A Q&A With Junior QB Tyler Russell

Mississippi State junior quarterback Tyler Russell talks with Gene's Page after Tuesday's practice.

What are your thoughts about last Friday's scrimmage after watching it on tape?
"Seeing it on tape (tells me) we aren't off by much. There are just some little things. Of course I had three picks. There were some things such as penalties or not converting the play before. I tried to force a long throw when I should have just checked it down and moved on. I took what I needed to take from it and just have to get better."

Just listening to you it appears you are really comfortable with the offense now. Would you agree with that?
"Yeah, I feel 100% comfortable. There are just some little things that I have to work on. I think with time I will get better at those. I have had a lot of experience in big-time games. Now I have to take the next step of being a leader. Last year I didn't have to do that because Chris Relf did that. I was behind him still learning. When the coach called me in to play I was just ready to play. Now I have to step up and be that guy."

There is a huge difference between the Tyler Russell as a true freshman and today's Tyler Russell, isn't there?
"Yeah it is different. At first, everybody was saying Tyler Russell is going to come in and play right away. As a young player that is what you want to do. But you know it is probably best that you take your time and learn the offense. Now I am at a point in my career where I have to step up and be that guy. I have to be the guy who makes sure everybody gets it together even when things are not going well."

Are you now comfortable in the role of being the vocal leader on the offense?
"I am but it took me awhile. And I think Coach would tell you I still need to work on that. I am more of a silent killer. I sit back and observe everything and then go in and attack by myself. But as a quarterback you can't do that. You have to let everybody on the offense know what you are thinking. You have to motivate them. I just try to get into their head and try to motivate them."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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