Post-Practice Q&As

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- With players unavailable to the media this week, and all practices closed, John Bunting and his coordinators Frank Cignetti (pictured) and Marvin Sanders spoke to reporters following practice on Wednesday. Read and listen to what they said ...

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"We had a very spirited practice today and likewise yesterday. I hear a lot of roars on the offensive field, as you know, I spend a lot of time on the defensive field. I think they're having a lot of fun out there. They're very relaxed, and it was very productive."

On coaching differently –

"We're going to play to try to play the game of football to try to win the football game, like we've been trying to do. I don't see us coaching any different in terms of game plan or anything like that. Right now, what we're focusing on is practicing well. Anytime you prepare well, you have an opportunity to win."

On Wake's offensive efficiency in the red zone –

"They have always run the football quite well. They have lost their No. 1 guy, but they've had a couple of guys come in and play well. Their quarterback is not making mistakes. They get a couple of fumbles – seven or eight – but they have not had them down there most of the time.

"Defensively they're a good tackling team. Anytime you're a good tackling team and you don't turn the football over and make people drive you, you always have a chance. That's the whole key. They're playing very, very efficiently, offensively and defensively."

On staying focused on the game -

"I don't know what they're reading (saying). I stopped reading a while ago because it wasn't fun. We want to have fun on the football field and get rewarded for doing things right. That's the key objective each and every week. The thing I continue to remind them of is there's still rewards out there for us. We've got to believe and we've got to practice. It's those two things: believe you can do it and practice well."

On defending Wake's offense -

"We've faced a couple others like that. Clemson and South Florida does some of the things that they do. They have a mix of different variations of offense. Once again, this team is in multiple personnel groups. They're efficient and don't make many mistakes. So you're going to have to play very, very technique sound, very assignment sound football. Once again, they're quarterback is doing a very good job for them."

On team's reaction to adversity -

"I think the players are handling it very well. The teams we've coached around here the last three years have been resilient. In '04 and '05, we were very tough-minded. That's what I would like for these guys experience is a tough football game and come out on top. Get the game into the fourth quarter and come out with a win. That's where we've struggled as opposed to the last couple of years."



"We owe it to these young men that we go out there and try to develop them into better football players."

What are you telling recruits?

"Each recruit has a unique situation. This is a great university. It has a great education. There's a great social environment here. Each individual recruit has to decide what was the reason for the commitment. Every kid has his reason why. Every young man is going to have to decide what they want to do. I know as a coaching staff we have contacted all the recruits. We have been very positive and told them, ‘Hey, the University of North Carolina is the right choice, when you look at the academics, the degree you'll get, the social environment that you'll be a part of and playing for a great football program.'"

Are you interested in the head coaching job?

"No. That is something I think would be very unrealistic. I try to live with realistic expectations of myself and the situation."

How has your family responded to this?

"We've been through this before. This isn't the first time that we've been dismissed. My wife's handled it great. My kids are young. We're optimistic. We're positive. Hey, we love it here. We fell in love with the university. We fell in love with living in Cary. I've got a seven, five and two-year-old. We're so pleased with their schools and their activities. This is a great place to be. That's why we came here in the first place."

More on recruits and commitments -

"We are moving ahead like we have four or five years left. A couple of the kids I personally recruited and have cultivated relationships with, they chose this university for the right reasons.

Did they get emotional when you told them?

"I don't think people realize that the No. 1 thing in recruiting is relationships. Coach Bunting and our assistant coaches develop unbelievable relationships with these kids, so there's a lot to lose. It's very difficult. You're dealing with high school seniors that don't quite understand all the time why it happened or how it happened. You're recruiting these kids for a year or a year and a half. They're told we'd be here, they expected us to be here, and then all of a sudden, it's pulled from them."

On the plan this week with the quarterbacks -

"The plan with the quarterbacks this week is to play them both."

A rotation?

"I think so. We talked to our kids on offense about this is a great opportunity for each player. Next year they'll be a new coaching staff in place, and they'll be here evaluating these last five games."

Will Cam Sexton or Joe Dailey start?

"I consider them both starters."



On his and his family's adjustment -

"Unfortunately, my family understands this is part of the business. You never like things like that when it happens. My family has held together pretty well, because we know it's a business."

On having a strong family support among assistant coaches –

"It's great. Who it's difficult on is the kids. You have a son and he gets attached to it around here. Usually for the family, the kids are the toughest ones. The wives are troopers. They can handle a whole lot of things. My wife has raised two kids without me being around."

On awkwardness of coaching guys you might not be coaching next year –

"Not at all, because all I know how to do is coach football. Regardless, I'm employed by the University of North Carolina, and I'm the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. My job every morning when I get up is to get them prepared the best I know how to get them prepared for Wake Forest."

On how the players have responded –

"Very well. What I see is the effort that has always been there. I give those young players a lot of credit. That shows the respect they have for us as coaches, and the respect they have for the game of football. The game of football takes care of itself. If you love football, you're going to play hard no matter (the win-loss record)."

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