Aug. 6, 2006
Q. Talking to Coach Weis and some of the other coaches, they talk about how you’re very well equipped to handle all the hype that’s coming your way and whatnot, but how do you stay so grounded?
Brady Quinn: I guess the best way to answer that is just because I have a good group of people around me, my family, my friends, who have always kind of stay grounded through everything. I think Coach Weis more than anyone else is the best at doing that. He never seems to let down on some of his little comments and he has a quick wit about things whether things are going good or bad for us. He seems to have a pretty good hold on keeping the whole team grounded, not just myself.
Q. Coach said that you had some pretty high profile help, tutors so to speak, can you talk about that? He didn’t really expand on it at all.
Brady Quinn: Yeah, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the greatest quarterbacks ever, or currently right now, you know, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, Tom Brady. I spoke to some of them about just some of the difference things that they have gone through in their career.
Obviously each one of them is in a different position coming out of college into the pros. I think Peyton, for example, might be the most comparable of the three coming out of college. He obviously had some good advice and had some good things to say that helped me realize how I need to approach the season.
Q. Is there one thing maybe that stuck in your mind that you took away from those conversations?
Brady Quinn: Talking to Peyton Manning, you truly realize he is a business guy and he is obviously a tremendous quarterback, a very talented athlete, but at the same point of time, takes a business approach to everything. He looks at himself as his own corporation.
I think some of the stuff that he talked about that he does before games, or even just going into his final season as a senior, it’s just amazing. I think hopefully, you know, I can kind of work in some of the same routines that he used his same year.
Q. How were those discussions arranged, was that via phone?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, it was via phone. Obviously I didn’t have a chance to fly around everywhere, drive around everywhere and see them. Would have been nice, but no, just via phone.
Q. What about the idea, Charlie said you may end up being the sacrificial lamb, he said he’s been working on his lines to coach you, what do you think of that?
Brady Quinn: I’m looking forward to it. He always comes up with some different things here and there, so I’m looking for some of his best material. It’s obviously my last time around and my chance for him to get some good stuff in on me, so I’m really looking forward to it.
Q. Do you have a favorite that he’s given you, do any stand out?
Brady Quinn: One of his best comments? I mean, I’m trying to think I’m not sure if it was during the spring or if it was during two a days last year, but it was an incomplete pass and he was talking about, you know, basically saying, regarding what was wrong regarding my footwork but also called up “this is why you’re always going to be a 50 percent completion passer,” you know, and he just always makes little comments like that that kind of stick with you. That’s probably the one that has I guess more or less motivated me and stuck with me.
Q. Is his ability to communicate, it seems like the players kind of flock to him both in the recruiting process and on the team, is his communication why he’s got you to believe in him so much?
Brady Quinn: I think so. I think it’s a couple of things. I think it’s communication, and also his ability to connect with people and teach people, especially with recruits. Probably with they meet him, they are able to see, you know, the things he’s able to teach them and show them, you know, right off the bat.
Q. Charlie said during his press conference that he felt that he could give you more responsibility with the offense this year, not only calling the plays, but more responsibility. Has he communicated that to you, and what do you think he means by that?
Brady Quinn: Obviously I think he’ll hopefully give me more freedom while I’m out there and put responsibility on me, which in this offense is, you know, hard to put much more on you besides calling a play. But hopefully he’ll allow me to do more things or maybe change things up while I’m out there.
Q. What is it like to have people almost following your every move, for example, you go on the Internet and somebody says, “oh, I saw Brady outside Crate and Barrel in Chicago” or something like that; or to walk into a store and see yourself on all these magazine covers, what is that experience like?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know, it’s pretty unique. It’s pretty cool. It can be fun at times and other times can be frustrating if you’re trying to spend some time with your friends or family and people are trying to bother you here and there. But it’s been fun for me. I’ve enjoyed it.
But the biggest thing is there’s been a lot of hype around the season and we’re trying to turn the hype into reality or turn it into a fact at one point instead of having all these people, oh, how we’re going to be ranked or how we’re going to do. Just have to get it done now.
Q. Is that what motivates the team most this season?
Brady Quinn: I think so. More than anything else just living up to everything that’s being said about us. This team isn’t about hype or about all this fluff that’s around our team right now. We just want to get on the field and play and show everyone the real thing.
Q. How have you been able to get bigger and stronger each year at Notre Dame?
Brady Quinn: I pretty much had the same thing I’ve tried to go through every summer since I’ve pretty much been going through my junior senior year in high school, I try to work out twice a day. I do either lifting or running or whatever it is in the afternoon, just get my work in. I’ve benefitted a lot over last few years of being able to put on lean mass because I’m not trying to put on necessarily weight.
Q. Charlie always talks about the 1 0 mentality, how much do you and everybody else, how much have you and everybody else bought into that?
Brady Quinn: I mean, that’s something that is very important to us. You might look at it as the biggest thing for us is focusing on Georgia Tech as a team. And that’s the most important for our team. That’s one of the things we’re talking about right now.
Q. Coach Weis said last season inaudible what are your expectations?
Brady Quinn: Just not thinking about it right now, just one game at a time. But if you want to make National Championship a reality, people talk about it or people write about it right now, but we’re just taking it one game at a time. That’s definitely our goal inaudible all the different highs and lows.
So I think you know, going into this camp, it’s more of a unique feeling. I think we’re going to be able to at least for me, the senior guys who are coming back this season, it’s our last time around. It’s your last opening game. But there’s a lot of, I guess, last times for us if you want to put it that way. I’m obviously looking forward to getting things started and just getting into the season with all this hoopla and everything.
Q. What do you want the team to accomplish offensively this year?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know, I obviously just building on what we did last year. I think you saw this offense really take off and we’re going to be looking to come into the season just getting off on the same foot and really kind of continuing and progressing and working. We have some new faces here and there but you’ll be seeing a lot of Rhema and Justin and a lot of those guys.
Q. What are your thoughts on the backup quarterback battle?
Brady Quinn: Not a whole lot right now. I think Evan improving the things he can do, obviously the freshmen stepping in there at this point in time, so I can’t say a whole lot.
Q. How is your relationship with Jeff Samardzija evolved to the point where most of your communication is unspoken?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, it’s funny because when he got back from playing baseball this summer, we started going through our routes read, and it would also be done before, but we obviously talk about what we need to do. But for the most part we didn’t say a lot, more or less just hand signals here or there or going to the next route and me knowing that. So it’s cool to see that relationship evolve, but it just goes to show the type of relationship that we have off the field, also.
Q. Dealing with Coach Weis, did it take you a while to get used to that, was it hard at first or were you always able to?
Brady Quinn: No, I feel like I was always able to take it. My mom is someone what’s always been pretty critical of me more than anyone else when I was growing up, so it’s been kind of easy for me to I guess take criticism from Coach Weis. I mean, it’s just at this point in time, you know, I’ll be interested to see what he has to say at camp just because he said so much over past 18 months or so. So I’m looking forward to it.
Q. Does he have new stuff to motivate you guys because you’ve already heard a season’s worth of the stuff?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know. I think obviously there’s different points in time where our teams are at a different state as far as maybe mentally goes. You know, Coach is obviously going to play on that and coming into this fall camp. As hyped as we are and as much as people talk about us, I think he’s obviously going to try to beat down as much as he can to make us realize we’re nothing until the game starts and the season is over with and we see where we are in the final standings. Right now we could be ranked whatever, doesn’t matter to us. The only thing that matters is being No. 1.
Q. You are probably closer to the coaches than the rest of the team, how is that relationship, do you talk to him on a daily basis, did you have a lot of one on ones with him, or what is the relationship between you two?
