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September 18, 2013

Paul Johnson

PAUL JOHNSON:テつ We are right in the middle of preparation for our second division game in as many weeks and got two more on the horizon, so we are kind of in grind mode a little bit.
We were fortunate that we got out of Durham with a win, and looking forward to preparing for North Carolina.テつ We had a crazy game last year, and the games are always very competitive and they have a lot of good athletes.テつ So it will be a challenge for us to get ready this week.

Q.テつ Can you please assess how Vad has run the offense the first two weeks and what your thoughts are on his play?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, I think Vad has played well.テつ Clearly we've won the two games, but he can play a lot better.テつ I think we left a lot of points on the field at Duke, and he would be the first to tell you that.
After watching the tape, he was a little disappointed that he didn't hit a couple other plays and maybe went the wrong way a couple of times.テつ But he's made a lot of plays.テつ He's very athletic and I think he's going to get better the more he plays.

Q.テつ Are there things that you can do offensively with him as a quarterback than maybe you couldn't do in the past with other quarterbacks?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ I don't think so.テつ I think people are trying to ‑‑ we are doing the same stuff that we've done with the other quarterbacks.テつ He's a dynamic athlete and he's probably a little more athletic than the other guys we've had.テつ But we are not trying to do anything different with Vad that we didn't do with the others.

Q.テつ I was reading in the AJC about the diamond formation and I wondered if you could tell me just a little bit more about what that is and how effective it was for you and how much more, if at all, you would be using it in the future, just how different that is for you guys.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, it's just a little changeup.テつ It's out of the gun, which last year, we ran a lot of widespread out of the gun‑‑ I shouldn't say a lot, but we ran some.テつ And this year, we have just got them all in the backfield.
So for lack of anything better to call it, we just called it a diamond formation, and we can run most of the same plays that we run out of ‑‑ from under center out of it.テつ In the game Saturday, we only ran a couple plays.
So how much we'll use it, who knows.テつ We'll see.テつ If we feel like we need it, it's there, available, a change of pace.テつ We may line up in it and run a whole game, or may line up in it and run none.テつ So it's just kind of the way the game's flowing.

Q.テつ Curious what your reaction was when you saw you were playing three division games in 12 days and whether you get any heads‑up from the league that that's happening.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ No, we didn't get any heads‑up from the league.テつ You know, it's just one of those things, and you know, we are going to either dig ourselves quite a hole in September, or we are going to be in pretty good shape.テつ That's just kind of the way it is.
So we got by the first one.テつ Got a big one at home this week, then we'll go from there.テつ So if we can have a good start, certainly it puts us in a good position, rather than trying to dig out of a hole like we were last year.

Q.テつ Is there any kind of special preparation in terms of practice this week with that game coming up, or do you just ignore that now?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ No, you can't worry about that game.テつ We are dead‑focussed on North Carolina.テつ We know it's going to be a tough game and when we finish that game, we'll move on to the next one.テつ But I can assure you that all our attention is towards the guys from Chapel Hill right now.

Q.テつ I wanted to follow up on Vad and his four touchdown passes Saturday, I was at the game, and sometimes in your offense, your quarterbacking gets some easy touchdown throws because teams are so focused on stopping the running game.テつ It looked like most of those touchdown completions were on pretty sophisticated couple of wheel routes and things like that, one crossing pattern in traffic where you had to make pretty accurate throws.テつ Can you address that?テつ Am I reading that right?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, I think he made some good throws.テつ The first one was on a drop‑back route.テつ It was just a post‑wheel.テつ Actually the receiver almost ran him into an interception.テつ He went shallow.テつ He should have went deeper.テつ But he made a good throw on that one.
The others were kind of off of playaction, you know, off option looks or toss looks, whatever.テつ And you know, he made some nice throws on the wheel route.テつ One was to a back out of the backfield.テつ Probably on a couple of them, he could have thrown it to another guy.テつ He had at least two or three more where if he throws it to the right guy, he would have had a better chance.
But he's a talented guy.テつ I mean, he can make some plays.テつ As I've said when we started, he's going to make plays.テつ We just hope it's for you.

Q.テつ I see in a note that you haven't‑‑ you're the only FBS team that has not allowed a sack so far this year.テつ I know you had some rebuilding to do a little bit in your offensive line; can you just talk about how they have done so far early in the season?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, I think that, you know, you always look at that as a positive.テつ Some of it, the competition gets better, it's going to be tougher and tougher.テつ
But we have got a bunch of guys on the offensive line that have played a lot.テつ You know, the three inside guys have all been two‑, three‑year starters.テつ Tackles, one of them‑‑ one tackle is new, but the other tackle has been a three‑year starter.テつ
So those guys have played a lot.テつ I think Vad helps that a lot because he's very mobile.テつ He can get out of trouble.テつ And at times, it looks like the last couple games, I mean, not sure how hard guys were rushing, I think they were just trying to make sure that he didn't run the ball and keep them in the pocket:

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