FOOTBALL: Media Availability – 9/24/18

FOOTBALL: Media Availability – 9/24/18
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[MUSIC PLAYING] After watching the film and
after letting it sink in, really happy for my
team and my coaches. The effort and
preparation they put in yielded a really
positive result. I’m especially happy that the
victory was at Scott Stadium. It just feels good to be home. And it felt good for our
players and their families, and it was just a really,
really gratifying experience to see our team and
our staff happy. I think there’s momentum
being generated. I think roots are
being established. I think we’re making
progress, and plenty of room to grow in a lot of areas. I was happy with Hunter Pearson
and his kicking of extra points and field goals. That’s really a nice step
in a positive direction. We did open the
competition the past week and AJ and Hunter went head to
head, and AJ, by slight margin, won throughout practice. But I did make the decision,
after the first miss, to switch, and I
was proud of Hunter and the way he handled that. Defensively, I think–
and watching on film– our plan was very good, but
the execution and emotion– not necessarily just
what the players did, but how they did it. The defensive players
especially were emotional, and they were really
invested in their performance and the outcome, and you
could tell they wanted to win. Turnovers, ultimately, were
the difference in that game. So our takeaways
and then the points yielded, or the points that
they accounted for, I thought, ultimately, was the reason
that we won the football game. Bryce made some really timely
plays that kept drives alive. We already know about
the amazing plays that he made athletically. A backstory, though,
that had me sleep better than anything else was
seeing Brennan Armstrong. I really liked what he
did when he was out there. The game was not
too fast for him. The reads, the poise, and
quite frankly the initiative when he ran; he
looked right at home. And as a first year, I was
really encouraged by that. So yeah, that makes
me feel better. In the event that something
happened to Bryce, just when Brennan
came in and what I’ve seen of him already just in
four games and two appearances, I really liked what
I saw out of him. We have to have more production
out of both Hasise and Olamide in the ACC for us to
have the success we want. I think we all know that. And we did have some
injuries that I’ll address. Richard Burney is
done for the year. He has a medical condition. He will be fine. He’s getting treatment
for it, and that’s really all I can pass on at this point. And Jordan Mack also suffered
an injury and will be out for– looks like about six weeks. So those two injuries
are the ones of note. No players coming back that I
can think of off of injury yet. Yeah, so we’re looking
forward to our next game, and been working
hard on NC State. Very good football
team, and we’re anxious and up for the challenge. Is it a given, in
any football season, that your depth will be
tested, and how would you assess the magnitude of this
challenge with those two guys out, and could Malcolm
come back this week, or you’re still not sure? Still not sure with
that, and best for me to present to you that
it’s no– so under-promise, but we’re counting on
him not coming back. At the inside linebacker
position, that would be Mack, and it would be Cook, and Don
Sheppard, so three of our top four. But matter of fact, Zane
Zandier is playing really well, and so we like how
he’s doing a lot. Rob Snyder now gets an
opportunity, who we really liked prior to his injury. So yeah, depth is tested. Sometimes, man, it all
just happens at one spot, and this particular year it
seems like inside linebacker. Defensive line has
been another challenge. However, Aaron Faumui
and Jordan Redmond– and now that Mandy’s healthy,
Richard is a significant loss. However, the depth that
is being established with our first years is
certainly going to help. Bronco back here– defensively,
you’ve only given up 16 points all year after halftime. I think it’s just one touchdown. Is that adjustments at
halftime, or is there an explanation for that? I would say that the time
that I’ve been together with our defensive staff and
what’s being seen in real time and what’s being
communicated in real time builds its way to
halftime, which then gives a little bit
more time to sort it out, which usually leads to
the appropriate changes. Not always, but it usually leads
to the appropriate adjustments to give our players
the best chance. Every game, you’re
not quite sure what the opponent is going to do
until you see it play out. And a half, sometimes, is– man, if you don’t get a fix soon
enough, it’s not fast enough. But each quarter, we seem
