August 5th, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL:
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker):
Thursday Practice Report: Front 4 getting challenged
The NC State defense has the goal of getting more pressure from its front four this season and become less reliant on blitzing.
The Wolfpack went from 24 sacks in the 2009 season to 42 last year, an impressive leap. The linebackers and safeties combined for 20 sacks, while defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy led the line with six.
“Don’t get me wrong, we want to pressure and we are going to attack people, but there are going to be times on third down in particular, where we want to get pressure with four down, and we want to play max coverage with five under and two deep,” NC State defensive coordinator Mike Archer said. “We have to get better rushing four, whoever those four guys are, whether it’s three down and a linebacker.
JP Giglio (N&O):
Wolfpack’s special teamers impressing early
O’Brien and Petercuskie have been together for 15 years, the first 10 at Boston College, and neither can remember a season where they’ve had to start over at the three most important special-team positions with “right-off-the-boat” freshmen, as Petercuskie put it.
“I’ve never had anything like it but we’re forced into this,” O’Brien said. “We’re very fortunate. The kids are really mature.”
Brett Friedlander (Wilmington Star):
State gets no love in preseason coaches poll
Apparently the coaches who vote on the USA Today poll aren’t as convinced as their colleague Tom O’Brien about Mike Glennon’s ability to replace Russell Wilson at quarterback for N.C. State.
Despite coming off a nine-win season with veterans returning at virtually every position except quarterback and wide receiver, the Wolfpack was not among the nation’s top 25 teams in the USAToday preseason coaches poll, released Thursday.
Interesting article and video series from GoPack.com.
Opening STATEment: Episode 1
On August 2, NC State football returned to the field for the first time since the spring game, as camp opened with a flock of media in attendance. GoPack.com will follow three players: Taylor Gentry, Dean Haynes, and Art Norman, through their camp experience with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their daily activities.
Each installment of this series will cover the development of Gentry as a senior leader, Haynes as he adjusts to a new position, and Norman as he fights for a spot on the depth chart.
Robbi Pickeral (N&O):
Embattled Tar Heels putting past behind
After an eight-win season marred by an NCAA investigation, many North Carolina players and fans were left asking “What could have been?”
As the Tar Heels open fall practice today, the question morphs into: “What will be?”
Over the past nine days, UNC officials have fired head coach Butch Davis, tabbed former defensive coordinator Everett Withers as interim head coach, promoted former linebackers coach Art Kaufman to defensive coordinator, and announced that athletic director Dick Baddour will resign as soon as a replacement is hired.
Ken Tysiac (N&O):
Thorp: Another Davis misstep
UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp said Thursday he was disappointed that former football coach Butch Davis offered son Drew Davis a football scholarship without consulting with Thorp or athletic director Dick Baddour.
With all the controversy surrounding the Tar Heels football program, Thorp said, it would have been better for Butch Davis to talk with Thorp and Baddour before offering Drew a scholarship.
Thorp also reiterated previous comments that there was no one reason for Davis’ firing on July 27, but rather a “collection of problems” as UNC faces NCAA allegations of nine major violations involving cases of academic misconduct and improper benefits received by football players.
Thorp and other university officials are scheduled to attend an Oct. 28 hearing with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to address the violations.
“I found out about that (scholarship offer) a couple months ago when I saw it online,” Thorp said during a telephone interview, “and yes, I was disappointed that neither the athletic director nor I knew about that.”
Ken Tysiac (N&O):
Davis says Thorp didn’t communicate concerns about offer
Former University of North Carolina football coach Butch Davis said in a statement late Thursday night that he believes UNC chancellor Holden Thorp didn’t promptly communicate to Davis any concerns Thorp had about the recruitment of Davis’ son, Drew.
“I’m disappointed Chancellor Thorp has chosen to mention our son publicly as a part of his explanation for the decision to terminate my job,” Davis said. “The first time I was made aware the chancellor had any concerns whatsoever about the recruiting of my son was the Friday before I was fired — and he did not communicate those concerns to me personally. Once I was made aware that he had become uneasy about the situation, I immediately called him to discuss it. I left a message on his voice mail that was not returned.”
University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp explained in an email to students and colleagues Thursday that changing football coaches was the only way for the school to move forward.
Cliff Barnes (Capital sports):
UNC players who cheated are responsible for their own actions
Yes, Butch Davis brought in and trusted John Blake, who was at the center of the NCAA football investigation. And yes, Butch Davis recruited Marvin Austin, who seems to be the biggest violator among the players of NCAA rules. the And yes, Butch Davis was responsible for the football program. But how about the responsibility being on those who committed the violations.
Cliff Barnes (Capital Sports):
Timing of Davis’ ouster curious but should Thorp be gone?
I’m probably in the minority but I liked UNC coach Butch Davis more after the academic controversy surrounding the football team than I did before.
Before the controversy, I thought of Davis as someone who’d really rather be coaching in the pros. After all, every press conference seemed to have some reference to the NFL – whether it was comparing someone on the opposing team with a pro bowl player or just relaying stories from his earlier career.
Andrew Jones (FoxSportsCarolinas.com)
Mack Brown could heal Heels
North Carolina has an opening for a new athletic director, whose first responsibility will be to hire a new football coach next December.
While the focus in the media and among most UNC fans is on prospective coaches, including Everett Withers, who was named interim coach for this season a few days ago, it should first be on who might be the next AD.
And while some interesting names have been bandied about, including South Carolina AD Eric Hyman, who played football for the Tar Heels, the most intriguing name is Texas football coach Mack Brown.