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Teleconference Recap: Coach Cutcliffe Week 1

Head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Wednesday as part of the ACC Coaches teleconference.  Here’s what he had to say about the upcoming start of the season.

COACH CUTCLIFFE: First of all, I'm glad I'm sitting in 12:32 eastern time zone. That's an advantage already. I listened a little bit to Steve Addazio. 

A lot of new faces, new face at quarterback, new faces at punter and place quick kicker, new coaches. More changes, more new than in the entire time we've been here. We're very athletic, but we have got to be consistent. That's the thing we'll be looking for on Saturday. 

With that I'll take your questions. 

Q. You just mentioned the new quarterback you're going to be having going into this game. What can you say about Daniel Jones, what he's shown you throughout camp and where he's at right now and why he was the right person to lead this offense. 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: He is extremely skilled. He's big, fast. He's got a really big arm. There's no range to his arm. I mean, he's got a big arm and a quick arm. He's accurate. 

The thing that we've seen still at this point as a youngster is that he is not as consistent as we would like. We're trying to close that gap quickly. There is nothing like playing games that will help you get there. 

He is a disciplined young man. I believe he will play in a disciplined manner. It's just going to be fast for him. He's going to have to adapt and play fast. Hopefully that transition goes smoothly on Saturday night. 

Q. As far as Thomas Sirk, been through a lot of adversity. That adversity kind of went up a notch recently. What can you say about how he's handled everything? 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: He's inspirational to me, just his attitude and spirit are incredible. The hard part for all of us is that Thomas is not on the practice field. He interjects a lot there when he's there, whether he was minimally practicing like he was, or whether he's even watching. 

But right now with his circumstance, impending surgery, he can't be out there. Going to miss him in that regard. 

But in the building, in meetings, he is very instrumental in helping develop the rest of our quarterbacks. 

Q. What did Daniel do during fall practice that allowed him to leap ahead of Parker who had more game experience and overall knowledge?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Just a consistent performance in our scrimmages, in our team periods. His accuracy, getting rid of the ball on time. His speed, play-making ability. He just separated himself from the other two guys. So he really earned the opportunity. 

Somebody said the other day, Why did you make the decision? We don't make that decision; they basically do it on the field. It wasn't anything Parker or Quentin did poorly, it's what Daniel did exceptionally well that put him in this position. 

Q. Do you plan on playing more than one quarterback this weekend or stick with Daniel for the whole game?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Well, Daniel is our starter. Whether we have a package to bring in a quarterback in short yardage red zone, that's always a possibility with us. We have that ready. But I don't have plans right now for a series of the twos. It's certainly not an exhibition game. You don't get that luxury in college football. This one counts. We're going in with Daniel as the number one and hope he plays at an extremely high level and is very successful. 

Q. How much consideration or discussion do you have with your staff about redshirting leading up to a season?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Well, a lot. We're a developmental program. Oftentimes that would include a redshirt year. We try to do a lot with them while they're redshirting on the field, but also off the field in strength building, et cetera. School is very difficult here. Giving them adequate time. 

There's a lot of different variables. So we certainly have to discuss that as a staff. I'm obviously going to lead the discussion. I'm looking at the number of snaps I think they're going to play on either side of the ball, offensively or defensively. But I'm also looking at where they're going to make a difference in the kicking game, quite possibly. 

Every year we've played five or six guys. The number may be similar this year, it may be a few more. But we're going into the game. We'll have a staff meeting this afternoon and talk a little bit more about substitution patterns. But we're going to go in playing a few of them for sure. 

I think right now probably the number will be six or seven that I expect us to play against North Carolina Central when the dust settles. But I'm not quite sure yet. We're going to try to make a good decision. We meet with those kids to make sure they understand. But I will tell you what I tell all of our freshmen. We haven't played a game yet. Things change. Nobody's redshirted at this point. You may just not play in this game. 

We're very systemic offensively. We've been doing the same things, for the most part systematically for almost 40 years. So you try to teach quarterbacks the system. You hope they don't get confused. But it's always a possibility. You just adapt and adjust and try to make things happen. 

We have years and years of adjusting this. You hope you get to that quickly. There's not that many ways to line up. It all starts with the quarterback. It's just understanding coverage packages. 

Pass protection system, he's really knowledgeable with, and our people up front, our backs and tight ends are really knowledgeable. So I feel good about that. But you never know what you might see on Saturday night. 

Q. Do you attack defenses any differently? Any change at all with Daniel at quarterback instead of Thomas?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: No, not really. They're very similar. They're both big, tall, fast guys. Daniel is really quick. Both of them have big arms. 


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