Doeren eyes a better second season
Posted July 23, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — NC State head coach Dave Doeren’s second season at the helm of the Wolfpack cannot be much worse than his first.
“It was a challenging year,” he told Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan.
NC State struggled to a 3-9 record in 2013, going 0-8 in the ACC, but Doeren saw his team was competitive, despite their record.
“With all that, we were in seven games in the fourth quarter and we need to now find a way to win those games. That’s what year two has to be, is winning those close games at the end.”
As a head coach, Doeren had found nothing but success, winning 23 games in just two season at Northern Illinois.
Losing that often was a new thing for him, as 2013 was his worst year since his first year as an assistant at Kansas.
“Our first year there, we won one game,” Doeren said. “But I also know they brought me here to build a program and it wasn’t going to happen overnight. We have learned a lot and grown a lot from last year. I know we are mentally tougher because of what we went through.”
Part of the reason the Wolfpack struggled so much last season was because of the quarterback position. This year, there is an undisputed starter in Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett, who Doeren spoke of very highly.
“Very competitive, great skill set, very hungry to play,” he said. “I know our players are behind him. He did everything he could as a leader last year as a player that had to redshirt. He was the scout team player of the year.
“He had a great offseason, great summer. Now he just needs to play. The biggest thing we need to do is players around him to help him. All good quarterbacks have linemen and running backs and receivers helping them,” he said.
Injuries ravaged NC State last season, especially on the offensive line. This season, if healthy, Doeren believes, this group could be really special.
“Last year, we had a chance, if nobody got hurt to be a decent o-line, and all of them got hurt at one time or another,” he said. “If we can play Tyson (Chandler) at left tackle and Rob (Crisp) at right tackle and Joe Thuney at left guard, we feel like we have a much better setup up there.”
Doeren said he has done his part to make sure 2014 is not a repeat of last season. That did not include a change of philosophy from his position.
Whether you’re winning or losing, a good coach is going to go back and self-scout what happened and really do some homework on here’s why this worked, here’s why this didn't,” he said. “I don’t believe in a wholesale shift of philosophy. I became the youngest head coach in the ACC because the things that I’ve learned have worked and I’m not going to abandon my beliefs because we had one bad year.”