What was the reasoning behind moving Kendrick Singleton over to the wide receiver position as opposed to special teams, which he played on the majority of last season?
“Well last year he was running with the two’s at the wide receiver position but he started on three special teams units. You know he helped us win a lot of games last year. Now he’s stepped up. There’s a spot open and he’s competing and he’s done a really good job so far this spring.”
Are there any players in particular standing out on the defensive line so far this spring?
“I think Tim Jackson is obviously stepping up. He’s got the most experience out of that group. And the (Shawn) Underwood got a lot of reps last year. Both those guys are doing a nice job up there. And then Kareem (Martin) is playing really steady.”
Are you seeing the kind of senior leadership you expect out of both Kareem Martin and Tim Jackson?
“We are with both those guys. Probably Tim has stepped up more than Kareem at this point with his leadership and that’s what he’s got to do.”
Do you worry about leadership on defense on losing some key guys from last season?
“I worry about it every year on both sides of the ball. At this time in year with winter conditioning and spring ball and through the summer that’s where your leaders are going to emerge. A lot of guys may sit back because of senior leadership from the previous year and not really step forward. Well now they’ve got to step forward. You look for times of adversity for when those guys are really going to step up because everybody can do it in the meeting room. But it’s when things aren’t going right, who’s going to step up at that point. That’s where your true leaders emerge.”
Malik Simmons is another guy that got his feet wet on special teams last year. How's he looking this spring?
“Malik is doing a nice job. He’s over at corner with number four (Jabari Price) out right now. Malik is getting a lot of reps and you know that’s one good thing about it. He’s building on what he did last year and he’s really picked up exactly where he left off and gotten better. You can see he worked at it during the winter.”
Comments on UNC's defense:
“We started right where we left off. I mean the thing about it is you’ve got kids who at least now… If you think about where we were last year at this time compared to now it’s a big difference. Everybody understands what we’re doing so now it’s mastering your craft. It’s perfecting what you do and not just trying to learn what to do.
On Tommy Hibbard:
“That’s an awesome thing that Tommy’s back and he’s got all the experience that he has. He really punted the ball nicely for us last year and he’s going to do it again this year.”
Is there anyone emerging to take the open spots on the offensive line?
“No, not yet. I’d say we’ve got a long way to go.”
How's the health of the team?
“T.J. (Thorpe) is still out. I don’t really know. We’ve got a long list of guys. What it does is that it enables you to get guys who are two’s, guys who are three’s. That’s what we’re trying to do this spring is to develop as much depth as we can in a lot of positions knowing that at some point during the season next year somebody is going to have to go into a game. Somebody is going to have to help us through three or four game because of someone getting injured. Just treat it as a good thing right now.”
How's the quarterback battle between Mitch Trubisky and Kanler Coker?
“I think it’s a great battle right now. He (Mitch) has come along way in a short period of time. He ought to be worried about his dance this Friday night or something back in Mentor instead of going down and scrimmaging in Charlotte. I think the kid has come a long way. Every rep he’s getting, he’s getting better.”
What are Trubisky's strengths?
“He’s got arm strength. I’d say for me, it’s how quickly he’s picking things up. I mean he’s doing a really fairly good job at running the offense right now.”
What’s the game plan for tomorrow’s scrimmage at Mallard Creek High School?
“We’ll cut down what we’re doing. We’ve got everything installed at this point so we’ll cut way back for tomorrow. We’ll pick out a few things we want to work on offensively and defensively and we’ll do those things. It’ll be a controlled scrimmage. The one’s will go and if they’ve got eight plays scripted out then they’ll go down the field or whatever. When those eight plays are up they’re off the field no matter what’s happening in that drive. There will be a couple of drives so that we’ll play it so whatever happens in the drive we’ll continue it. We’re also going to get some work on kickoff return and punt team.
“It’ll be one’s versus one’s. Two’s versus two’s. Three’s versus three’s.”
What do you think are the benefits of doing the scrimmage in Charlotte at Mallard Creek?
“It’s a nice things for our fans in the Charlotte area. We’ve got a lot of fans in that area so they’re going to be able to come out and see what these guys are doing. Obviously, the high schools that are in the area that are interested in what we’re doing will be able to come to that. And then for our players, we treat it like a road game for these young guys who haven’t been on the road. They’ve got to maintain the focus they need when they step out on that field and be ready to play.”