to be able to dial things in a little closer as to
what the opponent is doing and why and how
our match-ups look and what might need
to be corrected. So I think it’s a
result of time together, and I think it’s a result
of time with our players– of knowing what
they’re capable of– and then how to possibly
leverage all that through the second half. That’s what I think Coach, you guys have
opened the season against a lot of
inexperienced quarterbacks, a lot of mobile quarterbacks. Saturday, you’re going to face
a six-year guy in Ryan Finley, who’s more of a pocket passer. What have you seen
out of Finley, and how does him
being a pocket passer affect your defensive game plan? Yeah, well, he throws
the ball really well, and he throws it on time, and
he throws it to good receivers. And in my opinion,
they’re a throw first team in terms of yardage and yield. Doesn’t mean they
can’t run the football, but the ball is moved
periodically and systematically through the air. And so he’s poised,
he’s accurate. He’s reflective of a
player with experience. And if you choose to play
any one given coverage, there is usually match-ups
and talent issues that’ll eventually
catch up with you, and it’s very difficult to
deceive or show him looks that he probably hasn’t seen. So execution matters, and how
hard you play certainly matters and he’s seen about
everything you can throw at him because of how
much they throw the football. So ultimately, it will
come down to making plays. And I know that’s
oversimplified, but the execution just gets
you to the point where then you have to make a play on the
ball, and so playing the ball and tackling, in its simplest
form, will determine outcome. I see on the depth
chart that CJ Stalker is listed as the backup at
both inside linebacker spots. Guy’s been here for a while. Had pretty good ratings
coming into college. What can you say about him? CJ is– there’s a
running joke on our team, much like an arranged
marriage, where I’m not giving him a say as to
what he does for his career. He’s going to coach on
my staff at some point. I’ve already told
him I’m giving him no letters of recommendation
for anything else. He can’t count on
me for any other job than applying for a
graduate assistant spot or being a football
coach on my staff. I think he’s amazing. He’s an amazing person. He’s an amazing leader. He’s tough, and he’s
completely reliable. And I just really
like who he is. He hasn’t played very much. He hasn’t. He’s currently leading–
even though he’s been here a long time–
leading our defense that plays against our offense
and doing it in a manner like he’s preparing to
win the ACC championship, and there’s nothing
about self with him. It’s all about team. And so his experience and his
knowledge of the game and just who he is we’re counting on
to provide the adequate depth necessary to get through that
position with the injuries we’ve had. Bronco, I think last week
you mentioned something about your expanding
role as a head coach, and then the other
day you were talking about how you had given
more responsibility to Nick and what a good job he
did calling the plays. Can you just talk about how
your role has changed this year? Yeah. So I believe as organizations
and programs grow, there are different
stages of growth. And with different stages, if
you considered the business world, how the CEO fits in
is different year by year. And I think– and I have
thought, going into this year, and it’s still being
validated as we go. I can’t say it’s a
finished product. That the best thing I could
do to help our program at this time in year
3 was to make myself available to basically influence
and advise and coach coaches, and that would expedite the
performance at every position room throughout the entire team. Not just one side of
the ball, and not just in such a narrow scope
as just that one role. And I’m still
getting used to it. I’m still determining the best
way to have that influence. But I can tell our offense
exactly what the defense is doing and why on any
given play, which is knowledge in real time,
to take advantage of that. I can tell our defense,
on any given play, what the offense
is doing and why, and I haven’t had the
luxury to do that. And I can now influence special
teams, not only in personnel, but what the opponent
is doing and why. And so on a game day,
it’s completely different, but I find myself, now, framing
this is what’s happening. These are the counter-measures. These are the possibilities– on a broader scope. And my hope is that we’ll
continue to show dividends and results, and certainly Nick
and Kelly and Vic and Shane– the defensive side– it was just so gratifying
for me to not have made a defensive call and
to see those guys, who’ve all been with me
for so long, just be the guardians of the way that
