Mike Archer Chats With ESPN’s Heather Dinich

“It is what it is.”  Mike Archer says those words several times in an interview with ESPN’s Heather Dinich.

Why? Why does that happen to you guys?

MA: If I knew, I wouldn’t be coaching. I’d be a doctor or a sports psychologist. I’d have your job. … Everyone says it’s a curse. It’s the way it is. I wish I knew so we could prevent it, but like Todd Rice says, if we knew, we’d prevent it.

Archer goes on to point out that the Pack defense has sustained injuries before and throughout the year. He adds that too many young players have been forced onto the field and that opponents have “discovered” that and are taking advantage.

“Man, another tough year for the D.

Mike Archer: It is what it is. You and I talked this summer, we got off to a rough start with what happened to Nate [Irving]. And then Dominique [Ellis] left the team and Jimmaul Simmons left the team, and Javon Walker, who started five games for us in 2007, and got injured in the Miami game, we were very hopeful he would be back for this year. We were counting on him being one of the safeties and he’s done with football. ”

You take those four guys, and three of them played on one side of the field, it’s been tough. But it’s part of the game.”


It is what it is. You’re not going to be just stoning people when you’re playing young kids. We have to understand that and continue to move forward and keep improving. That’s our job as players and as coaches.”

Honestly, Archer sounded a bit like Terry Harvey on a WPTF post-game call-in show when he is being bombarded by angry State fans on the other end of the line.  Harvey made the phrase “it is what it is” famous to Wolfpack fans during the Amato era when he tried to show respect to a given caller’s emotional outburst at what seemed to be an incompetent display by the Wolfpack offense.

Love or hate Archer, it is true that he is in a tough position trying to shore up a defense that is not only depleted and inexperienced, but also has a total lack of confidence.  No one ever said that being a coordinator at a major D1 FBS school was easy however, and Archer needs to put together something resembling a functional defense week in and week out. If he can’t, it is his boss’s responsibility to find someone who can.

In that case, it’s fair to say this: “It is what it is.”

Tip of the ole hat to reader ncsufan13 for pointing out this article and linking to it in our forums.

'09 Football

16 Responses to Mike Archer Chats With ESPN’s Heather Dinich

  1. old13 11/06/2009 at 4:05 PM #

    I made essentially the same comments two weeks ago on this blog and the forums. But nobody wanted to listen to logic then.

  2. primacyone 11/06/2009 at 4:23 PM #

    DUKE. Whoooooooooped by.

    It’s a significant problem. That’s what it is.

  3. Lunatic Fringe 11/06/2009 at 5:25 PM #

    The injuries surely did not help, but I still do not understand why I am seeing the same defunct defensive plays vs. FSU that I saw against Duke. Keep in mind that Duke’s QB publicly stated that they knew exactly what we were going to do and it was exactly what they saw on tape (including our audibles/shifts). <<…that falls on the COACHES!

    Personally, I think I would have found a way to work in some new wrinkles after given up 391, 480, & 502 yards leading into a BYE week. Watching our defense is like Chinese Water Torture…repeatedly doing the same thing with no clear end in sight.

    Mike Archer "is what he is" – an uncreative, below average defensive coach (not just opinion – look at his historical college stats) who does not know how to adjust or get the best out of his players. The players have lost confidence, because the coaches have not made any significant changes to sure up the defense.

  4. CStanley 11/06/2009 at 7:40 PM #

    I understand injuries are part of the game. I’ve learned that much over my 30 year life span.

    But I don’t understand our injury problem. It’s insane. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of following sports. Not just football, but all sports.

  5. T-FIC 11/06/2009 at 8:33 PM #

    I guess its another year of wondering what could have been if we didn’t have so many injuries. This feels like Groundhog Day!

  6. T-FIC 11/06/2009 at 8:43 PM #

    This was also what Archer said in the article by Heather Dinich:

    “When we were in Tallahassee, I look out there Saturday and we have a true freshman corner, a true freshman safety, a redshirt freshman safety and a junior corner on the field with two freshman linebackers.”

    Sometimes I forget how really young our D is. Just think how bad it would be if our front four weren’t all seniors. Speaking of that, are we gonna have a gaping hole next year with the front four?

