ACC Football Kickoff: Tom O'Brien

PINEHURST, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media today during the 2011 ACC Kickoff, discussing a range of topics from injury news to NCAA rule changes.

Tom O'Brien Audio

"On the defensive side of the ball, Markus Kuhn might be a kid that steps up. He's a great story – a kid that came to school out of Germany. We had to play him as a freshman. We red-shirted him after two years – we really should have red-shirted him his first year but we weren't able to do that."

"He looks like he's made himself a football player. It will be interesting to see how he performs this year."

"If you go offensively, I think a guy like Mario Carter that's been through two significant knee surgeries. To come back and finally be healthy – we made the decision to red-shirt Asa Watson – he's a guy that maybe will do some things this year."

"Torian Box is no longer part of the football team. He hasn't done what we expect out of our players – he left school. Jarvis Byrd hurt his ACL on his other knee last Wednesday night. He'll have surgery sometime in the next 10 days. He'll be out for the year."

"That field linebacker position has been a hybrid position for us – kind of a linebacker-slash-strong safety. Last year playing those two kids – both DJ and Dante as true freshman."

"DJ has also those character - kind of similar to Audie as a tall, rangy guy who can run. A very athletic guy that can do kinda the hybrid things that have to be done out there because all of the spread offenses and playing pass defense."

"Audie was typical of a guy we recruited at BC – high school quarterback, played some safety. Had the ability to play multiple positions."

"He had the temperament – he's a defensive kind of guy. He's was a Golden Glove boxer too – he didn't tell you that did he?"

"When I first got to be a head coach and Bill Belichek being a friend I spent a lot of time with the Patriot. I asked Bill what was the number one ability that he looked for in a player and he says 'dependability – that's the number one ability guys have to have to play for me'. I've kind of assumed that same thing."

"Russell was a great player who did great things for us. He's a great kid and we certainly wish him the best. I think I had my say back in April. We are comfortable with our decision and our focus right now is to move forward and coach the guys we have."

"We believe we can win with [Glennon] at the highest level. But we certainly understand that this isn't about one guy. It's a team game and there are a lot of pieces to fall into place and he's just one of them."

"I think [the graduate transfer rule] is a good rule and it certainly worked out best for Russell."

"No one has come into my office [about the Wilson decision]."

"I hope he wins the Big Ten Championship, that would be great for him. We are going to be working to win the ACC Championship."

"I understand all the questions but the decision was made in April. We are confident that we are going to be fine moving forward with Mike Glennon, again its a team game."

"Let me be clear about this – we love Russell Wilson. He's a great kid."

"Football is more of a chess game than a military campaign."

"It's not good for college football right now. Any time you have that many people involved in that many alleged violations whether they are proven or not, its not good for the sport. It's incumbent upon us to take care of our programs one way or anything. When you look at the high profile of the schools involved that's as unsettling as anything."

"I feel confident in my abilities to manage a program. If there's one thing I've done well in my career its hire good assistant coaches."

"If you have the right guys and you have the right system in place you are going to have some control over what happens to your program."

"What I look for is a guy that can someday be a head coach. You look for a guy that's a good communicator, good educator and good teacher. But you look for his ethics, his background, his family."

"I think more people lose games than win them. Because of mistakes they make – whether its penalties, or turnovers or just bone-headedness."

"The multi-year scholarship I'm definitely against. That would be a terrible thing right now."

"The cost of living – if you go back to laundry money or whatever it is we used to have. It certainly would help them in some respect. If you go to cost of attendance.. everyone's cost of attendance is different. I think it would be a set dollar amount."

"There schedule is this – Mustafa will be the first one back but right now the projection is that it might be at the beginning of October. With Wallace it might be mid-October and with Winkles it might be the end of October."

"RJ is our best player so he's going to play left tackle."

"[Glennon's] learned a lot the last couple of years. He's taken advantage of all the practice time he's gotten because he's been the guy in three straight springs."

"Is he going to make mistakes? Heck yeah he's gonna make mistakes. He hasn't played week in, week out."

"[The coaching changes] ended up being a good thing after watching the interaction in spring practice. One of the things that happens with a staff that's been together a long time, you kind of get repetitive in everything you do."

"Obviously TJ, Steve Howard and Jay Smith have played the most of anybody. It would really help us if those guys stepped up and played."

"We have to wait till [Mustafa] gets healthy first. My feeling like injuries like his is that we are going to be cautious – better to be a week later than a day earlier."

"There's a whole different way that the recruits are looking at us this year than they were a year ago."

"[Bryan] has great hands – he really has soft hands. He catches balls that are not catchable balls – that's what sets him apart."

"The support has been five, six, seven to one that the [Wilson] decision has been right. But as someone said maybe by the 11th game it might not be right."

"[The streak against UNC] really doesn't matter because all that matters is what happens this year."

"We expanded some of the things that we did [defensively]. It was part John, but it was part having some guys who played some football. It doesn't matter what you call if your guys can't execute or get there."

"There are guys that grow up blue and guys that grow up red and it doesn't matter what happens – they aren't changing."

"I've promised Taylor Gentry he will carry the ball."

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