Coaches Corner Recap With Greg Williams

Today's "Coaches Corner" at Hi-Five featured cornerbacks coach Greg Williams.

- Coach Williams began by saying that playing FSU on a short week should help NC State get over the previous loss to Georgia Tech. He graded film Saturday night, and the team practiced Sunday, Monday, and will go again today before having a walk-through on Wednesday. They'll have Friday off after the Florida State game.

- Williams believes the players are confident going into the game. They are 2-1 against Florida State the pass three years, and he thinks the players are comfortable playing the Seminoles.

- The Wolfpack is #1 in the ACC in total defense and pass defense. Coach Williams said that he thinks they've made a lot of progress and he believes it has a lot to do with the improvement up front. He just wishes the success on defense could have translated into more wins.

- The first question for coach Williams centered around quarterback Jay Davis and his struggles. The coach responded by saying Davis is accurate once he has his rhythm, particularly on play-action passes over the middle. Another interesting point is that maybe the injury to Marcus Stone has hurt Davis because there's more pressure on him. Stone's not there to relieve Davis and spell him during those tough stretches.

- When asked about the notable defensive improvement across the ACC, coach Williams believes it's due to recruiting. Teams are recruiting great defensive players and are also able to red-shirt some defensive players who can come in and play. It also helps if you have playing time to sale, and that's proven by the Wolfpack being able to land top-notch defensive linemen in the past couple of years.

- When asked about penalties, coach Williams said some they can deal with, but they really want to cut out the 15-yard penalties. It's something they stress. The Wolfpack had two 15-yard penalties against Georgia Tech on special teams and they didn't have any special team penalties the previous two weeks.

- One fan asked about the future cornerback prospects and who will step up to replace the two senior starters. Coach Williams mentioned moving Marcus Hudson to corner, and he hopes Hudson will return for his final year. If he does, Hudson and A.J. Davis should form a nice tandem at corner. At safety the Wolfpack returns players like J.J. Jones and Miguel Scott.

He also pointed out that Phillip Holloman and Jimmie Sutton are great athletes. Both are what you want at corner, but they'll have to make plays when given the opportunity. Coach Williams wants to have 7 or 8 quality defensive backs ready to play, and that's what they want for next season.

- When asked about injuries, coach Williams said he's never seen anything like it in his 37 years of coaching. When you talk about losing Jed Paulsen, that's thousands of plays. Losing Leroy Harris... that's losing a #1 or #2 draft pick. Then you lose a guy like Derek Morris, all of those guys are good players. Then you replace Paulsen with Luke Lathan, who hadn't practiced for six weeks after tearing his MCL. He hurt his knee and hadn't practiced, and then you have other linemen moving from position to position.

Coach Williams commented that when defensive coordinators like Jon Tenuta see the lack of experience up front, they are going to blitz like crazy because the offenses must keep the protections simple due to the lack of experience up front.

- One fan asked how the Wolfpack will try and stop Florida State's offense. According to coach Williams, NC State's going to mix up what the safeties do. Because of the quality defensive front, the safeties can play back more and help the corners on deep passes. They are going to roll into different coverages at the snap to confuse the quarterback.

Also, he pointed out that Florida State spends a lot of time with play-action passing, and NC State's going to have to try and blitz in these situations. There are going to be times when the corners are going to have to make plays, and that's what they are going to have to do.

- One fan asked if this season will hurt recruiting, and coach Williams said he didn't think so because of the exposure the program has. No college in the state has been on TV more during Amato's tenure than the Wolfpack, and that's crucial in recruiting. These high school seniors have watched NC State on TV, and that's what helps recruiting. Kids want to play on TV, and parents want to see their kids on TV. That's why he thinks the Wolfpack is doing good in recruiting.

- Coach Williams was asked about Florida State's quarterbacks, and he said that Chris Rix is one of those guys that when he's hot he's hot and when he's not he's not. The other quarterback, Wyatt Sexton, is young and does what the coaches want him to do. He can't run like Rix, and he's more of a pocket-passer.

- When asked about what type of prospect he looks for at corner, coach Williams said he wants guys who can run and make plays. He can team them how to tackle and cover wide receivers. Champ Bailey, a player Williams coached at Georgia, could run, catch, and play defense and now he's making millions of dollars. When the ball is in the air, NC State wants players who can make plays. That's what coach Williams is looking for when he recruits cornerbacks.

Those were some of the notes from today's "Coaches Corner" with cornerbacks coach Greg Williams. Next week defensive line coach Todd Stroud will be the featured guest.

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