As long as no footballs are physically involved, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff can have up to eight hours of contact per week with players over the summer. The NCAA in October changed its offseason rules to allow that summer coaching contact, with Kelly sees as critical for getting his offense ready for fall camp and the 2014 season.
The most important aspect of the rule change is the allowance of up to two hours of film study per week, which Kelly can spend with quarterbacks Everett Golson and Malik Zaire going over tape from spring practice.
"That film study can simply be going back through your install from spring ball, it could be going back through all of what we called 'dirty show,' which would be all of the mistakes of spring ball, and going through that," Kelly explained at the Irish Legends Fundraiser Thursday at Olympia Fields Country Club. "And so you really can build off of that through the two hours of film study, and then working with your strength team, because you're integrating your coaches back into it."
The benefit isn't just for the quarterbacks, though. For some of the players who missed spring practice with injuries (Kelly specifically mentioned center Nick Martin and linebacker Ben Councell) there's a benefit to that film study, too, since those guys missed the offensive/defensive install phase in March and April.
For a team with so much turnover on offense and defense, the NCAA's tweak to allow coaching contact over the summer couldn't have come at a better time for Notre Dame. This isn't a veteran-laden team with defined leaders like Zack Martin, Tommy Rees or Manti Te'o to lead summer workouts. This is a relatively young team with new coordinators and new schemes.
Notre Dame coaches can't have contact with players when they're running seven-on-seven stuff, but the hope is the work Kelly & Co. can get with their players will mean those players-only workouts will go smoothly.
"As long as we're not there when the balls come out and we've had time with our players in film study," Kelly said, "they can go then execute the things that we need them to execute."