Shannon discusses scrimmage

After practice, head coach Randy Shannon met with members of the media. Read on to see what he had to say.

On how the scrimmage went:
The guys we're depending on at receiver had too many drops and the tight end position had too many drops. Just as a total offense, we had too many dropped passes. Now, the best thing about it was the running backs really performed well.

On the running backs:
Damien Berry performed unbelievable today. Lamar Miller did some great things. Storm Johnson did some great things and Mike James. Each one of them had an opportunity to carry the football and make somebody miss in space, which was a positive thing. We went about 100 plays. Every play wasn't electrifying. They might get tackled for a two, three yard loss, but they came back and would have a 40-yard run or 20-yard run. They were patient.

On the defense as a whole:
We had too many missed tackles. We had opportunities to make tackles. Yeah, we've got running backs that can make people miss, but we have defensive players that should make those tackles. I'm very disappointed by the way we tackled. I thought we chased the football hard on defense, but that's the first scrimmage. You're going to miss tackles. We have a long ways to go, but a lot of positive things happened. We had some sacks and things like that, but you can't ever tell till you watch film. They chased well, just the missed tackles stood out. We had a couple of tackles for loss, had some gang tackling, some hard hits collectively as a group. But you always want more. We had balls hit defensive backs' hands, dropped about five of those. Those can change the momentum of the game. We have to capitalize on things like that.

On how the quarterbacks looked:
Don't know. We had too many drops from the receivers, tight ends and running backs. They throw the ball, hit guys in the hands. A guy drops a pass and that kills a drive. There were too many of those to give the guys a full assessment. All of them are poised. When you're recruiting quarterbacks, you have to have quarterbacks with confidence in themselves. All four quarterbacks have those qualities. If a receiver dropped a pass they didn't get down, just kept going. And then they moved the ball.

On the change he's seen in quarterback AJ Highsmith from last year:
He's a whole lot different person than last year, totally different. When you're a different person you get a lot of confidence and the players look up to you that way.

On linebacker Kylan Robinson:
His body has totally changed (from last year). The structure of his body has changed. He has more confidence. He just looks more toned. He takes things seriously. He looks better, is feeling better, playing a lot better, he's making tackles. We're excited about the way his progress is going, and he has to keep progressing. Is he where needs to be? No. But we put him in those situations now to make it tough on him and he's accepting it.

On former ‘Canes at practice:
When [Ken] Dorsey was here I was a coach here, so it was great to see him. You had Ed Reed, Dorsey, Jon Beason out here today. It's always good to see those guys come back and watch practice. They continue to be part of this program.

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