Days off always create boredom. Sunday, for example, was the type of day that I did nothing. Literally nothing. Eating was a downright struggle. Today is one of those days off where the boredom makes me want to be productive. And what better way to be productive than to talk NC State football in another edition of the Twitter Q&A?
NC State opened fall camp Tuesday afternoon and while optimism is high in Raleigh, there is plenty to talk about heading into the season opener with Liberty Sept. 3. Will Mike Glennon’s ginger beard scare defensive players into submission? What about Mustafa Greene’s injured foot? And let’s not forget about Nate Irving no longer being on campus. That said, here we go…
@BCHysteria: Does Boston College make a bowl this year?
Yes. Assuming the Eagles take care of business in the first five weeks of the season (Northwestern, Central Florida, Duke, UMASS and Wake Forest), they should be in good shape to go to a bowl. The schedule gets ridiculous from early October on, but Boston College can and should pull out enough boring, defensive wins to make a middle of the road ACC bowl game. I’m thinking somewhere in the 7-5 or 8-4 range. Side note: Can Boston College make a bowl without Montel Harris breaking all of Ted Brown’s ACC rushing records? @BCHysteria, see if you can make this happen.
@Joey_Powell: Since the #UNC program has already been Thorpedoed, what will NC State wish for moving forward?
For those of you who don’t follow Mr. Powell, do yourself a favor and click the follow button. He’s been dropping some rather interesting truth bombs from the Carolina perspective in the last week or so.
As for the question, come on Joey, you should know better. NC State fans have nothing else to wish for now. As long as something is burning in Chapel Hill, nothing else matters. If TOB and company go 5-0 when the two teams play in November, the sh*t talk could reach epic levels.
@mel_ball: How improved is T.J. Graham? Has he mastered the art of catching the ball before running?
The issue with Graham, at least in my view, is a confidence thing. It’s never been about talent. He’s got all the tools, and now he knows that he has to step up and lead this group of inexperienced wide receivers. I think he’ll be fine. The other added bonus is that he’s caught passes from Mike Glennon in practice for the last two years. Those two have a good relationship and Graham, aside from George Bryan, could be Glennon’s “go-to guy.”
As for catching the ball before running, I sure hope the answer is yes. Maybe he can talk with Owen Spencer about it before the season opener.
@Tpack37: Realistic expectations for Glennon this year?
Are you asking because you want me to temper your ridiculously high expectations or just because you want to know? Or are you trying to bait me into talking about Russell Wilson? Hmm…
The good thing for Glennon is that the first month of the season will allow him a chance to go through some growing pains. And for those of you who think he won’t go through those, don’t kid yourself. After he gets his feet wet, I fully expect Glennon to have success in 2011. Tom O’Brien said Tuesday that the offense will be a reflection of Mike Glennon’s talents: ”We have to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. The offense will reflect whatever those talents are.”
To me that is an indication that the coaching staff is still in the process of figuring that out. That will happen before the Liberty game but it will also continue once the season starts. The offense will be somewhat fluid as Glennon grows and becomes more comfortable.
As for concrete expectations, I don’t have many. Glennon is as physically talented as any quarterback in the ACC, but that doesn’t mean he’ll have All-ACC type success in his first campaign. The key here is to have patience. Yes he’s been in Raleigh for three years and knows the offense as well as anyone, but he’s still a newbie and it will take time for him to come into his own on the field.
@twedmonds: do you think we can get pressure with our front 4? To me, that is the difference in NCSU having a good or great D.
The front four can certainly get pressure on the quarterback, but I think you’ll continue to see NC State utilize different blitz packages and schemes to get pressure in the backfield. The ability of that group to hold up against the run is my concern.
One thing to remember about all this is how experienced the defense is as a whole. The guys in the back seven (aside from DJ Green) have all played a ton and that should do wonders for the overall success of the defense. When Archer, Tenuta and company do send those crazy blitzes they must have more confidence in how the back-end will hold up.
That said, I fully expect J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn to be two of the better pass-rushing defensive tackles in the league.
@Lon_Petrini:are there any “sleepers” that you expect to have a breakout year and surprise some people?
This question could send me into a completely different discussion about the term sleeper, but I’ll save it for now.
There are several guys who could wind up having surprising seasons, and all but one of them are on offense. Two receivers, Jay Smith and Steven Howard, are guys that could have very solid years. Jay Smith could become the new Jarvis Williams with his size and athleticism while Howard is a classic possession receiver (that’s a compliment, I promise).
Defensively, D.J. Green is a guy I really like at that strong-side linebacker spot. He’s big enough to hold up against the run and as athletic as anyone on the entire defense. He could cause BIG problems rushing the quarterback in Tenuta’s crazy blitzes.
@wxmoose: What are your predictions for this season?
This question will be turned into a post within the next week or so, but I’ll summarize it here to save time.
NC State has all the talent to be as good or better than it was in 2010. The question is whether all that talent, especially the inexperienced guys on offense, will come together enough to win games. The schedule sets up so well that it wouldn’t shock me at all if the Wolfpack went to FSU at 7-0 in late October.
My answer to this question so far has been 8-4 with a bowl win to get to 9-4. That said, this team could be better, like 9-3 or 10-2 better. But thanks to my eternal pessimism, I’m going to stick with 8-4 for now.
@Joe_Wagstaff: I’ll oblige you with a question. I like Quinton Payton to have a good year at WR. Your thoughts?
I like where your head is at Wagstaff. Payton is a guy I wanted to include in the sleeper answer above, but I saved it so I could talk about him here.
Payton has the unique combination of size, speed and athleticism that no other NC State receiver that I know of has. T.J. Graham is the burner. Jay Smith is the big athletic leaper. Several other guys can be agile edge guys. But Payton seems to have the tools to be all of those.
He’s the guy who I hope to be able to say “I told you so” about come season’s end.
Thanks for the questions folks. It means a lot that you were willing to help me burn up another hour of my day off. Crap, it’s only 12:45. Any good Shark Week re-runs on?