struggled lately, it’s no surprise that Kelly would look for any advantage he could find. I can’t blame him in that regard. Athletes go to great lengths to gain an edge over competitors, so why not try out a helmet camera and see if it’s beneficial? In fact, Notre Dame isn’t the first program to use helmet cameras; Oregon experimented with them in 2009.
I haven no problem with helmet cameras, what I can’t understand is if Kelly can be this detail-oriented on the football field why can’t he be that way all the time? Last October, Kelly’s meticulous approach or lack thereof was at least partially at fault in the death of Declan Sullivan. And recently I was reminded again about Kelly’s attention to details. When asked about team captain Michael Floyd’s driving under the influence incident, Kelly seemed unaware of one of his star receiver’s previous incidents.
Kelly knew Floyd had been cited for underage drinking in 2010, but when asked if he was aware of Floyd’s underage drinking citation in 2009 Kelly said, “I don’t believe I was, I’d have to think about it for a moment, but I was not, I don’t think.”
What kind of babble is that? Judging by how he stumbled through his answer, my guess is that he didn’t know about it. I realize that Kelly wasn’t Notre Dame’s coach in 2009, but he should have been aware of Floyd’s previous alcohol citations.
Although Kelly had a very tumultuous first year at Notre Dame, maybe the helmet cameras will help him succeed in his second year. I just hope Kelly is as detailed-oriented and meticulous in all aspects of being a head football coach as he is with his quarterback evaluations.
Do you agree with Brad? Post your comments below.
Brad M. Thompson, a former college football player and coach, made his return to the Midwest in 2009 after fighting wildfires out West. He earned his master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and covers the Big Ten Conference and Chicago sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Brad_M_Thompson. Find more of Brad’s blogs here.