O'Brien: Pack Accomplished Goals This Spring

N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien wrapped up spring football today during a teleconference with the media. O'Brien discussed the decision to go with Mike Glennon at quarterback, his defense, and much more.

Opening Comments:
Well, we were very fortunate to get at least half the spring game in before the storm came. We got into the third period and evacuated a couple of hours before it really got dangerous here.

So, we feel that we accomplished a lot of the goals we set out to in the spring and look forward to getting ready to go here in the fall.

How has Mike Glennon progressed this spring?
He made very good progress. This is the third spring that he's been the quarterback, the No. 1 guy in the spring. I think he's ready to take control of this offense. He's as talented as any quarterback that I've had. All those guys at BC he's got as much or more talent than all of them.

He just needs the opportunity to play this fall and he will get that opportunity, and this team looks forward to his leadership as we go forward in the 2011 season.

Are you counting on Mike Glennon as your quarterback? Have you heard anything definitive from Russell Wilson at this point?
Well, we're not waiting on any decision with Russell, he's with the Colorado Rockies. We've made our decision. We're going forward with Michael Glennon as our quarterback.

We look forward to what Mike can do. As I just said, he's as talented as any quarterback I had in my tenure there at Boston College. It's just a matter of him getting to play.

This team is moving forward. We're not going to wait for the Colorado Rockies to make a decision one way or another.

What do you like about Glennon? What are his best assets?
Well, he has a tremendous arm. He can make every throw that has to be made on the football field. He has good leadership. He has a great understanding of the game, and he's a very mature individual.

You lose a couple of veteran kickers, can you just fill me in on how replacements are coming there?
We haven't had any this spring because they are all high school kids. Certainly we got to wait until August to get to them. We have a couple of young guys that have walked on that have done some things for us in the spring that would certainly be able to handle some duties, but we signed, who we think, are very talented young guys who will handle the kicking chores once we get started here in September.

How nervous or comfortable are you with true freshmen handling the kicking?
Not the best situation that you want to be in and certainly there is some concern about it, but it is a situation that we're in and we'll make the best of it.

Of all the goals you had for the spring, Tom, was there one that really had to be hit more than any other?
Our goal is always to get better as individuals. As we broke down the spring here for the last couple of days, I think it was a positive for many, many players on our football team. The moves that we made, Audie Cole to middle linebacker, looks like that is going to be a good move for us.

D.J. Green looks like he's going to be able to handle moving from safety to be the field linebacker spot. I think those were the major moves one way or another as far as positional changes.

Other than that a lot of those young kids that has gotten their brains beat in the last couple of years are starting to mature and are becoming much better and much more confident in the positions that they are playing right now.

I have to ask you, how much of an internal debate was it for you to go ahead and say, "Even though I have a quarterback who could break so many ACC passing records, I am going to sit him on the bench and I'm okay with that?"
Well, I'm not sitting him on the bench. He made a choice to go play baseball. That was his choice. He's choosing a baseball career.

I don't know if he is going to sit on a bench. I have no idea what the outlook is and so we're moving forward. That was the decision we made a long time ago.

Didn't you say though that if he came back that he would be the backup?
That's where he is going to be.

Isn't that the same thing as sitting on the bench?
You can call it what you want to, but that's where he's going to... that was the decision that was made then, and we can't be beholden to outside interest as to who is going to run our football program.

You guys made such an incremental improvement defensively last season... could you, should you be even better in 2011?
Well, we certainly have that chance because of the experience factor. Two years ago we played all those guys as freshmen, and they learned a lot and improved tremendously, as you said, last year. They should be poised to take another jump this year.

That's what we hope will happen and that's what we're coaching them to do, be a much better defensive football team this coming year than we were a year ago. Experience will allow that to happen, we hope.

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