Bishop: Pack Adding New Wrinkles Defensively

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Brandan Bishop earned Sporting News All-Freshman Team honors after starting eight games at safety for NC State in 2009. Bishop believes the secondary will be improved this season, and he talks about that and much more in this Q&A with Pack Pride.

How do you feel about the group of guys you have, especially the freshman and sophomores who got a lot of playing time last year?
I feel like we have a really special group [of freshman and sophomores]. Throughout the offseason we all worked together and we've kind of gelled as a unit. I think that's going to help us be so much better than last year.

How does all that in-game experience help that group coming into this season?
The experience that we got last year – me, C.J. [Wilson], Earl [Wolff], Rashard [Smith] even though he's not with us – we all got experience last year and that's going to help us tremendously this year. We aren't rookies anymore, we got out there and played in some games so we have to take what we learned last year and just build.

What was the focus for you guys during the offseason?
The defensive backs, as a unit, we did a lot of extra work. We felt like we really needed to elevate our play from last year. Being a young secondary we knew we needed to put in the time this summer and get better.

I think we were the hardest-working group during the summer – we spent a lot of extra time on the field doing drills by ourselves just trying to get better.

Does last year still stick with you guys
Definitely - I don't know what we were ranked as far as the other teams in the ACC, but I know it wasn't good. There's huge room for improvement – obviously. We took that every day and just tried to get better.

With so many young guys, who all is emerging as a leader?
We're all pretty young but me, C.J., and Earl, we all try to put our two cents in – we lead some of the younger guys who haven't played yet. We all kind of collectively come together and put in our input.

Byers is the grandfather of the group. He doesn't like it when we call him that, but he's been around for a little while.

What has your impression been of the incoming freshmen?
We have a real good group coming in – a lot of talent, a lot of athletes. Dave [Amerson] and D.J. [Green] have definitely stood out already. I think they are going to be great players as long as they keep making strides and picking up the defense.

Any big changes in the playbook this year?
Coach Tenuta came in this offseason and he's put his twist in a little bit. He's put in some stuff that I think is really gonna help us. We have a few little wrinkles.

So, does that mean we might see you blitzing?
We might be, I can't give it away.

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