ACC: Donald Coleman

NC State's O'Brien reflects on third spring in Raleigh

April, 15, 2009
4/15/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

NC State coach Tom O'Brien is facing higher expectations as he heads into his third season with the program. The Pack finished 2008 as one of the hottest teams in the country, as quarterback Russell Wilson helped lead NC State to a 6-7 record. The Pack will wrap up its spring at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the Kay Yow Spring Game. O'Brien gave his thoughts recently on his third spring in Raleigh:

 
  Andrew Synowiez/US PRESSWIRE
  Tom O'Brien knows expectations are higher for his team in 2009.

One of the things I wanted to ask you is what you're looking for out of the spring game, if there are any areas you'll be paying particular attention to?

Tom O'Brien: No, we play a game because something always pops up that even though you try to practice it, it's not the same. It's different when you have people in the stands and coaches aren't on the field telling you what to do. My experience in the past is something happens in the spring game you really can't coach. It's a good learning experience for the team to be put in that situation.

What have you been most pleased with in terms of progress this spring?

TOB: We try to make individuals better, and as we count up the number of guys that we think have improved, it's more than the guys who have stayed the same. We've made strides in a lot of different areas. We'll worry more about team offense, team defense, team special teams as we get into August. We're looking for individuals to become better football players and we've accomplished that.

As far as entering your third season, where do see the program's need for the most improvement?

TOB: I think the whole program, we should be improved. We've had enough injuries the previous two years to last us, so if we stay healthy, then we're in a situation that offensively, defensively and special teams we should be a much better football team.

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