"It's almost like the first or second game," he said. "You want to see the guys who haven't played before. They get a chance, finally, to play in that scrimmage where they have to tackle. You're out here and not tackling, it's not realistic.
"They got a chance to see themselves [in the first scrimmage] on tape. They got a chance to correct their mistakes. Hopefully we've done that these last couple of practices and now it's a time to see if we've got better. You're going to make mistakes... can you learn from it and get better so you don't make the same mistake again? Those are the biggest things we look for."
O'Brien didn't sound pleased with the competition level in the first scrimmage, and he hopes that changes Friday night.
"I want to see a little more competition," he said. "We were a little tired last time so hopefully we'll have a little more enthusiasm out there and go against each other a little tougher."
Caldwell Takes The Field
NC State is looking for someone to step up at linebacker, especially at weakside where the Pack lost sophomore Michael Peek for the season this week when he went down with a torn ACL.
Junior college transfer Robert Caldwell arrived to campus late and was finally cleared this week. In 2011, Caldwell played in eight games for College of the Desert (CA), totaling 61 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks from his linebacker position.
According to O'Brien, it's been tough to gauge Caldwell's progress because he has yet to participate in full pads due to NCAA rules.
"It's kind of tough," said O'Brien. "He hasn't been able to get into... we're in full pads and he's not into that spot so he's only had limited play.
"He's a big body that seems to move good. It's a question... he's got a lot to learn and that's the thing I think is the toughest thing right now... all the learning he has to do."
Manny Will Play
Don't expect true freshman Manny Stocker to redshirt this year. After Tyler Brosius left the program, O'Brien announced that Stocker will be the backup quarterback this fall. He was able to enroll in the spring and O'Brien sounds optimistic about his future.
"We're treating him like a redshirt freshman," said O'Brien. "He's already been through spring practice so he's way ahead. Who knows? We're going to end up better at that position than we were a year ago I think."