FB: Thursday PC Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's Thursday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Butch Davis, Marvin Austin, Kendric Burney, Kyle Jolly and Ryan Houston, who spoke to the media as the Tar Heels begin preparations for the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 26.

(Inside Carolina audio is available to IC premium subscribers. To listen to the audio, you'll need an updated version of Windows Media Player - click here to download the software.)


On Shaun Draughn possibly playing in the bowl game:
"I don't know. We've asked a lot of the guys like Jamal Womble and Shaun Draughn – some of the guys that have been injured – to get back into a football mentality. Obviously in the case of Jamal with the surgery that he had on his thumb, he's got his hand still in a protective cast and as a running back, that's a scenario that you just don't want to see. But we've asked them to get back into a football mentality. Go out, participate in some individual drills, start thinking of themselves as a healthy football player in advance certainly prior to spring practice. To get into the routine of it. To going back out, going through individual drills, going through flex and stretch, watching, listening and kind of tuning their mind back into football.

"In Shaun's case, I don't know. A lot of it will be continuing with our sports medicine department, looking at the fracture. How much has it healed? Is it prudent? As of today, he is out of the game. As of today."

After three years, are you where you expected to be? What's the next step for this program?
"Well, certainly, the next step is to continue to improve and win more games than eight. But how do you know? Two or three years ago in 2007, where are you going to be? You don't know the team that you inherited. You don't know the talent level, the skill, the passion to play football. There were a lot of unknown things three years ago. There's not nearly as many unknowns [now]. I can tell you over last season and this year during recruiting, we are infinitely further ahead about targeting guys that we know fit our culture and our environment and that they are the missing pieces to help us get over that next hump.

"There were so many holes to fill in 2007 and 2008. It was just like anybody that can play, come on, you can help us. But now, we know, ‘Okay, we need two of these, three of these, one of these and four of these.' And some of these guys will be able to make a significant contribution in Year One and some of them are going to be the heir apparent to the future of the program."

Do you expect to lose any kids to the NFL?
"I don't know. It's something that we're certainly going to be proactive with. I've probably already gotten 25-50 pages worth of information to share with all of our juniors and to talk with them about the realistic life in the National Football League. I think it's one of the things that when you've coached in the NFL for 10 years, the one thing is that you have avenues to get information that will be very, very important to kids making decisions. The ability to call general managers, owners, scouts, directors of college scouting and get unbiased opinions and not listen to agents and runners and all of the other fringe people that are out there."

Do you have a pretty good feeling about what they're going to do?
"I do, yes."


Will the bowl game be your last game as a Tar Heel?
"I have no idea, man."

Have you talked to your teammates about going pro?
"Not really talking to them about staying or not, but just talking about it and talking about different guys and enjoying football and going out there and playing. I was watching [Ndamukong] Suh this past weekend and what he did to Texas was ridiculous. I think he should get the Heisman."


On the juniors' meeting with Davis:
"It just included picks, how the NFL works, how agents work and how everything works with the NCAA. So he pretty much broke it down to us as to what exactly we'll get ourselves and what we need to do to get into the NFL."

Is it reassuring to have an experienced NFL coaching staff?
"I don't think there's a better coaching staff in America who can tell you about the NFL and the in's and out's of everything. Every last one of them has been around it or in it and pretty much running a team there. Coach Davis shot us straight shots and told us exactly how it is and processes you need to go through, but whenever that time comes, we'll sit down and talk again."


What's the best thing about this week in leading up to the bowl?
I think the best thing about this week is that I only have two finals. That's the best thing about it right now. Just being able to take it in and being able to capture the moment, because this is going to be my last time with all of these guys."

When do you graduate?
"I am officially done on Saturday at about 3pm."

How do you plan to celebrate on Saturday after that?


On his role with the team this season:
"It was exciting for me to get the opportunity to help this team win. I always wanted to come in and help the team win. But I really feel like I could have done better. Team-wise, we should have played better than we did this year. We should really [have] 10 wins and a couple of losses. We really shouldn't have lost, but you can't really dwell in the past. We just have to keep going forward from here."

Inside Carolina Top Stories