Brady Quinn: It depends. I think at one point in the summer we were almost talking every other day. At some points when he’s on vacation or if I’m going away for something, maybe we won’t talk for a week, two weeks, however long. I wouldn’t say we were gone for more than maybe two weeks without talking on the phone at least.
During the season we see each other every day, talking every day, communicating. I’m asking different questions about this or that. Obviously there’s a lot of communication going on and it just goes to show the bond that we’ve developed over the past 18 months.
Q. One thing he said a few minutes ago wasn’t talking about the National Championship – but you previously mentioned it does he mind you saying that?
Brady Quinn: You know, that’s just I always try to be truthful with everything and I’d be lying if I told you guys that it wasn’t in the back of our minds, because I think overall, that is our motivation.
But hopefully he knows the only thing we care about right now is Georgia Tech because like I said before, that’s a piece of the puzzle, the biggest piece we need to put together.
Q. What was the hardest part about adjusting to his system last year and what do you like about this system?
Brady Quinn: The terminology is something that you had to get down first because it’s different compared to the West Coast offense which the past coaching staff had had. It was, and yeah, you’re throwing the ball more in different sets than with the previous staff. So you have to get yourself adjusted, dealing with being able it work your eyes better and reading defenses a little bit more as different sets.
People don’t realize there’s more pressure on a quarterback to read different things when things aren’t necessarily so clear. When they are more spread out, you’re able to see when blitzes are covering or if there’s rotating coverage, but when things are more compact, it’s a little harder to pick up what’s going on. So that was an adjustment. But I think the big thing is it wasn’t hard because he was such a good teacher. It was just so easy for him to translate over I guess into my mind.
Q. What do you like about it and how does it fit your strengths?
Brady Quinn: I think it just plays to a lot of different strengths as far as the responsibility that is placed on the quarterback. I’m obviously someone who wants to be very involved in the offense, doing different things in there, whether it’s making checks or changing plays or anything of that nature. So it allows you the freedom to do that, so in the off season that’s going to allow to you play with confidence and when you play with confidence, you’re going to flourish when you play on the field.
Q. Last year, the offense set a number of school records. Does the offense have any goals for this year?
Brady Quinn: It’s obviously something that we are just going to try to break those records again like you said and keep doing.
Q. How’s Rhema McKnight looked?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, he’s looking good. All summer he’s been working out so he’s ready to go. Hopefully people haven’t forgot, he was our leader for the first two years I was here. Really coming into the season, I’m excited about the opportunity to work with two guys who have caught the most balls for me in the past three seasons.
Q. A lot of people out west are curious about your background in Columbus, what was your view of the Buckeyes growing up, and why did you not get attached to them as much as you did Notre Dame?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t attached. I shouldn’t say I was attached to Notre Dame more than Ohio State.
But really I guess I just more or less looked at you know college football as far as the whole entry process goes is kind of like, well, I want to go where I fit in best, and Notre Dame happened to be that place for me. Ohio State was a great place but it just wasn’t for me.
Q. Notre Dame struggled on the field all that time
Brady Quinn: Not at all, because actually at that time they went 10 3, so that was my senior year. So it was actually looking pretty good coming in.
Q. We hear you talk about the criticism from Coach Weis, is there a balance between some of that negative and positives, or is it mostly just hammering you all at time?
Brady Quinn: No, it’s not hammering all the time. There are definitely he builds us up at times when he thinks we need it. It depends on the mood of the team. I think he’s able to read people and read our team very well and get a good sense of we’re at and what we need from him.
Q. You’re really well grounded what do you attribute that to? What is it about your background that allows you to be humble and be able to handle the hype without getting too excited?
Brady Quinn: Have to give my parents a lot of credit obviously. Coming up when I was younger through high school and whatnot, they just taught me to take everything in stride, not get too high when things are going great. And I can feel when things are going bad, when you go back and look at things, they are never as bad as they seem and they are never as good as they seem, and that’s something I truly believe deep down.
