Here's what James Franklin had to say during his media availability on Tuesday.
On the play through two games of returning starting wide receivers Juwan Johnson (at least three drops) and DeAndre Thompkins (zero catches):
"I think both Juwan and DeAndre have higher standards and expectations on how they want to play. I have the utmost confidence in those guys, and I think they're both going to have huge years for us. But yeah, I think there's a few plays that they'd like to have back, there's no doubt about it. I thought we made a huge step, which is critical in our offense, in the perimeter blocking game. I think those guys took big steps, significant steps."
On cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who had his second interception and seventh of his career against Pitt:
"Amani is long. He's got great ball skills. He's got tremendous confidence. He's also been in the system for a long time now and he's developed. He's mature. He believes in himself. He believes in the system. He's got that ability to find the ball. When we were at Vanderbilt, we had a guy, Casey Hayward, same deal. He always seemed to be around the ball, the ball liked him, and I see that with Amani.
On the group of tight ends who succeeded Mike Gesicki, now with the Miami Dolphins:
"I do think we've got to be more complete. Mike was freakishly athletic, as we all know, in the passing game. It's no knock on them because I think they all have a chance to be really good tight ends and have great careers. I don't know if any of them have the freakish physical characteristics that Mike did but I could also make the argument, because of where they are at in their careers and where we are as a program, that maybe they have a chance to be more complete in college."
On his tone in talking with highly touted freshman running back Ricky Slade, who lost two fumbles against Pitt:
"There's got to be a clear understanding and standard that that's not acceptable because it's preventable. I think that is critical but also, not taking it too far. I thought our coaches and our players handled it really well in the locker room. Typically that's an issue with young backs … holding on to the football because they are getting hit harder than they have ever gotten hit in their life and they are getting bigger, stronger guys trying to rip the ball out more than they ever had in their life."
On observing the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks: