Monday: John Bunting Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach John Bunting talked with the media following Monday's practice. Listen to, and read, what he had to say ...

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AUDIO (7:23)

On having multiple players on the team whose fathers played at UNC -

"You certainly know they're from good stock. That's something that came into play in each one's recruitment ... they're Carolina-bred."

Are you in pads yet?

"We're in half-pads - shoulder pads and shorts. We go full pads tomorrow: practice No. 5.

What can you see now rather than the practices without pads?

"We're hitting now more. Our two first practices were without pads and were very well executed on both sides of the ball and I was impressed with the way the runners ran, including the two freshmen. ... Now that the pads are on it's more physical, the heat's there, guys are learning to have stamina. You've got to keep pushing, can't stop. That's Coach [Mark Weber]'s line and I love it - 'trying to stop' - you can't do that, you've got to finish. Now we're seeing more of finishing plays, and when you get into a scrimmage situation on Saturday then we'll see the real finish.

"I see progress - offensive line, defensive line, the runners. I see the wide receivers making plays - that's what's exciting to me right now, each one making plays."

Can you see a senior defensive end having a breakout season like Tommy Davis did last year?

"Tommy Davis had a special way about him in that he was a very explosive athlete and had been on the field a lot. Both of these players - Melik Brown and [Brian] Rackley - those guys have been on the field a lot also, though maybe not as much. So the experience factor is a little different for those two, but we're getting a lot more done in practice now, so I see it coming along. And I see Hilee Taylor coming along. And if we get this [NCAA] Clearinghouse to cooperate we might have another guy."

On defensive line coaches Ken Browning and Danny Pearman working together -

"I'll say this - all of the players notice the chemistry between all of the coaches. They are a lot more demanding out there and I think therefore there are a lot more rewards. ... That's a statement of all the staff, but Kenny has taken Danny under his wing and they are working extremely well together. They do so many things together, like I saw in the football camps, they'll separate and work drills just like you'd want them to when you have two coaches coaching those positions - just as I thought it'd probably work out. I didn't think of that the first year when we had two coaches coaching those guys, but I certainly thought of it when Kenny returned to the defensive line - that we could duplicate technique and responsibility and get more work on individualized fundamentals. Sometimes Kenny will work with the defensive tackles and run a drill and Danny will do the same drill with the defensive ends."

On Trimane Goddard -

"Trimane has tremendous football savvy, great instincts, he's a tremendous athlete. He had a difficult spring with the foot and appendicitis, so we're hoping everything works out for him because he's a great player for us. He's smart, he's savvy, the kids have tremendous trust in him - he's a great communicator out there."

On Jacoby Watkins coming back after last season's injury -

"Playing with a lot of confidence, a lot of gusto and a big smile on his face. Totally different from last year. Everything is 100 percent 'go' with him, it's fun to watch him out there. He intercepted a pass today right off the bat..."

What areas are you looking for the secondary to improve upon this year?

"No. 1, communication; No. 2, disguise; No. 3, we want to make more turnovers back there. Always got to tackle and be physical, but I want to see them work on the things I just mentioned."

On Calvin Darity -

"I see more fight - I see more fight in Calvin. It's time for him to play, he knows that. He's been challenged by me and challenged by the offensive line coach. He's got to fight through some things here because he's getting many more reps than he's ever gotten before."


Transcription by Ben Sherman.

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