One thing the Irish have to do, regardless of who the QB is, will be to compensate for the absence of Michael Floyd, who's caught more TD passes than any player Notre Dame history. Kelly suspended Floyd indefinitely this week after he was arrested on a drunken-driving charge last weekend.
Calling Floyd a good friend, Crist said the team needs to create an atmosphere where incidents like that don't occur again.
"As players we knew right when it happened it was a big deal and it was something we need to come together and fix," Crist said.
As for his relationship with his coach, Crist said it has evolved. Kelly was a little hard on his quarterback at times last season, especially during the spring when everything was new for both sides.
"We know each other better. We have a relationship now. We understand each other and we know how to talk to each other and we're thinking the same way," Crist said. "It's much less stress on our relationship than two people who know nothing about each other or the topic at hand."
Mainly, though, Crist is just glad to be back on the field, saying it made him feel like a little kid again.
He still needs to regain some strength in his leg. And there are new wrinkles to master — the Irish are experimenting with a helmet camera this spring to help the quarterback study his reads — and Kelly's multidimensional offense is always adding on.
"That time away makes you appreciate what you have while you're out there," Crist said. "My time here is limited. I mean, I got two years left — that's a scary thing to say out loud — so I'm just trying to make the most of every day and just get better."
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