ACC Kickoff: Butch Davis Notes

PINEHURST, N.C. --- Butch Davis addressed the media Monday at the ACC Football Kickoff. More details and quotes will follow, but here are some of the highlights of Davis's comments ...

• On the attitude of the team, Davis said that "they've embraced everything that we have asked them to do." He reiterated several times that the team has "bought into and jumped on board" with what the new staff is trying to teach them;

• Developing on that theme, Davis said "these players want to change their perceptions of themselves and the perception of the program;"

• On the quarterback situation, Davis said that Mike Paulus has "been like a sponge" since he graduated high school in terms of wanting to learn about the UNC offense, but he added that neither Cam Sexton or T.J. Yates are "ready to relinquish the idea that they (will be) the starter;"

• Davis indicated that 2 ½ weeks to 3 weeks into the fall camp they will settle the position so that the starter gets about 70% of the snaps with the first team in practice;

• Davis stated that Johnny White's ankle is much better, that he has tested out fine, and they expect him to be 100% in the fall;

• Davis said that talks are under way that could result in a 100 million dollar upgrade in Kenan Stadium -- closing it in, adding sky boxes, and other improvements such as an Olympic weight room for the non-revenue sports. The upgrades should benefit 20 of 28 UNC sports teams. The improvements could start within 18 months, but be phased in;

• Davis talked about the inexperience of his team – 51 of 84 scholarships players have not yet played in a college game;

• Davis said that the strengths of the team as he found it were on the defensive line and offensive line, not just in talent, but in depth as well. He agreed that rebuilding the team should be easier as these two groups are the most difficult to build up quickly and that skill players can contribute much sooner in their careers;

• He stated that he is not too concerned about his players making mistakes in practice, that he wants them to "push the envelope" and find out what they are capable of doing – that he wants them to play with "no fear;"

• When asked about Joe Dailey, Davis said that Dailey will play a lot. He talked about Dailey's desire to be a coach, and that Dailey has that capability;

• He said that the decision to drop Colorado from the schedule is that they want to schedule games in areas where they might be able to recruit – calling upon the ties that he and John Blake have to the Southwest, and to nearby areas. He says that Penn State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M – among others – have been contacted about a series;

• Davis stated that he's been having conversations about hosting a Thursday night football game in Chapel Hill, and he would love to see that happen;

• Davis said he had no expectations in terms of wins and losses for the 2007 team, that he just wants to see a team that improves from the first week to the last.

Stay tuned to Inside Carolina for more from Butch Davis's talk with the ACC football media ...

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