Opening remarks -
"Once again it was great being back with the players after the weekend off they had. Monday Night Football: There was a lot of excitement and spirit out there on the field. I was excited to be back out there with them. It always makes me feel good to be back with the team after a bye, especially with what happened down at Clemson. We're moving way beyond that game. We're getting better after the bye week and playing a lot of football during the bye week and hoping to improve in every area of our football team this coming week versus the Hurricanes.
"I know we can get a lot better offensively, and I know we can get a lot better on defense. I want to see continued improvement with our special teams. You all know we've had some success after bye weeks, but there's no guarantee of that. We've gotten better because of some of the things we did during the bye week. With the players we have, we want to continue to develop them. We've been developing a lot of the young players, scrimmaging them, something we haven't done before. We've increased a little competition which is good. If we can continue to get better we'll see some improvement and be pleased with what we see this coming week."
Why do you think you've done so well after bye weeks?
"I wish I knew, because we would do it every week. It's probably something that with a re-emphasis and focus on some things, and with the coaching staff that I have, last week's focus was, ‘Let's play football.' I think each year is a little different in terms of where the bye week was, how we went out and practiced, what were we doing, where was the coaching staff – sometimes they're out recruiting. The staff was out Monday and Friday, but we are in for three days of a lot of physical football. Based on that we were able to then put together some what we call ‘cut ups' of what took place Tuesday through Thursday and try to make some corrections off that. So there were some good things that happened and some continued errors that happened. We've got to continue to try and clean that up so we can be the best possible team when we take the field versus Miami.
"I talked to the captains yesterday at dinner like I do every Monday. There was a lot of spirit. You have a chance to get better all the time when you have cooperation and a lot of spirit."
Have you made personnel or technique changes that you can point to and say, "This will make it better?"
"I think the emphasis on playing better technique and understanding where everybody needs to be at certain times – whether it's an offensive or a defensive play – is very important. We have a better understanding of that. Personell-wise, there are a not a lot of options. We should be perfectly healthy against Miami, which is good. We've tried very hard to get our linebackers in better condition to play – one in particular missed a lot of training camp. We've had competition at those positions. We have nothing really new personell-wise to ploy, but there is competition going along all the time. That helps people play their best."
On getting everyone on the team to understand the entire team concept -
"It's a big, big part it, especially on the defensive side, is to understand how they need… Once again, you've heard me talk about a guy like Cooter Arnold, who is a tremendous talent. You have to just keep coaching him and get him to understand what he needs to do. We want him to stop thinking at some point and start reacting. That's an example of a really good kid and a really good football player that we need to get coached up. We've been working on that and working on that, and we want to see some results. We want to see some performance, because we're in the performance business.
"It's just playing football. We did a lot of scrimmaging, as I've been talking a lot about. We talk about Tiger Woods and how he plays it one stroke at a time. We've got to get our players to play one stroke at a time. We've got to get our guy to focus in on that stroke, and then they've got to be ready to play the next one."