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June 1, 2009
O'Brien chats with the fans
Tom O'Brien took the time Monday afternoon to answer a few of the Wolfpack nation questions during an online chat on the school's website, GoPack.com.NC State head coach
Among the highlights from the chat:
• O'Brien noted that the staff does not plan on signing a kicker before redshirt junior Josh Czajkowski's eligibility is up.
• O'Brien said there could be as many as 8 to 10 redshirt freshmen on the two-deep roster this fall.
• When discussing the quarterback situation, O'Brien said that the Pack is in a good situation to have both redshirt sophomore Russell Wilson and redshirt freshman Mike Glennon on the team.
"Many coaches have been reluctant to play two quarterbacks, but I've always been on the mindset that you want to get your backup in a football game early in the year. You don't want to get in the 9th, 10th, 11th game with your backup never having seen action. Certainly if Russell is the starter, and he's the odds-on favorite now, we will certainly look to get Mike Glennon playing time through the first month of the season so that he's prepared so that, should we lose Russell, he can step in and handle the duties at quarterback."
• O'Brien noted that fifth-year senior running back Toney Baker could be a player that did not play much recently but he had high expectations for next year because of Baker's experience.
• Redshirt junior Javon Walker has not been cleared for the strength and conditioning program yet, but he is possible to return to field during camp in August. O'Brien did not that redshirt junior receiver Donald Bowens is the only person who might not be back for the start of fall camp, noting that he could be returning from a knee injury in September or October.
• O'Brien complimented senior punter Jeff Ruiz for his work in the spring, and he said that there should be a spirited battle with incoming freshman Chris Ward to be the punter.
• O'Brien also complimented redshirt sophomore Audie Cole when asked who could replace Robbie Leonard at strongside linebacker.
• When asked about halftime pass-outs, O'Brien said:
"That is a decision for our university administration to make, however, it's very important to the football team that at kickoff, whether it be the start of the first quarter or the start of the third quarter, that our fans are in their seats ready to cheer the team on. Also, with so many televised games, it doesn't portray an accurate picture of our awesome atmosphere when the stands are only partially full."
• O'Brien also made a pitch for an indoor practice facility:
"That would be on my wish list for what we should do next for our program. The importance of an indoor facility is evident in those early morning workouts in January and February before the sun comes up and there is frost on the practice fields while we are running and trying to get faster and better. Under those conditions, an injury is always a major concern. During summer camp, the constant threat of thunderstorms causes us to lose time standing under the overhang limits our preparation. And as we prepare for bowl games, sometimes we get days in December here that would cost us practice time. An indoor facility would help in our preparation to become the best football team in the ACC.
• There will be a "Calling of the Wolves" 20 minutes before the game starts and five minutes before the third quarter begins to help fans get into their seats in time.
• The team will have players going down to visit the wounded warriors at Camp LeJeune on June 11
• O'Brien also shot down the apparent rumors there could be live wolves on the sideline this fall.
Here is a link to the archived chat.