we’ve done it and have success. So it might have
been the best I– I was happy for our players,
but I was really happy for those guys. Knowing that I was involved,
but not at the core– not making those calls– and that they were capable. I asked you, after
the game, having a chance to review the two
freshman defensive lineman– Redmond and Faumui
how did they play, and what has their
development been like? Faumui played fewer snaps
but had more impact, and Redmond is becoming more
consistent the more he plays. So the pace of the play,
the physicality of the play, and the consistency
necessary– he’s stretching to meet those
expectations and demands. It’s still inconsistent,
and he is still becoming an ACC football player,
but they’re both capable. The demand on conditioning,
the demand on technique, the demand on
assignments is still something that’s just
out of their reach and they’re trying to catch
up to as fast as they can. And I know you told us the
story about telling your wife that you thought you would win. She was shocked, by the
way, because I normally a, a little more of a– whatever. You normally aren’t that bold? I’m normally not– [INTERPOSING VOICES] I normally don’t say. I’m curious, what
have you seen in terms of the development of
confidence from your staff, from your players,
and how much has that changed from year 1, year 2? I think the way to
answer that is just the recalibration
that’s happened within myself and our staff now
that we know clear who we are. It took the whole
first year to have even a basic idea of where
the program and where our team really was. We made some inroads in year 2
to address that appropriately, and that showed in the record. And year 3, we’re more clear
than we were in year 2 of what has to happen and why. And so that’s leading
to confidence, meaning that we’re
clear about who we are. Sun Tzu said if you know
yourself and you know your enemy, you’ll never fear
the result of 1,000 battles. So we’re clearer,
now, on who we are. Now that we’ve played ACC
football for two years, we’re clearer on who
our opponents are, which means in general,
through four games, including last year, we’re
making better decisions with better plans that
more effectively use our current personnel, and
that has taken some time. I wish I could have
accelerated it faster, but it’s taken some time. Bronco, we hear all the
time about defense– I should say taking some time. Taken actually would
imply that it’s done– taking time. We hear all the time
about defenses trying to make a team one-dimensional. When a team comes
in one-dimensional, NC State doesn’t run
the ball very well. When they come in
one-dimensional, what makes that work for
them instead of you guys taking something away? Yeah, talent and execution. So they have good schemes, but
who’s involved in the schemes? The one that’s delivering
the ball and the ones that are catching the ball. When you have exceptional
personnel, sometimes regardless of exact correct positioning,
plays are still made. That’s what’s happening
with NC State. They’re making plays even
when they’re covered. They’re making plays
even if there’s pressure. They’re making
plays even when, it looks like on film, the
defense should be good here, but it doesn’t end up that way. So they just have good players. It was only one
catch, but was that an important moment for De’Vante
Cross, who had gotten off to a slow start, and do
you expect more from him than he’s given? We would love for De’Vante
to have a larger role– as Joe Reed. As much as De’Vante’s
catch was impactful, Joe Reed’s touchdown, I
would say, in a similar vein, was more impactful for
what we need from him. So Joe made a critical
play at a critical time that put points on the board– so from Joe. And then it would
go to De’Vante. And then you saw a little
taste, a little touch of Tavares Kelly. That trio right
there– when we can get that elevated to go with
a high-performing Olamide and a high-performing Hasise,
that then becomes more formidable, and we need
that to happen as fast as we can, and been working that way. We just saw a few signs in
that game that manifest. Still on this side, Coach. Yep. You talked about having
a clearer vision of ACC opponents, and that doesn’t
apply to NC State really, haven’t played them in six
years, five times in 15 years. What’s your
familiarity with them, and how much work are you
guys having to do this week? Yeah, I have no familiarity. Last time I even paid
attention to NC State, I was coaching at New Mexico. We went there and played,
and that was a long time ago. I do know Dave from
the coaches meetings, and know and respect
the job he’s done there. But really, when
an opponent isn’t on your schedule
on any given year, you just forget about
them, because you have to be so engrossed in
