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Pack in the Pros

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Brandon Costner (2009)

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With the NBA Draft coming up this Thursday night, we thought that we would catch up with Brandon Costner to see how he is feeling with the big day approaching. The former McDonald’s All-American has been trying to show that he belongs in the NBA by attending every workout possible and leaving with positive feedback wherever he has been. Here is how our conversation with Brandon broke down:

WPH:How have the NBA workouts been going and what has been the feedback that you’ve been getting?

Costner: Things have been going very well. I’m very upbeat. I had my last workout with the Nets 2 days ago. In all of the workouts I thought I really played well, and showed these guys that I belong and that I’m an NBA player. I’m really excited.

WPH: What has the competition been like at the NBA workouts?

Costner: The competition has been tough. Each workout is different and the intensity varies. Some teams run you to death and then play you to see if you will quit. Other are more interested in seeing your skills by doing drills and playing games of 3-on-3 and 1-on-1.

WPH: Obviously your pursuing a career in basketball, but what are some of your other aspirations in life? What do you plan on doing “when the ball stops bouncing”?

Costner: Hopefully I can milk basketball as long as possible. But my future lies in youth. I would like to develop a basketball academy and teach the game and teach fundamentals. I want to be a leader and a mentor to younger people. I would also like to start a non-profit organization one day that gives inner city kids the chance to learn to play sports that they might not be accustomed to like golf and tennis. I really want to do as much as I can to affect as many young people as I can. So many people were instrumental in helping me become the person I am today and I want to do the same for others.

WPH: How would you describe your time at NC State?

Costner: I really enjoyed my time. I was there all four years. I gave the school all I had. Obviously I wish we could have been more successful, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

WPH: What is your favorite memory from playing basketball with the Pack?

Costner: I would have to say making the tournament finals my Freshmen year. My biggest thing is winning and we were playing some of our best basketball then.

WPH: What is your relationship like with Coach Lowe?

Costner: I have a real good relationship with Coach Lowe. I talked with him 2 days ago to give him an update on how every thing is going. It’s the type of relationship that a player should have with his coach.

WPH: Why did you decide to forego your Senior season?

Costner: It really had a lot to do with me graduating. I also think that it is hard to ignore the grumbling around campus and from the Wolfpack Nation about how many wanted to see the old regime out of there. When the majority of people had negative things to say to me, I kind of got the feeling that it was my time.

WPH: How much do you think the negativity of the fanbase and media outlets affects you as a player and the team as a whole?

Costner: I wouldn’t say that it consumes us, but we definitely hear it. Seeing that this is a our job, we understand that it is part of the territory and we are used to it. The ignorant rumors and people saying that we don’t care about the university and that we don’t care about winning hurt. Half the people don’t know how much goes into what we do every day. Bottom line nobody loses on purpose. It’s the paper, it’s the friends at school who read this stuff religiously. They come up and say “did you see what so and so said about you.” Then we go and see what people have said. One of the biggest things was the year that J.J. was here. I think that as a team it affected us and we were out there trying our best and they are saying that we have chemistry issues and that Gavin is messing with my girlfriend. The thing is, we all get along and we are a really tight team. I mean we all hang out outside of basketball.

WPH: Did all of this negativity leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to your opinion of NC State?

Costner:I definitely don’t have a bad taste in my mouth. I truly believe that the State fans that supported me and my teammates and the people that are really positive and love the university made my time at State worthwhile.

WPH: What relationships did you develop with your teammates that you think will last into the future?

Costner: From day one on campus me and Courtney have kind of been inseparable. I talk with Ben, Simon and Trevor every day. We all became very close especially because of everything we went through. I see us doing that through the rest of my life. All of the NC State alumni and the present team make a big Wolfpack family. People like Josh Powell, Marcus Melvin and Anthony Grundy have come back and been big impacts on all of us. They all come back and play and workout in the summer. If we are not talking every day then it is every week. All of us have a lasting bond and friendship. It’s a huge family. I talked with Engin all last year and he is one of my best friends. They are the ones that teach us how to be student athletes and better people.

WPH: Are you going to be like the Alumni that you have mentioned, coming back in the summers and pouring into the Pack players?

Costner: Oh definitely. I want to come back and be one of the guys like Josh Powell, who took me under his wing. I want to come back and pass on the tradition.

WPH: Thank you so much for your time Brandon. We wish you the best and look forward to following you wherever you go.

We really appreciate Brandon’s honesty and transparency. I hope that this interview will be read by as many State fans as possible. I think Brandon’s words are important to hear. The words that we say and the words that we type can truly be detrimental to the health of our Basketball program.

Thank you Brandon for all that you gave to this university!

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Pack in the Pros

NC State in the NFL: Week 13 Report

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18 of the 20 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 13 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below. Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill was waived by the Chargers prior to Week 13.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) had his best game in weeks, posting a 106.3 QB Rating in the Chargers’ 23-20 loss to the Broncos. He completed 20 of 29 for 265 yards with 2 touchdowns (1 interception).

Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) was 21 of 31 for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 interception) in Seattle’s 37-30 victory over Minnesota. Heading into Week 14, Wilson is the highest graded quarterback in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus.

Running Back Nyheim Hines (starter) rushed the ball 4 times for 22 yards and a touchdown, had 2 receptions for 18 yards, and returned 2 punts for an average of 16 yards in Indy’s 31-17 loss to Tennessee, playing 43% of the offensive snaps.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon (starter) had 3 receptions for 51 yards, leading the Redskins in receiving in their 29-21 victory over the Panthers. He led Washington in targets, and played 84% of the offensive snaps.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) continued to struggle since coming back from a knee injury, posting his 3rd straight game with a QB Rating in the 70’s. He was 25 of 40 for 319 yards and 1 touchdown (2 interceptions) in the Colts’ 31-17 loss to the Titans.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt (starter) had 5 tackles in the Bengals’ 22-6 victory over the Jets, playing 47% of the defensive snaps.

Cornerback Juston Burris (starter) had 4 tackles and 1 tackle for loss in the Browns 20-13 loss to the Steelers, playing 100% of the defensive snaps.

Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers had 3 receptions for 46 yards in New England’s 28-22 loss to Houston, playing in 70% of the offensive snaps.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels (starter) had 7 carries for 32 yards and 2 receptions for 22 yards in Pittsburgh’s 20-13 win over Cleveland. He played 55% of the offensive snaps.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Pats’ 28-22 loss to the Texans.

Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in Arizona’s 34-7 loss to Los Angeles.

Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in Minnesota’s 37-30 loss to Seattle on Monday Night Football. Over the last three weeks, Garrett Bradbury has allowed just one pressure across 120 pass-blocking snaps.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in Los Angeles’ 23-20 loss to Denver, playing a team-high 70% of the defensive snaps.

Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles in the Giants’ 31-13 loss to the Packers, playing 49% of the defensive snaps.

Offensive Tackle Will Richardson played 34% of the offensive snaps in Jacksonville’s 28-11 loss to Tampa Bay.

Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball two times for an average of 38.5 yards in Oakland’s 40-9 loss to the Chiefs.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka (starter) made field goals from 41 and 26, missing one from 50 yards out in Buffalo’s 26-15 victory on Thanksgiving Day. He also missed one of his three extra point attempts.

Offensive Guard Ted Larsen played 5 Special Teams snaps in the Bears 24-20 victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving.

DNP

Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)
Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)

IR

Linebacker Bradley Chubb (Broncos) – knee
Defensive End Kentavius Street (49ers) – knee

 

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Pack in the Pros

Making the Case for Torry Holt’s Hall of Fame Induction…AGAIN

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This is Holt’s 6th consecutive year as a nominee for the NFL Hall of Fame, being nominated in his first year of eligibility in 2015 (has to be 5 years after retirement). Holt has been a semifinalist every time, including this year, with the 25 players being revealed earlier this week.

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Holt played 11 seasons, and was a Pro Bowler in 7 of them (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007). He also earned 1st Team All-Pro honors in 2003, and 2nd Team All-Pro honors in 2006.

He led the NFL in receiving yards twice (2000 & 2003) and receptions once (2003)

In 11 seasons, Holt ranked in the Top-10 in receiving yards 8 times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007), receptions 5 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006), and touchdown receptions 4 times (2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006).

He was also a part of “The Greatest Show on Turf” with Kurt Warner throwing the ball to him and Isaac Bruce. They went to 2 Super Bowls, and took home the trophy in 2001.

The only reason Holt hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame already is because his body didn’t hold on for a couple more seasons. What he did in a shortened career is remarkable, and shouldn’t be denied simply because his career numbers aren’t as high as others.

He was the youngest player to accumulate 10,000 receiving yards, as well as 11,000. Holt’s the only player in NFL history to have over 1,300 receiving yards in 6 straight seasons.

He averaged 77.4 receiving yards per game for his career, which ranks 7th all-time in NFL history.

You could make an argument that for a decade, there was no better receiver in the NFL than Torry Holt. If you are in the conversation for being the best at your position throughout the length of your career, you should be in the Hall of Fame.

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Russell Wilson Becomes 1st QB in NFL History to Start Career with 8 Consecutive Winning Seasons

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Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson made history on Sunday. After the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 17-9, a winning record in 2019 was secured, which means that Russell Wilson has led Seattle to 8 consecutive winning seasons to start his career.

How many quarterbacks have ever done that?

One.

Russell Wilson.

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Pack in the Pros

Ryan Finley OUT as Starting Quarterback in Cincinnati

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The Ryan Finley experiment in Cincinnati is over. After starting the past three games for the Bengals, the former NC State quarterback will sit back down on the bench, with Andy Dalton stepping back into his normal role.

According to Ian Rapoport, with the Bengals season shot, this more of an opportunity to evaluate Finley, than Dalton being benched.

Finley struggled mightily in his three starts, completing only 47.1% of his passes, producing a QB Rating of 62.1, and turning the ball over 5 times.

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