  7. 61Packer 11/06/2009 at 10:15 PM #

    It ain’t the coaches.
    It ain’t the injuries.
    It ain’t the defense
    It’s duh FUH-CILITIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Whoooooooo doggie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Class of 2009 11/07/2009 at 12:28 AM #

    “If I knew, I wouldn’t be coaching. I’d be a doctor or a sports psychologist.”

    Does the intelligence of this comment, alone, scare anyone of the ‘brains’ behind the defense?

    “…if we knew, we’d prevent it.”

    Exactly! If YOU knew what was going on, then YOU would prevent it. The problem is that for some reason, you don’t see (1) the lackadaisical player performance, (2) the failed/unorganized defensive structure, and (3) the poor play calling. So, Mr. Archer, what do you think the solution to the problem is; I think a lot of us have a pretty good idea EXACTLY what the problem is…

  9. iBeenPacked 11/07/2009 at 1:28 AM #

    glad to see NCSU is still turing out graduates with common sense.

    if TOB is waiting until the end of the season to get rid of MA, then it shows his class in wanting to do the right thing at the right time. At this point, there is nothing to be gained. the season is a complete disaster.

    If Archer is still employed on Nov. 29, then it shows that TOB is living in an alternate reality and needs to go. i don’t even want to think how much the D will suck next year when young et al move on if Archer is still around.

    maybe when cutcliffe or holtz move on we can trade TOB for some medical treatment for our players.

  10. sautz 11/07/2009 at 2:23 AM #

    A meeting of great minds if ever there was one…

  11. packalum44 11/07/2009 at 9:22 AM #

    HD: “Why does your defense suck donkey balls?”

    MA: “Durrrr I dunno. If I knew, I’d fix it and, ya know… be a football coach or something.”

    HD: “You are a football coach. You’re the defensive coordinator.”

    MA: “Oh yeah. Right. Well did you sees all dem freshman and sophomores on da field against FSU????”

    HD: “Yes. But I bet my cupcake job that every DIAA program in the country would trade their defensive roster for yours. Even so, they still have much better defenses.”

    MA: “Errrr Coach Fowler says he likes my rod and reel and that I’m a pretty dog-on good coach. Say’s I’m perfect for NC State.”

    HD: “Well at least we can all agree on some things.”

  12. Class of 2009 11/07/2009 at 11:32 AM #

    Back when I dated a girl at ECU, I saw entirely too many good defensive squads turned good due to a great coaching staff that had little more than manageable recruits. I refuse to believe that it is the player’s fault that we have L>W. Does that mean the players are free of blame? No, but it does mean that redundancy should be built into a called play such that when one guys messes up or gets lazy, the other players can recover (Reference Sendek and the Princeton Offense).


    “glad to see NCSU is still turing out graduates with common sense.”
    Rocket science, class of ’09. The biggest lesson they taught me: No matter how hard you try, you’re probably still wrong. MAYBE IF ARCHER TOOK THAT STANCE HE WOULD DO A LITTLE BETTER SELF-EVALUATION OF HIS PERFORMANCE!!!

  13. g6bentgrass 11/07/2009 at 12:07 PM #

    I’m in the rbc parking lot. Less than 2 hrs before kickoff. 10 times as many empty parking spots as full ones. Doesn’t look like there will be many people here today. Not good.

  14. wolfpacker 11/07/2009 at 3:43 PM #

    Archer is a JOKE! He was on his way out at Kentucky before we gave him a job. Their head coach was smart enough to realize that he was PATHETIC and took over the play calling for the defense in 2006. TOB gave him a job and Kentucky was so happy they couldn’t stand it…

    TOB made a mistake and he hired one of the worst d-coordinators our school has ever had. And he isn’t willing to OWN his mistake…

    Hopefully Archer will be saying that (It is what it is) at the end of the season when he has to go look for a NEW JOB.


  15. woody71 11/09/2009 at 11:07 AM #

    Why is it every time I read an article on this site, it is screaming for someone to be fired? Archer has lost a lot of key personel this year and that has to be taken into consideration. What if your boss asked you to build a house in a month. I then take away your hammer and replace it with a rock. I then take away your ladder and give you a kitchen chair. Then for kicks I stand over your shoulder all day and tell you your work looks like crap and you need to be fired.

  16. Class of 2009 11/09/2009 at 2:20 PM #

    Its not just this season. Archer has been a cancer to his defenses ever since 2000. People don’t want him fired because their feelings are hurt this year and its a knee-jerk reaction; its because he has a history.

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