Boston native Kelly 'devastated' by bombings

Boston native Kelly 'devastated' by bombings
April 17, 2013, 2:15 pm
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Brian Kelly spent the first 25 years of his life in and around Boston, so Monday's Boston Marathon bombings hit close to home for the fourth-year Notre Dame coach.

"We were obviously devastated with the news, as everybody else was," Kelly said Wednesday. "So after a few hours of making calls and making sure all our family and friends were safe, our next thought was to the victims."

Monday was Patriot's Day in Boston, an event ingrained in the culture Kelly grew up with. In the attacks, three were killed and at least 174 were injured.

"Terrible, terrible day, especially being from Boston growing up with Patriot's Day kind of being our holiday, if you will, as a Bostonian. So not only the tragedy of the loss of life and the injured, but it shakes you when that kind of private holiday, and it's so much Boston, is shattered," Kelly said. "It's gonna be hard. A lot of people are going to take some time to get over this."

Entering final year, Rees embraces his role

Few teams around college football can boast a backup quarterback with the resume of Tommy Rees, who's started 18 games in his career and has thrown for 4,413 yards with 34 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He's firmly entrenched as Notre Dame's No. 2 quarterback behind Everett Golson, and despite his prior starting experience Kelly said he's committed to his job.

"Continues to do the right things and throwing the football down the field, making good decisions, just solid, good leader, good demeanor," Kelly explained. "Just what you would hope for from a fourth-year player in your program who's totally bought in to what his role is."

Spring game bites

Seven Notre Dame players will be inactive for Saturday's spring game: CB Bennett Jackson (shoulder), ILB Dan Fox (shoulder), S Nicky Baratti (shoulder), DE Chase Hounshell (shoulder), RB Amir Carlisle (collarbone), WR Corey Robinson (elbow) and walk-on RB Tyler Plantz (no injury given).

Robinson hyperextended his elbow last Saturday in a scrimmage, while Carlisle just recently put pads back on after suffering a broken collarbone earlier in spring practice. Jackson, Fox and Baratti all underwent shoulder surgery soon after the BCS Championship game, while Hounshell was injured in spring practice.

Notre Dame's defense will  don blue, while its offense will wear white for Saturday's Blue-Gold game. There will be no live special teams, although Kyle Brindza will be given an opportunity to punt. The first half will have normal clock operations, while the second half will have a continuously running clock.

On a (not so) lighter note

Kelly opened his news conference Wednesday by "detailing" how Notre Dame ran a triple option with a backfield of defensive tackle Louis Nix, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and defensive tackle Tyler Stockton. Kelly deadpanned that he "thought we had great progress," and that Nix took a few snaps out of the shotgun afterward.

The "Irish Chocolate" package -- which Nix dubbed his theoretical wildcat package last fall -- wound up being a running joke throughout the 2012 season. The idea of it came after Nix said one of his younger brothers gave a class presentation in which he detailed how his big brother was a quarterback for Notre Dame.