On the defense:
We are gonna run our plays no matter what they run, we are gonna be aggressive on D like we always are, we just need to react quickly to what we see, you can watch film but there are no schemes and film that can save you, athletic ability and communicating on the field and reacting to what the defense does shuold get us to where we need to go.
Possibilty of being able to win twice at FSU:
Yeah it will be real nice just to get a win and start the season off right. While on the road ACC it will be great.
Is this year's opener more important than the past:
Oh yeah, great rivalry. We are trying to restore what we have here,trying to star t off on a fast pace and show the world who we are now. We are Coach Whipple offense and Coach Lovett defense. Its going to be a tremendous feeling getting to showcase our talent. Play hard for the fans for the first time and let the world see us for the first time and show everything that’s new.
On FSU game last year:
I watched that game yesterday. I remember Colin McCarthy running around the field making plays I remember our D-Line was doing well. It was a great game and great atmosphere. They were making plays and were making plays. But we never quit and we fought all the way to the end. Probably the best game since I have been here. So we are going to try and take that to another level when we get up there Monday night.
On the signifigance of Labor Day games and why they are low scoring:
I think the games that we played in were great games, just great defensive games. There weren’t a lot of points scored because the defense usually prevails early in the season because it doesn’t take a lot for them to gel. It's just a bunch of individuals out there making plays. While offense is a team effort and every man counts so offenses tend to be slower in the beginning but I don’t think we have that problem this year.
Is the defense ahead of the offense now?
Normally, but I dont think we have that problem this year
On the offense:
I think Coach Whipple's offense is going to do a great job. We have been working really hard and we had a lot of time to prepare so I think we gelled pretty good. Traditionally it is always a close game on Labor Day because it is the first game, and a lot of new guys are playing, but I think we have a veteran team and I think offense will do really well this game.
Does it matter when the game is played?
It doesn’t matter, whichever schedule they give us we will adapt and we will go forward with it. It is Monday night football on Labor Day -- who else would you want to play.
On being healthy this year:
It feels great to be here right now, talking to you guys about a great game coming up. There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t be here because of injury or moving to the next level. The situation that has presented itself is a great one and I am just trying to take advantage of it. I'm blessed and I appreciate coach Shannon and all of my coaches, my teammates, and im just trying to be here and make the best of it while I'm here
Thoughts on going pro early:
I was thinking about going pro but I talked with some people and have made a commitment to my team and my coaches that I was going to come back. Wherever it took me that is where it took me. It’s a great place. I decided really close to the deadline. It's no big deal -- its nothing to rave about. I feel good and I made a good decision.
On talking to younger guys:
I try to give them words of wisdom and encourage them once things happen but other than that I don’t have to pull them to the side or really talk to them about a big game because I want them to get that experience on their own. The young guys do a great job with just going out and having fun playing football just like in high school. It's not about the game plan or the pressure or the media, being on TV. It's none of that. That’s why the guys played so good last year the true freshman because they were out there just running around having fun they didn’t know anything about playing against Florida State on a Monday night or playing a big game or anything like that. They just went out there and did what they did in high school. That’s why they were so good. So with the young guys this year were just gonna try to let them do the same thing -- let them just run around and make plays, and if they make mistakes just tell them to keep playing.
On what he is going to feel walking out of the tunnell:
My emotions are going to be kind of mixed. I'm gonna be real emotional about being able to play another college football game in my University of Miami uniform or to be up there at FSU. I had a great game last time I went over there and just to be able to be out there and be back with all the young boys that I watched play last year and a lot of my teammates that I haven’t had a chance to play with yet, its gonna be a great feeling and I’m going to have to stay clam and keep everyone else calm and try to go out and keep the emotion off the field and play with good.
On the troops in irap able to see the game:
It means a lot. We are gonna try to put on a show and all the Cane fans. Just stick behind us and we are going to play our hardest and we are gonna be real good. Nothing happens overnight and I'm glad everyone realizes that. We have a great team and a great coach and were just gonna try to go out and impress everyone impress the world.
On who took Phillips under their wing when he was younger:
When I first got down here in the summer I lived with Devin (Hester) for the whole summer and he took me under his wing and he talked to me and showed me some things.
On former hurricanes helping out:
I talk to those guys all the time. I talked to Jon Vilma the other day, he told me to keep being a leader and keep focusing on what we have to do and don’t let the game be more than what it is -- just go out and have fun don’t try to do too much. I talked to Ed (Reed) and he is just so inspirational. You guys know Ed and we talked for a long time and I talked to Kenny (Phillips) and he has a couple of Florida State alums on his team, so they talking it up and he asked me how it was gonna be and I told him it was gonna be great. Yea, I work out with them all the time. We all work out together in the summer time while they are working out training and we are doing the same thing. We talk, we chat it up, we go over drills, we get it in.
