Pannunzio Talks Tight Ends, Special Teams

The Hurricanes have been addressing several key issues with personnel this week on at tight end and special teams. Read on to see what their coach has to say.

This week, the Hurricanes have demoted former starting tight end Dajleon Farr to third string and elevated the competition at the position. Head Coach Randy Shannon said of Farr that his play and game tape just were not impressive and they needed to move onto the next guy. Two guys vying for the starting position are junior Chris Zellner and sophomore Richard Gordon.

Tight End coach Joe Pannunzio had a few things to say on the group.

On the disappointing play of the tight ends:
That is kind of how we are, it is like that with the whole football team. You have to play and you have to produce and you need to grow from it. Someone steps up and someone needs to make plays

Who are some of the guys that need to step up?
Richard Gordon is a guy that has stepped up and made some plays, Chris Zellner is a guy too.

Some other guys, Jerrell Mabry is a big guy who will get a chance to be an up guy.

On Dedrick Epps:
He hurt his ankle, so he has been trying to nurse that thing. We're trying to get him healthy. I am hoping he can play a little bit but he still looks like he is hurt.

He is a little bit better in the backfield, like an H-back.


On the other side of the coin, in recent weeks the special teams units have gotten an overhaul. The kicking game has struggled and the coverage units have not stepped up as the team wishes.

Coach P went into some more detail about the state of special teams affairs.

On Ryan Hill:
Hill has gotten better. I am proud of Ryan Hill. He looks like he has found his niche as a kick returner.

After being told Hill leads the ACC in kick returning:
I had no idea, but I am very proud of him.

On field goals: Our kicking situation, particularly field goals it has been a little inconsistent and obviously he needs to step up or we got to look to make a change.

On Punting and Matt Bosher: Punting, we have a freshman back there, so obviously we are going to go through some growing pains. You have to look at as a progression, and I think he has gotten a little better each week. Obviously he is going to have to do that against Georgia Tech and Florida State, teams that have tremendous rush. Hopefully he grows as the season continues.

On kick offs:
Daren Daly on kickoffs has been alright. The thing that has hurt off is moving the kickoffs back five yards, which has hurt everybody so you have more opportunities to return kicks. Very rarely do you have a kick that isn't returnable.

On the coverage teams:
We are putting starters on coverage team and we have to step it up. Obviously we've had a punt block and that is unacceptable, so we've made a couple of changes.

It is going to be huge we have to get better at it.

Last week, I think our kick off coverage stepped up in the second half. Punt return has been only alright.

It is obviously not where it needs to be, but they are young kids so it'll get there, and hopefully it gets better and better every week.

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