O'Brien: 'The Key Is Staying Healthy'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media today to update spring practice.

Tom O'Brien

"Everybody is around. The only person injury-wise out all spring is Jarvis Byrd. Everybody else should make it back at some point right now. The same thing as every spring, a little bumps or bruises... but no one is projected to miss."

"I'm not practicing Carlos Gray. It's nothing disciplinary wise. It's an academic situation. He has to continue to do what he is doing. He is the only guy that will be out all spring."

"There are no distractions for us. It's you guys that were distracted."

"[Mike Glennon's] starting point is much better than a year ago because he has played... he knows the offense, he understands it. He can spend more time on the little things that can make him a better quarterback."

"We've got the same guys we had last year. Brosius is still here. Brian Taylor, who is a little dinged up right now, is off his redshirt year. Manny [Stocker] gets a head start on a lot of things. It's good he is here to be able to compete. He'll be in a much better position to compete for the job in August."

"[Mustafa Greene] is doing alright. We're not going to do too much with him. He's going to get some work here and there. The key with him is to make sure he can wake up and go the next day."

"Sterling is getting more work than Mustafa. His wasn't as serious in nature... Sterling is doing everything."

"We only have six or seven scholarship [linebackers]. It is what it is. They have to, coach Tenuta said he has to find guys that can play. That's what he is working on. Whatever combination that comes out of it."

"We're in a similar situation to a year ago [at wideout] when we lost three guys. Tobias and Bryan Underwood have shown flashes, they can be really good wide receivers. I think the key is going to be the freshmen, Maurice Morgan and Hakeem Flowers. To see if they can step up. They are very talented. It's a question of them being experienced and getting confidence and making plays. That's also a position freshmen can come in and help you."

"I believe [wide receiver] is where [Rashard Smith] is best suited and can best help us this year."

"We hope so, these guys have been four and five years in the making. They have to be able to step up and play. Getting Mattes back in a week or so will hopefully solidify that. There is more scholarship guys and more guys that have been in the program, more depth than we've ever had and that creates competition with guys competing for playing time."

"The key is staying healthy. There are going to be some positions where we won't have a lot of depth and can't afford injuries, but as long as we stay healthy I think we have a chance at being a pretty good football team."

"He is fresh and they are fresh to him. They've got to impress him if they want to play."

"[The expectation for Forrest West] is that he can come in and get in the rotation and help us. He played two years in whatever league they were in that time... having played in that level and started at that level he has some experience he can fall back on. Now he has to learn our defense, but he is a good football player. I think he is going to find his way on to the field."

"Corey has really done a good job. This is his school, it's important to him, and he's happy to be back home. It's a good change of pace for the team. As they come out of the strength and conditioning area they are tired, they are dragging, but they are all smiling. That's a good thing. I know he is working them hard. A little more hands-on than we've seen in the past, but the kids are reacting well to him."

"I like the way that we go into the first four before we go into the ACC... that's a great way to start. Certainly the Tennessee game has had an impact on this team. When you look at a game like that, everything has a little more emphasis and determination in what they do knowing they have to play that game."

"[The secondary] has to be a strength. It's their last year for a lot of those kids, you're going to have three seniors and a junior, and they've all played for three or four years. So, they have to give us what we need back there. The best thing we can do is rush the passer with four. That will help them out a lot."

"It obviously impacts because we know that, you don't have to worry about it. They threw at [Amerson] in the bowl game."

"Certainly he had a great year last year, but when we had our awards and senior dinner he was the most valuable player voted by his teammates. I made them all talk, and he said last year really means nothing, it's all about what he does now, and working to get better... certainly I think he has his mindset in the right direction to what he has to do to help us win."

"I think the secondary brings a lot of [leadership] because of their experience. Sterling Lucas certainly does. You have to look at the offensive line, guys like Wentz, you get Mattes back out there, Zach Allen, they have to provide it for you and then quarterback."

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