In an earlier post, Charles Bankinsacknowledged he believed it was only a matter of time before opponents started kicking away from Torrey Smith.
Here’s the rest of our discussion from yesterday, plus some special teams notes from Saturday’s game:
Q: How tough is it on a week-to-week basis to shuffling these units around because of injuries?
CB: It’s no tougher than being in the NFL, because you have guys activated and deactivated. That’s the hardest thing. The hard thing comes when you try to expand on your scheme, because a lot of the new guys come in and you have to start from scratch with them. That’s the hardest part, how far you can go with your scheme. We’ve come a pretty good distance and with some injuries we have to go [a little further]. We have a pretty good core of guys and it’s usually just one or two guys we’re tweaking with.
Q: But it’s seemingly one or two guys every week you’re tweaking with.
CB: That’s OK. That’s what we’re getting paid to do – make the adjustments and get going. All the kids are in our meetings, so you try to prepare for that and prepare them all as starters because one day they all will be.
Q: From your vantage point, what guys have played well on a lot of those special teams?
CB: Kevin Dorsey’s doing a phenomenal job. He’s going down on the coverage units, he’s on our return teams and has done a phenomenal job. Cory Jackson’s done a great job. He’s our protector on punts, covering on kicks, he’s been captain for a game. Of course, Torrey’s done a great job. Trenton Hughes has done a nice job going down as a gunner. There’s still some growing pains, but he’s come along and done a nice job. The obvious one is Ferrara, he’s done a nice job. Kerry Boykins was doing a phenomenal job. Emani Lee-Odai, LaQuan Williams, there’s a whole cast. Morgan Green does a nice job. There’s a whole cast that’s bought into what we’re doing. Drew Gloster’s starting to come around.
Q: How much do you think Ferrara is going to get helped by having Travis Baltz back to punt?
CB: Tremendous. [Kickoff] average has dropped tremendously. We’re at about one a game. Everybody looks at the stats and sees you’re last in the ACC in kickoff coverage. Some of that was early on, some of that was getting new guys in and figuring out what to do. When he puts the ball in the right place, we cover the ball. Last game, they had a 23-yard return, 18, 16 13-yard return and boom, we give up the long one and the ball’s in the middle of the field, which we can’t have. With [Baltz] coming back, [Ferrara] will be able to get his distance back and rest his leg a little bit and our coverage unit will be that much better.
A recent rundown of the six special teams units based on notes from Saturday’s 20-9 loss to Virginia:
20-Douglas (replaced later by 27-Bonato)
FIELD GOAL BLOCK