Kirby Freeman Q&A

Kirby Freeman was available to the media following theTuesday afternoon practice to discuss being named the starting quarterback forthe Miami Hurricanes for this Saturday's game versus Marshall . Read on for a complete Q&A with Kirby.

On the announcement of him as the starter:

When I feel like you are taking care of your own personalbusiness and you know when you come out here and practice as a quarterback andyou are doing well and there is competition you either know, or you don't know,and I felt like there was a pretty good shot, even though the competition wasgood all throughout camp, and that is why I thought camp was successful. I felt it in my heart that this is a prettygood possibility

On his job security:

You are going to have to ask coach. The way I see it, he is giving me anopportunity and I am going to run with it. I'm going to do everything I can. I'm not going to go out there and try and keep my job, we're going to goout there and try and win ball games. Itis so far, and we are just trying to win ball games. We are so far beyond trying to win ajob. All of this over with now and weare going to move forward.

On having to earn his spot as the starter this season and supplanting Kyle Wright as the starter:

I don't really see it as taking the job from him. Coach Shannon as done a good job of plantingcertain things in our minds and has told us from the get-go, the best player isthe one he believes is going to play and everyone has his back. And now that he has decided to play me andhave my back, that is just the way we've been leaning on each other and that iswhy we are going to be successful this year.

I'm overwhelmed, I'll be honest, I'm really excited, this is everything I've worked for. Obviouslycoming out here from Texas and this is everything I've hoped it would be and now it is time to play ball.

On his growth over the past year:

About two inches, really…I'm just playing. I feel like our team has grown and we'vegrown in our system. Obviously with thechanges in the coaching staff and everything; facilities, the way our minds areset. I feel like every one of us hasgrown in our system and that is something that I am really proud of. This is a new era of Miami football and I'm proud to say I wasthere and was apart of it, the beginning process.

On the morning meeting with Randy Shannon and the coaching staff:

It was really good. And the reason was we all acted as grownups. Coach came in and said, "Iknow this is hard on you, we've held it off on you guys, we've held it off onourselves, from our coaching staff." AndI think that was the best for our team. It was real easy because Kyle and I both handled it like grownups. The same thing happened a year ago at thistime and we are just going to take this situation and we are going to make ourfootball team better.

On his first words that he will tell the huddle:

What I've always told them. One of our main goals is to score on the first drive so that is probablywhat I will say is that we make a stand and score on the first drive. I've always wanted to say that here, when Iwasn't the starter. Now that I am, hey,let's score, let's go score on our first drive.

On speaking with Kyle Wright after the announcement:

Kyle and I spoke plenty of times. He told me, he's not upset, he's not upsetwith me. He has no reason to be. Kyle and I have grown extremely far in ourrelationship with each other. And thatis what it is going to take not only for this football team to be better, butfor obviously, three, four years from now when we feel like we'll get anopportunity to play at the next level, you usually don't step in and take astarting role and you see that from guys, it doesn't happen very often.

A quarterback needs to be a team player. A lot of times it gets taken away because alot of people like to put too many eyes on the quarterback. Well, that is not what we are about any more and I really feel comfortable with that.

On his relationship with Kyle Wright:

I know what he is going through, because I've been therebefore. I've just kind of stayed awayfrom him and let him be his own man and he came to me. He is one of my best friends and I was proudof him for coming to me because he came to me and said, "Hey man, I'm not madat you, I'm just upset just as you would be." And I said, "Yeah, I've been there before." There wasn't much said, we just wanted tomake sure we were there for each other and on the same page as each other before this decision. This decision of our starting quarterback is not, does not have anything to do with ourfriendship.

On his athleticism:

I've always felt like I bring something to the field in theathletic sense of possibly making something happen when players are covereddownfield and whatnot. I don't know if thatwas part of the deal or not but I know that I really felt like I had a greatfall camp. I was really fulfilled withmyself in terms of establishing what I wanted to establish just in terms ofwhat I was trying to do to win the job, and I feel like I did a good job.

When asked what specifically about fall camp he was proud of:

Completing passes, percentages, and getting out of thepocket. There isn't much running abilityyou can show when you are going against your own defense. Once you are touched, you are down, prettymuch. Everyday in practice it is hard toshow those ability but it comes back to working with Swayze in the summertime. I've run the best 40 I've ever ran. So obviously that shows a little bit in termsof my athleticism. I worked real hard onthat, Coach Swayze helped me out a lot.

When asked about his 40-time:

4.44, I believe.

On Coach Shannon 's handling of the QB battle:

I need you all to hear me out on this right now. Coach Shannon is brilliant. He really is brilliant and you all will seethis era of Miami football. He hasn't necessarily been themediator but he has done many things to implant things in my mind to show me adifferent perspective. He's been therebefore. Coach Nix has been in my shoesbefore and taken over as a starter before, and taken over as a starting QB orpossibly start at a university such as Miami or somewhere prestigious like this place. So these guys can show their point of view and help us out like mostcoaches can't and that has been beneficial to our football team.

On the Michael Vicksituation and credit of the team over the QB:

Like what is going on with Michael Vick right now, whatabout the rest of the Atlanta Falcons. There are things you put out there, they are still a team right now in Atlanta . Not necessarily saying they are down rightnow or anything, I saw them play last night, I watched the game and I feelsorry for Mike Vick because I'm a quarterback and I know how much pressure isthere. He came out and said he made abad decision and he is going to be a man and take the fault for it, but therest of the Atlanta Falcons are still out there and trying to win achampionship, going out there to win a Super Bowl and they worked hard in theoff-season and whatnot and let's make sure we are giving credit where credit isdue in the same case here. Just becauseI am named the starting quarterback we need to make sure our focus iselsewhere.

On the last openinggame at the Orange Bowl, and Randy Shannon'sfirst game as Hurricanes Head Coach:

All of these things are really special. The era of Miami football with Coach Shannon and thelast year at the Orange Bowl, all of this is very special to me and I am asentimental person. I couldn't think ofa better scenario to be in college football than the one I am in rightnow. When I came here this was the Miami I was comingto. This is the prestige, the type ofsituations a quarterback can get into and I am extremely overwhelmed and excited for this football team and I really do believe this could be a specialyear for us as long as we are free of injury, everyone stays healthy and I knowour guys are going to keep our heads on straight since Coach Shannon is doing agreat job in a leadership role and this will be a special year for us.

After two years of waiting and questions of transferring a year ago:

It is a good feeling. It is something you work very hard at. It kind of determines where you are going to go in life and that iswhere I am heading right now. I'm reallyexcited for it.


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