RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State opened its second training camp Saturday under Dave Doeren with a quarterback in place this time.
The Wolfpack also has a year of experience in Doeren’s system. That puts the team on better footing while trying to improve on last season’s struggles.
“I thought the guys came out with a great attitude,” Doeren said. “Excited about the leadership, something the older guys showed. You can see where we left off in the spring.
“Some of the guys really grabbed on to what they needed to work on in the summer and came out here with a great attitude.”
N.C. State is settled at quarterback with Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett making his debut this fall. The Wolfpack had injuries and young players pressed into duty last season, when they won only three games and posted the first winless Atlantic Coast Conference record since 1959.
The most serious injury involved quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who won the starting job in training camp but broke his foot in the opener and missed two months.
Brissett practiced with the team while sitting out last year. He entered Saturday’s practice as the unquestioned starter with running and passing skills that fit Doeren’s no-huddle scheme.
“Players have been coming up to me telling me, ‘Your year is over with now — let’s just start and get it going, get off on the right foot,'” Brissett said.
Among the changes for N.C. State is the move to a 4-2-5 scheme as its base defensive package, which brings an extra defensive back onto the field. Cornerback Juston Burris said it will add speed to better handle spread schemes.
Doeren said the team will not work out in full pads until the fifth practice, and he’ll watch how players handle position battles through the coming weeks.
“Last year was something to build off of, and that’s what we’re doing now,” Brissett said. “From summer, we’ve been getting better. I feel like the players understand what happened last year, so you don’t have to keep bringing it up.”