O'Brien: Pack Trying to get its 'Legs Back'

RALEIGH -- Head coach Tom O'Brien addressed the media on Monday afternoon, discussing the team's upcoming game with Cincinnati.

On Cincinnati's success the last few years

"With them being the only college team in town I think everybody pulls for them now. It's great to see that they made the most of their opportunity when they had the chance to go to the Big East. When you win 33 games like they have the past three seasons, which is fourth in the BCS right now, it just shows how far that program has come and how good they really are."

On the Cincinnati offense

"It all revolves around the quarterback Collaros. It's fortunate for us, a blessing in disguise to have Godfrey come in the game. Certainly that's what we're going to have to face this week. He can hurt you throwing the ball and he's going to run the ball. Looking back at Central Michgian their quarterback was the leading ball carrier and they have a lot of designed runs and they have carried it over to Cincinnati. The whole offense revolves around him."

On the difficulty of playing in the Florida heat

"The biggest strain is having to play at night and those of you that were there it was pretty hot and muggy on the field. Certainly that takes a lot out of you and it drains you physically and it's tough to come back from that. It takes a couple days to get your legs back and we had a lot of guys play a lot of plays there at the end and that's my biggest concern. We were sluggish today, not a lot of quickness out there and going out there playing against a team like this that has great speed we're going to have to play fast and certainly that's the biggest disadvantage we have right now."

On the quick turn-around in the schedule

"That's a question for the ACC. I'm just a guy in this thing. I'm the guy that has to coach them and bring them back and get them ready to play Thursday night. The ACC and television decided we were playing Thursday night I guess."

On the lessons learned from UCF

"We had to find out who and what we were on defense. We obviously didn't play base defense the first night, there were some things we thought could help us be a better defensive football team. Certainly winning the game the way we did on defense the way it was won was a great confidence builder. That's one thing they needed on defense, to play with sow confidence. Especially some of the young kids."

On Audie Cole

"It's a compilation of what we talked about, trying to get better each and every week that you play. If you show up and you practice hard and you work hard and carry that over to the games, you can't help but get better. [Audi Cole] has the physical ability to be an excellent linebacker. It was a question of the mental aspect of it, figuring out where he was supposed to be and when he was supposed to be there and the anticipation comes with playing, being on the football field. And he never comes off."

On the defensive improvements

"I don't think the defense is a lot different in regular defense than it was a year ago, when regular people are on the field. It may be tying the defense together, the organization of it. A lot of the things we're doing now we've done before but there aren't a lot of new blitzes that we haven't done."

On changes to the defensive scheme

"The difference in the base personnel is that we've moved to some 30 front defense which Coach Archer did with Coach Cowher with the Steelers. That was a product of Akinniyi being able to stand up and play linebacker and Audi Augustin. Organizationally, I think tying packages instead of just calling blitzes, that's part of the package Jon [Tenuta] brought with him. Where he has helped more is in the third down defense."

On Russell Wilson's progression

"He's still feeling his way and getting in the swing of things. You can't give up football in November and pick up a ball up in August and think you're going to be on top of your game. He has to continue to work."

On the schedule for the short week

"We're trying to go through a normal practice week but we've certainly cut a lot. We aren't doing as much hitting trying to get our legs back."

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