O'Brien: 'Everybody's healthy'

Head coach Tom O'Brien spoke with the media after Thursday's practice, addressing the team's overall health and the kicking game as the team prepares for Saturday's game against Wake Forest.

Owen Spencer

On the benefits of having to play younger players because of injuries
"The younger guys benefited from the opportunity to play because you only get better by playing. You only get better by playing in a football game. A lot of guys stepped up and they gave us good effort, but certainly the return of a handful of guys has made a difference for this football team and the way we are playing."

On whether the program is back on track now that the team is healthy
"As we talked about before, and [Ken Tysiac's] story, about the holes in the middle of football team. Those things can only be fixed by recruiting and more people coming in here. When you have a numbers problem that doesn't go away."

On the team's overall health
"With the exception of the four guys that aren't playing this is the football team. Everybody is healthy and everybody is playing. Who knows what the season would have been if... but that's all in the past. We have to go out and beat Wake Forest on Saturday and we'll have to play awful well to do that."

On the punt protection against Duke
"We always work on the punt protection. [Duke] came after us and a lot of people haven't done that before. We got it off and that's the key, close doesn't count."

On the play of Josh Czajkowski
"As we said a year ago, coming out of spring practice he was our kicker. Until Hauschka came and you know Hauschka's proven to be a pretty good kicker with his 50-whatever he did last week in the NFL. Josh has benefited from a year of watching him – Hauschka was really a great technician with kicking the football. He had a great feel, almost like a golfer in how the leg should swing and all this. He's actually learned a couple new things too that I think he's talked to Josh about that he's picked up from guys in the pros. Certainly he's benefited Josh, the extra year also benefited him and he's done a great job."

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