November 1, 2007

Thursday's practice report: DEs help fuel defense

North Carolina State defensive end Martrel Brown and Willie Young are starting to evoke memories of their coach while he played at Navy.

OK, maybe not, but NCSU coach Tom O'Brien took a trip down memory lane Thursday about his playing days as a defensive end at Navy. He also had praise for Brown and Young, who along with defensive tackles DeMario Pressley and Alan-Michael Cash, have helped fuel the Wolfpack's two-game winning streak.

"I can't tell you why it happened [Young getting 4.5 sacks the last two games], but I think moving him to the open end helped him a little bit and we have given him more opportunities," O'Brien said. "We've been in games in the fourth quarter that have allowed him to pass rush the way he has to. We've had teams down who have had to throw the football, and that is his specialty, the pass rush."

Brown's fire was lit when O'Brien kept the tri-captain out of the starting lineup for two games against Louisville and Clemson. The senior is more adept to be over the tight end while Young can chase down quarterbacks from the open side.

O'Brien said the benching wasn't intended to be a wake-up call, just business as usual.

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