Spring FB Q&As: Zach Brown & Ryan Houston

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The Tar Heels returned to the field this week as Spring Football 2009 resumes. Zach Brown and Ryan Houston spoke with Inside Carolina before Wednesday's practice session ...

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On the competition at linebacker -

"Competition is always at a high level, because we want to push each other, so everybody is going to try their best, do their best, not to have so many mental errors. The depth is ... we all like that right now, and when the young boys get in, we're going to have a lot more."

On the speed of the linebackers -

"(The) speed of the linebacking group this year – we've got a fast linebacker corps, so I don't really see anyone outrunning us this year, having or breaking an eighty yard run this year. Everybody is so fast, and we can get sideline-to-sideline, all of us can play sideline-to-sideline, and we run to the ball."

On who is faster, Bruce Carter or him -

"We won't find out until we all of us run our forties, to see who is the fastest. But we were playing around in the locker room, saying who was the fastest and who was the slowest, so we'll find out soon. Bruce is pretty fast. He ran a 4.43 or a 4.41. We'll find out."

On who has stood out offensively -

"The freshman, Josh Adams, he's coming in, he's doing a lot better than I expected him to do, he's standing out. The offensive linemen, Coop (Jonathan Cooper) and Carl (Gaskins), they're stepping up – we're going to have a really good team this year on offense, our offensive line is going to be good."


On off-season speed work -

"Jeff Connors' got various speed drills, pulling sleds, and he's got a speed trainer coming in to work on us, but mostly pulling sleds."

On goals during the spring -

"I just basically want to get faster. I want to increase my role on the team. I'm trying to talk to Coach (Butch Davis) about putting me on a couple of special teams. I just want to help the team win. I want to play more spots, special-team wise. I just want to widen my radius as a player."

On Jamal Womble -

"(He's) like my little brother. I'm always trying to help teach him. It is kind of hard coming in, he's just got to learn it. He's got speed, quickness, power, he's got all the tools, he's just got to get it football-wise. Once he gets that playbook in his brain, he's going to be a good running back."

On the offensive line -

"I'd say it is a little bit of a learning curve (for the new offensive linemen). Garrett Reynolds, he's a big guy, it's hard to replace him. I feel like all our offensive linemen have got it mentally, they've just got to get the tenacity, get the same enthusiasm of our old offensive line. I feel like it is getting there, it is only spring, so we're just going to keep working."

On the wide receivers -

"Greg Little has to be one our most explosive wide receivers that we've got coming into the spring, he was doing good last year at the end of the season, and he's picking it up. He did phenomenal in January, weight-room wise. Rashad Mason, he's catching the rock. You'd think we're done in receivers, but actually all of the receivers are upping their game."

On the defense -

"Our defense is straight-up nasty. Me and Quan just made a joke about it, he knows all our plays, so with Quan in the middle and I'm in the backfield, he's always calling out what we're about to do - it's all fun. They are a hard-nosed defense."

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