On Military Appreciation Day this Saturday:
“First of all, just to be able to honor the men and women who serve our country on a daily basis will be a pretty special day on Saturday so we thought one of the days we would honor them is by wearing the flag on the interlocking NC that has never been done before here at Carolina. We’re excited about doing that and hopefully we’ll be able to honor them also with the way we play the game.”
What is the next step you hope to see from Bryn Renner?
“We’re still working on tempo every day. We’re still not there. We’re asking for fanatical effort and tempo throughout the game and we’re not there. We still don’t understand what that really is yet so we have a lot of work to do in that area.
“As far as Bryn’s standpoint, again, it’s the reps that are so important, because every time a safety moves or rotates down and he gets to see that and see it live and gets to see himself do it, it’s just a learned experience and something that he can continue to work on. It’s still about managing the game, which is moving the chains. Moving the chains, again, is the most important thing he is doing and taking care of the football and the other day he did a tremendous job of taking care of the football. We went through 60 minutes of the game and we didn’t turn the ball over so that’s a big deal right there.”
How far have you come in improving the offensive tempo so far this season?
“That’s hard to say. We still got a long way to go before we get to where we want to be so hopefully we’ll get a little better this week, but we have made improvement every week. Hopefully at some point during this year we are going to be where we want to be.”
How did Gio Bernard feel after Saturday?
“Good, good. No problems and he felt really good about his situation and so I don’t anticipate there being any problems.”
How encouraging was it to see him back on the field?
“It’s really good. I think we said something the other day about anytime we get one of our starters back and they’re feeling comfortable and 100-percent and all those things that is a good thing for the entire football team, because everybody gains more confidence as we get our guys back in the flow, because that just helps with the continuity of what you’re trying to do.”
Did you do anything differently in order to get more pressure on the quarterback against East Carolina?
“A little bit. There were some pressures that we designed that Vic [Koenning] and [Dan] Disch and those guys designed for that team and, again, that’s part of scheming, that’s part of the game plan and they took advantage of some things we felt like we could and the guys did a nice job responding and some of it was just one-on-one beating guys. Where guys are not having to think as much and just go play ball.”
How do you guard against your team not looking past Idaho and ahead to Virginia Tech?
“That has not been something I’ve even thought about. I don’t think all of a sudden when you’ve had a bad taste in your mouth for two weeks and all of a sudden you get back on the other side that all of a sudden you’re confident and overlook anybody, because, again, the focus is not going to be on Idaho this week. That’s not where this is going to be. The focus is going to be on us. Everything that we’re doing, everything in practice is about us getting better as a football team scheme-wise, all of those things. We just take care of our business then we’re not going to worry about the other part of it.”
Are you going to keep Erik Highsmith returning punts or are you going to keep looking for that guy?
“I don’t know. We’ll talk about that tomorrow when we go through punt returns, but I know Erik’s comfortable back there. He did a nice job, had a couple chances. He had the one that was about a 33-yard return until we had the penalty so he did some nice things.
“[Roy Smith] can do it, he’s already proven he can do it, and [Bernard] can do it, so we’ll see what it looks like this week in practice as they compete back there and we’ll see what happens.”
On the play of the offensive line so far this year:
“I said the other day we didn’t think we ran the ball well enough or effectively enough and part of that is with them and part of that is with the running backs, part of that is the situation that we call those runs in so that’s a combination of things, but overall those guys have played well upfront throughout this year and given us some opportunities and they kept Bryn on his feet the majority of the time… I think those guys are playing well together and the continuity up there is so critical.”
What stood out on film about Jabari Price this week?
“The thing I noticed about Jabari is even before the game he was excited about playing football. He was excited about getting back out there on the field and there were a lot of guys that were like that, don’t get me wrong, but Jabari was just one of the guys that caught my eye when I’m looking at them before the game out there in pregame warm-ups. He was excited, he’s bouncing around, he’s ready to play football and you could tell and the way he played it showed. He was focused in and I think he bought in to the things that we had talked about all week. Just about it’s about us and not about anybody else and he played that way.”
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