Practice Notes: Player Quotables

<B>Raleigh, NC -- </b>Several Wolfpack players met with the media following Friday's practice and here is a sampler of what they had to say about today's workout, the upcoming season, and various position battles.

Defensive End Manny Lawson
Transition to defensive line:
"It's really not that hard because I played defensive line in high school. I'm going against two of the best offensive linemen in the country in [Chris] Colmer and Leroy Harris. Going against them will just make me better."

Expections for the defensive line: "I expect a lot out of us. I feel that if there's a mistake it's our fault because we have experience and are good enough to compete with everybody."

How much he has learned about playing defensive end: "I've learned a lot. If the offensive linemen get their hands on me with me being slightly smaller than them they can do with me what they want. So I've been working on hand technique and staying low."

Differences in playing linebacker and defensive end: "The difference is playing linebacker you get to dodge people but on the line it's instant compact... I kind of like that. Playing linebacker I have to read several people and then make the play, but now I just need to read one person and the play is right there for me. It's going to work out in the long run."

Playing beside linemen like John McCargo and Mario Williams: "That's going to be great because I'm going to make it into a competition. I'm going to talk trash to them early on."

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Defensive End Mario Williams
Current size:
"I'm about 290 and around 6'6.5 or 6'7."

How the extra thirty pounds help: "I think it's going to help me in several aspects. Against the run... pass rushing... now I feel much different when I get my hands on an offensive lineman because I can throw him around. I still have my speed too so it's going to help me a lot."

Playing opposite Manny Lawson: "Manny's a great player. With him flying off that end... I hope he can help me out by sending some sacks my way! He's just an athlete so what more can you say about him?"

Comfortable in his second season: "Everything's been going so smoothly because I know the schedule. Last year I was just catching on and this year everything is just second nature for me."

Defensive line improvement: "The biggest improvement has been consistency. We want to play hard everyday and that's what Coach Amato and Coach Herring have taught us."

How much the defense can improve: "I think there is no limit. The way we are playing now with the intensity... we can just keep going until we are the best."

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Quarterback Marcus Stone
Feelings on first practice:
"I just come out here everyday and try to learn the offense the best that I can. I need to work as hard as I can to replace a guy like Philip Rivers so I'm trying to do what I can for the team."

Thinking about the QB situation and pressure: "I try not to think about that all the time. I just want to learn the offense and lead the team."

Strengths: "I think I'm a good pocket-passer and when I need to avoid the rush I can do that well. I can run a little bit."

Improvements: "Just get in the film room more and more to study the defenses and coverages."

Relationship with Jay Davis: "We have a really good relationship. He's a great guy on and off the field."

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Quarterback Jay Davis
Feelings on competing for the quarterback position:
"It's fun. It's something that I've personally been waiting for. I'm very excited to just get out here and play ball."

Feelings with the offense: "I've been here for three years and so I think I've got a good grasp on the offense."

Pressure with playing quarterback: "There's a certain pressure that comes with playing this position and everybody's aware of that but so be it."

Thoughts on today's practice: "It's the first day and it wasn't as good as I would have liked but that's the way it goes sometimes."

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Running Back T.A. McLendon
Can the group of RBs help the quarterback:
"I'm not worried about the quarterbacks or running backs because we're just going to be out there playing ball regardless. Someone will be there taking snaps and someone will be there running the ball. Whoever it is will be in there helping the team, and that's what the coaches want."

Attending camp without Rivers: "It's funny because when you have Philip here you're going to hear his mouth. It's funny but we'll get used to our new quarterback."

Feelings on people considering him fragile: "I do resent that and it gets on my nerves. I hear it all the time with people talking about my injuries, but I want to talk about the upcoming season and how we are improving. I'm not going to dwell on the past anymore."

Running back depth: "It takes a lot of the burden off and I'm going to do what I've got to do. If another back goes in there I know he's going to do the job because that's why he is here."

Thoughts on Bobby Washington: "I haven't seen enough of him in practice to really say too much, but from what I've seen today he's very explosive. He's just fast... he can take it to the house at any given time. He looks like a pretty good back."

Thoughts on Darrell Blackman: "Darrell has great speed and great quickness. He's a little shorter and more stout [than Washington], but he can take it to the house too."

Feel any pressure from the other backs: "Nope... nope. It's competition and we're just going to compete from here on out."

Potential of the offensive line: "They have the potential to be the best. When you have guys like Derek Morris, Chris Colmer, and Leroy [Harris], as nasty as he is on the line, it's going to be good. Guys like Ricky Fowler and Jed Paulsen, you can't help but feel good."


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