O'Brien: "You Win With Character"

O'Brien: "You Win With Character"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media to discuss Saturday's game against Wake Forest.

Tom O'Brien

"This is Toys For Tots weekend and I want to call attention to that. Our fans have done a tremendous job, and there will be Marines at the gates accepting either cash donations or toys for children."

"It's mental. It's a matter of getting yourself ready to play and playing the best that we can. That's where the change has to come. Certainly we have to practice it and we have to do it on the football field and get everything done."

"A lot of people are sore and a lot of people are tired, but it's the mental aspect... we have to accept the fact that we have to play at a certain level each and every week. We can't just go out and think we can just play the game and win."

"For whatever reason, we didn't show up and play the way we are capable of playing last Saturday and it's on us to get ourselves back to the way we were playing the previous four weeks before that. If that happens then we are going to put ourselves in a position to win."

"My approach is positive. This is where you are... my approach is factual I would guess. This is who and what you are and this is where you've been. If you want to get to this point this is what you have to do. That's how I've always coached and I've tried to be as truthful as I can, sometimes brutally honest, but I think you have to be that way if there is going to be trust and respect in a relationship."

"There are too many positives for these kids to think that we can't go and win some football games."

"There is always something to learn from each and every game that you play. You can't not use any good teaching moments that are available to you."

"Somewhere between Thursday and Saturday something changed. You talk to the offensive coaches, they thought they had a really good week of practice. There was enthusiasm, they were sharp, and then we went out and there were a lot of guys on offense that didn't play very well. That's as bad as we played offensively all year."

"They controlled the line of scrimmage both on offense and defense which is something that we've always prided ourselves on."

"It's going to be stressed in all meetings and the practice field. Somebody is going to be No. 3 and you have to know where No. 3 is. He has a great relationship with the quarterback. They've been together now for three years and there seems to be great communication between the two of them on the field. It's certainly something that is emphasized."

"Once again, it's the mental aspect. They have to see it, they have to recognize it, they have to execute it and they have to play. They have to play with more passion and emotion that we showed up with on Saturday."

"No, right now... when you get to this point of the season there are not a lot of [personnel] changes you can make."

"You've got to move on, no matter what you're doing in life. Everything is full of challenges and they have to accept that we've got a challenge right now."

"I've been a long and seen a lot of wins and losses, good wins and bad losses, but it still comes back to me convincing them that this is what they have to get done and then we have to get it done... get them focused on the things that are important for us to have success this week."

"We've talked about this a lot... with the social media there are a lot of outside influences on them. They have to learn not to believe or listen or think about all that stuff at all. It really doesn't influence anything about what you do week-to-week with how you play. You control your destiny. What they say and what they think is all well and good, but it really doesn't affect what we do at all over here."

"They were really somber and more focused than they've been in the past. Not a lot... they've been a pretty loose group but they seem to be more focused and a lot quieter than they had been the previous week."

"On defense they've got 10 juniors and seniors and one sophomore playing. That's how they build their program, which is a good way. It's how you want to build a program I think."

"One thing about good coaches, they have a system, they believe in their system, they work their system, and they make little adjustments but they don't make kitchen sink adjustments and change everything. That's where you have success in this profession."

"My best teams at Boston College were basically all redshirt senior and junior defenses because that's what we always did there. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet."

"Zach Allen was our best run blocker and then we had to, I guess, expel our best running back and then we lost a week ago our most experienced running back who only played four games for the year with an injury."

"We're still a work-in-progress there which we shouldn't be, but the more we can get settled up front the better we'll be."

"[James Washington] is certainly disappointed. He has a bad knee... there is a lot of it, ACL... the thing we're concerned with right now is getting it healthy enough for his life."

"It doesn't matter whether it's negative or positive... they get caught up in it. Social media is there way to do things. You can't be great one week and then dogs the next week. They've got to understand that is the way fanbases go whether you win or lose, but that doesn't mean that is who and what you are. Who and what you are is what you do every day over here to make yourself the best football player you can be."

"It's hard I think at that age to take criticism and it's easy to believe... that's one of the things, kids get inflated idea of themselves because maybe some things that are said about them that aren't true."

"A lot of it is maturity. It goes back to the redshirt question, a lot of things... early success, but that's the world we live in and that's what we have to deal with."

"We recruit kids with character, and I think that is important. I think you win with character, not characters. You need to have a couple of characters because it keeps me busy, it gives me something to do, but these kids are well-spoken, great representatives of the university.

"We've talked about the APR is going to be off-the-chart next year... in fact it was reported this year, there will be only one school with a higher APR than we will be, but it's next year so we'll see where we end up next year."

"Everything is headed in the right direction. Sometimes you have bumps in the roads but you continue to fight through it and you'll be better in the long run for it."

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