O'Brien: 'We have to get better up front'

RALEIGH, NC - Head coach Tom O'Brien addressed the media on Monday afternoon at his weekly press conference, discussing the areas the Pack needs to improve on this week.

Tom O'Brien Audio

"We still feel that we have the best guys up front to help us win a football game. Obviously when you sit down and look at the tape you see some different things than you might have seen on the sidelines. We will continue to try to get better up front; we have to get better up front if we are going to be a good football team. Certainly we have to protect our quarterback much better we can't be allowing six sacks."

"R.J. did a very commendable job the other night. Certainly like all red-shirt freshman he got off to a shaky start but as the game progressed he became much better and felt right at home. You could see that he's got the ability to be a really good offensive lineman."

"It wasn't anything that we hadn't seen before, we just didn't execute. The snap was good, the kick was on time – it was just a matter of the execution of the three-man wall upfront."

"I don't do the injury report the doctors and trainers do and they'll release that on Thursday. No surgery – that gets released on Monday."

"When you look at the second half we put some drives together, we controlled the ball much better. The glaring thing was the lack of protection for Russell and giving him a chance to throw."

"We dropped five passes during the game. We can't be dropping five balls against a defense like that – the other thing that cost us on offense was there were two costly penalties that cost us probably 50-60 yards of gain."

"Everybody had one. It wasn't the same guy. Concentration generally is the thing you have to work on. You talk to the quarterback about it because you can't get discouraged – my experience has been one of those guys is gonna come back and make a great catch for you."

"We prepared for this game as well as we've prepared in my three years here. These kids came to this game with the attitude a football team has to have. Very business-like, not a lot of horsing around like we saw in almost our first two years here. They showed up to play football and if they didn't it might have ended up the way it did last year."

"It hurt this team a lot because they put a lot into it. Not to come away with a victory is a tough thing for this football team. But it's a journey, it's a first step. As long as we get better from here we'll be fine."

"Maybe both of us are good, maybe both of us are bad. First game it's hard to tell but it gives you an indication of what you have to do."

"There's a lot of things we could get better at. We missed a ton of tackles still that we have to clean up you can't go missing tackles like we did the other night. I think we had a dozen assignment errors, you just can't do that and be consistently good."

"He came in and did a heck of a job – gave us a little spark there. If he had taken that last run to the outside he might still be running. But he's a true freshman, he got in the game and got his opportunity and if JE can't make it through the week of practice he'll get more playing time this week."

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