University of Miami interim football coach Larry Scott fielded questions Saturday morning following the team's final regular season game and 29-24 win at Pittsburgh on Friday.
Here's what was discussed:
** On Brad Kaaya's play since returning from the concussion in the loss to Clemson... "He came back and stepped right back in the saddle, did a great job with the game plan. He did a great job trusting the receivers -- all of them. He hasn't just been locked in on one guy either. He's done a great job putting the ball where it needed to be put, spread it around. He's come back really strong."
** On Joe Yearby getting close to 100 rushing yards on Friday and why he hasn't hit the 100-yard mark in a game since the loss at Cincinnati... "Joe's pretty close to reaching the 1,000-yard mark, which would be awesome for us as a team. The offensive line has been young, had some injuries. To still get him close to 1,000 yards is a feat for us all."
** Assuming UM goes in another direction with coach, how will Scott handle the next few weeks? "We're going to move forward with the recruiting calendar and do our job. Right now we're in a position to continue moving the program forward. It starts with recruiting, with a contact period that starts tomorrow. We're going to continue to move forward and sell the brand and what the University of Miami has to offer."
** What have the last 24 hours been like for Scott personally... "It's actually been fun, rewarding to watch the kids respond the way they've responded. They've been resilient, they've stayed together, they've kept working and kept feeding off what we were giving them. It was good to see them push through it and have the finish at the end of the year we talked about having and working so hard to do it. It's pretty emotional for me."
** What is the talent-level on this team for next year? It seems like this team can play with anybody.. "There's definitely talent on this team, and there's guys that are some really good players. One of the things we keep stressing to them is once your effort meets your talent level on the field it makes you a pretty formidable opponent. There is some talent on this team, some really good young players that are returning. And we're going to continue to recruit and build the talent level across the board from top to bottom."
** On if there is some personal pride about what he and the staff have done over the last five games... "We've been talking to the kids about having pride and what we're doing. Around the room there was a really high pride factor about what we were able to accomplish and that we were able to accomplish it all together. It wasn't perfect. But it was a fun ride. As coaches we needed to be out front, be the leaders and they followed."
** On what Scott says he tells recruiting commitments... "Even if things weren't in the circumstances they are in, what you always put out deep in front of the recruiting process is what is tangible. It's academically, athletically and socially what the University of Miami has to offer. That's tangible. The rest of it is intangibles."
** On what the players schedule is going to be moving forward... "Their schedule is going to give them a few days of being students, spending time with their families. We put them on a plane and took them away for Thanksgiving. So we're going to give them a couple days to catch up with their families, let their bodies heal. So we'll focus on academics as we get closer to exam time. Really it's the other side of what they do. Being an 18, 19-year-old and enjoying friends and family and being students. That's what the schedule will be for a couple days before we get into the bowl schedule, lifting and running and those type of things."
** On if there is a date in mind as far as when the team will get back together... "No. We've got a couple different [bowl] scenarios out. Once we get a little closer we'll lay that schedule out."
** On if he's had a conversation yet with athletic Blake James about keeping the job... "I have not and really because of what the focus was, it was just on the kids and moving the kids forward and getting them well prepared to each week. It's just been really a narrow focus by us. I have not [spoken with Blake James about being interviewed for the job]. Those are the things I'm not in control of. We'll kind of just take it day-by-day as far as those things unfolding."
** This is the time of year kids are thinking of leaving early. How is Scott handling that? "That's definitely something we're looking into and looking at with some of our kids, just preparing them and making sure they understand and are armed with all the information through this process. They have a team of people on this side that always make sure they represent them and their families in their best interest. It's an educational process you have to walk them through and help them deal with. When you have those situations come up that's always going to be a topic of conversation at some point."
** Have any underclassmen approached Scott yet about leaving... "No. But we've had communication with guys that those opportunities may present themselves. But I haven't been approached by any player per say."
** If Scott is retained is he looking for a head coaching job at another school? "It's one of those funny things you have to take it day-by-day and kind of explore whatever options present themselves and then look at it. I'm always going to make any decision I make with my families best interest at heart. I don't know how this thing is going to unfold. That's the uncertainty you're faced with. Those things will kind of take care of themselves as they unfold."
** Generally speaking do Scott feel pretty good about the opportunities the rest of the staff will have to find a job? "Every guy that went down this process were pros about it. When we first started out this thing we were asked to reevaluate and look back and reflect on why you got into coaching. They're all pros and really good football coaches. We all know the nature of the business, how it works."