Drinkwitz: "We're Trying To Control Tempo"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz discusses East Carolina with the media.

What's kind of the differences to being in the box and not?
I felt like it was best for the team and just understanding the tempo, communication, making sure we were down there, plus the rotation of the quarterbacks and all that, just felt like being on the sideline was the best option.

Did you like it?
Yeah, yeah. I've done it before.

Some coaches have said there's something to be said about being able to look into a guy's eyes, knowing what their emotions are at the moment. Is that one of the perks, I guess, of being on the field?
Yeah, to each his own. Like I said, I've done both. It was just what was needed right now and so we'll see how it goes.

What did you like about your quarterbacks?
I thought they handled the environment pretty well. I thought they played within themselves, handled some checks. That was all fine.

Are you a tough grader?
Yeah. We had two plays out of the pocket, threw an interception, and took a sack, so that's not very good. We've got to be a lot better.

We were at home, so it's a little bit easier to get into a rhythm. We've got to be better on the road. It's going to be a tough crowd. Little mistakes like that cost you ball games.

Do you envision using Jalan more during the course of this game, is he going to factor in or play this week?
Do you work for ECU?

Did you guys kind of make a point with those opening drives to get Ryan into some situations where he can complete some stuff easily before going down field more?
Yeah, we just call plays. We've called the best plays to give ourselves a chance to move the ball. If the quarterback is in there, he's expected to execute it.

We're not babying anybody. We're not trying to take baby steps. We're pushing this thing full speed. That's what we're doing. We're not easing our way into the water.

Did you sense that his confidence was kind of growing throughout that game though?
I mean, yeah. He hadn't played since he got injured, so it was good to get out there. It's a big environment. It's probably the biggest stadium he's ever played in, so yeah.

I thought he got confidence as the game went on. I thought everybody did.

Picking up speed, both teams are probably going to try push on Saturday. Was the speed what you wanted in that opener, or do you see it even more?
Here's the whole deal. The object of our offense is to control the tempo of the game. At no point did I feel like we were out, like we were not in control of the tempo. We could go as fast as we needed to. I thought we had a great two-minute drive there, even able to run the ball, catching a little bit of surprise run of the ball. I thought we had good tempo.

Our objective is to control the tempo of the game. As long as we do that, I'm good with it. There were times when it was fast, there were times when it was slow. That's part of it.

Is that something that comes with the quarterbacks getting more comfortable... the tempo part.
Yeah, yeah absolutely.

Like I said, the goal for this offense, don't misconstrue it, we're not trying to get a hundred snaps a game. We're trying to control the tempo. When we have the ability to put the foot on the gas and we've got to manage, that's what we'll do. When we need to back it off and get into the right play or make sure the right personnel is on the field, that's what we'll do.

That's the mission of this offense. We're not trying to hurry up and have the time of possession be twelve minutes to thirty seven minutes or something like that, where we get two possessions in the third quarter.

87 plays... that's pretty good. Is that about right?
Yeah, I've been on both sides of that.

You've got to score points, so if you have eighty-six plays and score forty eight points, that's probably pretty good.

How happy were you with the running game on Thursday night?
There were some really good things. There were some things we've got to clean up obviously, execution. Anytime you have two hundred and fifty yards you'r probably doing pretty good.

 How much did coaching tight ends help you become an offensive coordinator in terms of you had to learn the running game? 
I mean, I think it's huge.

I enjoyed my time with the tight ends, the tight ends have to be the most dialed in person on the field because they are involved in the pass game, run game, all our shifts, motions, making stuff right.

That was a lot of fun. Coach Faulkner does a great job of that.

Yeah, that helped me a lot.

Is that a complex position for a freshman to learn?
Yeah, it's tough, besides the part of the quarterback, it's the most detailed, most different things that they're going to.

It's something average fans don't understand, a coach and a player perspective, that tight end is a little tricky?Yeah, there's a lot of things they don't have as far as the details of what it is. There's a lot of intricacies in football.

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