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August 16, 2013

Dave Doeren reflects on scrimmage, depth chart

NC State competed in its second scrimmage of preseason camp Friday morning, and afterwards head coach Dave Doeren went over his thoughts on the play Friday as well as previewing how the depth chart may be shaping up.

The following is a transcript from Doeren's media availability.

How do you think you stand with running the football?

"Today was the first day we made our quarterbacks where we could hit them. It was fun to see that and to see the finish of some of those plays cause normally we blow it really fast. So we were able to add that into our packages today, and it helped our offense I thought at times.

"Aside from the fumble, impressed with what Matt Dayes has given us in the backfield. I think Shad's a lot better, but obviously with our suspension game one we're trying to find out who our depth is going to be at tailback besides Creecy, and Matt Dayes has shown he can do that.

"I think the puzzle that we are moving around on the offensive line with [Quinton] Schooley being here now, gives us that competition where if he wins the center job we can maybe move [Joe] Thuney out to a guard and get us our best five out on the field that way. That's something that we saw.

"I just like the way the guys fought today, finishing on the goal line. There was some good contact there at the end. The run game to me is the only way you can be a successful team in the fourth quarter, to be able to run the football and hopefully we can get better at it."

Did you use the quarterback runs that you would use in a normal game situation?

"We did some. We didn't do a ton of them because we still want to evaluate the backs, but like I told you this is the only time we are going to hit our quarterbacks until gameday. We lined them up today to see if they can do or not."

Sharper than the first scrimmage?

"I think in a lot of ways it was. Defensively we didn't give up a lot of big plays. There were some good hits. Offensively we made some nice catches, tight coverage catches, guys fighting from the football. That was good to see from the receiving group."

That something you think can translate well considering Juston Burris and Dontae Johnson are good corners?

"I think so, and giving those freshmen some confidence. I think [Marquez] Valdes and [Jumichael] Ramos made some nice catches today. We expect the older guys to be able to do that when they're in there. We were able to rest Rashard [Smith] today because he was a little beat up. [Travares Copeland] is getting better, so we should be getting him back real soon."

How has Tony Creecy been?

"Real solid, steady. He just does what he is supposed to do really hard, plays with everything he has."

What type of skillset does Dayes bring?

"He's low to the ground, he's compact. He has great vision. When he makes decision, he makes it with 215 pounds behind it. He has the ability to make some things happen after the run that some of the lighter guys don't"

How do you evaluate the quarterbacks today?

"I need to see everything on film. It looks like Brandon [Mitchell] had pretty good command of the offense today. Some of the fumbles that took place were with Pete [Thomas] was in there. I got to see if it were the backs or him before I tell you, but both of them are throwing the ball better. That's the one thing you do see."

Defensively, were do you think you standing in developing depth on the depth chart?

"I feel a lot better than I did in the spring at linebacker. I really feel like we got six guys when [Brandon] Pittman, he didn't play today, but when he's back. We have him and M.J. [Salahuddin] at Will. D.J. [Green] and Rodman [Noel] at Sam and [Zach] Gentry and [Robert] Caldwell at Mike, I like what's going on there.

"At safety I think Byrd being out there helps a lot, having that senior safety with Hakim [Jones]. The backup safety position, [Tim] Buckley and [Josh] Stanley are probably ahead of the freshmen right now just because of experience.

"I really like the corner position, there's a lot of depth. Sean Paul wasn't able to do a lot today, but Jack Tocho is really playing well as a freshman."

There's some competition at defensive end, how is Mike Rose doing and some of the depth being developed there?

"On the d-line we'll play a lot of guys. That's just kind of Coach [Ryan] Nielsen's philosophy. We do have good depth at end. We have [Art] Norman playing at a high level, you have [Darryl Cato-Bishop] who does everything you tell him to do. Mike Rose is a quick twitch guy that can do some things off the edge. Forrest West was out for a while but he's back today so it's good to see him running around, too."

Either one of those receivers a serious injury or just banged up?

"Rashard's just beat up. I kind of know what he is. I don't need to put him out there and get him hurt. Quintin [Payton] just pulled a muscle and it taking a while to heal. They're saying he'll be back before game one."

How much were you able to do special teams wise?

"We wanted to put some heat on the kickers today, I think that was the biggest thing. Then we did some live tempo, just where a kickoff return guy is trying to block a kickoff coverage guy, or punt return guy is trying to hold up a full speed punt coverage guy, to see who'll battle. We got a lot of good work there."

How are the fullbacks and tight ends?

"Asa [Watson] is clearly our best tight end I think at this point. Ryan Cheek and [Tyler] Purvis are a good compliment to each other at fullback. We are still looking for [David J.] Grinnage and Benson Browne to make strides. Grinnage does some really good things at times and at times he's still young. In the pass game he's outstanding. He's gotten better as a blocker."


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