NC State junior nickelback Freddie Phillips met with the media following a recent spring practice.
I know you've been moving back and forth I think between corner and nickel. I think, last fall.
Yes sir, right now I'm a nickel, and I think I play a good part for our team right there. I'm just learning this defense, learning the scheme the best I can and just doing the best I can at nickel for this team.
I think when you first came, you started out at nickel, right? The first year?
And then you moved to cornerback in the fall...
Switching back positions, is it almost like riding a bike, where you just kind of get right back into it or are you a little rusty?
Of course there's going to be some rust if you didn't play that position, but having an understanding at corner, it just helps you understand the defense better because you know what that corner's going to do out there.
It helps you at nickel. So, just like I said, learning the defense as a whole, it's helped me out, being at corner and now nickel.
Last year Dravious and Niles both were seniors, and it was almost like they were used in situations... Dravious more against the run, Niles more against the pass. Do you feel like that's probably going to be the plan this year?
Yeah, I think that's it because coach just wants his best players on the field at one time. He wants guy out there that make plays.
Do you work more with coach Huxtable and the linebackers or with coach Henry and the safeties?
Well its kind of a mix, but it's a mix between coach Hux and Spencer Brown... he's helping coach the nickels.
What's your relationship like with Spencer?
We go way back. Even when I was a corner, we had built a relationship when he first got here. So, that kind of helped my transition back to nickel.
I know there's a lot of expectations for this defense this year and nickel is one of the few positions where State lost a starter. Do you feel like that is pressure or do you feel like that's an opportunity?
That's an opportunity.
What do you feel like the defense is going to look like this year?
I think we're going to be really good. We're going to be really good... I think we can have a Top 10, Top 25 defense.