On ranked schedules, toughest in college football:
I appreciate the fact that Espn thinks we have the toughest schedule. I think that’s really big because just me looking towards the future I think that’s real big because when we look back and see that we had the toughest schedule and what we over came and how good we are people are going to know that we are no joke. All the BCS stuff we wont have to worry about that stuff because if we take care of business we are there for the national championship. It is already laid out for us. I’m glad they rated us the number one schedule.
On the negative fans' feelings of the tough schedule:
Those are the fans that don’t believe and those are the fans that we really don’t want behind us because you know how Canes fans are. They are diehard Canes fans and if you aren’t then we really don’t need you. Just stick behind us we are gonna pull through and everything is gonna be alright. Thats my word.
What happened when he got hurt at Texas A&M:
It was the first play of the game and the running back cut back and I got blocked in the back into someone's knee and I played the rest of the first half and then the doctor looked at me and told me it was torn, and I couldn’t play anymore. They at least could have thrown a pentaly flag, but it's all good -- everything happens for a reason.
What he has improved on (both mentally and physically):
I had a lot of time to improve, a lot of people can’t believe it but I actually got stronger. After my knee injury I came back and my power clean went up, and I had time to really develop because I never redshirted and I put on a little muscle mass. As far as on the field, coming out of the spring my coaches told me I needed to come off the hashes better and everything else will take care of itself, because I was tackling well and making all the calls and being a great leader, I just needed to play the pass a little better so after camp the coaches told me I had been doing great. I improved, I was kind of rusty at safety last year because I hadn’t played there for like three years but now I'm back there and comfortable and I don’t even remember playing corner. I don’t even know how I did it.
If playing corner helped him out at safety:
Playing corner helped me out because now I can cover better and understand guys routes and judge their speed and stuff like that and now im ten yards back so I used to be bump and run, man to man, no help over the top in blitz coverage with KP in the box. We’re a little different now. We don’t leave guys out to dry. So that’s a lot better for me right there.
On his role this season as a leader and his comfort level:
Im very comfortable, this is the peak of my college carreer. I've never went into a season more confident or more focused or in a better position. Sophomore and junior year I was a starter at cornerback and I had my job locked but I wasn’t a leader and I wasn’t a guy who the team looked up to off the field, so that’s where I improved and now that I'm in this situation I feel very comfortable, I know the entire defense, I know my guys strengths and weaknesses that I play with and I'm just enjoying it right now.
Comparing Travis Benjamin to former Canes:
Yea I see some Devin (Hester) in Travis but I see more Roscoe (Parrish) than Devin. I see a more shifty guy that can stop on a dime. With Devin it was more sort of just lightning speed and the ability not to lose a step while making a defender miss. Travis can slow down and stop and go really quick and he reminds me of roscoe a lot. With Coop returning the ball he reminds me just like Devin and now you guys are gonna get to see that a little bit more this year, cause when he gets the ball he looks just like Devin.
On Travis Benjamin's improvement:
Travis worked on his routes a lot. Last year he was just a young buck, just a freshman just running around making people miss just playing sandlot ball. Now he's coming ino his own becoming a great receiver running routes blocking on running plays, getting the right depth, always sprinting. A lot of times Jacory and Marve threw interceptions last year because guys were jogging cause they didn’t expect the ball but the guys like Travis aren’t doing stuff like that anymore. He's been throwing some great blocks in camp and he has been returning the ball great just understanding the schemes and things like that staying away from defenders trying to get open and sitting down in zone areas.
On Javarris James:
He's a lot more shifty now. He's a lot quicker and faster I think he recorded a 4.4 forty so he's lightning fast right now and now he runs like that every play. A lot of guys can record a good 40 but can't play at that speed but right now with Javarris not getting over 20 carries every time he gets the ball hes going to be able to run really hard because he'll be fresh and light.
Does javarris have a different attitude:
We are seniors and it’s the last go round and we have to give it our all and do the best we can, and try to go out and win for ourselves, our coaches, and for our future so everyone is really focused right now, especially the seniors.
Is Javarris better than freshman year:
I think he looks way better than his freshman year. I think he is a 1,000 yard back. Both him and cooper, so that’s what we are gonna try to get to, maybe even a 500 yard receiving season because he does things like that now because hes quicker and able to block and pick up the blitz and he has been tremendous in camp.
He's the leader of the WRs, he is the older guy and he really works hard and he is a different guy and he has been lighting up things in practice. He always stay out there and get things done and he is lighter and he turned himself around. Him and Byrd worked so hard, with Hank he worked his way into the starting position because there are guys who are more talented than him but he gets the job done. He is a hell of a blocker and he runs precise routes and he is catching the ball and he is in the film room and he is doing all the little things right, and he deserves all the attention he is getting right now.