NIU Week: Seth Olsen Q&A

They say that offensive linemen are among the smartest players on a football team. After listening to Seth Olsen answer questions yesterday, we have no argument there. The junior talks about being a leader, now that he is the wise old veteran on the line and much more in this lengthy Q&A

Q: When they said you were going to play right tackle, how did you feel about that?

Seth Olsen: I am pretty excited about that, because I think I like right tackle more than the guard position to be honest with you. I really enjoy being out on the island, having to go one on one the whole game. It's a great challenge and provides a lot of fun.

Q: Does that place a bigger responsibility on you, covering Jake's blind side?

Olsen: Everyone mentions that, as far as protecting his blind side. I don't think of the blind side too much, because whatever position you are playing its important to protect your quarterback.

Q: How much of a distraction was last week, or was it blown out of proportion?

Olsen: It was a serious deal, what is going on with them. We don't want to get into what is what in that case. It could be a distraction, but we are trying to focus on us. We are thinking of them, they are in our prayers and so forth and I am hoping things go well for them.

Q: Are you mad at them, for the image they portrayed, potentially letting the team down?

Olsen: I would like to think that they would make better decisions regarding that. We don't know yet what is what, if they are guilty or innocent.

Q: Jake gets his second career start against the same team, is that an advantage for you guys?

Olsen: It's an advantage that he has a start under his belt. I don't know whether it matters against the same team. He played really well in that game last year. He demonstrated great leadership on the field and in the huddle and played really well, too.

Q: Coach Ferentz said there might be a dozen true freshmen that play this year. You were in the two deep your freshman year, but didn't play. What went into that decision and was it hard for you not to play?

Olsen: The decision was up to Coach Ferentz. I know they had thought about putting me in, but I am glad they didn't. I wasn't close to being ready, so I am glad I have that year. A lot of these young guys are aggressive. If you do that here, we will give you notice and give you a chance to play.

Q: Have you seen Douglas or Bowman since last week?

Olsen: No. I haven't talked to them or seen them at all.

Q: Are you on facebook or myspace?

Olsen: I am on facebook.

Q: You don't have anything stupid on your page.

Olsen: No. I see it as a way to communicate with friends. Some friends I have met from the past, growing up, and it's a great way to keep in touch with people. But you have to be smart how you use it. There are traps and consequences.

Q: What is the comfort level with your continuity on the line?

Olsen: I feel really comfortable with the five guys we have going into this. I am comfortable next to Julian. He has done a great job in camp. We talk on the field, great communication, what we need to fix, and that really helps me feel comfortable with him. Every guy on the line, I feel that we all know what we are supposed to do. There are occasional mental breakdowns, we can't have that in a game. That can mean bad things. But we will get those corrected.

Q: Kirk said he expects Julian to have a play or two where he does something dumb, but that is what you expect early in a career. Is it something you have to put behind you?

Olsen: Definitely. Back in my freshman year, Pete McMahon told me that if you dwell on the play before, it will affect your next play. He told me to flush it. I have done that ever since. I have had bad plays, too. I just try to flush it and I came back the next play.

Q: How do you do that, is it easier said than done?

Olsen: It can be hard. Especially, when you first start. This is my fourth year, so I have been flushing it for three years. It's not so hard for me. Even if I have a false start in practice, I will drill on that. The other day, Jake reminded me that it wouldn't help the rest of my practice, so I needed to forget about that. You can't dwell on things, even if you make a good play.

Q: How much have you had to lead this summer?

Olsen: There are no seniors here. We have some guys with game experience, not a lot. We have a lot of guys that have been here for three or four years, so they are going into their third and fourth year. That is a lot of experience in the program, just not on the field. I have had to lead more than I am used to.

Q: Are you comfortable with that?

Olsen: Yeah. It's something I have always looked forward to. I have had other people that I could look up to before me, like Pete McMahon, Marshal Yanda, Mike Elgin, Brian Ferentz. There are guys that you can learn from, and learn how to lead. Coach Ferentz, that is a big thing he dwells on. He is the best at leadership. If we can follow in his footsteps, that would be great.

Q: Is it different to go into Tuesday of a game week and not have that left guard spot settled yet?

Olsen: I am curious, too. We have been shuffling this whole camp. No matter who it is, I feel comfortable in all of them to get the job done.

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