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August 30, 2017

Steve Addazio

Greensboro, North Carolina

STEVE ADDAZIO: We're excited to get started here. Obviously I'm sure a lot of guys have said the same thing. Start of college football season 2017, players, coaches, fans, everybody's jacked up about that. We're traveling Friday night. We have a big matchup against Northern Illinois. We, too, are looking forward to getting on the field versus an opponent, not hitting ourselves here.

Been a productive camp, looking forward to the game.

Q. Talk a little bit about your quarterback situation and how that will play out going into your first game.
STEVE ADDAZIO: We have a plan in place for the quarterbacks. We're kind of keeping that to ourselves right now. But we definitely know how we want to operate going into this game. I guess that will be revealed when we play on Saturday.

Q. Having said that, how do you feel the offense has looked? I know you've had some high hopes for the offensive line, some players at their skill positions you feel can be dynamic players for you. What is the expectation going in a challenging environment on Friday night?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, the quarterback play here has been outstanding by both guys. We're better at every position. Reminds me of what we had here my first two years. Had a great pre-season camp. We have a stable of runningbacks as good as anybody's. We have a stable of tight ends that I think are as good as anybody's. We have real good speed on the edge. I would say offensively we look for us to be significantly improved. I'm excited every day to go out and watch practice. It's fun. We got some play-makers. They're developing, having a great time with it.

Q. With your plan in place, would you be willing to reveal whether you plan on playing both quarterbacks?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I just don't want to go into what I'm going to do right now. Normally I'm not a real closed guy about a lot of things. I have my rationale for that.

I want to be transparent to tell you, we're very excited about both of these guys and their productivity. They've really had a fantastic pre-season camp. I'm very much looking forward to, as a question was asked to me, a real productive night, realizing it is game one, but a productive night offensively.

Q. What kind of pre-season camp Harold Landry had? Does he remind you of any defensive ends you've had on previous teams?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think I said to one person one time, he's built differently, but his ability to come off the ball with a very low pad level and come underneath offensive linemen reminds me of Dwight Freeney, who I recruited and practiced every day against with Syracuse. It's a really unique ability. It's very, very difficult on offensive linemen when a guy can have tremendous burst, keep his pad level down, pick up the towel, so to speak, and turn the corner. That's fairly remarkable.

I would say that that piece reminds me of Dwight.

Q. Anything in particular you're still looking to learn about your team this first game that you leave camp uncertain about?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Like I happened to hear Pat talk earlier. You know, you watch practice every day. You're saying, Wow, we look good offensively. Then you say, Well, how good are we defensively?

You just go back and forth with all that stuff. Until you get to the first day, you have to figure out, How did we perform under the lights, so to speak? Where do we think we are?

I don't think you even know that after game one really. I think it takes three weeks of the season to get a good bead on where you really stack up. Obviously you have your ideas, but I'm looking forward to playing this game so I can get a better sense.

Coming out of training camp, I think we've looked really good in all three phases at times. That's been fairly consistent. I like to think we have a pretty solid defense. I'd like to think if we're moving a ball against that defense, we have the ability to move the ball.

I can't wait for Friday night. Like I was asked, how explosive are you on offense. I think we have a chance to be pretty explosive, but I guess we're going to find that out. These are the things that if any coach says anything different, I mean, I haven't changed how I feel going into game one my whole career. You feel great. If your preparation has been great, you think you have a good team, you feel good, but there's an angst. Until you really see it against other people, there's an angst. That's the way it is. That excitement, that angst is kind of what drives us all.

I can't wait for it.

Q. The ACC certainly has taken great strides here as a football conference in the last few years. Could you talk about the fact that certainly Clemson and Florida State are the headliners in the league, but it seems like a lot of programs, yourselves as an example of that, have taken a little bit of a step up so it's not seen as so much as a top-heavy league, but a league that has some real depth to it.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, I think this is a really good league right now. Again, I guess you say, Okay, that's great, you feel that way. What are the facts? The facts are, we saw the bowl season. The top of our league won, the bottom of our league won against Power 5 teams. Lower teams beat lower teams in the other conferences. Mid teams beat mid teams and upper teams beat upper teams. I think that's the way you can judge in any given year where your conference is at.

Of course, you look to the fact of marquee players, Heisman Trophy winners, finalists, Nagurski award winners, et cetera. Remington, all those things. Then you look to the NFL Draft, you see who was drafted, how many, what rounds. I think you get a real sense what the league's all about.

So to me, that's what you're looking at. That's why the ACC is looked at the way it is right now, which is an elite league in the Power 5 because it was done on the field.

These things change year to year. This is a new year. What happened last year, we couldn't be more proud as a conference of what happened. You know what, it's 2017 right now. Just like you as an individual team, as a league, we got to go out and do it. What happened a year ago is great, but it really doesn't matter any more. It's now '17. Let's go see what '17 brings.

Q. So much about leagues has a lot of times to do with resources. One of the other coaches mentioned when you look at what the network is paying off, that factors into it, too. Talk a little bit about that, moving forward that it seems like the ACC now has the resources in place to be a consistently top-of-the-line league.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, I think there's no question. It's just like when you look at an individual program. Your program's got to continue to move forward. You've got to be able to continue to make improvements. The network, that's going to be a fantastic thing. The leadership of our conference with John Swofford is fantastic. Just the things that are in place, continue to drive the conference. If you're not moving forward, then you're moving backward. This is a conference that's moving forward. I think it's a ripple effect through every team.

The thing that I am very proud of in this conference is not just -- we're talking about on the field. I mean, off the field, as well. This is a very outstanding conference in terms of every institution is very proud of who they are academically. They're elite schools. I think as a whole product, a whole package, it's really an elite conference.

Yes, we've got to keep the -- the network is going to help us to continue to bring revenue forward so we can continue to develop and grow and do the best things we can for our student-athletes, continue to get great exposure nationally. That's all what elite conferences do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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