"It was very important for us, psychologically and emotionally, to bounce back and have a good practice yesterday. I felt like our kids did. I felt like our staff did an excellent job Sunday when we broke down the film and graded the film and presented it to the players. Georgia Tech played extremely well. They executed their game plan much, much better than we did. Obviously, we've got to do that and we've got to make the improvements from last week's performance and learn from it and apply it to this week, because the challenge is almost as difficult.
"Jameel Sewell, who is a very athletic quarterback, is capable of throwing very well, very similar to [Josh] Nesbitt last week at Georgia Tech. The biggest difference is that there is a totally different scheme, defensively, with Virginia running a 3-4 defense. You've really got to get on top of your offense to make that transition in a very short amount of time."
On T.J. Yates taking the blame for the offensive woes in Atlanta:
"The quarterback is always going to get a tremendous amount of compliments and praise when they play well, and unfortunately, they probably get too much criticism when they don't play as well. Offensively, it's all 11 guys. It's everybody. It's guys running the right routes [and] you can't have mentals in protections and allow rushers to run free to the quarterback. T.J. didn't play as well as he would have liked to have played.
"Because of some of our early down failures, it put us in just a terrible situation of trying to convert long third-down situations. We're not good enough to do that – very few teams are. If you're going to spend all day long in 3rd-and-10 and 3rd-and-13 and 3rd-and-11, you're going to have a hard time converting first downs. We've got to do a much, much better job and first and second down."
Is there any fun involved in preparing for different kinds of offenses?
"It is totally different every single week. And sometimes, even in a lot of respects, it carries over defensively and special teams-wise. This is not the cookie-cutter NFL where everybody pretty much lines up and uses the same personnel groups. In some concepts, offensively and defensively, they are the same, but yes, it is a challenge and it tests your staff's resiliency of expertise and ideas. It's one of the reasons that we hired Art Kaufman and Troy Douglas – when you're bringing new coaches in, you want to bring in new ideas yourself. You want to bring in their exposures to a vast array…
"Different conferences across the country use different things. The SEC's brand of football is a little different than the Big 12. And the Big Ten is a little different than Conference USA and the Big East and certainly the Mountain West. You see styles and you need guys with different exposures to a variety of different things to help create game plans."
Is there a parallel in facing a 3-4 on defense as there was in facing Georgia Tech's ground game?
"Sure. It's dramatically different because the 3-4 is one of the better schemes from the standpoint of disguise of fire zones and blitzes and pressures. It gives the appearance, in some respects, of being totally balanced. You're looking at two outside linebackers, two inside linebackers and a coverage that could initially start off as cover-2 or a four-quarters straight across, and then all of a sudden, it evolves, either prior to the snap or during the snap, into something that's totally different. So I think one of the biggest challenges that your football team faces is the protection aspect of it.
"And it's the same in the NFL. When I went to the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, there were a huge number of teams in the NFL that were running the 3-4 – it was kind of the vogue [defense] at the time. By the time I had left the NFL, probably 75-80 percent of them had reverted back to the 4-3 and now the big vogue with Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick is the 3-4. Everything is cyclical, but the 3-4 on all levels – offensive coaches have to spend an awful lot of time talking about protections."