We obviously threw the ball and caught it better than any spring game. Probably more passing yards and completions. I thought coverage could've been better. We didn't have a pass rush. Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor didn't play much. The quarterbacks had time and the receivers caught about everything. They had good routes. Who's to say if our coverage is suspect or not, but I know Coach Ward wasn't happy about some guys getting behind them. It made the offensive guys look pretty good throwing and catching. Whatever it means, I don't know. We'll keep working and try to improve. You can tell we have pretty good-looking, physical guys. Brandon Shell looks like a big time offensive tackle. If he gets quicker and stronger, he'll be a big time offensive tackle. It's encouraging. I think he played probably 50 or 60 plays today. It was good to see a lot of those guys play a bunch. Most are in pretty good shape. The defensive line got tired. Some of them played both sides of course. It's just the spring game; just a practice game. The highlight was at halftime introducing the senior guys. Hopefully the next year we'll do the senior guys for doing something special like the 2011 guys did.
On the successful passing day
I guess it was nice for the offensive guys. Not real nice for the defensive guys. The quarterbacks picked them out well. That was surprising. They only threw one or two errant balls today. All the quarterbacks threw well and the receivers caught most of everything. That's encouraging.
On Dylan Thompson
He probably is second I would say. Dylan has a lot of ability. He has a chance to be a good player. Tanner (McEvoy) came in and played his best. That's the best he's played all spring I think. Maybe he'll get in the fight for number two. We'll see how it plays out in the summer and preseason practice.
On Drew Owens
Drew sprained his knee. Nobody touched him; he stuck it in the ground wrong and felt a twinge. We're hoping it's just a sprain. He was able to walk off.
On the field goal attempt as time expired
At the end I wanted to see if they could run out and kick it before the clock went off. I don't think they did. I wanted to see if (Adam Yates) could run out and get set and kick the thing. He made it but sometimes you don't have time to do all your steps and walk around. Anyways, hopefully we can learn from that. Very seldom do you see that anymore because everyone can clock it, but if it was fourth down you'd have to do that.
On Jared Shaw
He played well. He got the one pick and defended well. Jared Shaw is just a good football player is the way to describe him. He played some safety there later. Safety or corner, he can play them both.
On goals for the 2012 season
We don't set goals until right before the season starts. We go through the summer and right before the season starts we'll set some goals. They'll probably be similar to last year. Total wins will go up a bit because we already did this one, 11. DJ Swearinger thinks we can go for 12. We'll probably still go for eighth, nine, 10 or 11 anyway. Who knows if we're capable of that. Possibly.
On the passing play off the sideline
We started that down at Florida. We had maximum protection on that play and still had a guy run through the middle. Connor (Shaw) dodged him. We hadn't worked on it all spring. We talked about it in the meeting. Riley Gallaher was our likely candidate. Connor made a good play to get out the pocket and hit him. I tell you, the referees didn't see it. The guy on the sideline is the only one that saw it and flew the flag.
On the fans
The crowd is important for everything we do. The crowd was important at the Capital One Bowl when we beat Nebraska when the offensive coordinator said the noise from the South Carolina contingent was louder than they expected. Having a big crowd for spring games, ESPN3 was here and telecast the game. 34,000 (fans), excellent. When we gave the awards, it was the first time I stood in the middle to talk to both sides because it was that big of a crowd. It was wonderful and special. (New basketball coach) Frank Martin got a wonderful ovation.
On the new coaches on the staff
Those guys fit in quickly. Coach Ward actually knew Grady (Brown) and Kirk (Botkin) from previous places. They know how each other coaches a little bit. It was important in a lot of ways. I thought we'd get a few more picks today. Our guys have been good watching the quarterback and his eyes during most of our scrimmages. Today Sheldon Royster and Jared Shaw got the one in the endzone. That was about it.
On Marcus Lattimore
He's doing fine. He's going to be ready to go. He's right on schedule. Maybe even a little ahead of schedule. He's doing fine.
On the 2012 season prospects
It's a team that has a chance to be pretty good. You're always unknown until you start playing the games. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.
On his rehabilitation
I felt like I was doing everything I needed to do. The main thing was getting stronger. I feel like I'm pretty much almost there back to full strength in my right leg. Nothing really surprised me. It was challenging for a couple of things I did.
