Teleconference: Trestman Talks Football

Wolfpack offensive coordinator Marc Trestman talked with the media today via teleconference and here is a sampler of what the NC State assistant had to say.

Thoughts on Dwayne Herndon's shift to offensive line and how difficult that transition is:
I think it is a very difficult transition for Dwayne. He is a very good athlete. He's worked very hard at it. Offense is a different game than defense, but he's played a lot of football over the last few years. I think somebody has told me that he's played over 300 snaps, so he's got a lot of playing time. I think that's important he's played in games, he's played in big games so he has a little going for him there. He has got recoverability because he is very athletic, and he'll be playing between two real smart guys who will communicate with him and help him throughout the game, so I think that will benefit him as well.

What's your feeling on what separated Darrell Blackman from the rest of the running backs?
I think that Darrell has a great understanding of the offense, he has got excellent hands, and he has got great running ability as well. The other guys are going to see action as well. Darrell is going to be involved in a lot of what we do, but there will be other guys in there as well.

What helped make you reach the decision to leave the NFL and come to college?
As I looked at my career, after leaving the Dolphins, after getting terminated there, I just made a decision to change my lifestyle. I just didn't feel that I had a complete lifestyle. I've got a family. I've got a wife, and I wanted to have an opportunity to do more with them. I think college allows you do that. Coach Amato has allowed my kids to be a part of what I'm doing here, and I really appreciate that. It's made the transition much easier.

I just didn't feel like at this stage of my life I wanted to go be a coordinator for the fifth time in the National Football League. I felt that there was nothing else I could have done there. I didn't feel there were any goals left for me there, in terms of running an NFL offense. I felt that it was a time in a sense that I was looking to even change careers, and I essentially have done that by coming to college football. At the same time I still get to do what I love more than anything and that is coach football.

What particular about NC State drew you to Raleigh?
Well, I think the timing issue was everything. #1, Chuck and I have a mutual friend, and he kind of put us together and gave me a lot of insight into the program and what Coach Amato was all about. He felt we would be a great fit together. I felt there was a real comfort when I spoke with Chuck, and I had a chance to spend some time with him.

Secondly, I thought it was a great environment to raise my family... in a college city. It's a very family-oriented environment here, and Raleigh I think is a great place for a family, and I thought it was just the perfect fit at the right time.

What are your impressions of Virginia Tech?
They are solid. They are really well-coached. They have got an excellent front seven. They have a couple of really good corners. They are young at the safety position, but they are very detailed-oriented guys and they are very physical guys that don't make many mistakes. So, we are going to have our hands full, there is no doubt about that.

What are you looking for when you recruit a quarterback?
That's a great question because there is no right answer. What we've done is I sat down and looked at over a hundred quarterbacks. I really didn't pay attention to what scouting combine and what anybody was listing them at. We just went through the tapes and looked at guys that we liked and thought we had a shot at. In the end it's really intangibles as much as anything. Most of these kids throw for a lot of yards and do a lot of great things on tape. The high schools, compared to the way it was 20 years ago when I was at Miami, it's just amazing. They are so well-coached, and they are in flamboyant offenses. They are throwing the ball all over the field, and it's pretty impressive to watch.

There is the intelligence is a factor, certainly. There is the character factor, certainly, having football sense... you try to get that. When you watch the tape, you look for little things that may tip the scales.

There is no right answer. You look for a kid that can move a football team, and you have a sense that he might have the intangibles that set him apart. The competition he plays against certainly is a factor as well.

Can you talk a little bit your younger quarterbacks, Mike Greco and Daniel Evans?
I sure can. I've only seen very little of Mike. He hasn't gotten a lot of reps, but the other night when we had the scrimmage and he was working as the Virginia Tech quarterback you can see he is extremely athletic. He's a smart kid, he moves around really well, and he's got some raw ability.

Daniel's really progressed. He's starting to pick things up in terms of what we're trying to accomplish offensively. He doesn't get any reps as well, but he's done a good job of watching and learning. The other night when we did have the scrimmage, we did run our plays with him at times, and he did an outstanding job. He has got great instincts as a quarterback. He has a great feel for the game, and he has very good vision. He's a guy who we hope doesn't have to play this year with Jay and Marcus in there, but if he did I think he's got a chance to grow and play in the game.

Thoughts on high school offensive systems now as opposed to the last time Trestman coached in college:
It's impressive, they are running all those spread offenses... there's multiple sets. When I recruited Steve Walsh, he threw 360 passes I think, or 400 passes and that was very, very unusual. You always are looking for kids who have been involved in passing [offenses], and now you've got three times as many kids who throw the ball a bunch. You've got more to choose from and then you've got to make those decisions and try to decide what sets one apart from the other. It becomes more difficult because there are more kids out there.

Both you and Coach Amato have referred to a mutual friend in meeting each other. Is there a reason why you're not telling us who he is?
There is really no reason. When I was at the University at Miami there was a gentleman there who was active in being around the program. When his son was in high school, he was recruited by Chuck. That's how Chuck got to know him, and I got to know him because he was around our program, when I was there, as a coach.

Are you more of a man-blocking offense or zone-blocking offense?
I think we do a little of both. We have concepts that involve both types of blocking. We are going to cut the defense, we are going to zone the defense, and we are going to try to trap the defense. We are going to try and create an environment where defenses have to prepare for everything during the course of the week.

Ideally how many tailbacks can you play on Sunday?
That's a tough question. I don't think we are going in with any formula for this game. I think you could certainly see as few as two and probably as many as four. That could happen. How it will come out I really don't know.

Can you talk about installing your offensive terminology to the offense?
I've been on both ends of it. When I went to San Francisco in 1995 after being out of football for three years, I got the job because I was able to convince Coach Seifert to believe that I could forget everything I know about football and put in the offense that was left by Mike Shanahan.

Conversely, here it's exactly the opposite. I came in here and threw the book down on the table and said this is what we are going to do. Obviously we are going to take everybody's input into consideration, but the terminology is so key. When you start co-mingling terminology it becomes very difficult. What's happened here is everyone has started at ground zero. The players, the coaches and everybody have had to work very, very hard to come together, in terms of learning the system. I think that has benefited everybody to get on the same page.

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