Greensboro, N.C. – Bryn Renner details his health, changes in team discipline, off-season motivation and renewed focus heading into the 2012 season.
Renner at ACC Kickoff Media Days
Q: What has been the biggest adjustment with a new coach and a new system?
“It’s benefited me. I think I can learn more about the spread offense and I really think that I’ve learned a lot from [Offensive Coordinator] Coach (Blake) Anderson since he’s been here. Right after I had ankle surgery I watched all of Southern Miss’ games. I really just took my own notes and then compared them with his. I think we get along really well. We’re both high energy guys along with coach Fedora and I’m really just looking to working with him.”
Q: How do you think the transition from the pro-style will go considering one of your main strengths is your accuracy?
“I’m really looking forward to it. As a quarterback you have to adapt to different defenses so it’s really just another adaption that you have to make. For me as a player and a person, these past three years have been like that almost every day. Learning the new offense has really broadened my horizons as a player and I’m really just looking forward to adding that to my resume.”
Q: How much did the ankle change the way to might have otherwise played last year?
“It’s been a year since I found out that if I got the surgery that it wouldn’t be good. I think last year it was always in the back of my mind. Week in and week out you are always dealing with constant pain. I think it made me tougher and showing my teammates that and I think they have a lot of respect for me and I have a lot of respect for them. The whole year the offensive line was there for me and we have four of them coming back. Honestly, we have one of if not the best offensive lines in the country and they did a great job protecting me. I’m definitely looking forward to being healthy for the first time.”
Q: What is it that makes Larry Fedora a good fit for this program?
“He’s just so disciplined. Seeing him every day and how he acts with the team is really impressive. He’s a guy you can look to for energy, for support and you can go to him at anytime. He’s always makes you be on your toes. No hats in the buildings and no earrings. Just little things like that we needed and I know that everyone on the team respects him and understands he’s our head coach.”
Renner was one of the most accurate QBs in the nation last season
Q: How do you feel about no hats?
“(Laughs) I was honestly a little disappointed. I raised my hand but I’ll abide by team rules. I think the team needs that kind of little discipline to make it over the hump. We’ve always had great athletes but our discipline has been lacking. Can we keep it up the entire year and be the team we want to be? We’ve showed it in spurts but can we keep it up for 12 weeks?”
Q: Larry Fedora said recently that he mentioned the lack of a bowl game and then he hasn’t said anything about it. But how much is that in the back of the team’s mind and maybe a motivation?
“When we heard about the bowl ban I don’t think anyone talked about it before he mentioned it and then that was it. We haven’t said one thing about it and honestly we really don’t care. We have 12 games to play and we’re just really looking forward to playing those one at time. That’s what he’s preached and he’s done a great job about getting our attention moving forward. He’s been the guy we can look to for all the answers.”
Q: People have said it’s terrible for the seniors to not be able to play in a bowl game but no one chose to leave. What does that say about the togetherness and unity of the team?
“I red-shirted so I’m a senior in the classroom and I came in with guys like Erik Highsmith and Kevin Reddick and the rest of the seniors. We have a really great relationship and I can look to any of those guys and say that they’re my brothers. As a team you don’t want to leave anyone behind and I think it says volumes about our character over the past three years. We’re just looking forward to playing together for a stable coach with the fan base behind us.”
Q: How can you tell that the discipline level has changed?
“Just the way that the summer time has gone. Guys are stepping up and motivating others. I think it’s not just the seniors stepping up and saying things but others on the team that didn’t play last year that are in the trenches. It’s guys that are going and giving pointers to others. I think in the past we haven’t had guys keep each other accountable like that.”
Q: So it’s been more on the players than the coaches?
“Absolutely. Its been in our ‘own house’ as we call it.”
Q: Do you feel more targeted this year after the season you just had?
“As a quarterback its going to be like that every game. They’re going to game plan to knock me out. Luckily I’m surrounded by great teammates and guys that I don’t have to throw for 300 yards because we have a great ‘back like Giovani Bernard. I really just want to do my role. Whatever it takes to win whether I have to throw 50 times or hand it off to win. That’s the one thing you have to do as a quarterback every week and that’s not going to change from my end.”
Q: Do you feel a bigger role as an upperclassman?
“I think about this time last year I was a little hesitant to step-up and say something because I hadn’t had that game experience. But going through 13 games with these guys and everyone on the offense that’s coming back…now that I have the game experience from going on road games I can step up and be that leader that we need. When you get game experience that’s when you can lead the most.”
Q: How has this summer been different than in the past?
“After the spring game ended, we all were motivated to get better the next day. We still know that we’re not where we need to be from Fedora’s standings and our own to play Elon in the first game. But I think that we all have the willingness to get better and to watch more film. I’ve seen guys in the film room that I’ve never seen in the past. Little things like guys staying after practice and doing extra reps in the weight room. Just things like that that will keep us motivated with everyone having a clean slate will help us get a jump start as a program.”
Q: How has Jhay Boyd progressed during the offseason? It seems like this is an offense that is geared towards the wide receivers?
“Jhay Boyd has a ton of talent and he’s gotten a lot better. I’ve seen him make strides this summer that I haven’t seen in the past and I really think that he’s going to have a great opportunity to catch the ball in the fall. We’re going to be four and five wide and that’s really going to benefit him. We’ll utilize his speed and I’m really looking forward to seeing that.
“Every week we go in and game-plan for the defenses we face and Jhay Boyd has been a backup (option). But I think that he’s really going to come alive and be a bigger part of the offense…I think he’s definitely made strides in his route running and we’ve grown closer during the summer.”
Q: Where do you see Devon Ramsay fitting into the offense that doesn’t really have a place for a traditional fullback?
“Devon has worked his butt off after being dealt some pretty bad cards. Dealing with the ACL injury, rehabbing and just seeing how hard he has worked…it’s really going to be great to get him a couple touches along the goal line our out of the backfield. We’re definitely going to get him some touches.”
“It very well could be. It’s really awesome that we had Ryan (Houston) and Gio last year and that was ‘thunder and lightening’ and now we have two lightenings. It’s awesome and they compliment each other very well. They have a good friendship and when they have a good relationship then it’s awesome to have them. With Johnny White and Shaun (Draughn), it started with those guys and they call themselves the ‘Dog Pound.’ They’re like their own group and I know they respect each other and know what they can do but also Romar is leaning from Gio and I know that’s the best thing that can happen.”