The Heels had their first practice of the season and Butch Davis made his remarks to the media. Tar Heel Blue has full coverage of “Reporting Day” here including audio of the Davis press conference. Inside Carolina has most of the quotes. Here was Davis’ answer to the #1 question on most people’s mind:
On the quarterback decision –
“We’re going to identify the two guys and they’re going to take 100 percent of the reps. The third guy and the fourth guys will have to learn through film, through watching and through repetitions on the scout team. You can’t coach the third and fourth team guys because the NCAA won’t allow us to practice that long … They’re just going to go out and practice. [Paulus] will take the lion’s share of the snaps during the first half of the practice – he may in fact do some when we blend the two teams together. But once we get out in Day 5, then we’ll start figuring out where he is in the picking order — is he 3, 4, 2, 1? Where is he? … It’s all about growth and development of these quarterbacks. How comfortable they feel in the scheme, how quickly they can adapt to all we’re going to ask them to do and how efficient they are. It won’t be the number of great plays they make, it’s the number of poor plays they don’t make. From center-quarterback exchange, throwing into coverages, misreading coverages – the quarterback position needs to be efficient.”
In other words they are looking for someone who can consistently run the offense with the fewest number of mistakes. Great plays are inconsequential if you give the ball away or fail to make the right plays because you did not properly read what the defense was doing. I am also all for making this decision quickly and using only two guys to take all of snaps in practice so everyone can get accustomed to the scheme and the offensive unit can have a leader to look to sooner rather than later.
Let me also point to the always excellent analysis from Joe Ovies at 850 the Buzz who succinctly summarized Davis’ thoughts:
The best way to summarize the 30 minutes he spoke: Every position is open, even the QB. Possible redshirts will be determined 2 or 3 games into the season. Davis wants every player on the team to take the attitude of their performance on the field will be needed at any time and that performance will directly effect the outcome of the game. First impression outside the flowery talk of the hiring press conference or the vague nature of Spring, Davis is all business and has a clearly thought out plan of how the team should progress. Not that John Bunting didn’t have an idea of what he wanted, but the difference in how each coach approaches getting there couldn’t be any clearer after today.
Bunting had an idea of where he wanted to go but it was not as well constructed as the goals Davis has set forth. On top of that it never seemed like we got to wherever it was Bunting wanted to go, so all season we were subjected to John telling us how much we needed to “get it done” or that magically “it happened” or if we could “execute and make plays” then the wins would fall out of the sky like rain. At least with Davis you understand where he wants to go and the way he lays it out, it seems very workable.
And I promise to stop trouncing upon John Bunting’s remains from this point forward because comparing Bunting to Davis is just not fair to the former.