Doeren: Depth Chart Close To Being Settled

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media following Tuesday's practice.

Dave Doeren

Brandon Pittman, what have you seen from him this fall?
It was good to get him back in practice because he missed a lot of the spring.

He's a guy that gained 20 pounds in the offseason and really bought into the weight room. We wanted to see what that would do for him on the field and finally you can see him use his hands and shed blocks.

He's always been athletic... a quick-twitch guy. You haven't seen him be a strong, athletic, quick-twitch guy and that's what you've seen these last couple of weeks.

Can you play him and Rodman together if you need to?
Potentially... potentially.

What is the competition like at safety?
Josh Jones came out of spring as our number one with Byrd hurt. When Byrd goes he can help us, we're just being careful with him. We have the ability to play either one of those guys right now but Josh is the starter.

Hakim Jones is ahead of [Germaine] Pratt right now at free, but Pratt is a guy that's shown he can make plays. He just needs to clean up the little things while he's in there, but he is a playmaker and very good tackler.

[At nickel] we have [Tim] Buckley and Dre [Wright], but Buckley is our 1. We feel good with either one of them in the game right now. We have good depth there.

Do you have more confidence and continuity at offensive line?
We just need to get them all healthy here in the next couple of days.

They are lining up where they are supposed to be lining up. Joe is really comfortable at left guard and with Tony and Schooley inside we have three strong, athletic guys inside.

We have good length outside, whether it's Alex or Tyson on the right side and Rob on the left. We feel good about that rotation.

Do you expect improvement?
Absolutely. The team will go as the o-line goes.

The offensive line is responsible for a lot more than people understand. If they give Jacoby time he's going to be dangerous. If they don't it's going to be tough. He's got to have the time he needs to see the routes and let the receivers do their thing.

Is the depth chart pretty settled?
It's pretty close. We'll probably announce it this week some time.

Where is the closest competition?
On the defensive line... at nose tackle and the defensive tackle position.

He has a pretty good rotation because Monty missed a couple of weeks with a foot sprain. Now that he's back we can see the competition there.

Kenton Gibbs, B.J. Hill... Justin Jones is back, he missed a week with a shoulder sprain. I feel a lot better now that they are all practicing again, and we'll play guys at that spot throughout the game.

Is there a magic number for that rotation?
If he could have ten, five inside and five outside, that would be great.

What is your biggest concern with the defense?
Youth, just the lack of experience. This will be the first year for Josh Jones getting significant reps in college.

Tocho has played a lot, Burris has played a lot, Hakim has played a lot so those three guys have to help him. Buckley has played a lot, but he just hasn't played a full game as a nickel.

It's the experience in the back-end. I feel good about the experience in the front seven.

Thoughts on Georgia Southern:
I'm sure they went to clinics in the offseason to and they run an entirely different offense than what the ran last season.

We read the articles in the paper and know they are going to run spread option. What that means is you get as much as you can on video and try to show them what they can do in case other things show up. We play Georgia Tech later in the year so if they decide to jump back into the offense they ran a year ago we have that repped too.

What's the expectation for Kentavius Street?
He'll play. How well he plays will determine how much he plays. He'll be in the rotation. He's in the two-deep right now.

You obviously went out and got the kid for a reason.
He's a great player. He's just learning how to use his body right now.

He is a freak. The guy can do about anything in the weight room. Just throw it on the bar, and he'll get it.

He just has to learn to play within his body and use all those tools.