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#pounditTuesday, October 4, 2022

Report: Notre Dame players had interesting response to Brian Kelly exit

Brian Kelly in Notre Dame gear

Any fears that head coach Brian Kelly’s departure might destabilize current Notre Dame players appear to be unfounded.

Kelly’s stunning decision to leave the Fighting Irish to take the head coaching position at LSU comes at an incredibly bad time from Notre Dame’s perspective. The team is 11-1, and has a legitimate shot at being one of the four teams selected for the College Football Playoff later in the month. The situation was made even worse by the nature of Kelly’s departure, which culminated in a very brief and awkward speech Wednesday morning.

However, the situation appears to have rallied the Notre Dame players together, according to Matt Fortuna and Pete Sampson of The Athletic. The players grew defiant as the day went on after the speech, and viewed Kelly’s decision to leave as him admitting he did not feel that his current team was good enough to win a national championship.

It’s also said that Notre Dame players had grown tired of Kelly’s more distant approach to dealing with his players. To that end, many had been lobbying for defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to be named as Kelly’s permanent replacement.

There is no doubt that there are negatives in the situation for Notre Dame. In fact, it’s possible that Kelly’s decision to leave could hurt the team in the eyes of the CFP’s selection committee. It doesn’t seem like there will be problems with the players, though. If anything, they sound more motivated than ever.

Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


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