Posted: 3:19 p.m. Sunday, July 21, 2013
However you might spend a summer Sunday afternoon, it can't be as exciting as answering questions from local media in Greensboro, can it? Today kicked off the ACC's two day media blitz, with opening remarks from John Swofford and then player interviews with two members from each of the fourteen teams. Defensive end Kareem Martin and quarterback Bryn Renner were the chosen Tar Heels, and both did well without making any news.
The video interview will be archived on the ACC's website, but here's a quick rundown. Both players believe their team can win their division, a sentiment I presume is shared by every player that's ever taken the stage. Their both excited for the audience the season opener against South Carolina will provide, as well. (Twitter reports that Renner, asked off stage about Jadeveon Clowney was particularly looking forward to the matchup. He's confident both in his own abilities and that of an offensive line that sent three players to the pros last season.)
It took all of three questions before Jeff Gravley of WRAL brought up the division championship rings, asking Renner if he wears his. He does; and used the opportunity to talk about the team's championship chances mentioned above. He also had nice words for Eric Ebron, calling him "the best tight end in the country" and true freshman T.J. Logan, who he would love to see play as a true freshman. Renner stressed that this was a coaching decision, of course, but that will have a lot of fans drooling from now until late August at the possibility. The quarterback also spoke briefly about his time at the Manning camp, and praised the two pros for their willingness to discuss coverage and reads with the college kids working the camp.
Martin was mostly asked about last season's penchant for the defense to both give up big plays and dominate the fourth quarter. The latter he attributed to conditioning, especially in the summer. So far this year they've been working at a harder pace than last year, so expect that trend to continue. As for the big plays, Martin hinted that it was a consequence of players not knowing the defense well enough. Hopefully with another year of experience we'll be seeing less of those. Both players mentioned the large Finish sign hanging in the practice facility, affixed there as a reminder of the extent conditioning is relied on, as well as the season's goals.
As for conference commissioner John Swofford, he gave a much more subdued performance than at the beginning of the month in New York. SBNation has full coverage, but he primarily emphasized the stability of the conference (once Maryland is swapped for Louisivlle, of course) and it's large footprint. The potential for an ACC Network is being studied, but expect at least three years before it comes to fruition. The two football divisions are pretty set the way the are, and future locations for the championship game should be finalized by the end of the year. As Charlotte has sold out two of its three hosting opportunities, it's an obvious front runner for more, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more off-the-wall ideas, like New York being given serious consideration.
Oh, and one more thing. According to Twitter, Renner was asked if he knows Fats Thomas. He does not, and now some poor Pack Pride member will be up half the night rearranging the headshot and red string on his Homeland conspiracy wall. So that's a shame.