Dave Doeren hired Kevin Patrick to replace Ryan Nielsen in February, and Patrick recently met with the media to discuss his transition from Texas Tech to NC State.
Talk about how this job came about for you and your background...
Well, you know, I'm an east coast guy to begin, and that's where I met coach Doeren on the recruiting trail. In this business, we've all got a bunch of mutual friends and people we respect and an opportunity.
I loved my job at Texas Tech, but an opportunity to come here and be around such a great head coach and defensive coordinator, but to have a d-line like they've got here? With some people it's a little madness to come and do that, because you know, couch Nielsen did a great job, but I was coming to be me.
I'm excited. I don't think anything could be more perfect for me. I love where I'm at now, and I'm excited to be here and get my family here.
Did the d-line have a reputation that you know about them before?
Oh, no doubt. I mean, I'm a d-lineman myself. Not just a coach, so you know, I studied d-linemen, I studied the coaches, and you watch other guys sometimes and you know, I'm a constant learner in this business. So you've seen these guys.
You know it's funny, I've watched those guys, you know. At times when we're watching people across the country and you know who's got the good ones and just seeing, so you know, you're setting the bar also for recruiting.
Yeah, what a great group of guys. They're very mature, very professional about how they go about things. They're very open, so I mean it's exciting. I'm glad to be here with these guys.
I told someone today, it kind of reminds me of some old days that I was so blessed to see in my life, you know? These guys really embody the DNA of what I have. It's exceptional. It excites me everyday to be out on the field with these guys.
Did it help that ... the ideal, that you've got four seniors?
Oh yeah. And going back to your question... before I got here, I had a couple buddies at Tennessee. I must have had about a dozen or more phone calls and text messages... "You've got dogs."
But you know, we want to be better, they want to be better than what they were last year.
Having those seniors, does that help you?
Yeah, and you know, and I've got to do a good job of adjusting to them. I think a great coach, we don't come in and try to be... you know, we're the alpha dog, but it's one person. I'm gonna call things the way they called it here and I'm gonna try to do as much as possible to stay in the framework that they're accustomed to.
These guys been doing the same thing for years. Why come in and try to change anything? I experienced that in my college career, you know my senior year, my college coach was the same as for Nielsen, Ed Orgeron.
He left and you got somebody new coming in and you know, it was some adjusting for him, it was some adjusting for us as well, and that's all I tell these guys. You know, let's move together, let's move forward together.
I spoke with coach Neilsen about you and he thought that would ease the transition, that you two have a lot of the same principles he believes. Can you just talk about that, just some of the things you're looking for from your defensive line?
I mean, you know, first, you know, we're going to stop the run. I don't care if we're rushing the passer, we're gonna stop the run.
To me, a base-block is a base-block, a reach-block is a reach-block. It's about building a wall on that side of the line of scrimmage that's impenetrable. Playing with a great base, great extension, and the ability to escape and run to the ball quicker than anybody else... that the key.
My grandfather was a college coach and he once told me, "it's either a run or a pass. So you just have to stop those two things."
What's your family thought about, obviously ... I don't know if they're up here with you in Raleigh but just the impressions of the area so far?
Well, about 20 years ago my mother moved to western North Carolina, so I went through these parts, I recruited some of these parts.
So it's not that unfamiliar to them as well, you know? One thing we've got here that we don't have in Lubbock is trees. We're all excited... I'm a Florida boy, so I had a lot of trees. I flew in, and I'm like, "There's trees!" I get on the phone with my daughter and she goes, "There's trees there, right?"
Lubbock was a great place to live, but we're excited to be here. They're excited to be here. And there's some familiarity to it. I got a good high school friend that's not too far away, I got family three or four hours away. Her mother moved to Georgia a number of years ago, so there's people around and it's much easier for people to come to the games.
You been around a couple of good groups on the defensive line. What do you think of the town that you walked into in this situation?
I think all of us throughout the country, we know who is where and what good coaches are where. I've watched a number of d-linemen, and I've watched this defensive line play. Sometimes in your downtime, you watch other teams, you watch how other people do things.
Watching Chubb and Justin and B.J. and Street... even Roseboro. We had some dudes, and I knew we had some dudes, so I guess my biggest job is not to mess them up. Right?
I've been rebuilding for a number of years since [Jason Pierre-Paul] and the boys left, and every stop I've had to rebuild. Here it's little bit different... it's "All right, boys. Go!"
But I've got to coach my tail off, no different.
You must feel like a hostage. You were in the Big12 where they don't play any defense at all.
Well, they were exceptional at offense.
The quarterbacks are unbelievable. Nothing against ACC, but you went into that bowl season, the ACC had the best bowl record, but the defensive average, the Big 12 had it.
It's kind of shocking. The offense doesn't really help the defense in that league, but we were in a rebuilding process in Lubbock.
Don't take that personally. I wasn't insulting...
I'm not mad. Hey, I'll tell you, it wasn't great.
We go into that Oklahoma game, and there was lightning strikes back and forth, and Oklahoma's wasn't much better. I mean, it was just boom, get up, we're going again. Boom, we're going again. Every time you go to sit down on the seat, it's like "our defense!"
That might not have been something you were used to from your background.
That was a great experience, because again, this game is kinda ... is changed over a number of years, so the ability to transition between plays and really get a number of amount of plays in.
I can remember getting 50-some plays in in one half. I can remember the first five minutes of one game, it took 45 minutes. It was all passes and incompletions... so it was definitely different.
Do you call him Dwayne or do you call him the The Rock?
I call him Dewey.
That's his nickname. That's what we called him... I think once a week somebody says something to me about him, but he's the biggest movie star in the world now,
He's Dewey. He'll always be Dewey.