Drinkwitz: "This Is A Great Place"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz met with the media after the Wolfpack's first spring practice.

We saw you jogging after practice...
I'm trying to be able to eat some chocolate chip cookies later tonight, and to be able to do that I have to exercise.  I'm dead serious too.

How was day one?
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. [Tuesday’s practice] is just one step. The kids were eager. They practiced hard. I liked the energy. I like the hustle but obviously there is going to be a lot of things we’ve got to correct and clean-up, but you can’t argue with the hustle and effort and that is the first thing we wanted to get going.

They have got to get used to the tempo. It was just day one of install.  Day two and three when it adds up we'll figure out a lot more.

There are talking about your enthusiasm and the way you attack everything...
I am just going to be who I am. I have got a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I am not going to change. I am who I am. That is who God made me to be, and I'm going to be that everyday.

What is your philosophy as a play-caller?
You are trying to score the football. Number one, you are always going to control the tempo by establishing the run. You want to take shots vertically down the field. You want to take what the defense gives you. You’ll get to see that as the scrimmages play out.

Is it exciting... you have two quarterbacks competing for a position. How are they doing?
We have got five. We have five quarterbacks fighting for this position. It is open to everybody. I am excited about all of them. All of them got reps today. Every day is going to be a measurement of what they could do.

We laid out the requirements... there is five requirements to play the quarterback position. They have got to display those every single day. There are two things we are focusing on. Can they operate on offense and can they lead us on touchdowns drives? If they can do those two things then they can be our quarterback.

What are the five things?
No. 1 is toughness, two is preparation, three is decision-making, four is accuracy, and five is leadership.

Did they show that today?
Let me go back and check on film.  I was impressed with some toughness today. They were prepared. No one seemed like the moment was too big for them.  We had some good accuracy in seven-on-seven. Leadership comes with playing the position and providing value to the team so that will happen, but yes, there were some good stuff today.

Will you lean on the running game?
You have always got to play to your strengths and that is what spring football is about. We are going to establish the fundamentals, the DNA of who we are on offense, and then we will figure out what our strengths are and play to those. The offense can take a turn whichever way it needs to and play to those strengths.

The key to spring is to not try to drive the offense one way or another too early, it is to put the foundation in and see where it can go.

It is an offense that is very flexible. We have got five great coaches on this staff and they've got input and ideas.  We've laid out the philosophy and where the foundation is... we'll play to our players' strengths and our coaches' strengths.

You played with a true freshman quarterback last year... can you look back on that experience to help you here?
You always rely on past experiences for your future. Brett was a tremendous player and competitor... but this is a fresh start.  There are some things I've leaned from that experience that I can apply, but it will be all of us.  All of our coaches have been around quarterback battles... they know how they go.  It won't be about me.  It will be about all of us.

Did you earn your chocolate chip cookies today?
I think I got ten crossovers in so probably. I'll probably have two or three.

What appealed to you about NC State?
The opportunity to be in a Power-5 conference, to compete against the highest level... to test yourself and see what you are really made of, as a competitor those were all things I looked at.

Coach Doeren’s history as a leader and head football coach attracted me to [NC State] knowing that I was attractive.

There are all kinds of pleasant surprises in that I had never been here before. The stadium is unbelievable. The Murphy Center is unbelievable. The facilities are unbelievable, and Wolfpack Nation has been nothing but welcoming. This is a great place, and I am very excited to be here.

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