One on One With Mike Schneider

TDD sat down with Duke starting quarterback Mike Schneider on Friday to discuss the upcoming season, his new role in the offense, his newly found leadership and mentor responsibilities, and expectations as he tries to guide the Blue Devils out of the ACC cellar. Read on for the full one on one interview. With a new offense, how often did you find yourself in the film room this summer?

Mike Schneider: At least an hour to an hour and a half each day. I would watch myself and wonder why I didn't make a throw or make a read. I think it'll help me going forward.

How comfortable are you with the depth at receiver?

Very comfortable. Ronnie Elliot did some good things for us last year. This year he's ready to do great things for us. Deon Adams and Jomar Wright are also looking like they'll have great seasons. The freshmen also look very good.

Anyone else looking to surprise?

Each player can have a big year, but I will say that as a group, our freshmen running backs are going to be really good. Those guys can play.

Being the number one quarterback, how much is on your shoulders this season in regards to the team's success?

A lot of it is. I know the coaches expect a lot of me this year, but then I expect a lot of myself as well. This offense is really going to give me a chance to succeed – it's a quarterback's offense. I need to know when to make checks at the line and things like that, but I think it's giving me a great chance to be successful.

How has it been getting to know Coach O'Brien?

We've gotten along well so far. I mean we're both here to win now. When I met him he told me he didn't like to lose, and I told him I am sick of losing. From there we've just talked regularly about the offense and football in general.

As usual the media isn't doing you any favors with preseason predictions. Is that a motivating factor?

We're ok with that. Like Coach Roof said, we're not going to run our mouths or anything – we're just going to let our actions on the field speak for us. It's no good listening to outsiders, we're only listening to each other and to our coaches.

With the announcement of Benion's absence this season, how comfortable are you with the offensive line?

We've got a lot of good players on the line, and we've got more players. I'm really glad Demetrius Warrick is there. The coaches are confident we'll be solid there, and so am I.

Last year you took a lot of hits and got the reputation of being somewhat fearless. Is that an accurate description?

I'm really not that worried about being fearless anymore. I need to slide a lot more than I've done in the past. I've talked to my dad and the coaches and all ask me why I'm not sliding. I figure when that many people are saying I should slide, I should probably slide.

How have your freshman understudies looked? How much of a mentoring role have you taken with them?

They've all looked really good. This offense is a lot to pick up and I'm trying to help as best I can. Gene Delle Donne is my roommate for camp, so we talk about everything. Asack and Jones know that if they have any questions about football, school, or anything they can call me. I told them that I've been through it all. I've been homesick, I know what it is to have the coaches yell at me, and so on. I need to be there for them because they are the future of this program.

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