Kelly's introductory press conference
Yes, we've got challenges, just like anybody else. But we'll go to work on it right away, and we'll do that by continuing to recruit what I call the RKGs, the right kind of guys, those that match the mission of this University. We'll continue to look towards player development as being the key and the cornerstone of our success. We're going to develop our players intellectually, we're going to develop them socially, spiritually, we're going to develop their skill and make sure that they understand that they physically need to continue to grow. I'll guarantee our players' player development, and that to me has been my background.
Q. A little more specifically, when Jack made the change, he alluded to improving the defense. One, can you talk a little bit about how you see your defensive staff shaping up, and two, how you generally approach defense, what you might start with?
BRIAN KELLY: Sure. Well, again, I think it's important to point out that you win and lose football games as a whole. So offense, defense and special teams has been what I'm an expert at. And when I talk about expert at it, I mean I don't just rely on one side of the ball. As a head football coach, you are responsible for all those areas, and as you can tell probably from my experience in Division II, we had when I started two full time coaches. So you couldn't just be the offensive coordinator; you couldn't just be the defensive coordinator; you had to be involved in all those areas. I will be intimately involved with what we do defensively as the head football coach.
And that's my responsibility. I've got a pretty good background myself. My first two years as defensive coordinator, we lost one game. I've got some very good coaches that have worked underneath me that have been very successful. I've got a great line out there of coaches that I can call on. They're going to fit my philosophy. They're going to fit our staff first and foremost.
But I guess the long version of the answer is at the end of the day, this is about winning football games, and the head coach is responsible for that. So he'd better know what's going on defensively.
Q. Also you mentioned the challenges of this job. In your coaching DNA, what appealed to you about coming here and taking on some of the challenges that are very unique in college football?
BRIAN KELLY: Well, first and foremost, restoring it to the traditions that we all know about and the history, and those aren't 8 and 4 years; those are National Championship years. So any time you're talking about restoring a program and the challenges, it's not about winning the Conference Championship; it's about winning championships and being in the BCS and being nationally prominent. And that's a challenge. We've got to get to work on that.
So when I refer to the challenge, it's strictly obviously getting to that high bar that has been set at Notre Dame for Notre Dame football.
Q. Welcome to Notre Dame. You have stated or you have been quoted in the past to say that you can't start winning until you stop losing. Can you explain exactly what that phrase -- all that that phrase entails?
BRIAN KELLY: Eating at Burger King at 3:00 in the morning is not going to make you the best for your 8:00 workouts. Not being on time, not paying attention to detail, not being purposeful in what you do on a day to day basis. Attention to detail is absolutely crucial in this process of winning, and so when I talk about working on winning, I mean you do that from the first day you step on this campus if you want to win. You don't win on Saturdays with Xs and Os. You win on Saturdays because you've been working on it all week, and so it's that attention to detail. It's morale, it's camaraderie, it's one voice.
Those things are what I refer to as working on winning. They then show themselves on game day.
Q. A follow up on Tom's question, do you have a feel yet of what you're inheriting? Do you know what the cupboard looks like?
BRIAN KELLY: Does it matter? I mean, it really doesn't matter. These young men want to win, and that's why I'm here at Notre Dame. I want to be around men that are committed, and we can't trade anybody. There's no waiver wire. We're going to develop our players, and they're going to play their very best for us. That to me has always been the most important principle. Let's go; don't tell me what you don't have; I don't want to know about it. Tell me what you can do to help us win. And that's the way we'll hit this thing running.
The contents of this post represent the views of the author. NDNation.com is not responsible for its contents.