Mattes Working His Way Back

Mattes Working His Way Back

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tom O'Brien met with the media following Thursday's practice. He gave an update on the status of R.J. Mattes and talked about Saturday's game against Western Carolina.

R.J. Mattes looks like he's back in pads, can you talk about how he's doing and whether or not there is any timetable for his return?
"We don't have a timeframe for him. He's out here in the green shirt which means he's not full go. He's trying to do more than he's done in the past so the situation with most injuries like this is it's more important how you feel tomorrow morning than how you feel walking off the field today. He's been out here all week but whatever he's been doing has been minimal."

Hod you feel about the offensive line? A couple weeks back you talked about the guys trying to work through some things and get everybody settled in. Do you feel better now?
"We are who we are now so you can't do anything more now. They have to line up and play and we'll see how they play Saturday night."

Have any of the walk-ons been elevated to scholarship status since last year?
"Asante Cureton is the only one right now. He's a senior and he's been on the two deep for two years so he was awarded a scholarship."

What do you expect from him in his final year?
"I expect a lot from him. Certainly he's earned the right to be in the position he's in and he's worked very hard. He's happy he's a scholarship guy now. He can help us on special teams and he's backing Audie Cole up at linebacker position."

Have you decided who will back T.J. Graham up returning punts and kickoffs?
"Justin Byers will go in right now. Earl Wolff will be the kickoff return guy and Justin Byers will be the guy for punts."

How has Dean Haynes looked in practice since you named him the starting running back?
"He's looked good. It hasn't seemed to phase him one bit. He comes out here and goes full speed each and every play and makes sure every rep counts. He hasn't changed what he's done since we moved him over and he's prepared this week."

Does Dean excel in any one area or are you more impressed with him as an overall player?
"I don't know, we'll find out Saturday night."

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