the opponents you are playing. So it’s been a busy morning– familiarizing myself with
schemes, with personnel, with history, and why
they’re doing what they’re doing, how
they got to that point. And so just now
starting to feel like I can talk maybe confidently or
comprehensively about them, but I wouldn’t have been able
to do that before this morning. Faumui showed pretty
impressive pursuit on Saturday. How are he and Redmond
different as players? Faumui is more active, and
I would say more dynamic, and Redmond is more– between the A-gaps, there’s
just going to be no movement. And so more physical
and maybe more run stopping-oriented,
just as a starting point. Bronco, all ACC wins
obviously are important. How important was it for you
to get a comfortable win early in the season, in terms of
both confidence and getting a look at some of the
younger guys like Armstrong, you mentioned? Really important
considering that if you go to last year and
our ACC wins– and I’m going to try to remember them. North Carolina State–
I think we had– North Carolina, we had to sack
the quarterback at the very end of the game to win. Georgia Tech, they
were driving, and I think there was a sack
on the last play to win. Duke might have been
the same, right? This would be the
first ACC game, at least in our
staff’s time, where we were able to separate from
opponent and keep it that way. And that’s not easy. And so that was, I
think, significant. Certainly, there
are opportunities to explain that away
based on perspective and how you choose to report it,
but I think it’s significant, and I think it was earned. And it was hard
to do, but I think it was a really positive
step for our program. Bronco, you’re at that four
game mark into the fifth. With this new redshirt
rule, how many conversations are going on about guys? And then as an aside,
does the plan change, or is there a plan
with Brennan based on what you saw on Saturday? Yeah, I would love to say that
the conversations have been extensive, but really,
we’re playing players that we need to play to
help us win games this year. That’s where the program is. And Bobby Haskins is
playing, doing a nice job in the offensive line. We’ve already talked about our
two freshmen defensive linemen. Brennan Armstrong–
I don’t know how he can’t play the rest of the
season and not be available. And so yeah, we’re managing
it the best we can. But really, the stress
point is immediate progress and trending upward
versus long-term planning, and I don’t think
we’re yet to the point where long-term planning can
trump the immediate need. That’s just where I
currently am operating from. You may have some wood to
knock on, here, but on the way up here, heard about
Jimmy Garoppolo being out for the season– I guess the 49ers quarterback. You have a quarterback who’s
broken his neck earlier, who dislocated his finger the
other day, and then went out and hurdled a couple people. What do you tell him about that? Yeah, I don’t know. Just that we’re a better
team when he’s healthy. And already, he’s smart
with when he slides and when he goes out
of bounds, and so that hasn’t required much. And almost anything
I say in addition might make him overthink
some of those scenarios, so I think he’s managing himself
and our team really well. In fact, Robert and I were
visiting this morning, and he’s been one of the
most consistent parts of our team in how
he’s played, which is atypical for a new
starting quarterback. Coach, you were
referencing earlier about Olamide and
Hasise’s production being imperative that they do. What can they do specifically? Is it technique? Is it scheme? When teams are game
planning for a guy that had 247 yards receiving,
clearly they’ll roll coverage to him, all that. What do you want to see
from the two of them? It’s just consistency. So really, Louisville
did nothing to account for either one
of them that was atypical. They just simply weren’t as
consistent as the week before, and sometimes that
happens when players are building into new roles and
they have significant games. Sustaining and maintaining
that is sometimes a challenge. Our program is approaching
a new area of growth, which means yeah, that’s new. And it’s a little bit
uncharted, and so part of my job is to help build in the
messaging and consistency metrics and feedback to make
sure that each week is similar, rather than a highly
productive week and then not so productive, and
then another high produc– and so we’re in that cycle
a little bit right now, and that is part of growth. My messaging and
immediate feedback on the metrics
that I see I think has to be more blunt and
more timely to help us in advance of, maybe, that. Ryan Swoboda has
worn two numbers and played two
positions this year. Ultimately, would you
