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April 21, 2011

Frank Spaziani

COACH SPAZIANI: First of all, we've had a productive spring in the sense that we found out a lot about our younger players and what they can do, what they can't do. Of course that was one of the major goals in spring.
We certainly had a lot of players improve, and coaches will tell you we would have liked them to improve more and faster, but we did have a group that improved.
Finally, we were productive in the sense that we have a new offensive coordinator, Kevin Rogers and we were able to implement our new system and get moving forward with that. Though once again, I will say we have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas.

Q. Where do you stand now on wide receiver? Seems like the quarterback was a lot more stable than it was last year at this time. But still a big question mark at wide receiver?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, absolutely. We have Ifeanyi Momah played a lot for us last year, and he's a convert over there. He had a productive spring and got better. We have of course the three freshmen that played for us last year and red shirted freshmen, true freshmen.
Those guys got better in the spring, but they're not ready for primetime. They still need a long way to go.
We're hope to go get Colin Larmond back. He was our number one receiver going into camp last year, and of course he's been out with knee surgery. He's slated to come back this summer, but that remains to be seen.

Q. In his rehab, how far along is he? Is there a chance that he is going to be productive for you this year?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, we're hoping that's the case, yeah. And once again, I'm not trying to be ambivalent here, but he had a major injury, and he's right on track. But until you get out there and do it, and you run on it again, you're never quite sure. He looks like he's going to be on track, and he'll be his old self.

Q. In terms of Kevin Rogers, how different might your offense be looking in this fall?
COACH SPAZIANI: Kevin is a seasoned football coach, a seasoned veteran. Every coach has their own style, so that's been different. But Kevin's been a productive coach no matter where he's been. He fit right in with the players and the chemistry seems to be there.
I don't think the offense will be that much different. The terminology is what it is and that always changes a little bit. But there are many new plays in football. We're not going to the spread or we're not going to the wishbone.
Though I've been tinkering with Ed and the Canadian philosophy of putting a 12th man out there, other than that, we'll be all right.

Q. How is your quarterback situation looking coming out of spring ball?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, Chase finished up last year and started the last 7 or 8 games. He's certainly the incumbent. As far as depth and experience, we're much further on than we were it time last year.
But once again, he's a freshman with eight games under his belt. The spring helped, he got better, and it looks like we've got to get some depth over there and we'll move forward. But we still have a long way to go there.

Q. A lot of times coming out of spring ball there are questions about replacing quarterbacks and other skill players and so on. I was looking down and see that Anthony Castonzo started 54 games for you guys, which is a number I don't believe I've ever seen before. So who steps in for him? It seems odd, but how do you replace a guy of that caliber?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, replacing people, that never happens. What happens is somebody takes over for them and they either play better than they did or they don't play as well. Then it's a team game, and the other guys have to make up for whatever difference it is.
We obviously lost a first-round draft pick over there. We've lost three offensive linemen for that matter. The other two guys have played in practice basically this spring. So we're young on the line.
And I'll go back to my opening statement, we have to find out about our players and find out who can play, and that's what spring ball is for me. It's not about X's and O's as much as finding out who can play and have individuals get better.
So we've made some progress there. We found some people, and we'll find out who our five or six or seven or eight guys are we think we can win with. Hopefully we'll have five, and then we'll put them where we think is necessary.
I don't have a better answer for you than that. But that's what we've got to do.

Q. You don't have the inspiration that Mark Herzlich provided around the team this year. I just wondered, did you notice that? Was there an adjustment period to not having him and his whole story? Did you see a difference in anything like that?
COACH SPAZIANI: I don't know if the difference had to do with Mark and Mark's story. The difference had to do with the seniors that we have coming back, the fifth year seniors.
If you look at our depth chart or whatever you want to call it, that's what we really need, we have a little void here in our fifth year players and our fourth year eligibility guys. We're going to need leadership, and usually the strength of your program comes in that area.
This is where some of the potholes that we've been trying to navigate through the last few years have to be navigated through this year.

Q. I wanted to talk more about Montel Harris. You said he's back on pace to be back after the surgery.
COACH SPAZIANI: I was talking about Larmond.

Q. Can you then fill me in is he on pace to come back?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, he seems medically on pace. We would hope that he would have been playing in the bowl game January 9th, and he wasn't ready for that. Then he had some lingering issues during the spring. That's an ongoing saga. So that's where we're at with that.

Q. The reason I bring it up is he's going into his senior season with a reasonable chance to break a 33-year-old record for career rushing in the ACC. That one stood the test of time for a long, long time. He came in as a relatively unheralded recruit. Can you evaluate what he's given you in three years?
COACH SPAZIANI: Oh, my God, he has been a difference maker from the day he came in and started playing his freshman year. I don't know when it was, second or third game or so.
But I don't know where we'd be record wise without Montel's production, and certainly the two years that I've been the head coach he carried us many times. He's important for us, and we need to get him back on track.
Let me ask you a question. How many more carries does he need?

Q. He needs 1003 yards. He's bettered that all three of his years, so it's reasonable. If he's healthy enough, he can do it.
COACH SPAZIANI: Oh, 1,000 yards, I thought you said carries.

Q. No, yards to pass Ted Brown's record.
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, well, we'd be happy for him to break the record.

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