Oct. 4, 2006
Q. I think you said right at the beginning of last year, right before the start of last year you had said that you were always the type that had to kind of settle yourself down a little bit before the game. Where are you with that?
Brady Quinn: Yeah.
Q. Where are you with that? You’re so far along in your career that that probably settles down, but where are you with that?
Brady Quinn: I’d say right now it’s something that I don’t think I’ve perfected yet. I still have to work on it every once in a while especially in big games, just because you get excited. It’s your senior year, it’s the last three times you get to run down the tunnel. You sometimes forget how special these moments are, and you want to try to think about it, there’s some motivation there, and things mean more to you each day that you’re here, because it’s going to be one of your last. But at the same point in time, you don’t want to psych yourself out, per se. I definitely haven’t perfected it yet, but I think I’ve done a good job of finding a way to calm myself down before the game.
Q. You talked about treating each game the same, but I’m sure there are some opponents that you get more excited about than others, just by nature. And there are also coaches that have said ?? this is going to be a long question, I guess – there’s also been coaches that have said there are only so many games that you can get psyched up for per year. Is that true? Are there only so many that you can really get cranked up about?
Brady Quinn: You know, it’s funny, because I think that – I think looking at it on paper, I think you could definitely say that, but I think if you want – if you have high aspirations and you want your team to go as far as possible, I think every game’s got to mean the same. It’s got to have equal importance to it. This game, especially coming off last season, just sneaking out of there with a win. I think it presents a lot of different issues for us. And I think a lot of us really feel as if this team, regardless of whatever record they have, is going to come in here and give us their best shot. And that’s something we’ve got to prepare ourselves for.
Q. Did you get a chance to work as a counselor at the Elite 11 passing camp?
Brady Quinn: This past summer I was invited to be at the final camp or whatever. But due to scheduling conflicts I couldn’t make it. So I was invited out to one of the camps in Las Vegas.
Q. Did you get to meet Trent or any of those guys? I guess you spent time at the one in California, but did you work with another group of quarterbacks?
Brady Quinn: The one in Las Vegas, obviously it was a different group of quarterbacks. That was still – I think they were still in the process of narrowing down their selections as far as who was actually going to get invited to the camp. So at that point in time really they hadn’t made any for sure – I think they only offered one guy that day, but by obviously by watching more tape and through more of the camps I think they’re going to make more selections later on.
Q. Are you were talking about the counselor?
Brady Quinn: Actually I was a counselor. In regards to the whole process of the Elite 11 camps I’m saying there were more still in the selection process of figuring out which QBs were going to go to the one in California, the final one.
Q. When you were at the one in Vegas were there any other college quarterbacks that you did work with?
Brady Quinn: It was just myself, who was out there. So I really tried to work with the quarterbacks as much as I could. It’s funny, because some of these kids it’s almost like a tryout, so you could tell it was nervous, and more than anything else try to tell the guys to relax and be smooth and not try to look at it all as one big tryout to make it to something. Just try to enjoy yourself out here, learn some things and do the best they could.
Q. Were you there as a camper?
Brady Quinn: No, I actually – it was different when I was coming in. It was somewhat of a big deal then. But I hadn’t heard about it. And I guess for some reason or another they used the Nike camps as somewhat of a tryout for the Elite 11 at that point. They didn’t actually have a bunch of Elite 11s throughout the country. I didn’t go to any Nike camps, I just went to the camps of the schools I was looking at.
Q. Coach Weis was saying yesterday that focusing a lot on last season, saying that showing only lasts one day. What do you focus on going into this game?
Brady Quinn: I think you’ve got to look at their defective scheme. It’s something we haven’t seen a lot of so far this year. So they can present a lot of problems if you don’t communicate, if you’re not mentally prepared for the different situations that they could put you in. So there’s a lot of mental things that we’ve got to be prepared for. And kind of work through this whole entire week.
