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August 13, 2011

Audio: O'Brien talks team at media day

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien talked to the press for about 19 minutes Saturday afternoon as part of media day festivities.

You can listen to that interview by clicking on the link below.

Tom O'Brien press conference (19:01)

Here is a summary of O'Brien's press conference:

- When asked, O'Brien said that there were no new significant injuries to report. Redshirt freshman tailback Tony Creecy was spotted in a walking boot on his right foot.

- O'Brien was asked about the conference expansion rumors, but he noted having experience going through expansion at Boston College, he learned not to comment until facts come out.

- The biggest question mark entering the season as far as O'Brien was concerned was the kicking game, but O'Brien said that the freshmen (kicker Niklas Sade, punter Wil Baumann and long snapper Scott Thompson) have impressed. He noted that all three came to NC State's camp, which is important because it gave the coaches a chance to evaluate them both physically and mentally.

- Redshirt freshman Tyler Brosius has taken most of the snaps as the backup quarterback.

- When asked if the offense will look any difference, O'Brien answered the offense will reflect redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon's strength. O'Brien added that one positive about Glennon is that he does not feel pressure and does not get flustered easily.

O'Brien did say that the passing game must get better and has not developed the consistency it needs yet. He said that there were more dropped passes in Friday night's scrimmage than there had been in most of the preseason.

The positive was that State did do a better job running the football Friday night, but at this point NCSU is more consistent on defense than offense.

- At running back, O'Brien reiterated that Creecy, fifth-year senior Curtis Underwood, Jr., redshirt junior Brandon Barnes and junior James Washington are getting most of the carries.

- When asked if redshirt freshman Andy Jomantas would move up or if they would shuffle the line to deal with redshirt sophomore guard Duran Christophe's knee surgery, O'Brien said the latter.

- O'Brien had praise for the defense. He said fifth-year senior Audie Cole is ahead of where Nate Irving was this time last year in their respective moves to middle linebacker.

He also said that redshirt freshman Art Norman has done a nice job as a reserve defensive end and that redshirt junior McKay Frandsen and redshirt sophomore Darryl Cato-Bishop are battling for the starting defensive end spot opposite fifth-year senior Jeff Rieskamp.

He also said there was more depth on this team at every position than years past.

- O'Brien said it is hard sometimes to assess the team when they practice against each other. He noted in 1972 when he was at Navy they practiced against Elon and Carson-Newman.

- When asked what the goals of the team were, O'Brien said, "We're here to win them all."


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