The following is an edited transcript of Monday's interview with Morris.
What was your take on practice last week?
Morris: I thought we did a really good job. I thought coach [Dabo] Swinney did a really good job of managing practice last week, getting some guys back healthy, kind of dialing things back and working on fundamentals. Not some things that you necessarily over look during a game week, but things you may not be able to focus on quite as much, and be repetitive on things. Obviously, ball security has always been a big focus for us, and will continue to do. We could really dial it back and do some things to help out, in that regard. Kind of going back and kind re-evaluating ourselves where you are in this point in the season -- what we've done good and haven't done good. I thought practice last week was very productive. Had some guys, maybe not necessarily work out as much as we wanted, but were able to be attentive and get back healthy, which is what we need more than anything.
Andre Ellington and his injured ankle are expected to be ready for Saturday's game against Wake Forest. (Roy Philpott)
Morris: That's one thing about players. Our players and any player I've been a part of, when it comes off of a loss, they're real resilient. That's just the way kids are. That's the way players are. We as coaches take it. We're not really as resilient as they are. They had pretty much put it behind them, and understood that they didn't play their best football. There were some things that went wrong and they understand why we weren't as productive, and came out ready to work. They came out ready to go. It wasn't doom and gloom at practice, which it didn't need to be. It was more about ourselves, going back and getting better at the things we need to do -- being more physical, more attention to detail. I was pleased with the way that they came to practice last week, with the workmen's attitude -- we tasted defeat, we don't want to taste it again, it's a bad taste, and what do we have to do now to make sure that doesn't happen?
Was Tajh part of that group as well, or did he beat himself up a little bit more?
Morris: No. He didn't beat himself up. He was disappointed, obviously, in his play the week before last. He was one of the main ones coming out, 'What do we got to do? What do I have to do, coach, to make sure this doesn't happen again?' Again, I was pleased with the way that they all responded at practice.
Were Andre [Ellington] and Dwayne [Allen] limited, for the most part, last week?
Morris: Dwayne worked out, especially later during the week. He worked out the last two days of the week. Andre went through very limited drills. He should be back, ready to go this week.
Were you most disappointed with the lack of physicality up front?
Morris: I was disappointed with the loss, for one, as we all were. Unacceptable. Losing is not an option. Period. Never has been, never will be. There's nothing I can tell you or our players or our players could tell me that would convince us why we lost is right. It's wrong. We don't lose, period. That's the way we've conditioned our guys. That's the way we play. That's the way we practice. We play to win. Winning is the name of the game. For the fourth-time in four years, I woke up the next day after a game with a loss. I don't like that feeling. Neither do the players. Neither does our team. I don't even remember what your question was. I was very disappointed.
Were there opportunities last week to install more?
Morris: There's a lot of times, as a coach, sometimes the worst thing you can do is add a bunch of things or tweak a few things, and you get away from some of the things that you do real good. I thought, maybe, we've had some success offensively. Going into the Georgia Tech week, we tried to install a few things and do a few things a little differently. When you do that, you've got to give up on something else...back to your question, no, not a whole lot. We're going to do a few things that people haven't seen, which is kind of customary to what we normally do every week.
Do you expect Andre to go through practice and be ready to go?
Morris: Andre is going to play. Andre is going to be playing. He's going to be ready to go. We don't anticipate that being a problem at all.
|"We spent our entire off week on Wake Forest, to get ahead of the game and get ahead in our scouting and game planning."|
Morris: We spent our entire off week on Wake Forest, to get ahead of the game and get ahead in our scouting and game planning. Being able to watch them a little bit on Saturday, they did things a little bit different. They're like everybody else at this stage in the game. What they do is who they are. They'll add a little different wrinkle or a different blitz package. They're not going to change who they are.
The reception [from recruits] you guys are getting now at 8-1 and in the top-10, as opposed to earlier this year, have you seen that change?
Morris: The exposure that the program has been getting has been remarkable. Winning is the best recruiting tool that you've got. It is. We've definitely had lots of really good exposure over the course of the last eight, nine weeks all over the country. That's definitely helped us out a whole lot.