Q: How is the backup QB battle going?
A: Mike and Taylor are both great quarterbacks. They both had a great offseason. Worked extremely hard during the summer and they get better everyday, so we’ll see how the battle goes but the most important thing is they’re both working hard and working everyday.
Q: What are you learning from playing against this defense?
A: I look at my opportunity as practicing against maybe the best defense in the Pac-12 and that’s a huge help for myself and the rest of my teammates. Everyday is a competition out here and both sides of the ball get better from it.
Q: You are very talkative, have you always been like that?
A: Definitely, the quarterback has to be the leader of the team, the leader of the offense and we’re kind of in the dog days of camp right now. Guys are tired and its hard to get people motivated sometimes especially in the morning and that’s my role as the leader of this team. I need to get guys energized, keep them excited to practice, so we have that high competition level at all times so we’re constantly getting better.
Q: Are you pleased with where you’re at this point into camp?
A: I’m happy. I think he offense has been running at a very efficient rate. Like I said at media day our completion percentage as of last night as a team is over 75. As long as we keep our completions over 70 percent and improve the run game everyday I think we’re where we need to be as an offense but we always can get better and we will get better.
Q: Is the offense more sophisticated than it was at this point last year just due to experience?
A: There are times out there where a play comes in now and I have a complete picture in my head, boom boom boom, I get the signals out and we’re going so we’re at a way different spot than we were last year at this time, and we’re mixing a lot of guys in with the starters a lot of two, three, four receivers right now, but when the number one offense get so out on the field I think we’ll be clicking and look pretty good.
Q: When you watch film what areas do you need to improve on?
A: Staying on our progressions. I can get to my first guy, second guy, sometimes my third guy, but knowing where that fourth guy is, where that check down is, you can get a lot of yards off check downs. Linebackers kind of forget about backs out of the backfield. Understanding when teams blitz us. Do I need to audible? Where are my hots? And other than that just coming out here everyday, we don’t call many plays, we have a pretty base system in right now and just get to the point where we kind of percentage.
Q: What is your personal completion percentage thus far?
A: I was at 78, maybe dropped down to 77, but I know last year at the end of camp even at the beginning, Steven and me were struggling to be able 50, so to be at 77-78 right now, I’ll take it, but I can always improve and get better.
Q: Any new receivers catch your eye in camp so far?
A: We’ve got so many good ones and twos right now that it’s kind of hard to get past them. Today G-rob had a tremendous day; he just goes up and attacks the football. He’s an unbelievable athlete and wide receiver. Pflugrad had a couple great releases, I just hung the ball a little too long and Darby is a good corner man. I learned that today that I have to fire them in a little harder when Darby is in there but the whole group is looking good.
The whole team is looking good, attitude, you see defense patting offense on the butt, we’re giving them high-fives and it’s a lot of fun, we’re getting better everyday.
Q: Is your relationship with coach Mazzone good enough to challenge him on certain calls?
A: Oh yeah, it happened twice today. He called the play and protection and I go “No, that is not the protection,” and I flipped it around and that’s another thing coach has told us since day one, if you want to be the starter in this offense you need to know the offense better than I do and that’s kind of the point where we’re at. Coach and I have a great time together. He’s my favorite coach I’ve ever played for. He makes playing football a lot of fun, the meetings a lot of fun, he knows how to crack a joke, and he’s always doing goofy things but at the same time he is tremendous at what he does.
I really believe he’s the greatest quarterbacks coach in America and I’ve learned so much from him and I’m at where I am at this stage because of coach Mazzone.
Q: Can you mention a goofy thing he has done?
A: Well there are pictures all over the building of him and doctor Phil so he got a little sick of it so he bought a wig and glued it to his visor and he came in the meeting the other day with the visor on and it was all spiky, so he had a head of hair for a half a day.
Coach really has a lot of fun, before we went to Oregon State last year he was trying to tell the offense we needed to build a swag and come out with some confidence so before we got on the plane there were a bunch of cases sitting in the living room and before we knew it he was throwing out Old Spice Swagger. So coach knows how to keep things fresh and have fun.