I also have to give credit to my friends, too. I’ve surrounded myself with some good friends back home and other place that is it really helped me realize that, you know, you’re only as good as your last game. And hopefully this year we’ll start things well and we’ll continue to have success and we’ll end January 8.
Q. Working in the news and information department this summer, I don’t know how much time you had for free reading, but this just in, there were a few stories written about you this summer, how much do you read about what’s written about you?
Brady Quinn: Not at all to be honest with you. I actually only worked in there for about half the summer because just it was getting too hectic and a little too crazy. First thing that had to come out was working that summer job.
People obviously are going to make comments about something like that, but I’m not into reading that. I’ll say it’s nice to be written about and have people say nice things about you. But at the same point in time, if things are not going well, it’s better off just to keep your head out of it.
Q. Considering all that and all that’s been written about you, what would be the one thing you would want people to know about Brady Quinn?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know. Hopefully when you talk about the grounded thing, you talk about that. Hopefully people just know me for who I am.
Obviously I’m not the type of person to take all this stuff in and get a big head about it or take all this hype and turn into someone else I’m not. Just he’s worked hard to get where he’s at, he’s a lot of support from his family and grounded in Christian values and I truly believe in my spirituality and my work ethic; that’s really what’s gotten me here today.
Q. You’ve got a teammate that boxes and another that’s a baseball pitcher. Do you feel that you need to develop a talent?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, I know, I was like, gosh, got to pick up something. I was watching the World Series of Darts and I was like, I have a dart board at home and I’m pretty good. I wanted to give it a try, but no, it was a crazy summer for this team. You look at Zibby killing it like 49 seconds and Samardzija is obviously pitching on his world tour or whatever he’s doing. It’s fun. It just goes to show what type of athletes and people we have to be able to go out there and deal with different sports and go out here and be amazing or come back in shape.
I’ve been throwing with Jeff a couple days since he’s been back. The kid hasn’t lost a beat. He’s in shape, he’s ready to go. It’s just like, I don’t know, I’m not sure if I could do the things they have done this summer, really comeback the way they have. It’s cool.
Brady Quinn: Oh, yeah, just to see someone like that, who you battled with on the field, you’ve sweated with, you’ve been there working with, it’s unbelievable. And to see him go out there and live out a dream like that, gosh, he’s worked obviously so hard to get where he’s at and just have that opportunity and see him fulfill that dream is just amazing. It’s hard to get more excited and more happy for someone than that.
Q. How is it having Rhema back?
Brady Quinn: Biggest thing, I don’t know if you realized how big of a leader he was on this team, even without him being on the field. He’s such a special personality on this team. He doesn’t understand how, you know, his excitement and different things he brings to this team can impact us just by hanging out in the locker room before the game and being on the sidelines.
So he’s someone who I think missed the last season on the field but at the same point in time was able to step up in different role more or less as a leader on the field. And I’m just excited to have him on the field as a leader and off the field as a leader this year.
Q. How’s Rhema’s health?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, he’s fine. I was throwing with him all summer. I can guarantee that, he’s fine. He’s obviously coming back 100% and he looks good. So I’m excited. It will be excite.
Q. What do you think your role will be, obviously you’re a Heisman Trophy candidate but with some of the freshman and younger players?
Brady Quinn: Hopefully just show what needs to be done here. You come in as a freshman, guys are coming from different backgrounds and different philosophies and different things like that. But I mean you want to build off the success and show people, this is how we’ve got to get it done, this work ethic, this taking time, you know, studying film, doing well in school and everything, just being a well rounded person, yet you know, getting it done on the field is how we want to do things, doing it the right way. Those are the things I’d like to show them or I guess send off to him.
Q. Is it realistic to expect any of the freshman receivers or tight ends to get playing time?
Brady Quinn: I think it’s tough. When you look at guys in those positions now, it would be tough to say something like that but obviously they are very talented.
At the same point in time, the game has not started yet and we have no idea what’s going to happen in camp. You never know what is going to step up in camp and who is not. We’ll have to wait and see how everything works out.
