One On One With Marcus Jones

Though it wasn't' the way he would have liked to earn the starting quarterback slot for the 2006 season, Marcus Jones was tabbed as the man to lead the Blue Devils after fellow sophomore Zack Asack was ruled academically ineligible just a few weeks ago. Jones spoke with TDD on Tuesday afternoon about that and several other topics.

What was your first reaction when you heard the news about Asack?

I was shocked. I was in my apartment and my phone kept ringing. I didn't say anything to anyone. I just let it sink in a little bit and waited for something official to be said. It's not the way I wanted to get the job, but being the starting quarterback is something I have been working for since the end of last season.

How did you go from quarterback to receiver to quarterback?

Last year when they made the decision to go to a freshman quarterback in the Virginia game I told Coach Roof that I wanted to play there. He told me the team needed me at receiver because of the depth chart, but after the season he would give me the chance to compete with the quarterbacks.

Last season I probably worked out with the quarterbacks around 25% of the time, so when I started working in the spring I had to basically start from scratch. Now I feel like I know the offense very well.

Can you describe the offensive style Duke is going to run this year? Also, what kind of quarterback are you stylewise?

It's honestly got a little bit of everything in it. I see myself as a mobile quarterback.

What do you need to work on before the season?

Right now I think I need to continue to improve my ability to read and react to coverages and defensive schemes. It's also important that I try and lead by example and to lead my team on the field. I also need to try and stay healthy.

What kind of perspective did you gain from playing receiver? How does that equate to your mindset as a quarterback?

I don't get as mad when someone drops a ball. I've done it. And I know sometimes I don't throw a great pass, which makes their job harder.

What are your early impressions of your receiving corps?

I think we'll be really good there. Jomar is our veteran receiver and he'll be back to form. Eron is also going to be really good. Jabari Marshall made the switch, and I think we'll be able to use him in some situations as well. We have between four and six guys who could start at any give time. Having good receivers helps take some pressure off me.

How important is the Richmond game for setting the tone of the season?

It's really important. We need to focus on going out there and coming away with a win to set the right tone for the season. If we can do that, then we'll focus on the next step.

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