Offensive Options

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Entering his fourth year with the Wolfpack and his third year as the starter for the season opener, Russell Wilson has become a bit accustomed to preseason expectations and hype.

He now knows what to expect -- and what's expected of him -- every time he steps on the field. In short, he's become more of a leader.

And when NC State takes the field against Western Carolina in just more than a week, he'll be a leader with plenty of options. With Owen Spencer, Jarvis Williams, George Bryan and many other players returning from last year's offense, State's depth at the skill positions is as good as it's been in recent memory. Count Wilson as one of those excited to see what happens Sept. 4.

"I think the sky is the limit," Wilson said of the offense in his weekly press conference Wednesday. "We've got a lot of talent obviously and they are working. It's not just talent, but it's putting in effort."

After throwing for 3,027 yards, 31 touchdowns and completing nearly 60 percent of his passes in 2009, it's somewhat hard to believe that Wilson could expect more out of himself and the offense in 2010. But for Wilson, every time he and his teammates take the practice field is an opportunity to keep working toward that goal.

"There are a lot of high expectations, but we have a lot of expectations for ourselves," Wilson said. "More than anything, we want to do a good job offensively. We want to score points. Every play could be the big time play, every play could be the game-winning touchdown."

One area where there is concern heading into 2010 is just who will line up beside Wilson in the shotgun. Curtis Underwood and James Washington are the most likely candidates, but with only 72 combined carries between them, the lack of experience could come into play. Wilson said the talent in the backfield is just as good as it has been and dismissed questions about him having to run more.

"The running backs are doing a great job," he said. "We've got a lot of talent and they are doing a great job of getting better every day. Whatever the situation calls for. I want to throw the ball to the receivers and tight ends and running backs and let them catch it... if I have to run I have to run."

Whether or not Wilson runs more or less in 2010 may have nothing to do with what Russell wants, at least not in theory. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible, back from the cancer treatments which caused him to miss the last part of the regular season in 2009 and part of the offseason, holds the key to what he's calling "the perfect storm."

Wilson said having coach Bible back at full speed has done nothing but good things for the Wolfpack offense.

"Coach Bible is coach Bible," he said, chuckling. "He's always excited and always energized. He always keeps us motivated and keeps us pushing. If somebody is not doing something right he'll get on them right away."

According to Wilson, coach Bible and the rest of the coaching staff aren't the only ones making sure players are doing things just right in practice. He said players are policing themselves more than he remembers in the past.

"The main thing I've noticed more than anything is other players getting on each other if they aren't doing something right or not hustling the right way," he said. "That's been a rare situation this whole entire camp but if it ever does happen it's a positive thing for us. We're pushing each other and getting better every day."

While many believe the success of this year's team may hinge more on the improvement of the defense than anything else, Wilson said the talent -- and belief in the common goal heading into the season -- is there.

"I think that more than anything we really believe in ourselves and that's the main thing. You have to believe in what you set in your mind and you have to really go for it," he said. "We have a lot of talent on offense and defense and special teams and that's a positive thing. We're working every day and we have a lot of goals in mind but we have to take it one day at a time and we'll get there."

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