Butch Davis Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Did you miss what Butch Davis said on his radio program Thursday night? Here are some excerpts from the live call-in show hosted by Woody Durham ...

On what the South Florida game told him about this team:
"I think that every time that we've played, Woody, we learn a lot about ourselves. Every game there is a self-revelation about the things that you can do well and the things that you can't do well. Some of the things that we're doing incorrectly right now have been consistent. When we've turned the football over, it's made it very, very difficult for our football team to have any kind of success. You can't give up big plays defensively.

"We were fortunate last week to actually make some plays on special teams that kind of helped us with some field position – Brandon Tate's kickoff returns gave [us] much better field position on the offensive side [and] Brooks Foster's forced fumble on a punt gave us an opportunity to score some points down inside – but we missed some opportunities."

On Ryan Houston:
"Ryan Houston got an opportunity for the first time and I know a lot of people would have loved to have seen Ryan get into the game earlier, and we have every intention in earlier in ball games, but one of the things that I'm very cautious about as a head football coach… is that when you play freshmen, the upside is really good.

"They're gaining some experience, they're getting opportunities, they're getting more speed on the field [and] maybe more athleticism, but you're also putting yourself in position to be considerably even more inexperienced then you were before this season started.

"There's an adage in the National Football League that for every rookie that plays on the football team, you're going to lose [that number] of games."

On the secondary's improvement:
"I think that slowly they're making some progress. What you have to understand is that football's no different than basketball or any other sport – it's all about matchups. If you take a look at our roster with the defensive backs and the guys that we have in the secondary – it is extraordinarily young and inexperienced… it's a young group of guys, and they're getting better every single game, I truly believe.

"I think Deunta Williams is going to have a huge future at this place. He's a big hitter – surprisingly – I mean, he literally will light you up. He's big, he's tall, he's got great range."

On how this football season has transpired nationally:

"We've got our own issues. I think there's a 117 in Division I [FBS], and 116 of them I really don't care about, to be honest with you. I'm worried about this football team and our practice habits and our preparation."

On Yates' progression compared with other quarterbacks that Davis has worked with in his career:
"I think he's doing extraordinarily well. Probably the best comparison is Ken Dorsey. When we recruited Ken Dorsey to come to Miami, we actually thought he was going to come in and be the back-up to Kenny Kelly, who had been the incumbent starter the previous season. Midway through his freshman year, he was thrust into the limelight – I think it was like Week Six or Seven – and Ken got his opportunity to start.

"T.J., obviously, has gotten his start considerably earlier, but I kind of benchmark in my mind some of the same things. The poise, the passion to learn the game plans, the pride that he takes in his execution [and] the way in which he processes the good things as well as the negative things.

"I think that all quarterbacks, particularly when they're young, they're going to make mistakes. They're going to do things that make you want to pull your hair out and make you want to pound your fists and be upset… but the really good quarterbacks are able to let it go. They're able to learn from it, and not allow the baggage of a previous poor throw from a previous possession or game to carry over into the next game."

On if the running game can improve anytime soon:
"My expectation is that it should get better every single week. The offensive line is working very, very hard – there's a lot of people involved in the running game. Sometimes everybody wants to lay the blame solely at the offensive line's feet, but it encompasses tight ends [and] it encompasses wide receivers that have got to go down inside the box and dig out the eighth defender. Sometimes it's the fullback as the lead blocker and then sometimes it's the running backs making the right decision with the football…

"So it's a comprehensive thing and sometimes it's just as simple as the fact that we haven't been able to do it… But I think given the light that Ryan Houston gives us a dimension that certainly the other running backs don't – bigger, stronger, a little more powerful. We'll see where the running game goes the next nine weeks."

On Kenton Thorton:
"To be honest with you, I think that Kenton Thorton has made as much significant improvement on our football in the last four weeks as maybe just about anybody… One of the things is with him being a wide receiver, it's one of the areas where we actually have some legitimate talent and some depth, and he's battling Hakeem Nicks and Brooks Foster and Brandon Tate… I think that we've got five very, very good, talented wide receivers… I think he's made enormous strides."

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