Pack's Archer comfortable with Tenuta

From staff reportsMarch 9, 2010 

N.C. State defensive coordinator Mike Archer was surprised at how much he has in common with new linebackers coach Jon Tenuta.

"These past three weeks as we’re looking at what we’re trying to do and better our football team, a lot of his terminology and a lot of the things he says are similar to me,” Archer said as the Wolfpack prepared for the start of spring practice today.

Coach Tom O’Brien hired Tenuta after Andy McCollum left for Georgia Tech. Tenuta has been one of the most respected defensive coordinators in college football, particularly during his time under Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech.

Archer is the coordinator of a defense that ranked 11th in the ACC, giving up 31.2 points per game last season. It was logical to guess that there would be some friction between Archer and Tenuta.

But Archer said there hasn’t been. He said that when he was coaching under Bill Arnsparger at LSU in the mid-1980s, Tenuta was at Arnsparger’s camp.

That’s why some of their terminology is the same.

"Jon has come in here and adjusted very well,” Archer said. “And obviously with his ability to pressure the quarterback the way he did at Georgia Tech. . .he’s brought in a lot of good ideas. Now what we have to do is get our guys to understand the trigger terms.”

They will work with a defense that loses all four starters on the line but returns its 2008 leader, linebacker Nate Irving, who missed the 2009 season while recovering from injuries suffered in a car wreck.

Irving said nobody on the defense wants to go through another season like 2009. While incorporating Tenuta’s ideas, it’s Archer’s job to turn around that defense.

"It’s gone very well,” Archer said. “I think it’s been great. It’s been great for me. . . .Jon has been a coordinator for 16 years, and I don’t have all the answers. None of us do.”

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