Kickoff: ACC Coaching Quotables

HOT SPRINGS, VA -- The ACC coaches met the media at the 2005 ACC Kickoff and here is a sampler of what they had to say.

Miami Coach Larry Coker

On playing Florida State on Labor Day:
I'm not really big in favor of keeping the game on Labor Day night. I'd like the game to be a little further down the schedule.  We don't have any preseason games or exhibition games like in the NFL, we don't get to play a couple of times and see how this quarterback situation is going to be. Same thing for Florida State - you're going to go out and test the waters against an outstanding football team in a game that can mean so much to your season and so from my standpoint I'm not really favor of that game.

On instant replay:
I like instant replay, I think it's going to be a little experimental from a standpoint, I know one of the leagues, I believe the Mountain West, they have a coach's challenge and in our league we don't have a coach's challenge, which we voted for that and that's fine. I'm in favor of it, some key issues I think are like was he not out of bounds, was it a touchdown, was it not, was it a fumble, was it not - you know those things that are somewhat cut and dried, and again the key thing I did like too is that they are not going to officiate the game in the booth, it's going to be on the field, with the exception of those plays that obviously need to be reviewed. Plus the equipment is state of the art, it's not going to be rewind the tape and look again, it's going to be instant, so I think it's going to be a great addition.

Duke Coach Ted Roof

On scheduling:
First of all, you've got to start with the conference. We've got to look at what we're going to face in our own league. We want to play people that are attractive opponents on a national scale, like Notre Dame. I don't want our guys to worry about who we'll play or where we'll go, we'll play whoever, wherever.

On instant replay:
I'm for anything we can do to make the game better. It looks like it's done in a way that's not going to prolong the game, so I'm all for it.

Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer

What do you think about opening against NC State?
I think NC State is a really tough opener for us, because they're so good on defense. And generally speaking, defenses are ahead of offenses when you start the season. I mean, that's just a fact. So I think that's a difficult, difficult conference opener for us. I think the other side of it, though, if you're gonna have problems, you want to have them early. I think us playing Southern Cal last year in the opener was great for us, and I think NC State is gonna be the same way because your kids have respect for that program, they know what a great defense these NC State kids present to you. I think they're a good team, I think NC State's one of the teams that's one of the dark horses on here, that could really come on and be really good, I think. They got some good backs.

I think that helps you in your preparation all during the summer, all during preseason camp, so I think playing a good football team in the opening football game is not a bad thing. I don't know if I want to play one as good defensively as NC State's been, but the problem is I think they will also be good offensively.

On NC State's defensive ends Mario Williams and Manny Lawson:
They had a field day a lot of places. They're just good players. They're big, agile, and nasty and I mean they're good players.

UNC Coach John Bunting

On instant replay:
I'm extremely excited about it, I know it's had success in the NFL, I'm glad it's here, I know a lot of other people are glad it's here. I know it won't be perfect, but it will help to get the calls right, and that's what we all want.

NC State game provoke instant replay?
I don't think it had much to do with it. That game is in the books. I don't think much about that play, it's fun to talk about here and there, but I'm not going to do it justice by talking about it now. I certainly believe the call was right, and on the replays I've seen it looks that way, but a lot of people think different things.

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden

How was your summer?
We've lost three guys since my vacation started. We lost three starters, got a tackle that didn't make his grades, we got a quarterback that got sick, and of course Cromartie tears up his knee working out last week. You can't stand many of those. You hope that you have enough depth to get through, we've done it before. 1993 when we won the national championship we lost two starters about a week before the first game.

How difficult has this summer been?
It's difficult on them, it's difficult on the parents, you know? I suffered last year when we lost a grandson, they're suffering now with their son. And as far as the difficult, its no worse than its ever been. People ask me about how awful this summer has been, is there a difference between how it's always been? It seems like we've always had somebody in trouble, we've always lost somebody with grades, we've always had somebody sick, I just don't remember that much difference. It's the first time we've had something like a disease, but that's life. It could be that we're just like everybody else. Everybody's got the same problems. I keep reading about these other schools, and it don't bother me, that's just the way it is folks.

On suspending players:
There's more ways to discipline than a dadgum suspension. Y'all have heard of physical pain, hadn't ya? That's our method, we physically are gonna get 'em if they break our rules. Now to say we don't discipline just because I don't suspend 'em so I can be like everyone else, I ain't interested in being like everbody else. I'm gonna handle our problems. I've got kids that need discipline, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe

On claims that Wake Forest uses "chop blocks" on offense:
Well it's really interesting since we were sorry on offense last year you don't hear anybody talk about that stuff. If we can go back to leading the league in total offense they'll start talking that crap again. You know, we're going to continue to always block with good fundamentals with the low pad level and flat backs coming off the football. We're not ever going to change that. We haven't taught a chop block since I've been in football, but we're gonna block low.

On running back Chris Barclay:
Really special special kid, not a big guy, I think he weighed 160 lbs. in the spring. I'm hoping our offensive line will play better this year, about half of Chris' yards last year were gained after getting first contact at the line of scrimmage. That's not good for a small running back to have make those kinds of yards. A bunch of his runs we could have been out there with cones instead of an offensive line. You know, just hand him the ball and see who you can beat one on one. But I think our line will be better this year, we were really beat up last year, and kind of a hodge-podge last year. So if we get back to blocking better Barclay's gonna be special, he can really play, and we block for him, he'll play better.

Did the close loss to NC State last year psychologically affect your team and have anything to do with the other close losses?
People ask me that about NC State, they ask me that about Clemson, they ask me that about Florida State, they ask me that about Virginia Tech, you know. When you're really young I think that kids kind of wish and hope that they'll win at the ends of games, but veteran players realize you win by making plays down the stretch. Hopefully those are the kinds of lessons we learned from last year. A lot of the kids, guys like Jon Abbate, who started as a redshirt freshman and had a big impact last year, you'd like to think that as they go through their careers and become juniors and seniors that they don't let those kind of things happen, they go on to make plays rather than hope that they win.

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