"We're going to move AD up to first team -- start him for this ballgame. I talked to Chris -- we've moved Chris behind him. I know you're wondering why. The only answer I can give you is we feel like we should."
Did you talk to both of them privately?
"I talked to Chris."
How'd he take it?
"Good. He knows the score."
It's been a decade since you've made this type of change. Any similarities to Brad and Casey?
"I remember that. I don't know. We just felt like Casey was getting better. He might have played better in a ballgame, something like that. We felt like the way he came in there -- we couldn't move it in the second half (against Auburn) -- he came in there and took us in twice. We just felt like we should move him up to first team."
Sunday, you talked about a "spark" that was missing from your team. Do you think you've found it?
"You just hope. Again, the main thing I can say is that we feel like we should do it. We all felt the same way about it. There wasn't even any question about it. We need to move him in there and see what he can do."
Yesterday you said you planned to judge by how they played in practice. Did you make this decision before practice?
"I probably said that so I didn't have to tell you what I was going to do. People were asking me -- I didn't want to say anything until I talked to Chris. I didn't want him to read it in the paper or hear it from somebody else."
Have you announced this to the team?
"No, I haven't. Daryl (Dickey, the QB coach) has been meeting with the quarterbacks, explaining it to them. I didn't make an announcement about it or anything like that."
Do you make any change in your offense with AD in the game?
"No. We won't change a thing. Just what you've been seeing. We'll still stay with it. He's been getting the same amount of reps that Chris gets anyway. Now Chris'll get as many reps as he gets, except Chris will be working with the second unit and he'll be working with the first unit."
What did you see on the film that influenced you to make this move?
"Well, he went in there and moved them up and down the field, two times. That was up there. We felt like he might have made some strides that we need to look at."
How important is it for the QB to be able to improvise in the pocket, without directly turning to the run?
"He did that the other night real good. He really used his pocket good, and rolled out and still threw. Then he ran at the right time, made some nice runs."
How much of a margin for error will he get?
"A lot. A lot. It's not like we're going to put him in there and if he doesn't do good right quick we'll get him out. No. He's the first-team quarterback right now."
Are you worried that this will look like this move was influenced by player opinion?
"No. I don't worry about things like that. This was coaches. I looked at the film, then I went to the offensive coaching staff and said, 'We need to put the other kid in at quarterback.' And they all agreed. I wouldn't dare let the kids decide something like that."
We saw a different A.D. against Clemson than we saw Saturday. How much has he changed?
"He did. And yet he did take them in for a touchdown the first time he got in there. I don't think he completed any passes, but I think he finished a drive. We'll never know until we see. So we're going to see."
Did you feel that it was important to make the announcement today, early in the game week?
"Yeah, I didn't want to drag it out all week. A lot of 'em (coaches) would try to keep it a secret so the other team doesn't know. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to go ahead and get him up there, let the team know that he's the quarterback right now."
WHat's your philosophy on that? Most coaches would have done the opposite.
"Yeah, they do. I don't know what they're doing. SOme of them could be doing it because they're not sure if that's what they want to do, and it gives them time to change their mind if they want to. Some might think that they'd have an advantage that you don't know which quarterback (will play). My thinking is that this kid does the same thing anyway. I don't think anybody will change their defense because he's in there. I don't think anybody will change their blitz -- they might want to blitz, because it's a new quarterback. But we do better if we know you're going to blitz."
This lets him prepare all week.
"Exactly. Let him get ready mentally that he's going to start that ballgame. That's the way I look at it."
What was A.D's reaction?
"I didn't talk to him. Daryl met with the quarterbacks and told them. I called Chris in because I know that the toughest move is him -- down. He handled it just like you'd want him to handle it. I told him, 'be prepared to go, and be ready to go, prepare like you always do.' And he said, 'I will.'"
Do you see this as a gamble?
"As a gamble? I don't think of it as a gamble. I think of it as the thing to do. It's the thing we must do."
There have been comparisons between A.D. and Charlie Ward.
"There is some. He's got a kind of a natural running gait about him. I sure he wasn't taught -- it's just natural. Charlie sure had a natural one. Charlie had some instinctive moves. Some people can see a guy behind them -- a lot of guys can't. Charlie could feel somebody behind him and take off at the right time."
He's very quiet as well, like Charlie. Is that something that's important? He hasn't complained in any of the papers or anything like that.
"He really has. THat's very important. It's very hard to do nowadays, in football today. You see so many quarterbacks transferring, like (Brock) Berlin going to Miami. You see others. Notre Dame had a quarterback left. (Matt LoVecchio). He's matured a whole lot in the time he's been here."
How important is it to limit turnovers against a ball-control offense like Wake's?
"It is. They get the ball and they keep it. First thing you know, seven minutes are off the clock."