Coach Clawson spoke this morning at 11:30 about the team's progress through spring practice.
" We're looking forward to Saturday. We've had a productive spring. We'd love to have 15 more practices, which I think is always the case as a new staff when you're implementing new systems. Really, so far pleased with the work our young men have put in and the effort and attention they have given us. We're laying the foundation right now and look forward to what it looks like on Saturday, and then we have a lot of work to do in the summer before we open camp.
What can you really take as your big points out of the spring?
"The players have been very responsive and very willing. All the things we've asked them to do. Right now the execution level isn't where we needed it to be, but I think that's somewhat to be expected when you're first learning a system. There's a lot of processing going on which sometimes prevents guys from playing at the speed you need them to play with. But that's something you hope gets better as you install everything a second time in the summer."
What have you been doing system wide?
"Well as much as anything it's just you're establishing how you do everything. How you lift, how you run the off-season condition program. The tempo and pace at which we practice. How we organize practice. The amount of time we spent on situational football. I think these are all changes and adjustments. Every time we do something for the first time it's not done with the speed or with the attention to detail that you like and the second time you do it it gets better. Before you play your first game, hopefully you get four, five or six opportunities to work those situations so you become more and more efficient in terms of how you operate. We've got a long ways to go but I think that's to be expected. You compound a new system with the amount of new players we're breaking in and we're a football team that graduated 13 senior starters. So not only do you have guys learning, but you have guys who are asked to get meaningful reps for really the first time in their career, so there's a very steep going on right now."
"It's a work in progress. I do't think we've had a guy take control of the position yet, but in fairness to them we're still going through the installation part of it.They're going to have to work very hard in the summer on their own and when they get those opportunities we're going to need to perform at a much higher level when we get to the fall than we are right now."
On being in the Carolinas/Wake Forest
" We certainly enjoyed living in the southeast when we were here about a decade ago. There were a lot of reasons I was attracted to this job. Number one is that it's a first class institution in everything we do. The area of the country is absolutely beautiful. I feel very honored and privileged to be the head coach at Wake Forest. There were so many attractive things about this position and certainly the area is one of them. "
What do you have to work hard on before the start of the 2014 season?
"We've got a lot of work to do in a lot of areas, but like I said earlier the most impressive thing to me is that the players have been very receptive and very responsive. We have gotten very little resistance in terms of the things we're trying to do. I love their enthusiasm and their work ethic. If a team gives you effort and their attention, all of those other things we can coach and fix in time. Overall very pleased with what our players have given us so far in terms of their effort and attention."
Handicap the quarterback race.
"When we first got here we only had one quarterback on scholarship and that was Tyler Cameron. We moved Kevin Sousa back from receiver to get through the spring. Tyler has a very live arm and good arm strength. He has good athleticism in the pocket. Kevin, as you'd expect from a guy that played receiver, is a very gifted athlete. His ability to make plays with his feet and his ability to make plays when the play breaks down and improvise has been impressive. We're still in the installation phase, so to give any final evaluation of where we are is unfair to either of them, just because this is the first time they've had everything on their plate. We have two quarterbacks coming in who we recruited, and we told those young men they'd have an opportunity to compete for the position. We're not going to be naming a starter during spring football and I think we're too young in the system to do that and we've told freshmen they'd be given the opportunity to compete. We're not in a rush. We're going to let this thing play out and probably not name a starter until two weeks before the first game."
The Coastal coaches are now having their teleconference and you can listen in. Additionally, you can hear the archived versions of all other coaches. Coach Clawson begins speaking around the 1 hour and 20 minute mark.