Brian Kelly said after Notre Dame's 31-17 loss to USC on Saturday night that he would fall on the sword "nine out of 10 times" but wouldn't second-guess the way he prepares for bye weeks.
"Sometimes there's some accountability from everybody, coaches and players alike, and sometimes it falls on, as a group, all of us," Kelly said in the immediate aftermath of the defeat. "But they just, they didn't play as well as they needed to play."
Kelly clarified any misinterpretation of those remarks Sunday, saying what he tells the media afterward does not qualify as breaking news to his players.
"We always have the conversations first before I talk to you guys, you get it second," Kelly said during his weekly teleconference. "So my conversation with our football team was what we talked about in the locker room and then it's left for you guys to interpret any way you want. But my players know exactly how I feel.
"There's one thing we don't have a problem with is communication. It's really clear with our guys as to what my feelings are after a game, what my expecations are of our football team, and we never put the loss squarely on one or the other. It's a team loss. I lost. Our players lost. So the specifics of that stay within the locker room."
Notes: Tommy Rees, who hyper-extended his right knee Saturday, will likely have some soreness but should still be able to practice this week. ... Kapron Lewis-Moore underwent an MRI after suffering an ankle injury Saturday, but Kelly did not have the results yet. ... Asked about Dayne Crist's mental state following his game-turning fumble Saturday, Kelly said: "I don't have to worry about it. He does." Kelly said there were no quarterback rotation changes "as of today."