PRESS CONFERENCE: Tony Adams (.mp3 File)
The offensive line had to do some things, mixing and matching when Bradbury went out on Saturday. How do you think you guys performed when that happened and how would you grade the offensive line?
When Bradbury went down I think that we didn't miss a beat. Prescod... he definitely came in and did his job. I think that we performed pretty well. Obviously we would have been better with the W, but we have full confidence in our full, 6, 7 guys that come into the game, so there was no really big drop off.
Everybody performed at a high level. We played at a pretty good pace. But next time we just got to finish as a unit. I think that we all rotated in, all played pretty well. I think we all did a pretty good job.
Matt Dayes is 169 yards away from 1,000. Are you excited about that? You got the smell of the finish line on that. How motivated are you to help him get that?
Absolutely. We made that the emphasis throughout the whole year. We haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher for quite a while so I think that we've been really trying to work on and trying to emphasize being more dominant, more physical in the line of scrimmage. I think that some games we fell off.
We're definitely getting back on track right now. We had a really good attempt at it for the first few games, fell off with Louisville and Boston College, but we're getting back on track right now. I think that Matt Dayes is going to attain it. We're going to actually try to get it the next game.
I think Syracuse let's up around 200 yards rushing a game, so we definitely know Matt Dayes can get at least 169 I think is left, you said. I think we are definitely going to make that emphasis for this week. Let him get it.
Matt doesn't seem to get as much attention. I think everybody knows that he's just as good. Getting the 1,000 yards, though, do you think that would kind of break that glass ceiling or whatever you want to call it?
Absolutely. Matt Dayes, and I think everybody in this facility knows, is the best running back in the nation, from what we think, from what we see, the way he goes about it every day, the way he practices. He deserves 1,000 yards easily. We're going to get him that and absolutely more than that, too.
He'll get the notoriety because he needs it, he deserves it, and it's good. It's always good for people to have a chip on their shoulder too, give him a little bit more motivation. Especially for our offensive line group, too. We've had one of those things where we weren't looked at as one of those dominant offensive lines, and I think we prove to people that we can play with anybody at a high level. I think for us and for Matt Dayes, it's good for us to have that chip on our shoulder, to prove to people that we can do it.
Is there anything that Matt does to show appreciation to his line, or anything that he's talked about if he does reach 1,000 yards?
Does he have to step up his offensive lineman appreciation game?
No, he doesn't have to step it up. We love Matt regardless. I think he's going to do something at the end of the year. He's just holding us accountable right now.
He's not really letting us get too hyped about anything. I think by the time he gets it, then he's going to be something. Obviously we love him to death. We have a really good relationship with him and hopefully he does something. Matt will probably get them some pizza or something like that. I don't know.
We're coming up on election day. I just wondered, do the players get a chance to vote? I know you're from North Carolina, and it's probably easier for you. Do the players get a chance to vote and how are they handling that?
Yeah, I've seen a few people get some absentee ballots. People are going down and voting as much as they can. I think so. I know definitely Woody Cornwell got an absentee ballot. He wanted to vote. Emanuel McGirt. We're trying to get out there. Every vote counts. I'm probably going to vote on the 8th. Well, I am voting on the 8th but everybody's going to go out there and vote because every vote counts. I definitely value that
The first half this team has done a really good job at hitting the reset button and refocusing no matter what happens the previous week. What do you attribute that to? Does it start at the top? Or what?
Going into every week, you go through the words of the week, and they all pertain to each week we have, like this week is detail. I think that as you go into it and you really apply what that word means to us, it allows us to really revamp everything, refocus everything that we need to do, need to focus on, and really get to the task of what we need to do, execute and all that kind of stuff. With those words of the week, it helps us to really maintain a certain goal, to stay focused. It starts from the top, what Coach Doeren tells us, and it goes to the strength staff.
The strength staff does a wonderful job, really maintaining our strength and all that kind of stuff and allowing us to really, our mental aspect, to really be who we are as a group, to stay mentally focused.
Coach Doeren keeps saying how close you guys are. How frustrating it is to go back and look at the film and see those couple of plays in each game that you had made.
That's why it's so tough. It's just a couple plays. I think for us it's just execution. It's those 1 or 2 plays that we just have to make sure that, that could be the play. When it could be the play, you just got to play it to the best of your ability. It's very frustrating. We go through each weekend, and we've been doing that, losing by 3, 4 points, 7 points, and it's just 1 possession, 1 play.
We just got to keep going. We just got to keep moving forward, head to the next week, and just not look back and just keep going. We're at Syracuse now. We just know that we got to execute every single play to the best of our ability.
Is there a certain number of sacks that were a goal this year? It's a huge lower number compared to a year ago. Anything that you guys did internally to rally around a certain number at all?
We go by game. At the beginning of the season, it was 1 a game, but our offensive line grouped, and in our room we said 0 a game. We definitely pride ourselves on protecting the quarterback because that's one thing we struggled with last year. I think the things we do throughout our practice, we stay after practice every day and work on pass protection.
We value it more. We haven't really set on a number for the year, but we said we have to do at least half. We can't go more than half of what we did last year. I don't know how many we gave up last year, like 39 or something like that.
You had 30.
We try to cut it down by half and even less than that. We go by 0 a game, sometimes it happens, but I think we're doing a really good job protecting the quarterback in these first 9 games. We hope to keep doing it.