On if he's been running
I've been running on land for about two months now. May 2nd will be the day I start to cut. I'm real excited about that. I'm just going to tackle it all in May, June and July.
On his confidence in his leg
I have complete confidence in it right now. If it happens again, it just happens again. I'll just let it fall wherever it goes and follow the path that God has laid out for me.
On sitting out of practice the entire spring
It was hard. I say it all the time just watching them run and do the things that I used to do is real hard. I just stay focused on getting better every day in some way. That's learning my plays better. I feel like I'm a master of the offense now because I've studied it so much. I'm in the meeting room paying attention. I'm obviously getting stronger and getting my legs right while they're practicing. I feel like I'm getting better everyday.
On the team going into 2012
We have a great team. We have some guys right now that will help us. Our defense could be just like last year, just relentless. Our offense looks great. Connor (Shaw) looks awesome. We just have a lot of talent, and we'll put it all together this year.
On what he's learned from his injury
Just don't take anything for granted. I honestly wasn't doing everything to keep myself in the shape I was supposed to be in playing in those few games I played in. I wasn't getting in the hot tub and cold tub and stretching like I was supposed to. I'll never take my legs for granted again. The day I started running it was happier than when I committed here.
On getting better in practice and overall thoughts on the spring
I think all in all it went pretty well. I think I improved a little bit and gained some momentum going into the summer.
On the strong offensive performances in the game.
It felt really good to end the spring on a good note and you know of course that a few defensive players didn't play so its going to be a lot different on Saturdays, but still it felt good to end on a good note.
Thoughts on the passing game's ability to improve after being the starter during the spring
This is just the beginning, we still have all summer and fall camp and we'll really harp on the passing game during that time. I think we have made some strides this spring but I still think we have a long way to go.
On the loss of Alshon Jeffery and players that will have to take his place
We lost a good one in Alshon but I think players naturally step up and I think we had some guys this spring step up.
Thoughts on his performance in the game as well as the entire spring
I think the goal of the spring is to improve every practice and you definitely want to end strong and I feel like we did that as a whole. Each quarterback played well and personally I just felt really comfortable. The offense is a lot easier for me now than it was last year at this time. All in all I think it was a good spring. We got better and we need to keep improving.
Thoughts on personal growth since last season
Personally I feel like I've grown a lot more, especially in my relationship with Jesus Christ. I try to carry it over to the field. My goal coming into the spring was to be consistent in my faith and stand by with it every day and the football stuff will take care of itself. I'm just letting it play out however it may.
On his spring practice as a whole
This spring I came out and made a few plays, and then the next day I feel like I would come out and make a few mistakes. So, this whole spring I was trying to become more consistent as a player. I have been here for a while so it is time for me to not come out here and make dumb mistakes like getting beat. I feel like I did improve a lot this spring. It helped a lot. Coach Brown and Coach Ward stuck on us. All of the drills related to everything we do, and that was very helpful. Overall I thought we got better as a unit, and I felt like I got better as a player. I am going to be harder on myself because I need to become more consistent.
On his motivation to earn a scholarship
As a walk-on we all know that it is our goal to earn a scholarship, but more than that I would just love to play. I would just take my few reps on kickoff over a scholarship any day, just to be out there on the field with my teammates and travel with them is over money every day.
On his objectives for the spring
Well, last year I redshirted because I had shoulder surgery before I got here. I was just going through the motions and trying to follow the right stuff. Coming into this spring, Coach Brown and Coach Ward stayed on me, told me to keep focused, told me to learn the playbook, and do my best to get on the field, and I feel like I am starting to come around. I had a really tough spring. The pick today was my first pick of the spring and I just so happened to take it back for a touchdown so, I felt pretty good about it.
On the passing game's spring as a whole
I feel like we definitely worked a lot during the spring for our passing. A lot of us stayed after practice to work on routes and stuff like that. I think it showed in the spring game. There weren't too many dropped passes and we made a lot of plays. We caught a couple deep balls and a couple of passes over the middle for touchdowns, so I feel like we have stepped up and tried to fill Alshon (Jeffery)'s role.
On having a good spring game after juggling track and football
I felt like I had to have a good game today, especially after playing two sports. I felt like I had to make it known that I could accomplish goals in both sports and to be able to be a factor in both.