Notre Dame’s bye week will allow Tuitt, Irish to rest
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media October 7, 2013 8:30PM
Temple v Notre Dame
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:23AM
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt is getting a breather. Safety Max Redfield is on the list of players receiving more reps. Such is the balance
between rest and work during Notre Dame’s bye week.
“We don’t need to get more reps on [linebackers] Danny Fox or Carlo Calabrese or even [receiver] TJ Jones, but [freshman running back Tarean] Folston has to get more work; [first-year starting center] Nick Martin has to get more work,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “We’ll work those guys that need to continue to get some more work, and we’ll look at those guys that need some time off to really get healthy.”
Tuitt is in the latter group.
“The [hernia] surgery that he had has affected his back, it’s affected his hip flexors,” Kelly said. “Some people dismiss it and say, ‘You just had minor surgery.’ It’s affected a lot of things. This is a big man, and he’s really struggled all week with back tightness. He missed a day of practice because his back locked up.
“We’ve got to be careful with Stephon. This week we’ll work on technique, but we are going to make sure that he’s healthy for us going into USC.”
While some veterans will be limited, freshmen such as Redfield — a five-star recruit — will continue to get acclimated.
“We had to show so many different looks [Saturday] in the secondary, so we are hoping to get him some work this week, as well as some of our younger corners that are playing a little bit and some guys on offense,” Kelly said. “We want to see Folston and [running back William] Fuller, certainly [offensive lineman Steve] Elmer. We want to get those guys some work this week, too, because we are going to have to count on them in the second half of the season, too.”
The 37-34 victory Saturday against Arizona State helped the 4-2 Irish enter the bye feeling pretty good, Kelly said.
“They now look at it as a six‑game schedule,” Kelly said, “and they have got to be perfect for six weeks.”