NC State's ranked No. 1 in the nation in defense. Is that a fluke or is it too early to mean anything?
It's the second game of the season, but we've been working hard to be the best defense that we can be. The stat says what it is. I'm not going to say it's a fluke. We do put a lot of dedication and preparation into what we do on defense.
What can you do to get rid of the penalties?
I think a lot of the penalties were from aggression. Things happen that shouldn't happen and sometimes it goes with discipline. We've got to be more disciplined on defense and cut back on the penalties.
Is that aggression a bi-product of the new defensive coordinator?
Everything we do now is aggressive and full speed. I would say yes because that's how he coaches, and he wants us to go out there and play intense and make things happen.
Does the defense have the mentality of setting the tone for the team?
That's what Coach Herring wanted. He wants us to execute and be intense and physical.
You can't make it too far without a defense. We had a great quarterback the last four years, Philip Rivers, but without a defense it really didn't matter. We're really emphasizing that this year. That our defense is up to par.
You've spent a lot of time in the backfield, but you don't have a sack yet. Is it frustrating?
No, it's not frustrating. It's given me a sense of respect and it allows others to make plays. If I don't get one, Manny's going to get one or the tackles will.
What do you think of Bryan Randall?
He's a great quarterback. He can move a lot and he has great pocket presence. We've just got to go out there and get after him. That will make him make bad decisions and throw interceptions.
In what areas do you consider yourself better?
I'm more of a team player this year. I realize that I've got to go out there and make plays. A lot of people are counting on me and I've got to make my presence known on the football field.
What's your exact weight right now and how much has the extra strength and weight helped you this year?
I was up to around 295 in the offseason, and I'm about 285 right now.
I don't feel like I'm slower, and I think I've got more aggression this year. I'm more physical, and I think I'm faster to tell you the truth.
Left Tackle Chris Colmer
T.A. and the freshmen are vastly different type of backs. Does it make a difference when blocking on the offensive line?
We're going to block the same way if you were back there. It doesn't matter.
Can this be a good running team?
It might be just because we have so many talented backs. If the running game is going well then we'll keep it going.
Can you talk about the defense and the role that Coach Herring has played in the defense's play?
He's got them intense, he's got them running, he's got them aggressive. He almost has me wanting to play defense and hit some offensive guys. He seems like a real good coach. I'm not over there getting coached by him, but it seems like he has us going in the right direction.
If there's one defense I wouldn't want to play against, it would be NC State's.
Did you sense a lack of poise nervousness among the younger players?
I never got that sense. It just seems like we weren't clicking. It wasn't a lack of leadership.
Why do you think that is?
It was just one of those days.
What can you do to eliminate the penalties?
We've just got to play smarter and learn from our mistakes.
Has that process started?
It started in my mind right after the game. When you lose you think about all the things you did wrong. You've got to correct them.
Can you talk about what it does for everyone when T.A.'s healthy?
It's definitely a plus when we've got him out there. He's talented and as talented as I've seen. It's exciting to know that he'll be out there running the ball.
You had a couple of penalties called on you and now they announce your number. What's going through your mind when the entire stadium knows that you made a mistake?
That's the only time we get any recognition when we do something wrong.
How do you feel physcically?
I feel good. I feel as good as I did before I got hurt.