O'Brien: 'It Doesn't Surprise Us At All'

RALEIGH, NC -- Head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media on Thursday morning to discuss the Pack's upcoming game against Virginia.

Tom O'Brien

Where you concerned R.J. Mattes could have gone elsewhere?
Well certainly [R.J. Mattes] could have gone elsewhere, his father played at UVA, he grew up wanting to go there. It was a tough battle and I think Jim Bridge did a great job recruiting him and told him that he was a North Carolina kid now and he should come to North Carolina State.

How has he been this year?
He's been fine, he's getting better. He's much more comfortable, he had to move from the right side to the left side so it took a little bit of adjustment but just like everyone else up front he's gotten better as the season has gone on.

What are biggest advantages to a bye?
[Healing from injuries] are the best things [from a bye week] but I think you also get a chance to go back and evaluate what you've done, whether it be offense, defense or special teams. What's good, what's bad and what needs to be emphasized in the second half of the year.

It seems Mike Glennon has acquitted himself nicely with the way he has played this year.
It doesn't surprise us at all. We're not surprised by the way [Mike Glennon] has played. We saw that through spring practice and through being around the kid. As we've talked about before, he's had a brother who's gone through this. He's lived maybe vicariously a little bit through is brother so I think he knew how to handle the situation.

The best way to handle it is what he did, take care of his business himself. Make sure he's doing what he has to do to be the type of quarterback he is and I think his talent has shown and with the receivers stepping up and catching the ball a little bit it's helped him out a lot too.

Given that your problems have been on defense, would your record be any different if Russell was your quarterback?
I have no idea... Probably not, because it hasn't been lack of offense. You could say that here or there, but there isn't anything throw wise or leadership wise offensively that would be any different at this point in the season.

Thoughts on Rob Crisp's progression.
[Rob Crisp's snaps] will continue to go up. He's practicing better, he's doing the things he has to do, he's much more comfortable doing things.

We've gotten into a little rotation now, actually Overgaard is playing a little bit of guard so [Crisp, Overgaard and Christophe] will continue to rotate around. Generally Friday we'll talk about how that is going to rotate. Rob has stepped up a lot. He's doing many things better than he was coming out of camp. He's warranted the opportunity to play more.

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