"Let's put it this way – the head coach is sleeping about four hours a night and for the four hours that I go to sleep, I think about our defense and I think about some of the things we've got back on offense. The four hours that I don't go to sleep is thinking about the new punters. But the long and short of it, not being stupid and facetious about it, is that Casey Barth has done an outstanding job. He's really improved over the last six months. His leg strength, his accuracy – he's just been kicking the ball extremely well. I think he's poised and ready to have an excellent season. He was 100 percent on every extra point and he was 10-of-15 on field goals. I think you will see that percentage continue to increase throughout his career.
"The punting game – one of the things about it is obviously we've got to replace Terrence Brown. Here's the good news – all of the guys up front that are blocking for the punter, those guys are all back. And so what we've been trying to convince the punters of is that, ‘Hey look, you've got a great group of guys that know how to protect to keep you safe. Just worry about the little bitty mechanics. Catch the ball and let's try to get that thing kicked.' They've got great legs.
"And one thing I'll ask everybody on the radio and in the stadium is be patient. They're going to hit some great kicks this season. They may mishit some from time to time. Don't boo. Don't get on their case. They're young kids. They're going to get better. They've both got great upside. I think that C.J. Feagles, who is the incoming freshman, and Grant Schallock, before the season is over with, you're going to like what you see out of them."
"We've got the typical bumps and bruises that every football team goes through with 29 straight days of practicing against each other. We've hit each other about as much as we can. Matt Merletti had his surgery today. The surgery went well; he'll be back with us. Carl Gaskins got injured. Ryan Taylor – it's week-to-week right now as to when we're going to get him back. That's pretty much the major things to talk about."
On offensive line coach Sam Pittman:
"I will tell you this – if you're going to have somebody to rebuild a unit, you really want somebody that's an outstanding teacher. And I don't know of anybody right now today in college football that is a better teacher at offensive line fundamentals."
How are you addressing the depth issues at OL?
"The first thing you try to find is that you're trying to get to eight to begin with. You want to find three tackles, three guards and two centers. Well, we have the two centers in Lowell Dyer and Cam Holland. And we're just trying to continue to develop and see where the guys play their best football. We've had Greg Elleby at guard and then we moved him to tackle after the injury to Carl Gaskins.
"So we're rotating these three guards and three tackles and you have to make sure that they get rest with different people, because it's not just important that they understand their job, it's important that they understand the guy next to them also. So you have to rotate in practice and you have to have it right on your practice sheet and make sure that you're getting the eight guys that you're planning on playing [prepared], along with the other two guys on your two-deep."
On the three true freshmen OL:
Well, you have David Collins, who is a tackle. We played him at right tackle early [and] played him at left tackle here lately. We're trying to figure out exactly where his spot will be in the future. But he has a lot of passion about him. He's a smart kid and he's getting better every day. With Jim Connors weight program, he's going to be an outstanding player for us in the future.
"Brennan Williams is playing right tackle for us right now. He has an enormous amount of athletic ability – very quick, very strong. He's a black belt in taekwondo. He plays well with his hands. And then we have big Travis Bond, and we moved him in at right guard. He's a hoss in there and he's getting better every day.
"I'll tell you the thing, and Coach mentioned it earlier, these guys, when they went and played in the scrimmage, they performed. And sometimes when the lights come on, guys play better than they do actually in practice, and to be honest with you, I was a little shocked at how well they played in the scrimmage. But I think they're going to continue to move forward in a positive way and we're excited all three of them are here."
More on the OL depth:
"You can only play five at a time. I'm going to tell you right now – if we had to put 15 offensive linemen out there, we'd be in trouble. But right now, the rules say that we can only play with five, and we're going to have five ready to play. The thing about it is that every line coach that has ever been in the business has had this situation come up. They have. So you can either pout around or go get the guys you have on campus ready to play. That's obviously what we chose to do… We're not going to let the offensive line be the reason that we don't win the ACC Championship."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.