Media Day: Player Quotes (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- T.J. Yates, Kendric Burney, Jonathan Cooper, Ryan Taylor and Donte Paige-Moss talked to reporters at Thursday's Media Day at Kenan Stadium ...

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T.J. YATES
(5:12)

"I am pretty confident (in being the starter), I've been playing pretty well.

"We've been blessed so far to have (the offensive line) completely healthy, and we've got guys back we got new guys coming in, so as an offense we've taken some strides over the spring and into this camp. We've got it down to certain protections that we're good at, we kind of stick to that.

"(The) UConn, Virginia, Georgia Tech stretch, we were playing guys (on the offensive line) who had never played before – first time game experience – we were scrambling trying to get some stuff together. That was about as low as it got, as long as I've been around here. I am glad that we're healthy and working good together.

"We can't have another 8-5 season. Our goal is the ACC championship, and to start 1-0, obviously."


DONTE PAIGE-MOSS
(5:48)

"Once you get on this level, everybody is the top, probably was the top coming out of high school. The pace of the game is much faster, it is much faster than it was in high school. That comes with me building more strength, and gaining more weight, and also just learning to be more of a technician, rather than just being a raw player.

"I have actually gained 40 pounds since last year. I am 260 (pounds) now, I came in at 225 (pounds).

"When I was in high school, sometimes I became discouraged, but (John Blake) always either had a Bible verse or just a circumstance that he had with a previous player that he had. He always is encouraging, even with the stuff that is going on now. Instead of focusing on that, he doesn't focus on that, but he relates it to something he went through."


RYAN TAYLOR
(3:20)

"I had two surgeries within the span of one year, actually within nine months, and had the opportunity to come back from that. I totally healed from that, I wouldn't say I took the year off, I practiced for a large amount of the year, but had a year to kind of regroup, heal up, be back at 100%, and took that time to maybe get a little bit more mature.

"I am looking forward to the special teams units, of course, I am playing on all of those, and also trying to expand my role on the offense, working a lot on that, so we'll see how that goes.

"(Differences between T.J. Yates and Bryn Renner at quarterback) You know, not really. T.J. might know a little bit more, of course he's played for years, so he knows a few more tricks of the trade, but Bryn's a good quarterback and he is coming along, and he's trying to learn. He's still young.

"I think these guys (on the offensive line) are going to be really good, and I think once they some snaps under their belt, and get a little work in, they are going to be real good."


JONATHAN COOPER
(5:32)

"I think more of (off-season conditioning) was just showing more leadership ability in the weight room. I have always been pretty strong, and the numbers have been there, but I think he (S&C coach Jeff Connors) was more impressed with me showing more leadership ability, and ability to get serious, because I do like to joke around a lot in the weight room, because I enjoy it.

"I think it (the injuries last year) have made us strong this year, because of the added depth we have of players who have not only played in games, but who have started games. Now we are gelling together, the first group and the second group are gelling together, so it enables us to be able to be able to plug in people and still be ready to play with those people beside us."


KENDRIC BURNEY
(3:28)

"They (the younger DB's) have all come back to camp a step better than I thought they were going to come. All of them came back hungry, and they have definitely pushed me and Charlie (Charles Brown) to the limit, of making sure we take care of our business with the One's. It is always great to see when we are building depth.

"(Terry) Shankle's probably been one of the most improved DB's over this camp. He came back real hungry, he's making a lot of plays.

"The offensive line has gotten ten times better from what a lot of people considered them last year, they went through some bumps and bruises, but they've definitely brought everything, plus more, to our defense this year. We (the defense) sometimes don't win."


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