Q. In a lot of ways you spend more times focusing on Notre Dame improving rather than what they’re trying to do?
Brady Quinn: Well, I mean I think that’s definitely the first thing you have to do is improve your own technique and skills. Anytime you’ve got some fundamentals going wrong, it doesn’t matter what scheme you’re going to present, things aren’t going to work out there for us. I think the focus of the team at every practice is always starting off working on fundamentals and techniques, getting down routes, things of that nature. Like I said before, if those things don’t work, it doesn’t matter what ploy or nuances you’re working on it’s not going to work on the game. We try to work on those things. And eventually we try to evolve into getting into somewhat of a game plan, where we prepare for different situations, how we react, what different changes we might make out in the field.
Q. Last week it seemed – Walt talked about playing a consistent game. Coach told us you guys were in control. It seemed like you were accomplishing a lot of the goals. At one point you were like 22 or 26 passing. Do you feel like it was beginning to come together there?
Brady Quinn: I think so. I had a feeling as if things were obviously going smoothly. You can kind of tell when have a sense of calmness about the entire game, and have fun with it, too. If you noticed the sidelines there were probably a lot more guys smiling, especially on the offensive side of the ball, than maybe you’ve seen in past games.
Q. One of the focuses we can talk about sixty minute game. You came close to that, but you didn’t quite get to that. Is one of the focuses this week is finishing the game?
Brady Quinn: Without a doubt. That’s something that Coach Weis has definitely kind of pounded into us. You’ve got to put together 60 minutes in order to kind of really give yourself a good feeling of complete domination.
So that’s more or less stuff you want to work on, the overall consistency on offense. Is whatever part of the game that we’re trying to work on, like the four minute offense or the two minute offense or just the red zone, whatever it may be, whatever the situation is, we just want to try to be consistent and perfect all those.
Q. What’s the biggest difference for a quarterback when you’re facing a 3-4 front versus the more common 4-3?
Brady Quinn: I think identification of the linebacker for us, it sets up the protection for our running scheme. Recognizing who that guy or that particular player is on a given play is the most important thing for our scheme, at least. And it’s something that can somewhat be confusing, based on their configuration or maybe what they’re trying to do up front. Basically we’ve got to kind of be on top of that, understanding what type of front they’re in, being able to identify, communicate and more than anything else, across the line.
Q. Charlie talked about how very unusual it is to have a freshman starting on the offensive line, do you have to be aware of anything as far as Sam’s concerned, or if he’s facing a certain kind of defensive player. Is there anything you have to do to kind of help fill in or account for that?
Brady Quinn: It’s funny I think in the beginning of the year I would have said, yeah, there’s different things we have to worry about. But at this time Sam has done a great job. He’s made great adjustments. He’s almost worked himself into a veteran role where no one is looking at him saying he’s a freshman anymore. I think that label should be taken off of him because he’s really done a great job for us and worked out of that title, per se.
Q. I’m wondering about your maturation in the no?huddle offense, is that an ongoing process that continues or is it something that you feel comfortable with at this point after two years?
Brady Quinn: No, I felt comfortable with it. We’ve repped it enough in the past, especially last year and maybe even coming into this year, being behind in games, we’ve come into it enough, it’s like riding a bike. You don’t necessarily have to work at it all the time. But once you know it’s time to get into that mode you make the adjustment and get out there and start working at it.
Q. What is that adjustment, when you get in that mode, what’s going through your head that’s different than when you’re just running the normal sets?
Brady Quinn: It obviously depends on what type of no?huddle mode you’re in. If you’re in a two minute mode, you have to be aware of the clock all times. The down distance, the situation. How many outs. You have all different things like that. If it’s normal no-huddle offense, when you’re trying to move the ball down the field. It’s different. You can be more calm about it. You just want to make sure you communicate everything to the rest of the team so there’s no one hung out there, just hung out to dry, unsure of what the call is, unsure of what the play is.
Q. Are you identifying anything different when you’re working in a quicker set or has it almost pretty slowed down and happening the same way?
Brady Quinn: No, it’s actually pretty much the same exact thing. You have to identify – our plays don’t obviously change because the tempo of our offense is changing, it’s still going to stay the same.
Q. One other thing, Trent Edwards has, almost his whole offense he has been hurt with injury. How does that change a quarterback, when you lose his receiver, lose his running back, lose his tailback, how does that change what you do as a quarterback and how you prepare?
