NC State quarterback Mike Glennon will have four starters returning on the offensive line this year and is looking to continue the improvement he made in the second half of the 2011 season as spring practices begin in Raleigh on Friday. Glennon threw 31 touchdown passes in his first season and was fifth in the ACC in passing efficiency. I spoke with Glennon recently about his expectations for himself in his second season as the Wolfpack’s starter. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
What are your expectations now and how have they changed now that you’re going into your second season as a starter?
Mike Glennon: Just having a lot more confidence, not having any sort of doubt about what I’m able to do, because really I was just preparing myself for practice and didn’t have any game experience, so I have a lot more confidence in myself and I feel like that will be a big advantage for us next year.
Do you remember what it was like when you first lined up as the starter in the season opener last year?
MG: Yeah, the biggest difference for me was getting used to go out there every series, because in the past, when I got in the game, I’d go in for about two series and the game was over. It was different for me to get used to staying mentally focused each and every series and when we go off the field, in the next five minutes I’ll be right back out there.
What was the biggest change in you from the first half of the season to the second, because you seemed to be playing a whole lot better?
MG: Probably I think I improved pretty much every game. Even if we lost and I didn’t have my best game, I think I still improved as a player. I learned from my experiences. I definitely feel in the bowl game I was playing my best football of the year and that was just a part of building on each game, learning from mistakes, and building on the good things.
So where do you go from here? What do you focus on this spring? What’s the next step in getting better?
MG: Right now just trying to work on the workout aspect, getting bigger, faster, stronger and trying to improve on something every day, whether it’s football-related, working out, throwing the ball, watching a little film -- just doing something each day to improve myself as a quarterback.
Is there anything mechanical you want to improve on, or technique-wise?
MG: My main thing is I need to improve on being able to extend the play and escape a little bit when things break down in front of me. I need to be able to make something out of nothing and not go backwards.
Who are you going to throw to without T.J.?
MG: We have plenty of guys. We have guys who have played, guys like Tobais Palmer, who played a good amount of ball last year, and then we have some guys who did a good job for us last year when they stepped in, Bryan Underwood, and all of our tight ends are very good. We’re going to have to have some of our younger guys step up and rise to the occasion.
What in your opinion is the biggest advantage to not being a rookie anymore, aside from the confidence?
MG: Probably just being familiar and understanding the speed of the game that goes on on Saturdays. It’s way different from high school and different from practice. Just the speed of the game and taking the hits that quarterbacks take and having to get up and throw the next pass and complete it.