Spring FB: Practice Interviews

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Head coach Larry Fedora, offensive Blake Anderson, Bryn Renner, Gio Bernard and Reggie Wilkins spoke to the media following the seventh day of spring practice on Wednesday.

Listen to Audio (3:09)

What did you want to see in today's scrimmage?
"I wanted to see effort on both sides of the ball. I wanted to see an intensity level. I wanted to see those guys practice the way we need to practice. That's seven practices into it, so they're starting to understand what we expect, but we're not even close to being there."

Anybody in particular stand out to you today?
"It's hard for me, because it's situational for me and I'm not paying attention to individual guys. I know the defense made some plays today. We had a couple pick-sixes actually, so whomever they were who made the plays I thought they did a nice job. I just don't pay attention to it."

There's a lot of talk about what you want the offense to play like, but what do want you defense to look like?
"This is for all three phases, but defensively we got to… understand our base concepts. They got to understand what we're trying to accomplish on offense, defense and special teams. If we can come out of spring doing that and we can come out of spring understanding how we have to practice, then we'll be okay. But we got a long way to go to there… Eleven guys that are flying around, having fun, playing the game, enjoying each other and where an offense thinks there's 12 or 14 guys out there. You get the feeling that there guys flying around and where they're all coming from. When those guys are having fun, then they're playing the game the way it ought to be played."

Is it easier for the defense to adapt to your schemes than the offense?
"I don't know. To me that's an excuse. It is what it is and this is what you got to do. If it takes more time for you offensively, then you better learn it quicker."

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Coach Fedora said that you hope to install 70% of the offense this spring. Are you still on that pace?
"Absolutely. We're on that pace. Now we're not good at any of it yet, but we're on the pace to at least expose them to it so that between spring ball and fall camp those guys can go back on their own and watch themselves do it and learn and they'll be able to recall what they did in practice instead of offering it to them for the first time in fall camp. They've at least been exposed to it where they can recall from it. That's at least enough to start back from in fall camp as opposed to just starting from scratch which we can't afford to do."

Is there a number of plays you would like to get off each game?
"Eighty plays a game has kind of been a good marker for us. It's not an absolute. We want to be ready for play when the balls set. When the officials set the ball, typically takes them eight to twelve seconds to do that and we want to be ready to play, make the defense be ready to play and we're not anywhere close to either one of those numbers now I wouldn't think, but we'll get there."

Personnel wise, do you see the type of talent that will enable you to run the offense the way you want to?
"Still figuring some guys out, but there have been a few guys that have stepped up and give you a bright spot, thinking that when you do get the system in place and the guys understand it, we will have a couple of weapons… Recruiting is going to be a big part of that in the future. Getting some guys that we can plug in at some positions, but I've been pleased with several guys stepping up and starting to show a spark. Most of it is in drill work… They guys just need reps. They need to keep doing it until they can do it with confidence."

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What has been the most shocking adjustment to the new offensive system?
"I've been on the couch for awhile with my foot, so I think just getting back in shape and I think finally this week, for me personally, just getting back in shape. I think everybody would say that. It's a culture shock when you come to practice."

Are you where you though you would be seven practices in as far as learning the system?
"I think I got a long way to go. I'm really hard on myself, so if I don't have it down pat, I'm pretty frustrated with myself, so I think I have a long way to go and I'm looking forward to the journey."

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What's the hardest part of adjusting to this offense?
"It's all simple stuff, it's just really putting your mind to it. I think that's with everything in life, you just got to put your mind to it and just really work with it, study, study the film, study what you're doing right, study what you're doing wrong."

Are you where you want to be at this point practice-wise?
"I feel great. Tempo-wise I feel like I can stay in there for a long period of time. It's really not hurting me to be out there for a long drive even with the tempo we have. It's just those things I got to work on, just like every other player out here. I'm sure we all got something to prove. Coming off of last year, I still feel like I have plenty more to prove and that's what I want to do."

Listen to Audio (3:52)

Are you the main guy at the punt return position?
"I wouldn't say ‘the guy', but I've just been practicing a lot. Coach Brewer, the receivers coach, and I wouldn't really run that much special teams, but he put me down their to practice, because I told him I did it last year."

How do you think the scrimmage went? Coach Fedora said the defense got the best of the offense.
"I feel like we all fought hard, it looked like the defense got the best of us, but the offense – we're going to bounce back, regardless."

Who had the pick-sixes in the scrimmage?
"One of them was Kam Jackson and the other one was Darien Rankin."

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