Manny Diaz Talks About His D, UNC, & More

Read on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following Wednesday's practice.

Manny Diaz – Defensive Coordinator

On the linebackers against FSU…

“The biggest thing was that it never appeared as if the stage was too big for them. Which you don’t know until you step out on the field. I thought they continued to play fast and physical. They didn’t do everything right but they are doing what we ask them to do, in terms of how we want them to play.”

 

On the physical test of the linebackers playing through four quarters…

“They held up well. Of course there were a lot of sore bodies on both sides, since it was an extraordinary physical game. But when I watched us towards the end, I did not feel as if our guys ever backed down.”

 

On Chad Thomas’ hand in a club…

“During the week it is just for protection and our trainers will put him in the best position to play. But again you play the game of football with your feet first and those are in fine shape.”

 

On Jaquan Johnson…

“We could use a few more Jaquan Johnson’s, because he can help us in so many ways. When we are in the media room we think about how great it would be to play him here or there. We don’t have enough Jaquan’s to go around for all the places he could help the football team. Certainly he will play a big role this weekend, but we have felt since the spring that he was one of our top guys.”

 

On the challenge North Carolina’s offense presents…

“The first thing is getting lined up. There tempo will be as fast as anything we have seen this year. They are a team that executes at a very high level. They have great running backs and receivers and they have tight ends that do an excellent job as both blockers and receivers. And of course they have a talented quarterback who orchestrates the entire offense. So they are very similar to the challenges presented last week, in the fact that they are a very balanced team being able to both run and throw the football. But the biggest challenge that they will present will be the tempo. Because the questions our guys will face will be are you walking around when they are set to snap the football, are your eyes not in the right position and can we make plays on the ball downfield? We know they will pass the ball down the field often and it will be a great challenge for our guys going against a couple tall wide outs that can go out and get it.”

 

On Ryan Switzer, North Carolina’s top receiver…

“He has played so much football and he is so aware of where all the pockets are in pass coverage. Certainly he is a guy they lean very heavily on, but a lot of his throws come on bubble screens and wide receiver screens where it gets tossed to him and it counts as a catch. There are a lot of ways they can use him and we also have to be aware every time we punt the football because he is always a threat to score. But then again where we are in our league right now, is that every week we will be playing against great players and our guys are going to have to step up to that challenge.”

 

On Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina’s starting quarterback…

“The biggest thing is that he is one of the guys in the point guard era of quarterbacking. He has a great understanding of where to go with the ball. Almost, all of their run plays come with a pass option off of it, so he has a great knack for having the ball in his running backs stomach before immediately finding one of his guys down the field. He really knows how to orchestrate, sort of pull the strings, on when do I hand it off, throw it or get the ball out to Switzer on the bubble screen. A lot of their plays have three options. They may run an off tackle play, but they will have a bubble screen and a slant to fall back on as well. So you need a quarterback to understand where all the pieces are on the field to understand where of the three options the play should go. Which Trubisky can do very well.”


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