"This has been something that's kind of been on the burner and the forefront of something that we've been trying to do for the better part of the last three or four months. And obviously, [Wednesday] was the final day where it became 100 percent official that it was going to happen. It's a nice opportunity for our football team. One of the things as a coaching staff with the 2009 team, we don't really care about it, to be honest with you, right now. That's the last thing that's on our mind. It's very nice for the future of the program, but right now, we're more concerned about East Carolina."
On T.J. Yates:
"T.J. Yates' composure, the last three or four minutes of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter, was [good]. His maturity and not going out there pressing. I've watched games and I've been a part of games many years ago, where the quarterback goes out and the coaching staff on offensive staff says, ‘Well, we can't win this game unless we just throw it every down.' And all of a sudden, you throw it every down and you throw two picks and a bunch of incompletions and you give them the ball back and you don't win the game."
"I think that we've made some progress this week. We got some of the guys back with swine flu. Bobby Rome came back to practice and some of the other guys, so that's good for our football team. Obviously, we hate the fact that we lost Zack Pianalto and Lowell Dyer last week – one in the game and one in practice. They're going to be reevaluated in 3-4 weeks and hopefully they will be able to rejoin the football team before the season is over with."
Is anything keeping you awake at night this week?
"A lot of things keep me up at night. Certainly the health and the well being of our football team – I'm always concerned. Carl Gaskins today had his knee surgery this morning. His mom and dad came in from Florida and were there with him at the hospital. And Ryan Taylor and all of the guys that have undergone some surgeries, I worry about those guys. I worry about the preparation of the team. But one of the things is that our kids are so resilient…
"We have had two very good practices this week. The emotions, the intensity, the focus – all of those things have been very, very good. Now into Year 3 of the program, we talked to the kids before the season started that there was going to be adversity. It's just a matter of when. You don't know what it's going to be. You don't know how it's going to come. Is it an official's call? Is it an injury? Is it weather? And the things that you can't control, all you can do is worry about yourself. I think that our kids have done a good job of that. Trust me, we're going to prepare every single week to play the absolute very best that we can on Saturday."
Is it more difficult to teach an offensive lineman how to block or a defensive lineman how to read schemes?
"To be an elite player, I think it's challenging for both of them. There's a certain element of playing in a defensive line that allows you to, at times, play earlier at a higher level because it's tenacity and speed and athleticism, and a lot of times to be playing that position you're a pretty physically-gifted athlete. For those of you that go and watch the games – think about how good of an athlete that Marvin Austin and Tydreke Powell and Robert Quinn are. They are unbelievably talented. When people say skill athletes, they talk about receivers, but those guys are just as skilled at their position.
"From the offensive lineman perspective, I think it's a little bit more difficult, because certainly, you've got to get the strength, you've got to get balance and you've got to get the confidence to be able to block guys that are really good athletes. And I think sometimes that it takes a little bit longer to develop as an offensive lineman."
How is Dwight Jones progressing?
"Very well. In talking to Scott Trulock, our athletic trainer, today, he felt pretty confident that Dwight's probably running at 75-85 percent now and that he would probably return to practice next Tuesday. So that's obviously good news for our receiving group. It's good to get Dwight back – he's got playmaking ability, he's got speed and he's got some experience from last year, so it will be good to get him back into the mix."
WR COACH CHARLIE WILLIAMS:
On the current group of receivers:
"These guys are just now getting into it. I love every one of them. Some days, I love some of them a little bit more than the others. Greg Little is the leader of the group because he's the only one that has played the wide receiver position before. Everybody got a chance to see Erik Highsmith perform last week and what a great job he did. Jhay Boyd is just around the corner. He's just as talented and he's probably the fastest of the wide receivers that we have on our team. Josh Adams is struggling just a little bit right now, but we're going to work through that. But all three of those guys, along with Josh McKie – this is a talented freshman class. I think this is going to be a great class to work with throughout the years."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.