Monday PC Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's Monday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Butch Davis, T.J. Yates and Matt Merletti, who spoke to the media as the Tar Heels prepare to welcome East Carolina to Kenan Stadium on Saturday.

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Any injury updates on Quan Sturdivant or Johnny White?
"Obviously, Sunday and Monday are big days for our kids to get an awful lot of treatment and everything. So we'll get a much better and clearer picture as to their availability probably by Thursday. They'll come in during the day today and they'll get all of the treatment that they can and we'll have a better idea later on in the week."

Are the young defensive players learning quicker with each passing week?
"I don't think that the learning aspect of it… It's the mastering of the techniques and the fundamentals. We talked long and hard yesterday with our team that as the season progresses, every player on your football team has to recognize, ‘This is where I am as a football player.' Practice and preparation is a direct correlation to how you're going to play on Saturday. What the emphasis is in the 17 hours that we get an opportunity with them [during the week], you can't waste any. You've got to come in, you've got to watch film on your own, you've got to really know what you've got to do so when you go to practice, you can really work on what the coaches are asking you to do."

How many of these freshmen that are playing would have red-shirted if not for the NCAA investigation?
"All of them, probably. [laughs]. No, I don't know. You have a plan that says, ‘Okay, hypothetically, these are the three or four…' If you would have asked back in the spring, we would have said there's three or four guys. We knew James Hurst was going to play some. There wasn't much question about it. We actually thought that Giovanni Bernard would probably play some. He would probably have helped us in some of the return game stuff. He injured his knee, so that went out the window. But I'd say a high percentage of them we felt like would probably red-shirt, barring any unforeseen injuries that might transpire during the course of the season. But obviously it hasn't played out that way."

On T.J. Yates:
"He's playing like a senior quarterback. He's being smart with the ball and he's distributing it. I think he's playing at a pretty high level."


If the Rutgers game was one where Ryan Houston's absence was felt:
"There were a couple of times on film when we looked back and said, ‘If we had Ryan, we might have gotten it that time ' We're just going to have to find more creative ways to get those first downs."

On his feeling if White and Sturdivant will play against ECU:
"I'm pretty confident Johnny will be back. He came back later in that game playing special teams. I don't think Shaun [Draughn] touched the field until the third quarter. He was running pretty well, so we just kept him out there. So I don't think it's a big deal with Johnny. I don't know about Quan, but to not have one of those guys would be big for us."


On having to deal with being taunted with dollar bills at Rutgers:
"I wouldn't say it's difficult, but it's just one of those things that we're going to have to deal with. With all this stuff going on, I kind of expected that going into a hostile environment like that and to get some reaction from the fans. We're just really trying to focus on taking one game at a time and not focus on the fans, but the team."

On winning for the first time of the season at Rutgers:
"It was a huge relief to finally get that first win. [Coach Davis] is right – that was the first time I saw a lot of [smiles], me included. Just honestly to feel genuinely happy and to finally get some good light on our program."

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