Do you think the ACC's one of the strongest leagues?
"[Laughing] I think so because I'm in it."
What makes you feel the defense will be improved this season?
"I think we have a lot of senior leadership. We had a couple of seniors last year and some experienced players but we didn't have that drive we do now. Being seniors we now have a lot of guys looking up to us for the leadership."
How has T.A. McLendon performed this summer after being injured most of last year?
"He's working hard… harder than he's ever done before. He's doing what it takes to stay healthy and he's coming along good."
What's it going to be like playing without Rivers as the leader of the team?
"It's going to be different but the thing is we are a team. We don't have any superstars… it's going to be a team effort. We are using the Detroit Pistons as our motivation. Those guys came out and beat the superstars and did it as a team. We're going to need everybody and no one's going to feel left out."
|NC State Cornerback Lamont Reid was all business while meeting with the media.|
What does Coach Amato do to motivate the players before a game?
"Just being in the locker room with Coach Amato is the motivation. If he came and talked with you guys I think you would feel the same vibes that we do before a game."
Talk with us about Coach Herring and his impact on the defense.
"Coach Herring is a great coach. He brings so much aggression, motivation, and intensity to the team that we can't do anything but feed off of him. He's Coach Amato part two."
Who are some players that were sleepers last year who may step out and have big seasons this year?
"I'd say Garland Heath and Dwayne Herndon are a couple of guys who could step out and get the recognition."
Talk with us about the defensive line. It was young last year but basically returns four starters.
"They are learning. All the guys are more mature and they are working hard so they can get better. Although we was low in the ratings for pass defense I think the group as a whole is going to improve on that and it starts with the defensive line."
What do you think of this defense?
"I think it can be a great defense. One of the best that's been at NC State. We have the talent in place."
Talk with us about what it's like playing beside Andre Maddox.
"Andre's such an intense player. He brings aggression and leadership to the team. He's a great player and a leader on our defense."