O'Brien: Dependability Matters

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tom O'Brien met the media following Tuesday's practice and discussed a number of topics including the progress being made at wide receiver.

Tom O'Brien Audio

Thoughts on J.R. Sweezy's injury:
It's a really tough blow for J.R., as hard as he's trained and everything he has done. It's a setback for him.

Injuries are a part of this game. One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity. So, we'll figure it out here in the next week and get ready to play against Liberty.

Who do you see stepping up?
I don't know. We'll have to figure it out from here.

Thoughts on replacing injuries, Jarvis Byrd injury:
He was gone before camp so that's easy to play with. You understand he was hurt, he's not going to be here and you make plans from there.

Injuries are a part of this game. That's why you have to have depth and you've got to train guys that are able to step in.

It's someone else's opportunity now and they have to make the most of it.

Are they hanging their heads now with the recent injuries?
No, I think they are fine. I think they got used to it a couple of years ago. We had a revolving door of guys in-and-out.

Everyone knows they have to step up and do their job and they have to play harder to make up for the loss of J.R. [Sweezy].

Thoughts on final scrimmage:
We gave a lot of the young kids an opportunity. A lot of the veterans didn't scrimmage, we didn't put them in that situation, they had already played.

For some of them it was our last chance to look at some of the freshmen and after 20 practices to give them a chance to see if they've learned anything... if they can help us this year or they need to be redshirted.

Thoughts on wide receiver play:
For a while there they were up-and-down, but I think they've been much more consistent here this last week which is good for us.

What we need out of them is consistency. If they continue to work the way they have and catch the ball the way they have we should be fine.

Is it still the older guys leading the way?
It still goes with Jay Smith and T.J. [Graham]. Those two have been around and played the most. I think they are the ones that are setting the pace for the younger guys.

Thoughts on freshman Hakeem Flowers:
He's one of the freshmen, he's still learning. I think it showed up in the scrimmage on Sunday. If you're thinking, you're not playing fast, and if you're not playing fast you aren't able to play on this level.

Thoughts on Mike Glennon's progress:
He's been fine. He's got better each and every practice, and he understands his reads. He gets his back foot down, he delivers the football, and someone better be there because it's coming.

Any update on Tony Creecy?
No, I have no injury update. I'll have an injury update next Monday.

Thoughts on freshmen playing:
The thing it goes back to with freshmen is sometimes it's not the best athlete or most talented guy who plays. It's the guy who understands and is the most dependable. That's still the most important ability... dependability.

A freshman is going to play if we can count on him and he knows where to go and what to do. It doesn't matter what the talent level is. He's got to be dependable and do the things he has to do so we can be successful on offense and defense.

Do Thomas Teal, A.J. Ferguson, and Carlos Gray have to grow up fast?
I don't know if they have to grow up fast, it's all apart of their natural progression.

Some of those young guys get their opportunity and we'll see what they can make of it.

Thoughts on redshirt freshman wide receiver Bryan Underwood:
Bryan is probably more inconsistent than most of those young guys right now, which is a function of being young.

I think he has great speed and when the ball gets in his hands he can make a lot of things happen. But, right now he is working hard to make sure he is in the spot he's supposed to be in so he can get the ball and do something with it.

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