Aug. 30, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It is always difficult to judge the preseason. Hindsight is always more accurate than foresight. You can look back after you play the first game and see what kind of preseason you had.
Comparing this preseason with the last one, this year seems to be more positive. There were people on campus that made it a tremendous training camp. Father Doyle at Keough Hall, allowed the team to stay there for all of camp. We had access to South Dining Hall, which is only about 50 yards from Keough. We practiced on the intramural fields (where the old golf course was) which were located behind Keough. It was a really good training camp in terms of logistics because we did everything right there. It saved everyone time and energy, making us more efficient throughout camp.
The most important thing from the preseason is we stayed healthy. Last year, we had a lot of injuries right from the beginning. Except for a virus that affected almost everyone on the football team during the first three or four days of camp, we avoided serious injuries and are healthy going into this weekend.
I also noticed the players remained enthusiastic all through camp and there seemed to be a lot more energy this year.
My only concern after preseason, is that the weather has not been to hot. I am not a forecaster, but I imagine it will be 90 degrees and sunny when we play A&M Saturday.
Everybody really wants to talk about the first five football games, but it is really about the last six games. It is about being able to finish strong.
All along we have focused on being a mature football team, understanding what is coming ahead of us and keeping this football team together. This year, we have been able to do that. We have not had any academic problems, behavior issues or injuries this summer to deal with. We have been able to concentrate on football with no distractions.
Our goal this year is to be a united football team so that we can handle everything that comes our way.