Q. What’s it like having Travis on the line now?
Brady Quinn: I’m just glad he’s not wearing the same jersey because, but it’s cool, I mean, obviously anytime someone is that talented and is able to be in the game the whole time or on the field a lot, you’ve got to find a way to get someone like that on the field, and our coaching staff has. They are smart and able to see that maybe he’s able to fill a void or a spot where we can take advantage of him.
I’m just happy for him. He’s someone who I think is just again a special player and is able to do so many different things. It just goes to show how athletic he is to be able to switch both sides of the ball like that, and I definitely think he’s going to be productive for us.
Brady Quinn: I don’t know, that’s something I haven’t focused on too much. Maybe a week or two into camp, you know, maybe I’ll start to notice getting reps or if he’s making plays on defense, just build up our confidence on offense, something.
Q. Do you hang out with or take the offensive line out?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, I try to take him out. You know, every once in awhile, hang out, someone has got to do the time and it’s like I’m a college student, man. I was in news and information I can’t afford that every week. But yeah, we actually were three of us were sitting at the Cubs game Wednesday night but obviously the game got rained out, so they had another opportunity to go out there and sing, but it would have been fun. Those guys worked so hard and they never get enough credit for the things they do and the sacrifices they make.
Brady Quinn: Having as much time and dedication and pushing each other and working hard and sacrificing every their time and energy. It’s all going to benefit each one of us. So, you know, I don’t have any trouble with it. This team is one big family.
Brady Quinn: A couple of the guys they went home right after exams.
Q. What are your thoughts on being named as a Heisman Trophy candidate?
Brady Quinn: I don’t know. I think right now it’s just flattering to be mentioned like that. But gosh, we’re so far away from that and we’re so far from seeing what the season is going to turn out, how the team is going to perform. It’s hard to even comment or say anything about that. It’s flattering and an honor just to be mentioned.
Q. With the goal as the National Championship inaudible?
Brady Quinn: Without a doubt. The better the team plays, and as long as we keep things going, keep playing one game at a time, good things will come with that. That’s where we’re focusing right now.
Q. What would you say, the experience inaudible it doesn’t look like you came in here after a 10 3 season and they are obviously struggling, does it matter that you have to do something this year?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, I think we do. A think a lot of guys, at least that’s how I look at it. Last year was great, but we really didn’t do anything. We obviously built upon our new system and everything that we had had and got to a BCS game, but we didn’t win the BCS game.
We want to work towards the same goals we did last year but accomplish everything. I mean, last year, obviously we did well, well for where we were at. But this year you look at where we’re at now and keep building onto that. I think a lot of the guys look at it like, we did well last year, but we have a long way to go.
Q. What is it about Coach Weis that makes him such an effective teacher and communicator for quarterbacks?
Brady Quinn: I think his offense when you look at it, more centers around the quarterback. It puts a lot of the calls, a lot of the decisions in the huddle, where to cut off the line of scrimmage; he wants to be right there with you. He almost wants you to be an extension of him on the field. So in saying that, you have to develop a tight relationship and a close bond.
Brady Quinn: Yeah, it’s been an adjustment for me just because usually when you go out there and start working, you you’re able to strap on your plays and get into the flow. It’s a little different with quarterbacks, working out, you come out slowly and you have to be able to take plays sometimes after you’re done. Really I guess it’s more of a different pace, as much as you’re trying to work for yourself, you’re trying to help them out and making sure they are prepared, too.
Q. You mentioned your mom criticizing you
Brady Quinn: Oh, about everything. It’s about everything. She could be like inaudible it just depends. Playing baseball, I was a starting pitcher or ace pitcher or whatever. And you pitch like almost every game, it’s not like you get five days’ rest. So you have some bad days here or there or maybe you get a little wild but she would just go off, going on long trips, Cleveland or Cincinnati to play a good game, just things like that. She’ll probably try to deny it but that’s the truth right there.