Leidner: "Take Advantage Of This Bye Week"

Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner got his second career start yesterday and while he played pretty well, it wasn't enough to overcome a tough Michigan squad. He talks about starting on the road, his connection with Williams and much more

When did you find out that you would be starting?

Mitch Leidner- "I found out this morning during walk throughs."

How did you feel about your play overall?

Leidner- "It is a team effort and I thought the guys played really well. I definitely want that last play, that pick back."

You and Maxx really seemed to be connecting throughout the game, so can you talk about that?

Leidner- "Yeah, Maxx is a great target out there and he catches pretty much everything. I mean we are close off the field being roommates together and it definitely showed on the field."

Other guys on the walk-through found out they were going to be without coach today, so you learned that he wouldn't be there and you would be starting must have been a crazy sequence of events.

Leidner- "Yeah, I mean I don't know. I prepared for it and we just got to keep doing our jobs and keep getting better. I mean you don't expect things like that, but overall we just got to keep what we are doing and that is our jobs."

How did you weigh being concerned for Coach Kill or being prepared for the game without him.

Leidner- "I mean we all know that Coach wants us to play our hardest and that is what we were going to do for him today. In terms of me playing, I just prepared all week long and just tried to perform as best as I could today."

Talk about that first drive and what happened with the fumble

Leidner- "Yeah, I just had it in one hand and as I was bringing it up to tuck it, they got me right at that time. That is another play I would want back and obviously it would have been nice to make something happen on that first drive."

Was it a case of getting over the nerves because after that it seemed you settled really in

Leidner- "Yeah, I mean just getting adjusted and I have never played in an away game before. It is a stupid excuse, but I was just trying to get a feel for things and you get off the sidelines and talk with the guys to figure out do I need to be a little louder or what I need to do better. When we go back out there, we just need to play our game."

Your first road game is in front of 111,000 people, what is that like?

Leidner- "When we were warming up, I was like how do they fit 111,000 people in this place? You go back out there again and they are just stacked all together. It is a cool atmosphere though."

When you out on the field, are you playing for Coach, yourself or your team? What are you feeling when you are out there?

Leidner- "We are a team with just goals that we want to accomplish. We are just playing as hard as we can and we obviously you keep improving and working hard. We got a bye week this week, so we are going to work hard and play better when we come back."

When you came out, did you have a cut on your knee or what?

Leidner- "I had a turf burn from a couple weeks ago and I was finally getting healed up, then it gets opened up again, but it is no big deal."

Were you more comfortable today throwing the ball then you were a couple weeks ago?

Leidner- "Yeah, I was definitely more comfortable today. I mean I have been putting a lot of time in with the wide receivers and the coaches have been working with me extra. Me and Phil have been throwing more, but we are just trying to get better day by day."

How did you handle the Iowa game, I know you prepare to start every game, but when you found out that you weren't going to start, how did you deal with that?

Leidner- "They told me that Phil was starting during warm-ups and they told me to be ready all game. I mean I was ready to go and just basically I was just trying to play my role. When I am not playing, I am just trying to get the guys on the sideline fired up. I want to get the crowd pumped up on third downs. I just want to help out the team."

Is it different playing and then having to watch the game at times, so do you learn anything?

Leidner- "I see things obviously and I can help Phil help out like he has helped me out in all these past games."

Do you know what is going to happen moving forward?

Leidner- "I don't know and we just got to take advantage of this bye week. We got to get healthy, but at the same time get better."

Do you know what is going to happen with your starting position?

Leidner- "I don't know what really is going to happen. I mean they haven't told me or anything."


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