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Odds and (defensive) ends

Notre Dame’s annual Media Day is hardly the place to uncover an intriguing feature story. It’s more like a buffet of soundbites. One is lucky to ask a coach or player one or two related questions before someone else chimes in with something completely unrelated. The most random file pulled from this reporter’s audio recorder was from an eight-minute interview with fifth-year senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore.

Here’s a sampling of a wide variety of topics discussed back on Aug. 16.

Question: Everett Golson gets a lot of credit for being a dual-threat quarterback, but what about junior Andrew Hendrix?

Lewis-Moore: “I honestly underrated his speed; he’s a really fast guy. He’s not afraid to [put his shoulder] down a little bit. We can’t touch the quarterbacks, but every once in a while he likes to throw a little shoulder in there. Everett, being elusive in the pocket, he gives us that two-dimensional offense. Hendrix can move as well. He’s really fast.”

Question: There seems to be an eclectic mix of music played at the start of ever practice. Can you tell us about that?

Lewis-Moore: “It’s something new they came into camp with. Honestly, that’s what is getting me through camp sometimes. You might have some good or bad days, but I think music loosens you up and let’s you have a little fun before practice. You still have to get your work done. Having that little burst of energy helps a lot.”

Question: Is that a reflection of how loose the team is as a whole this year?

Lewis-Moore: “I guess you could say that. Now, we just have to work on getting better every day — not being silly, but getting our work done in a professional manner.”

Question: Who are the biggest characters on defense?

Lewis-Moore: “We have a lot of guys like that. Of course you’ve got Big Lou [Louis Nix]. [Stephon] Tuitt, sometimes when he speaks it’s goofy, too. We just like to have fun. We just have fun during camp and stuff to try to ease the pain.”

Question: What is Nix like in the locker room?

Lewis-Moore: “He has his little iSpeaker with some good music going on. He has a diverse taste in music. It’s not all about rap and hip-hop, he’ll throw some country in there, too. You never know what he’s thinking. I know on the field he’s really matured a lot. He’s going to be a very productive player for us.”

Question: How was this camp different for you compared to the previous four?

Lewis-Moore: “I feel a lot older this year. Your body gets worn down a little bit. I’m just taking it one day at a time, one play at a time. That’s been my motto personally going through camp. When I hurt my knee, I missed a lot of practices and a lot of games. Looking back on it and reflecting on it, you want to be in there in the tough times and the good times with the guys. I feel like I missed a lot of playing time last year and I’m eager to get out there for the first game. I’m so excited.”

Question: What do you think about playing in Ireland to kick off the 2012 season?

Lewis-Moore: “I hope we get some time to look around Ireland. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Ireland. I’ve only been to Canada, so I don’t know if that counts being out of the country. I’m really excited to see something new. If you just go in and practice and not worry about the next game — just worry about Navy in Ireland — it’s going to be an awesome experience atmosphere. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Question: With such a young secondary, how important is it for the defensive line to apply pressure to apposing quarterbacks?

Lewis-Moore: “That’s our mantra every play. I know Jamoris [Slaughter] and Zeke [Motta] are the veterans back there, but we’ve got to get a little more pressure on quarterbacks for them as well. I think that does make the job a little easier. They’re responding very well. Jamoris and Zeke are doing a good job teaching those young guys.”

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