like to move him back to tackle at some point? And if so, is replenishing
the tight end pool a priority? Because it’s going to be
down to one after this year. Yeah. Yeah, Ryan will be an
offensive tackle for us. We like what– he
still practices there the majority of
the time, and we really like what we see from him
as an offensive lineman– a potential offensive lineman. We like what he’s
doing blocking-wise. And yeah, certainly, it’s
been a unique challenge in the selection criteria
and the attraction process of whom to take and
at what positions, and sometimes it’s just simply
taking the best available. Even though a
position need might be screaming for take
someone, I won’t do it just for the sake of taking someone. And so that’s led us to
the situation we are. And I think we’ll be
able to address it, and there might be a work-around
schematically for a while until we find the exact
right tight end– or tight ends– we want. But offensive line, to
me, is still a priority– maybe the biggest
priority on the team in terms of recruitment. Bronco, you mentioned last week
that you were still learning your offensive identity. How much did Saturday
help solidify that? I think every game
and every series helps us solidify as to
how we can not only score, but maintain possession time. The second half was
especially powerful in that we had a great time of possession
advantage, and we still scored. And so ultimately, we want to
be able to maintain and control the tempo of the game. And we really like to
control the game period, and you can do that
by moving the chains, methodically doing so,
holding onto the ball, and then when you start taking
it away defensively, then yeah, it’s a good combination. So we’re becoming
clearer, and this Saturday helped, I think, add
another piece to that. Again, quality of opponents
and different styles of play against us are
still helping us shape what that’s going to look like. And again, you’d say, in year 3? How come? Well, because Bryce
is our quarterback. So it’s a different system. We’re still redefining and
defining ourself a little bit. With Jordan Mack out– I think he does a lot of the
calls in the middle and lines defensive linemen up and
all that sort of stuff– can Chris Peace do
that from the outside, or do one of the young guys
have to step up in that role when they go in there? Both. Chris can do it
from the outside, but Zane is capable inside,
and all of our players are taught to do that. They just have been used
to hearing one voice, and that voice has had
experience and been playing in there a lot. So it will be a
significant change, and we’ll miss Jordan
at the highest level that you can miss someone. Now that we’ve said that,
you go to the next person up, and that’s where we are. To follow up on that a little,
are any of the outside guys candidates to move inside? Could they do that in a pinch? A pinch is the right
way to describe it. The positions are really
unique and really different. So it’s not my
preference– a pinch. A really big pinch
would be the way to– a pinch itself
wouldn’t be enough. A really big pinch would
be what it would take. Coach, to the
offensive line, you’ve talked about the
development you want to see. Can you talk about what
you’ve seen mentality-wise? I think I witnessed
Bobby Haskins driving one of the Louisville
linebackers 10 yards to the point
that that guy got annoyed and didn’t want anything else,
and we saw pancake blocks. Are you and Coach CJ pleased
with what’s happening upstairs? [INTERPOSING VOICES] The two players that are
most reflective right now of the culture that I
would really like offensive line-wise– Dillon Reinkensmeyer
and Bobby Haskins. So they’re both
relatively young, but Bobby is playing
a significant amount, not only because he’s blocking
well, but his mindset. He likes to play, and he
likes the physical part of it, and he likes to
keep blocking guys, and he likes that once
he blocks one guy, he finds someone else
to block, and then he usually thanks me after
every practice and game for letting him do that. He likes running into
people, and he’s grateful that he gets to, which is
nice to be thanked every day. Anything else? Chris has got one more question. Then we’ll have
Chris Peace up here. Obviously, one way– you
can take a linebacker out and put a safety in. We haven’t seen Chris Moore yet. He wasn’t dressed on Saturday. What’s his injury situation? Yeah, he’s still not healthy. And I don’t know and I haven’t
been told yet the exact return date. He’s frustrated. We’re all frustrated that
it’s taking this long. And man, there’s been a lot of
care and a lot of assessment going on. I wish I could be more clear
on when he’s coming back. We would love to
have him right now, but I don’t have a
date yet, or time.

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