Wednesday Butch Davis Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Butch Davis spoke with reporters Wednesday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening remarks:
"With the two-hour rain delay, obviously we didn't do a good job – myself as a coach – in getting our players back into the energy and the emotion that we probably had at the start of the ball game. I certainly take full responsibility for that. There are some areas that we've got to try to get better at. As a coach, I think you're always looking at the early part of the season as probably when you the chance to make the most improvement as a football team. It's your first chance to work full speed live in special teams, where you can actually work on kickoff coverage, punt coverage and all of the different special teams aspects.

"And certainly, this week not playing gives us a chance to work on us, more than anything else. Later in the week, we'll certainly turn our attention to Rutgers which is a good football team. They're well coached, they've got an awful lot of speed and some very good athletes, but right now, it's more important for us to work on Carolina than it is to work on anything else."

On comparing Rutgers turnaround to his current rebuilding job at UNC:
"I was I could fast forward the clock to be where they are at in Year Seven. It's pretty similar in going to the Browns, going to the Dallas Cowboys and going to the University of Miami. It takes time. There are no immediate, fast, quick fixes, no matter how much everybody would like for you to. The media and sometimes the alumni and the fans deal in predictions and expectations, but the reality is that as coaches and players, we have to deal with the reality of the situation that we're in. And in Year Two, we're certainly not in the same stage where Rutgers is in Year Seven."

On Chase Rice:
"Right now he's working as the second-team SAM linebacker. He's playing on some of all special teams. He's a starter on some of our sub-packages. Sometimes you'll use those in some games, and sometimes those packages are not available. Last week we played against a read-option offensive team, and we played with more defensive backs in the game than we did with linebackers."

On the adage that teams improve most between the first and second weeks of the season:
"I absolutely do believe that. I think the month of September – your first four games – is where you make the most improvement. From Game 1 to Game 2 is probably the biggest leap. And why that is is because when you're playing an awful lot of kids, and sometimes its their very first opportunity to play in a ball game during their true freshman or red-shirt freshman or even red-shirt sophomores, the speed in which the game is played is sometimes very difficult.

"No matter how hard you try, you cannot replicate game speed in practice. I think probably 15-30 years ago, maybe you could, because you could scrimmage a lot more and you could kids used to full speed live scrimmage work. But now, with the reduced number of scholarships, it's almost impossible to replicate that during August, because you're scared to death that you're not going to have some of the guys ready to go for the first couple of weeks and God forbid that you lose them [due to injury]."

On having the early bye week:
"When I was at Miami in years like 1999 and 2000, after I had been there for four or five years, you're playing with a lot of guys that are experienced and you want to start playing and you want to play every single week. But when you're playing a lot of freshmen like we are, and red-shirt freshmen and young kids, having extra time sometimes is a good thing. Hopefully it will be a good thing the rest of this week against Rutgers."

On Brandon Tate:
"Of all the years that I've coached on every single level, I don't know that I've ever seen one performance where somebody showed up and had that much yardage. He was a difference maker on certainly the outcome of the ball game and he was a difference maker in special teams. He made some big plays offensively, and he just did a great job. We're pleased and happy for him.

"It's not that we didn't see it coming – we talked even last year that he's a special kid and we need to get him touches over the course of ball games, but we also need to understand that if you're playing on special teams with him, something big can happen every time the ball is kicked, and everybody just needs to take good responsibility to give him those opportunities."

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