Quarterbacks Finally Address the Media

During the spring, Coach Randy Shannon elected to forbid any quarterback from talking to the media. With fall practice upon us, Shannon allowed quarterbacks Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman to address reporters during Media Day on Friday.

Shannon made it very clear during his press conference earlier in the event that both quarterbacks were still completely ‘even steven,' and that he would not decide on a starter until the Tuesday before the Marshall game.

"I'm going to sleep really well and then Tuesday before the game, I'll make the decision on the quarterbacks," said Shannon. "I don't even think about it now, and that's just the way it is," he said.

Both Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman, despite not knowing who will start, insisted that they agree with Shannon's policy and actually look forward to the competition, and both were very adamant about being team players regardless of the outcome.

"Our number one thing is just winning games," said Freeman." It doesn't matter who's under center. I've simply tried to make myself better. You have to be mistake free with the football. You can't have turnovers or you're not going to win football games. We're trying to prepare to win games."

Wright echoed his sentiments.

"I'm a team guy," he said. "I'm going to work hard every day. Whatever is best for the team will happen."

One thing that both quarterbacks don't have lacking is confidence. During their press conferences, both players made it very clear that they felt confident in their abilities and would push each other to work harder.

"I'm very confident in myself and very confident in my teammates and coaches," said Wright. "We're ready to have a great year."

Freeman, in similar fashion, said, "I'm going to try to do the best I can personally to help this team win. For the first time, I feel like I've been given a good opportunity here. I feel confident that I'm going to do the best I can to win football games."

In addition to the debate about playing time, both quarterbacks finally put to rest the lingering notion that they did not get along.

"Kyle and I are doing great and our relationship is fantastic, and I'm not just saying that," said Freeman. "It's always been great despite what's been said. Through our ups and downs on the field and off, we've always had a great relationship and we've always maintained it."

Wright chimed in, saying "You have to separate what goes on and what goes on off it. You can't take what happens on the field back home, and vice versa. Kirby get along just fine. Neither one of us has any reservations about that."

The most important thing they agreed upon, however, is that the team was more important than their position battle. The reasoning behind Shannon forbidding the media to talk to the quarterbacks in the first place was to promote team unity. By not focusing on Freeman and Wright, the team seems to have been able to bond to both, and in return they have shown better leadership qualities thus far, as senior receiver Lance Leggett explained during his interview.

"Honestly, if we started right now, I feel we could start with either quarterback," Leggett said. "Both of them are doing really well. They threw really well during the summer time when we had 7 on 7. They took a lot of shots, but they'll also make two big plays. They are more mature in the way that they handle the team. They set up the 7 on 7s. If Kyle wasn't there, we knew that Kirby could run the team, and vice versa."

Team unity, which is a concept Shannon has worked hard to instill during the spring, seems to have rubbed off on well on both quarterbacks. Above all, each one seemed to genuinely want the best for the team.

"It's all about the team," said Freeman. "It's all about the U, it really is this time. It's not about me or Kyle. It's about trying to win football games."

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