"We wanted to make some improvements in the kicking game. We wanted, obviously, to be able to kick the ball deeper on our kickoff coverage, so we've opened the competition back up for that a little bit. We want to cover better on our punt team and our kickoff team. A lot of people don't know that we played 21 freshmen in the ball game and 10 true freshmen. So the biggest improvement may come in that group of guys because now they've played their first college game. Hopefully in their second college game they'll be so much better and we'll be a better team in a lot of ways on special teams."
How did walk-on Thomas Hibbard win the punting job?
"Well, Thomas Hibbard is a young man from Charlotte, N.C. – Butler High School. I had a chance to see Thomas kick when he was in high school, but he came in and I really didn't know much about him other than seeing him kick in high school. He could boom the ball and he was the most consistent guy we had punting the football, so we felt like he would be the best guy to give use the hang time and the distance that we needed in the punt game."
Can you point out a few guys that stood out to you during the first game?
"Obviously the offensive line. Those guys did a great job. Cam Holland, James Hurst, Jonathan Cooper, Travis Bond – all of those guys did a great job of front and I really believe if we continue to play the way we can play up front, we'll have a good football team. I thought our defensive line played well."
First caller – Roy [Williams] in Chapel Hill:
"I told the young lady not to tell you guys who it was. I was just calling in to say, Coach, that was a fantastic game on Saturday. I loved it. You looked awfully comfortable down there roaming the sidelines. It was the start of something that I hope is really going to be big for us [and] for you. I just thought it was a fantastic opener and my guess is you've worked on some things this week to be even better. But I was just calling to say congratulations."
On Devon Ramsay's ACL injury and his recovery:
"I saw Devon today and he's obviously down. Devon has had some injury history here with his shoulder and now his knee. But the silver lining that I always talk to kids about is progressing towards that degree because you never know when football is going to be over with. Whether he can get Devon back for a sixth year or not, you don't know, but I do know that Devon is planning on getting his degree from here and he's worked really hard for that.
"To try to replace Devon, we've moved some guys around. We'll use some personnel things that will help us. Curtis Byrd will probably take over that starting job at fullback, but we'll do some things personnel-wise that will help us alleviate the loss of Devon."
On Norkeithus Otis's injury against JMU:
"He was out at practice today. He was not practicing, but he was out at practice. When you look at the hit on the film, it wasn't as bad looking at it on tape, but obviously it was bad enough that he had a concussion. But I think that he's going to be fine. We won't play him this week but hopefully we can get him back in a week or so."
On Casey Barth's thigh injury:
"Casey's doing so much better. And we still want to see if we can find someone to help alleviate some of that for Casey. But Casey's doing so much better. In fact, we talked after practice tonight and he's ready. Casey will do anything we ask him to do, but we want to help him be more effective on his field goals and take some of that off of him."
Have you thought about making changes to the uniform, whether it be using a white or pewter helmet or wearing navy blue colors again?
"No, I've thought about how we're going to line up and play-action pass and stop the run."
On backup quarterback Braden Hanson's performance against JMU:
"Yes, Braden played well. Braden really had a nice spring. He had a great camp. He came back with a lot more confidence throwing the ball. He's really smart and knows the offense. We're going to need Braden at some point and time this year. We've tried to find situations where we can use Braden in the game. And I think he'll be a good replacement if we have to use him."
Will Tre Boston stay at cornerback now that Charles Brown is back in the lineup?
"Tre will stay at corner. He and Charles will man the two corner spots."
On freshman linebacker Travis Hughes:
"Travis was obviously one of those guys that was highly recruited. We feel like Travis's ceiling is really high. He played a lot this past Saturday on special teams and at linebacker and each week we feel like we're going to add to his role at both special teams and linebacker. And we feel like he'll be one of those linebackers that you talk about – the Kevin Reddick's, the Zach Brown's – we feel like he's in that mold of linebacker. So we're anxious to give him more. The more he'll take, the more we'll give him."
'Everett Withers Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.