NC State guard Tony Adams is going through fall camp for the first time under new offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford, who arrived at NC State from App. State in January. Adams seems pleased with the mindset Ledford has brought to the line.
"It's new, but we love it," he said of working with Ledford. "It's very physical. Schematically we get, but physicality is what we need. Speed off the ball, toughness, and finish. That's what we preach everyday.
How is camp going for the unit?
"I think we've definitely took a huge jump from the spring," Adams added . "We're more physical, way better with our hands. We still need a lot of improvement like everybody else, but we're definitely trying to get a little bit of swagger throughout the whole camp. We've assessed that and taken it on.
"We've been a lot more physical since I've been at NC State."
A two-year starter, Adams is one of NC State's top offensive players. Pro Football Focus graded him out as a second-team All-ACC offensive guard in 2015, and he has always produced on the field. Now an upperclassman, he's looking to be a leader for one of the Pack's youngest position groups.
"You just know everything that goes on," he said of now being a junior. "You know what's going to come, you know what's happening, so it's a lot easier to get those who don't know headed into the right direction. We have an idea of what to do, we try to tell the guys to do the same thing.
"We have some good leaders. Tyler Jones is stepping up, Garrett Bradbury is stepping up as a leader... Joe [Scelfo] is a great leader. He's already been playing four years and he knows the in-and-outs of football. His dad is a coach too. We definitely have guys stepping up, being leaders, and getting our group headed in the right direction."
Adams is aware of the skepticism around the offensive line. NC State has a new position coach in Ledford and must replace three starters in All-ACC tackle Joe Thuney, center Quinton Schooley, and guard Alex Barr.
"I think the whole unit will do very well," he said. "I think we all are very, very tuned in to what we need to do. Not everybody is expecting a lot from us, but we have some great players. We're just ready to go, we're ready to fight."
For Adams, that optimism carries over to the rest of the team. NC State was picked fourth in the Atlantic Division, but that doesn't mean their own expectations are low.
"We think we can do something special with this team," he said. "It's very talented, you guys know who we've got, but at the same time, it's a different mindset, everybody is just ready to go.
"Everybody is still going full speed, which is really good, and we know we can do something special."