Excerpt from N.C. State’s Tom O’Brien on the ACC football coaches’ teleconference:
Q: Coach, can you tell me how you handle a kid like Owen Spencer who’s had a couple dropped passes? Do you talk to him about it? Are you afraid to talk to him too much out of fear that you will make the situation worse?
A: I think each kid is different. Owen, he’s got a pretty good sense of humor and after the last game he had a couple of drops but came back and made a catch. I told him as he was getting his per diem money that the hardware store was open and he might want to go check out a new pair of hands.
He got a good laugh out of that one. I think the best thing to do is, you can’t get uptight. You need to stay loose and you need to stay confident. And you have to encourage him. He understands my quirky sense of humor, and we get along well.
Q: Is the way you guys are playing lately as easy to explain as everybody being healthy or is there a little more to it?
A: I think that’s certainly part of it. But I think it’s the evolution. Coming in we knew we were going to be a very young football team and not a very deep football team. . . .When you move two defensive linemen to offensive line who had never played offensive line, that’s an area that’s been a concern since I’ve been here. To see their progression, the quarterback had three different starts to his season. You see how he’s progressed and played once he’s gotten healthy again, and then certainly getting the (injured players) back on defense. But just when it was safe to get out of the water we lost (Shea) McKeen last week and Clem Johnson this week.
Q: How do you chart (Russell Wilson’s) progress in recent weeks?
A: I think Dana (Bible) has done a good job putting him in positions he can succeed at. He certainly is a smart individual and he’s learned from week to week. Experience is a great teacher and he’s learned from it. He certainly has capabilities to extend plays. That’s what he’s been able to do. When he extends the play, he’s been making great throws and great decisions for us.