Thursday, March 31, 2011

Q&A with N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien

N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien has a quarterback who's performing well, a couple linebackers adjusting to position changes and two talented defensive backs returning from significant injuries in spring practice.

Here's a sampling of what O'Brien had to say to reporters after this morning's session:

Q: Can you talk about the progress Audie Cole is making in the middle and why he is a good fit at middle linebacker?
A: He’s a good fit because he’s our best player. He’s our most experienced guy. He will make strides the longer he’s in there. He’s always been on the perimeter. It’s a little different from last year, when Nate [Irving], who always had been the box player, had just moved over a gap. Everything is different for him right now but he’s smart enough to figure it out and a good enough athlete that the more reps he gets, the better he’ll be.

Q: You moved D.J. Green to linebacker as an experiment. How’s that working?
A: It’s the same thing. He played a little bit of nickel back, which is the same thing, same position. There’s not as much learning curve, other than he’s a young, inexperienced guy that’s got to get in the games and get reps and do things like that. He’s got enough ability. He’ll see things out there. He has enough time to see them and react. Hopefully, he’s working hard, just like everybody is, and is starting to get a little better. The more he understands, the faster he will play.

Q: How has [Mike] Glennon performed so far?
A: He’s been fine. I don’t see any problem with him at all. He still can make all the throws. He’s got a good command of the offense. He understands what we’re trying to do. The thing he’s got to do is, the receivers have got to get on the same page with him. That’s where things are lacking in the passing game. It isn’t the quarterback. It’s the receivers.

Q: What are your impressions of Rashard Smith since he has come back?
A: I think he and Jarvis [Byrd] both have come back thinking that they should be the starting cornerback. That’s helped. We’ve created competition. Competition is good. Guys are fighting for jobs, and they’re hungry right now. They want to be part of the football team. It’s tough to sit out a year and watch, especially when you’re having success.

Q: They’re thinking [they should] start, but are they showing signs of being able to do it?
A: Not right now. They both had some pretty severe injuries. We’re kind of watching both of them. We don’t want to overstress them and have them get set back injury wise. The most important thing is to get them through the 15 days of spring.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Cannot wait for Wolfpack football!!!! Great coach, good team, and likable schedule. Fingers crossed for a great 2011 football season!