O'Brien: "We Made Some Progress"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media following Thursday's practice and discussed an upcoming scrimmage and what he would like to see from young players in key positions.

Tom O'Brien

How do you feel about what you've seen so far?
I thought we took a step back on Tuesday, but we made some progress today. That's the key thing. We're going to scrimmage for the first time on Saturday, so hopefully they've learned something and it will be a better test to see where we are once we evaluate the tape.

What is the setup of Saturday's scrimmage?
It's just a set number of plays, not situational. Just trying to get guys maybe 25 to 30 plays to see what they've learned and the only situational stuff will be to put the ball in different places on the field. It's more for number of plays and just getting guys out there to see if they have learned anything.

Will the first team go against the first team and the second against the second?
Always, in the spring that's the best way to go. And we've got threes, so that's a good thing. We get some three versus three for the first time.

How is the spring going for your inexperienced group of linebackers?
Saturday will give us a little better indication. We changed some things up on them this week, which was by choice. Once you start the season things are going to change each and every week so you have to challenge them. It's a position that is like our kicking situation was last spring, where nobody had played.

They're making progress but I think we'll know better after Saturday.

Speaking of kicking, how much more improved is that this spring thanks to experience?
Well, it's like 1000 percent better than last spring because we didn't kick the ball last spring. I think Niklas Sade missed his first field goal today, he's been kicking much better. Wil has been punting the ball and trying to get more elevation on it, and the distance is coming as they get stronger.

Those kids are going to be better, we're getting a little more work in the spring than we have in the past.

How different is Mike Glennon this spring as opposed to last spring?
Well, last year even though he knew the offense it was his first time executing. Now, he's executed, he knows it. Now it's all about being fundamentally better and then helping the young kids. He's got some young guys out there. He is a leader out there, but he's got some guys up front in the offensive line that have played too. There is a little bit more experience on the offense than we've had ever coming back.

Has he done the leadership things that you'd like him to do?
Yeah, but he's getting help. As I said before, it's good to have seniors on the offensive line. They seem to run the thing more than anybody else. There is more than one guy involved in that so that's good for us.

What kind of spring has Brandan Bishop had?
Well those kids in the secondary, there is an awful lot of experience and it's showing right now. Brandan is picking off balls and doing the things he is supposed to be doing. It's good to have that experience in all of them.

I mentioned to Coach Archer today that Earl Wolff, I watched him one whole drill, he had a tendency to peek in the backfield. He's reading his keys better and doing the things he is supposed to do. Hopefully we can build on those things.

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