Senior Joe Thuney will play a pivotal role in NC State's offensive success this season, whether it's at left guard or left tackle. He talked about the upcoming season with Pack Pride.
How do you feel a few weeks away from the first game?
I feel good. I'm a little sore, but that's to be expected.
I like the progress we're making as a squad, as a unit. I look forward to even more improvements.
Coach Doeren mentioned that you're rotating positions from guard to tackle. Is that difficult? What's it been like?
It was difficult at the beginning.
In my sophomore year I was playing center, guard, and tackle so that was tough, but I've got the hang of it. The steps don't feel as funny after the first time doing it in a while.
It's an easier transition than in the past because I've done the transition before. I just know there will be a little growing pains through practice, but I'm comfortable with.
Coach said prior to last season that he felt you could play tackle but it would be better for you and the team if you played guard. What do you think he meant by that?
I'm not 6'7... I don't have the stereotypical body like a Rob Crisp. I feel comfortable moving around in space. Guards pull a lot in our offense, and I can go out there and block second-level defenders... corners and safeties.
I fit well in the interior, but I feel comfortable at both positions. This year it's wherever the coaching staff needs me... whatever fits best for the offensive line and the team.
This is the third year under Doeren and strength coach Jason Veltkamp. Do you feel this team is where it needs to be physically?
You can just see the competitions between the offensive line and defensive line... there are some big contacts, big collisions.
I feel a lot of guys on the team are really strong and very physical. It helps if you have that combination of physicality and being a really strong person.
It makes for really fun, competitive practices, and we've come a long way.
Who are some young offensive linemen that have impressed you?
Will Richardson is doing really well at tackle. Tony [Adams] is young, but he doesn't feel young. He played a lot last year, and he's always been really solid.
Garrett Bradbury has been playing well. He's made the transition from defensive line to offensive line and he's playing better than a lot of people expected, I think. He's physical as well.
Those three guys are doing really well.
Individually, what did you want to work on heading into the season?
I think maybe my pad level in the run game. We can get a lot more vertical movement on down-line guys.
That's something I've tried to work on in fall camp.
How can the offense improve this year?
We were pretty balanced last year.
The main thing is staying consistent. Towards the end of the year we had a lot of great rushing attacks against Wake Forest, North Carolina, and UCF.
I think not getting out to slow-starts... coming out ready to fire would be a big improvement for us.
You mentioned the end of the season when the offense and running game was clicking. Can you keep that momentum going?
No doubt. It helps having four guys back who played a lot last year. We have that chemistry on the offensive line that a lot of teams are looking for.
We had momentum and really pushed forward in the spring and into the fall, and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and playing with those guys.