O'Brien: Pack Still Has Work to Do

RALEIGH, N.C. -- At today's press conference, NC State head coach Tom O'Brien discussed the upcoming game against Gardner-Webb with the media. He also updated the status of players such as Markus Kuhn, William Beasley, and Donald Bowens.

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    Tom O'Brien

    "Eddie Gardner is going to do the coin toss on Saturday. Eddie has been with State since 1982 and the equipment manager since 1986 so he's retiring here at the end of the month. I'm the seventh head coach he's worked for so I'm happy he stayed with us for a couple years."

    "There is probably stuff down in that equipment room that's been down there since '86."

    "We made our emphasis all last week and we'll continue to try and be a much better fundamental football team. Getting guys in a good blocking position or a good tackling position. That's what football is about. You have to respect the game and play the game."

    "We had to get better pass protection. We had to get better at throwing and catching and doing a lot of things and I think we did. From a technical standpoint we were in good position, running routes the right way, the quarterback was on time. All those things come into play."

    "We had too many loafs the first game. That's coaching and that's effort on their part. We coached them last week to run to the ball a little better and they did. We coached them better."

    "North Carolina State owns the position; the player doesn't own his starting job. We're still in a state of trying to find who the best people are and who knows how it's going to end up after practice this week. It's still in the process of trying to find the right guys and the right rotation."

    "That's your mythical state championship but we'll defend it. I think certainly you want to be good in your home state. It's been a point of emphasis and when it was called to our attention last year we decided to go ahead and try to be that team. If this is the first time we have to go on the field and defend it then we'll certainly try to do our best on Saturday."

    "One of the things we've done as coaches since we've been together is we treat it all the same. We don't get too high, we don't get too low. As I've said before, the crowd or the atmosphere around lets you know that this game is bigger. Certainly there is no reason not to show up and not to play well as much as you can. It shouldn't be hard to do that."

    "When you go sit in someone's living room and you talk to their mother and their father that's my commitment to them. If they send me their child I'm going to send them back with a degree. That's my job. Football is fun. Going to school is work."

    "Geez, I don't know, faster than me. I'd have to go look. We only time in the spring. [Gary Grant] can run almost as fast as or faster than T.J. [Graham]. He caught him."

    "[Donald Bowens] is still trying to get back on the field."

    "Right now [Markus Kuhn] is not in the two-deep. That's his status. We could possibly [redshirt him]."

    "[William Beasley] will probably not play this year."

    "There's no reason not to show up and play the best you can. That's what we want to get every week... you only play 12 games. It shouldn't be hard to do that in our opinion."

    "[GW quarterback Stan Doolittle] can pull the ball down and run, and he actually attacks people. The other night he was trying to run people over."

    "You guys believe anything Willie [Young] says... that's your problem. It's not my problem. He saw Russell walking on water too so... just consider the source. No, we're not unstoppable. We've got to get better. We've got a lot of things to do."

    "[Justin Byers] is playing. He's first team substitution and playing a lot of special teams right now. He's still a part of the evolving secondary defense."

    "[C.J. Wilson] did a real nice job in preseason camp. He won the job... we thought there were some things we saw in the South Carolina game that we could try and improve our secondary. That's why we made some moves. It wasn't as much what he didn't do but what we think we can do to be better."

    "We saw nine guys in the box on Saturday night. It gave us an opportunity to throw the ball."

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