Doeren: Offensive Balance Is Critical

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media just a couple of days before facing East Carolina.

Dave Doeren

Talk about how Drew Davis has progressed at defensive end after moving from linebacker.
It's a little bit more of a natural position for [Drew Davis]. He's always been fast. He's a physical kid, he chases the ball, but at linebacker there's a lot more information to process. I think he can just play, and his athleticism shows up because of that.

I've dealt with guys like that who don't play as fast as they train and then you move them to another spot and you see all that stuff you've been seeing in the offseason program... that's what you've seen from him.

It's really been a good boost for him and us.

How has Brandon Mitchell handled the ups-and-downs of the season?
Brandon is a very spiritual kid. I think he believes, some people say it, things happen for a reason, but he's one of those guys that actually believes that. He understands that the plan that is front of him is for him to have to face that test.

I think he's handled it really well. I know he wants to play well this week. That's really important to him and he's spent two really good days throwing the football around. I'm excited to watch him.

Is he able to play?
He's going to start. He feels good. It's a lot different than last week.

How much do you think missing those five or six weeks with the injury stunted his growth at quarterback?
Yes, he was never the starting quarterback at the last school so he's never had that ability to go game-to-game-to-game and progress. He's always been an athlete doing what they've asked him to do.

It hurt a lot. Just look at our freshmen. Look how much better Ramos is playing because he's had all these games to improve. Even though Brandon is a senior he's really like a freshman as a quarterback.

It's hurt him a lot.

What does ECU do so well on defense?
They've got seven seniors and two juniors, that's the first thing. They've been in Ruffin's system now three or four years.

I'd like to think that in my third or fourth year here if I had a guy that's a three or fourth-year starter I'd see the same results out of those kinds of kids.

In the past, that's what I've seen, guys that are in a program for a long period of time play to the best of their ability because there is no thinking for them... they also have a couple of guys that are playing at a really high level.

They are playing with confidence and their offense is scoring a lot of points. For them, it's a little easier when you're up by 30 to play good defense because you know plays are coming at you. They haven't had a lot of tight games where the offense has been able to be balanced against them. Hopefully we can do that.

Can you talk about enrolling six guys from the next recruiting class?
I wish I could get 25 in early. It's huge. They'll get in here like Bra'Lon and Cole did last year and they'll develop a lot faster than the other kids. The offseason training, get stronger, and they'll also be able to get an academic semester under their belt.

They'll learn the system so when fall camp comes around they aren't learning, they'll be able to play. We need them to be able to play.

How much does it help in terms of numbers?
Almost every position group it would be great to add a guy.

For us, we started the season with the fewest number of returning starters and all that other garbage, and with all the injuries we've had, we need to add talent and we need to add competition to our roster. The faster it gets here the better we'll be.

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