Crist knows he must produce
Dayne Crist knew being the starting quarterback at Notre Dame was a week-to-week proposition even before coach Brian Kelly drove that point home earlier this week.
"I've seen him continue to build on where we left off relative to that decision-making process," Kelly said when asked how Crist has performed in practice since being named the No. 1 quarterback. "He has not all of the sudden made some mistakes and gotten sloppy with the football or feels like he's arrived. He's exactly what he has, I think, articulated to you guys. This is only the start for him.
"He's only gotten a chance to start against South Florida. He's got to produce to be the starting quarterback each and every week, so I think he carries that with him in the way he practices."
Offensive coordinator Charley Molnar said if media members watched Crist and Tommy Rees compete for the No. 1 job during training camp they would've also named Crist the starter. So, what exactly did Crist do to turn the tide in his favor? He never had a bad day, according to Molnar. His consistency proved to be the deciding factor.
"The biggest thing is not showing any complacency," Crist said. "Sure, I know what a privilege it is to be the quarterback at Notre Dame but I also understand expectations and what needs to get done. I'm just trying to improve every day and not settle on what we've accomplished so far."
Crist said he expects to be more relaxed this year than he was in the season opener against Purdue last season. The amount of reps he has received in the 10 practice days since he was named the starter has also given him confidence.
While accuracy was a problem at times for Crist last season, Molnar doesn't expect it to be a problem in 2011.
"He's a more accurate passer because his footwork has improved," Molnar said. "Again, last year his footwork was probably not as good as it needed to be. He couldn't work on it because of his knee. Maybe it was just so ingrained in his previous habits. Now he has so bought into what we expect of him and his footwork and he's getting rid of the ball much quicker than he has in the past."
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