Aug. 18, 2015

Joe Schmidt – Graduate Student – Linebacker

On playing under defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and his philosophyââ’¬¦

“From day one, I’ve tried to better understand the situational football behind the calls. So I think that as we got into the meat of last year, I started getting better at that, and having a full year has allowed me to get even better. It’s something that I always strive to do, but obviously there’s always room to improve. The learning curve is different for everyone. Some guys might pick up on things right away; (for) others, it takes a few years. From year A to year B, there’s no way to quantify the increase in knowledge for all the guys. It’s good that we’ve got more experience and the guys are picking up on things quicker.”

On bringing questions and concerns to Coach VanGorderââ’¬¦

“I’ve got lots of questions, and sometimes I ask too many. It’s a matter of asking at the right time and place. (Coach VanGorder)’s got a lot of patience and he answers every question. We’ve got an intellectual defense and a mentally stimulating defense, but you’ve got to learn on the fly sometimes.”

On his role as a leader and helping others rise to leadership rolesââ’¬¦

“Being a leader is something I’ve been trying to do since day one. I think trying to improve each and every facet of the team is something I’ve been focusing on. I’ve done a lot of research and read a lot of books on successful businessmen. I want to know how they were successful, but bringing that knowledge to everyone else is something that I’m trying to do.”