O'Brien Talks Spring Practice

RALEIGH, NC -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media to discuss the first day of spring practice.

Tom O'Brien

Opening Thoughts:
It's not unlike other first days. You can tell the guys who have played before from the guys who it is their first day out.

The key to spring is getting better everyday. This is the starting point. We have to learn from today and we have to continue to get better when we get out there on Saturday.

Did you sense some rust?
There's some good things that went on, but it's still not the consistency you need. With the way we do spring it's tough to have consistency because we spread it out to make sure that we get everybody out every practice because of the bumps and bruises you have once you put pads on.

But there is a different feel.

Thoughts on Mike Glennon:
I think he was going a little too fast today, probably a little too excited to be out here, but he's just got to relax and play.

He has a ton of ability. He's just got to make it work for him. He's one guy that will certainly get better because he works so hard at it.

Thoughts on linebacker changes:
With Jon, he's always put his best guy at middle linebacker. When you look at it, the best linebacker we have is Audie COle. He's certainly the smartest guy out there, and that's the key to the middle linebacker, to get the defense aligned and in position to play. I think he will be fine.

D.J. Green will be an experiment at field linebacker, but certainly when you look at him out there he's a pretty guy standing out there. [Laughing] We'll see if he can make plays. You can't just be pretty.

What was your thinking in moving Green there?
The fact that he can run. He's a football player. There's a lot of good things we saw, that's why we played him last year as a freshman.

You try to get more speed on the field, you try to get better players on the field.

But spring is about experimentation too. We may move a lot of guys around here the next couple of days because its all about getting a better starting point when you come back in August. Then when you play the first game you have your 11 best on offense and defense on the field.

Does Green play the same position at E.J. Carter?
No, Carter is an inside guy.

Where was Carter today?
Carter isn't going to be here all spring because he hasn't done what he is supposed to do academically. When he does he can come back out here.

Does that push him back?
I'd say it would push him way back.

The experimentation, you're not married to anything.
No, not at all. We've got a lot of work to do. As I told them, it's an organizational chart and if you're not happy where you are then you've got to do something about it.

We're looking for competition, and we're looking for guys to win spots.

Looks like all of your guys in the secondary are back.
David Amerson is just coming off mono right now so he's got another five or six days before he can go full speed. He's the only one.

Experience is a great thing. Getting Smith and Byrd back, both are guys who started as freshmen. It's going to add depth and it's going to add competition, which is good.

Do you talk to your guys on day one about goals?
No. They talked about it. I don't have to talk to them about it. They know where we are and what we've got to accomplish.

Do you like that you don't have to stress it?
Certainly. Anything is better when it comes from the team. The best teams I've ever been around are the teams that have leadership from within.

That's something we've worked on. We got better at that last year, and hopefully we'll be better at that this year. Those are winning teams.

George Bryan looks to be stepping up as a vocal leader.
I think he has to. That's all part of this too, we're going to find out who those guys are.

That's the great thing about college football.. the dynamic of the team changes, and you get to see kids grow and step into those leadership roles.

You feel like a proud parent in that way?.
Absolutely. We're supposed to be teaching leadership, that's a part of this... to watch them grow, take the challenge, push each other. That's fun for me.

Anything planned for St. Patrick's Day?
Yes, I'm going to drink responsibly and I hope everybody else does. I'm not going to drive, I promise you that.

The good thing about being in Boston is it would be a long weekend, Thursday-Monday [laughing].


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