Monday, November 2, 2009

Some credit for Roof from Pack's O'Brien

The most unexpected college football news conference quotes Monday probably came from the Murphy Center conference room when N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien was asked about Duke’s success under David Cutcliffe.

After praising Cutcliffe, O’Brien had kind words for Ted Roof, who was 6-45 as Duke’s head coach. This wasn’t intended as a slight of Cutcliffe.

O’Brien has admired Cutcliffe since they became acquainted as assistants coaching Tennessee (Cutcliffe) and Virginia (O’Brien) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1991. With Duke at 5-3 with three straight ACC wins under Cutcliffe, O’Brien was asked about Cutcliffe’s success.

“He went to Mississippi,” O’Brien said. “God only knows why they let him go. He’s a good football coach. He’s got some good football players, too, and that helps. He’s done really a fabulous job.”

But O’Brien also had kind words for Roof, whose firing after the 2007 season paved the way for Cutcliffe to take the helm. Roof recruited top Blue Devil veterans such as quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and defensive linemen Vince Oghobaase and Ayanga Okpokowuruk.

“I think Ted Roof did a pretty good job recruiting some guys, too,” O’Brien said. “There are some guys on that football team that if they didn’t have (them), they may not be playing the way they are. Thad Lewis has learned a lot in four years. He’s taken his beating, but four years later he’s dishing out some beatings. And that’s all part of growing up, and that’s all part of maturity, and that’s all part of execution. He’s in a good offense for him, and that’s all a part of good coaching, too.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Cutcliffe will probably be saying the same thing about O'Brien in three or four years.

MichaelProcton said...

Funny, one would have imagined he'd have been able to, you know, win a game or two a year if he was so good.