"We have been doing good a whole," Phillips said. "On offense with the new coaches, they are responding really well. They are coming out and making plays. They have more of a bond and a swagger about themselves. And the defense, we are just flying around the ball making plays. I think we look good so far."
Yesterday head coach Larry Coker praised the defense for a strong day.
"It is not often that we get to go live so when we do we try to go all out and prepare like it is a game," said Phillips. "Everybody just did their thing."
As a freshman last year, Kenny Phillips was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after making his first start against Clemson. In the game he lead the team with 13 tackles and intercepted a pass in the third overtime.
His freshman season was a learning experience for the talented former Carol City star.
"It was a lesson for me," Phillips said. "I got a chance to play and I learned a whole lot. I had a pretty good season, but when I go back and look at film I see a lot of things I can improve upon."
This spring Phillips wants to improve on his reads.
"The biggest thing last year was my run/pass reads," said Phillips. "I wasn't coming up as quick because I didn't know. I wasn't scared to make contact, I just wasn't sure."
Brandon Meriweather, Kenny's partner at safety, is back for his senior season after an 115-tackle season in 2005 as he earned semifinalist status for the Jim Thorpe Award.
"I am really glad he came back because he was the reason I was playing in the first place," said Phillips. "He taught me everything and to have another year with him we should both play better without him having to tell me as many things."
Anthony Reddick, a starting safety in 2004 as a freshman, is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the season opener last season. However, when Reddick gets back to 100 percent there will be a battle for the starting safety spots.
"It really is a battle because Reddick and Meriweather are good players," Phillips said. "It is just competitive every day. The coaches are doing the best they can to make that decision to get us all on the field."
At 6-foot-2 (almost 6-3) and 203 pounds Phillips has high expectations for his performance in 2006.
The Hurricanes return to practice on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org