Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New State coach Tenuta makes impression on Irving

Tom O’Brien has been trying to hire Jon Tenuta since, oh, about the time Tenuta graduated from Virginia in 1982. O’Brien finally got him, as the linebackers coach for this N.C. State team, and Wolfpack players had no idea what was ahead when Tenuta arrived for their first meeting.

Pack linebacker Nate Irving said he was used to his group laughing and joking around – and quickly learned his new coach had a different vibe. Irving said Tenuta walked in, and said, “Alright, the laughing stops now.”

“He introduced himself and got straight down to business,” Irving said.

Tenuta, 53, has been a defensive coordinator at seven different schools and spent the past two seasons at Notre Dame. Before that he spent six seasons at Georgia Tech and one at UNC. Tenuta is known for both his gruff, demanding style and his dazzling ability to create blitzing defenses. O’Brien said Tenuta’s style will blend in well with what he and defensive coordinator Mike Archer want to achieve this season.

But what has struck Irving, too, is how well Tenuta knows the game. While Irving expects more blitzes, he also expects State’s run defense to improve, in part because Tenuta is so specific in what he expects.

O’Brien, for one, is thrilled to finally have Tenuta on his staff. “He brings an attitude about the way he coaches and approaches the game,” O’Brien said.

Yes, he does. Irving learned that the first meeting.

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