Cutcliffe Press Conference Quotes

Earlier this week head coach David Cutcliffe met the media

On his thoughts about last week's 34-31 win at Navy
"It feels much better to stand up here after a win. Certainly, I'd like to praise our staff and our players for their preparation prior to the Navy game, whether it was the first half where we played almost flawless, or the second half where we fought and did what we had to do to win in a very difficult environment. I'm real proud of what was accomplished."

On the Virginia Cavaliers, who are coming off a 24-19 win over Miami
"This week, we're right back to reality and right back to ACC play. Virginia comes in here a very hot football team on a two-game winning streak, and that's certainly not an accident. They're playing at a very high level. They've got a lot of good football players. They're a very balanced team; offensively, they can run it, they can throw it. They are a very balanced team in general. They're good in the kicking game, good on defense and as I said, good on offense. It's a big challenge for us."

On how the team responded in practice after the win
"One of the things I wanted to see was how we would come back out and prepare today. We had a good start to the week, and I really was excited to see that. I hope our team remains hungry and understands that the most important thing we've got to continue to do is improve. We've got a big mission in front of us in that regard."

On the team's attitude so far during the season
"I think our attitude has been one of the most interesting and maybe even amazing things I've been around in coaching. To go through a six-game losing streak and to be as determined, upbeat and positive as our staff and players were was a very tribute to their character. When you win, you hope that improves. I certainly think it was a boost in that regard. But I don't think anybody here has quickly forgotten what we've had to go through this season, so we need to keep that in mind as we go forward. As I said, the most important thing for us right now is this attitude of continuing to improve."

On the play of quarterback Sean Renfree during the win over Navy
"Sean doesn't show a lot of emotion at all, and I saw two or three times about as full a grin on his face during the game. I went over and told him, ‘that's something you need to remember. It's OK to smile during the football game.' I want him to have fun and relax and play the game. It's certainly a confidence booster, and that starts getting challenged when you have so much weight on your shoulders. But Sean Renfree knows that it's all a work in progress. [After the game] He was right back to work, studying the tape, finding out what he can do better and then realizing that he's playing a really outstanding, physically-gifted Virginia defense this week."

On what he and the coaching staff did to take the pressure off of Renfree against Navy
"The nature of a lot of what we've done offensively falls on the quarterback, and people are probably very aware of that. Our quarterbacks have done well, but I think it was a special situation in particular with the rut we've fallen into, and it was important to put some of that pressure in other places. You kind of spread that around and put a little more pressure on the line, you put a little bit more pressure on the back, and the tight end and the wide receivers, and I think Sean responded to that well."

On evaluating the program's future during Duke's last four games of the season
"I think you're always, as a coach, thinking about your young players. I not only do that during the ballgames, that's part of your practice. The different combinations, the different things we're looking at, that really probably never leaves my mind at anytime. You opened that question very correctly – the forefront of our thoughts are what we're trying to do to play a good first play against Virginia, then a first quarter, then a first half. When you get right down toward the end of the week, you kind of zero totally into the ballgame. On Sundays, even at different times during practice when I'm looking, you're looking at all those parts and thinking and you go back in. Recruiting happens every single day. That's the one thing we do 365 days a year, so you're always kind of piecing those little parts together."

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