Brady Quinn: It can be tough. I think when a quarterback faces injuries, like that, it almost forces you to feel like you need to make plays on your own or do something extraordinary, just to get things back in the right path. So it can be tough anytime a quarterback is facing those kind of injuries. The biggest answer is you just have to try to play within yourself. Do your job, still go through the same progressions and reads and do the best you can in your specific spot. You can’t control other things that happen in a game like that.
Q. I know you and Coach Weis have said you throw to the open receiver, you don’t favor one or the other, whoever is open you’re going to go to. But yet McKnight was your top target when he was healthy the two previous years, and now I see that he’s leading the team again in receptions. There’s got to be some kind of comfort zone with him or some kind of connection with him that makes you go in his direction. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, I think he’s obviously a very reliable wide receiver, he’s extremely talented and possesses a lot of ability that maybe some teams overlook.
In different situations Jeff obviously isn’t going to be open, because teams are going to try to shut him down, bracket him, put him in double coverage, so you’re not able to focus on him. So that’s obviously going to put one-on-one situations with Rhema somewhere on the field. As good as Rhema is we’re going to exploit that every chance we get. It obviously says a lot about Rhema and his ability and the relationship we have, but at the same point in time I think you have to give Jeff credit, everything he’s done last year, and just coming into this year, I think as a play maker for us – it makes defenses have to focus on him, have to know where he is out on the field and try to shut him down in different situations.
Q. Coach Weis said that Purdue was rolling to Jeff’s side a little bit more this past week, was that accurate?
Brady Quinn: Yeah, that’s very accurate. Obviously it’s something you saw, too. With both touchdown passes to Rhema, just watching it, while you’re dropping back, I’m sure you could see on film, as well, everyone has their eyes over on Jeff, what is he going to do, is there going to be some sneaky play to Jeff and try to get him involved. It wasn’t, it was a simple pass play, and we were going to read it out. And with rollover coverage like that, again, Rhema is left one?on?one.
Q. Jeff is a tall receiver, Maurice is a tall receiver, but I don’t think most people realize that Rhema is a big receiver, too?
Brady Quinn: His height isn’t as big as Jeff or Mo, per se, but he’s around 6-1, 6-2, but he makes up for a lot of it with his jumping ability. People don’t realize he’s got a pretty decent sized vertical. I’m not sure exactly what which is it is. But on the field you can definitely see him. He’s able to elevate and get above people.
Q. Coach Weis, one of his catch phrases is he’s not in this to make friends with the players, when he’s trying to get a point across, especially. How do you see that play out?
Brady Quinn: You know, that’s just something that he’s trying to do to motivate us. Again, his role here as our coach is trying to be a teacher to us. It will allow us to be the best we can. Again, he’s not necessarily in the mindset that he always is trying to be our friend. You can’t always be nice to people to motivate them or get them to do the right thing. You have to handle different people in different ways, and I think he’s just got to find or use different ways of motivation in order to get people to accomplish what he’s looking for.
Q. Do you see him – will he treat the veterans differently than maybe the new guys, the younger guys?
Brady Quinn: At some point in time. Right now I think you’re looking at a pretty veteran team. The majority of time he’s communicating with our veterans. But when the freshmen do get in there I think he takes ?? he takes that in ?? I guess he realizes that they are freshmen and he’s not going to try to beat them down just for them making a mental mistake here or messing up something else there, because they’re not used to the speed of the game yet and they’re not used to the sum of different forces or coverages or whatever it is, that they may be doing out there.
Q. Do you consider Coach Weis a friend or is that something that will have to wait until your football career is over?
Brady Quinn: Obviously my relationship with him – I definitely consider him a friend. He’s someone who’s helped me so much on and off the field. And I think it’s the differences off the field where you see how he truly is and that he is a friend. He always will be a friend. And he’s one of those people that does a lot, not respect – not expecting anything back in return, and that’s really the true side of someone who’s a friend. Anytime they’re willing to sacrifice something and not receive anything.
Q. Do you plan on reading Coach’s book that comes out next week?
Brady Quinn: Hopefully, I’ve got a lot of books, I’m a Poly Sci major I’ve got to read. We’ll see if I have time to slip it in before these midterms start for us.