Q: (On the importance of tempo to this offense)
Drew Tate: I think, you know, getting good tempo will carry over into the game, and go four quarters. I think a lot of guys are improving, a lot of guys doing a lot of things, myself included. There's still a lot of rotation going on, you saw a lot of people doing a lot of different things.
Q: James Cleveland's done well catching.
Tate: Cleveland's done real well. Not to just single out Cleveland, but a lot of the young guys really have. They're exciting to watch, obviously, when they get the ball in their hands, they make plays. They're just getting it to them, and Coach Erb's doing a great job with them, and I'm trying to do as much as I can in the back, on the sidelines, helping them out, as well as the other quarterbacks.
Q: Tempo is going to be so important this year because of the clock moving.
Tate: Yeah. Coach O'Keefe's mentioned that a lot. He said 20-25 plays that you used to be able to run, we're going to lose 20-25. It's even bigger. Turnovers are bigger, how valuable it is holding the ball, things like that.
Q: How's the timing right now with you and Calvin and Herb?
Tate: Those guys have been with me for a while. Brodell and Eric and Manson, the tight ends are fine, the younger guys are just getting rotated in an out.
Q: Are you enjoying the luxury of knowing the system and actually being able to share with other guys and teach the younger players?
Tate: My freshman year, I was in their shoes, and there was a guy name Dave Raih who used to play QB here who pretty much gave me everything. He started from ground up, he did a great job and helped me out. That's pretty much how I got a real grasp of the offense, then I started picking it up. Then Coach O'Keefe helped, being around other guys and other coaches, everyone helps.
Q: Does it feel like the season's just two weeks away or does it feel like it's coming up fast?
Tate: I think the summer's gone by fast, I had summer school, and all that stuff made it quicker. Camp flew by to me, the season's going to go by even faster.
Q: Was it nice to set foot in Kinnick Stadium, especially with the remodeling?
Tate: It looks great, it was great to see the fans out there. They love watching us, and it's fun playing in front of people like that.
Q: What's it like for you to stand on the side and watch?
Tate: I was helping the younger guys out, because they're still learning. They've only been involved in the system now for 2 weeks, about 18 practices. Just helping those guys out as much as possible.
Q: Specifically, who have you really tried to take under your wing?
Tate: Not specifically anybody. All the younger guys I can help out. I really know the offense well and that's a positive being a 3-year starter, being a senior, and I really know this offense. I really know a lot of things that some of the coaches don't really know because they've never executed it, they just teach it. I've got ways I can tell younger guys how I do it, how it should be done, things like that.
Q: Any interesting comments from fans today while doing autographs?
Tate: They're excited, they should be. I'm excited, everyone around here is excited. It's football season. Everyone in America is practicing right now. It's just that time of year, it's a great time.
Q: Is there anything new you can do, with your knowledge of the offense?
Tate: We stay the same, really. There's been some new stuff, some more stuff that we've put emphasis on, there's no reason to change anything. We've been to four straight Januar bowls.
Q: How has your camp gone, specifically, individually?
Tate: It went well. They charted every pass and all that stuff in practice, and I really want to be at 70% after every practice. Some I've been higher, some I've been there, some I've been lower. I don't really want to go underneath 60% completions, but I hadn't done that, maybe in 1 or 2. I know most have been in the high 60s and low 70s, that's where I want to be.
Q: Is that what you're focusing on this season, a better completion %?
Tate: Yeah, and efficiency and turnovers and things like that.