O'Brien: 'We have enough weapons'

RALEIGH, NC -- Head coach Tom O'Brien addressed the media during NC State's annual media day event on Saturday.

Tom O'Brien

"They took to heart the lessons that we learned in the first scrimmage, we were much more physical in the running game. Our [running back's] pass protection got a little bit better, that's not to say we are a polished by any stretch of the imagination but they are working hard."

"The young kids, Mustafa Greene and Tony Creecy, they look to be pretty talented so they are fighting for a spot on the team too."

"I think [a true freshman winning the starting job at running back] is highly unlikely early in the year. But we have to get a third. You can't be the second back until you're the third."

"Right now we are looking more at those young kids than we are [Leggett] as far as the third back."

"[Curtis Underwood] is in a fight right now to be the starting tailback, I think both those kids have taken the challenge and are working hard. They are pushing each other and helping each other."

"There are guys that have been here, they are redshirt sophmores now for the most part with the exception of Wentz at center who played some as freshman, there is a little less thinking out there and more reacting."

"As I said last night the wild card on the offense line is Mattes and when we are able to get him back. He's a big piece of the puzzle and what's missing right now, I know that he's working and he's with strength and conditioning but whether it's a month or six weeks or two months I don't know what his status is."

"[Mattes' return] might reshuffle the whole deck. You have to look at maybe your first three or four games different than you do the rest of the season."

"[Robert Crisp] is everything we thought he was when we recruited him. We think he's got a chance to be an All-Pro left tackle some day and he looks like he has those skills. Now his head is swimming with all the things that are going on, the movement of the defense and this and that. But he has that make-up where he doesn't get down, he gets back to the huddle and goes on to the next play.'

"For the most part the kids with experience are playing faster and that's what you have to do, you have to play fast on defense. Playing fast comes with confidence, knowing where you are going and what you are supposed to be doing. Those things all help in the growth."

"I don't know if Nate will ever be back to where he was because of the significant injury he had but he can get awful close I think. He's made all the practices we've just held him out of scrimmages. We are going to do more situational work next scrimmage and he's gonna scrimmage in this one, we have to get him in at least one."

"[Irving's] football instincts are second to none on this football team, especially on the defense. You throw that in to the natural talents and he's your best player on defense. Having your best player helps the defense a lot."

"Once Toney was healthy we thought it was in our best interest to redshirt him for the long-term interest of the program in case Toney didn't come back. If Toney couldn't have gone he would have had to play last year."

"[Russell Wilson] has a tremendous capacity to focus and when he decides that he's going to throw everything into something, which he has this preseason camp, he throw's everything into it."

"He's been trying to catch up more in the mechanics than anything else. He has the knowledge of where he supposed to go and what he's supposed to do it's just the part of getting his body and his arm going and the timing aspect of it."

"He threw the ball much better last night. The first scrimmage was more, ‘let's just line up and see who can bloody who's nose', last night was a game basically."

"[Mike Glennon] has to be ready to go in at a moment's notice if anything would happen to Russell. We were relatively clear last year but we weren't the year before."

"Michael has gotten better this preseason. I mean if Russell didn't have all the experience that would be a great battle going on right now for the starting job and I think that's speaks well to the future. But he's going to have to play some because if he doesn't he will atrophy."

"I expect a big year [from George Bryan]. George has worked extremely hard through spring practice and he has a lot of confidence. He's one of those guys that's now been in the offense three years."

"Some of the wide outs, we get out there, and they say ‘Russell won't throw me the ball' and I say to them ‘You don't catch it when he throws it to you. George catches it when he throws it to him'. It's pretty easy, quarterbacks throw to guys who catch it."

"We don't have unlimited depth right now, but we have enough. And we have enough weapons on offense and defense to win enough games and get to a bowl game."


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