Pat Dillingham has impressed the Irish coaching staff with his continued development during the team's preseaso workouts.

Football Practice Report - Preparation For BYU

Aug. 25, 2004

A strong thunderstorm moved through campus on Wednesday, forcing the Notre Dame football practice indoors to the Loftus Sports Center. The Irish are in full preparation mode for the BYU game on Sept. 4 and will run through a mock game in Notre Dame Stadium on Thursday. Notre Dame will also hold a full scrimmage in the Stadium on Friday at 7:35 p.m. and that scrimmage is open to the Notre Dame family (anyone with a Notre Dame faculty, staff or student ID will be admitted for the scrimmage). Notre Dame’s mock game in the Stadium on Thursday is basically a run through for the team and coaches, making sure that sideline communication and the wireless headsets which connect the coaches on the field to the coaches in the press box is operating correctly. Notre Dame’s open scrimmage is the first time that such an event has been hosted by the team going into a season. It will provide the Notre Dame campus community with a sneak peek of the Irish team which will debut at BYU in 10 days. While the Irish look renewed to be preparing for their first game of the season, not much new information that has not already been offered out of the program is available. The issues, injuries (tailback Ryan Grant was back in pads for practice on Wednesday) and position battles have been reported on to the extreme ( click here for the `position previews’ and a breakdown of each position group for the ’04 Irish). The Notre Dame coaches are in the final stages of establishing the first depth chart of the year and much of head coach Tyrone Willingham’s comments on Wednesday night dealt with projected backup quarterback Pat Dillingham. On Pat Dillingham and his progression this fall… Willingham: “It is amazing that some people can forget about Pat Dillingham. We did not as a coaching staff. We are probably more excited about him today than ever. Pat has looked and realized that there was a challenge out there for him and he is man enough to step up to it. I think he has improved his play and I have been very impressed with what he has done, particularly over the last week.” On Dillingham securing the #2 quarterback role… Willingham: “I don’t think we have to make all those decisions right now but I think he has played like a number two, or better.” On the development of the freshmen quarterback and the freshmen class as a whole… Willingham: “There are like all the freshmen classes that I have had. They come in with great anticipation and one basic thought – `I am going to play.’ Coaches understand that, but what (the freshmen) don’t understand is that there is a great deal of learning to be done that is different from high school football. What they are trying to do right now is master the mental part of the game. We know there are good athletes there and they have shown some splashes.”