Audio from Brian Kelly's Press Conference Regarding Alabama-Notre Dame National Title (Courtesy WTSB Radio)

Notre Dame football returns to action for the first time since the 42-14 drubbing in the BCS National Championship as Spring Practice gets underway this week in South Bend. Head coach Brian Kelly met with the media on Tuesday for an opening press conference, which has been transcribed and posted on Notre Dame's Official Site, before the team takes the field on Wednesday.

Among the topics that Kelly covered during the question and answer session was the team's performance against the Crimson Tide.

One answer in particular raised some eyebrows for us. A reporter asked this question: "Just at a big picture level after Alabama, you said it's pretty clear what you need to do to get over the top. How did that experience change winter conditioning? What you want to get done during spring ball?"

You might think the the coach of a team humbled in the fashion Notre Dame suffered through might let that memory stick in his craw for some time. Well, apparently 71 days and some more film time film is enough time to get that horrible taste out of one's mouth. Kelly began his answer to that question this way:

My comments after the game and my comments after I got a chance to watch the film were a little bit different. I thought watching the game there were some things there that we weren't in a position yet to even come close to. But we're a lot closer than I thought.

Oh really, how so? He never really explains, but he does continue to further revise the championship game:

On the defensive line, we weren't pushed around, as many people had talked about. That was a concern of mine.

Well, ok then. Whether you watched Notre Dame's performance against Alabama in January or March, it's confusing how you could come away with that impression of the defensive line. He obviously didn't feel that way when he met with the Philadelphia Eagles in January, but maybe he's just using it as a motivational tactic. If you can help us understand, please leave a comment and explain.