O'Brien: Pack Lacks Leadership

RALEIGH, NC -- Head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the Pack's upcoming game against South Alabama.

Tom O'Brien

"We didn't practice Sunday, we took Sunday off. We practice tomorrow morning. We spent some time on the film and then with this week and the short week next week you have to give them some time."

"We used our time wisely to break down what happened last Saturday and put it behind us. Actually, we then met and watched a 9/11 tape, the red bandana about the kid from Boston College and talked about that."

"The only good thing about the Wake tape is that they were as disappointed or more disappointed than I was after they reviewed it yesterday. As we say, that's a good thing. The key will be can we now show up and practice?

"We have to practice better and got back to the fundamental aspects. A lot of it was fundamental football, individual breakdowns that allowed big plays to happen. We spent all week last week practicing on that and then you still let it happen, that's the discouraging part about it."

"That's always been a key and certainly it's something we have to correct. The situation that we're in right now is our three best pass rushers aren't playing. We weren't able to get any pressure on the quarterback Saturday with a four-man rush. Other kids were pressed into action really fast, hopefully we'll do a better job coaching them up this week."

"It was the technique that we weren't executing what we were supposed to be doing. There is a reason why those things happen. It wasn't anything new and unique it was just a lack of execution on our part. That's what was so discouraging."

"I don't think [Jeff Rieskamp] will make it this week from what Phil said. Who knows but if he's able to get on the field by Wednesday then we'll go from there. He's week-to-week. Sweezy is one week into it and Teal is one week into it, recovering."

"I thought the backs ran hard, I thought they had good vision. We ran the ball effectively enough. That was one of the things we wanted to do. I thought [Mike Glennon] played extremely well for his second game to be put in that situation to make the plays that he made shows maturity beyond a second start. T.J. Graham and Tobais Palmer made plays in the perimeter. That's a positive for us. We gave up no sacks under a lot of pressure. Those are things to build on offense."

"We punted the ball extremely well, I mean night and day. [Will Baumann] took a big step forward. Much more comfortable out there and three of them ended up inside the 20 and two inside the 10 I believe. The field goal kicking was good, 45 yards into the wind at a time when you needed it. A couple of the kickoffs hung 4 seconds or more which is what you want. Those two kids made strides going forward."

"I'd be hard-pressed to find somebody on defense, it was all on the offense and kicking side of the game. Wake was a better football team certainly than they were a year ago, the quarterback was much improved."

"I made the comment after the game that we have to find some leadership, we're still searching for it. What happened when Sweezy got hurt, the whole dynamics of that unit changed. We have to be able to survive without that. We haven't been able to find that one person to make it work. You find guys that are really important to units."

"South Alabama is a program that's being built. A lot of great speed. The offensive coordinator was the guy that was at South Florida when we played them so a lot of the same things out of that background that we've played before. Defensively, they list themselves as a three-down but for the first two games this year they've only had two guys with their hands on the ground, everybody else is standing around. A lot of speed on defense. A lot of transfers from Division-1 schools coming back down so they have a lot of talent. They are undefeated, I don't think they've ever been behind in a football game."

"This is not disrespecting South Alabama at all, but we need a good week of practice after what we just went through. I'm sure they will be a tough foe and they will come in here and this is their Super Bowl, but it's a good thing we're not playing another ACC game on the road at this point in the season. If that makes sense."

"Practice is always rigorous. I don't think we can make it more rigorous. Practice is set up to practice hard and if you practice right and conditioned right you can play the game. We have a couple guys that in our analysis haven't been practicing all that well and they better start practicing well or they are going to continue to play poorly. That's my fault and the coaches fault, we have to make that happen."

"I don't want to embarrass anybody, I don't do that publicly. They've been told and they'll be told again and they'll be told again. They may have me riding on their back."

"When you have your breakthrough year, the next year is always the toughest because people take you a little more serious. The team gets that attitude that, 'hey, we're pretty good, we can just go play' and that's why we started harping from the 8th of January on that you have to everything better this year than you did last year. It's a thing that you have to always be alert for."


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