"First of all, it makes me feel good that he's looking at me to be in that position because I know it's a very important position on the team. I'm glad he can look at me and feel comfortable that I can fill that role."
Everyone has a mental image of what players in certain positions should look like. When I see you, quarterback is not what comes to mind. Then again, no one thought that Joe Hamilton looked like a quarterback, and that's the comparison that I hear the most.
"I don't mind being compared to Joe because, basically that's my style. I can be a drop-back passer, but for the most part, I like to make things happen. It's hard for me to just sit back there and look over those guys who are 6-5 or 6-6. I think I bring a lot of mobility and, most of all, I think I make good decisions."
What has Coach Tranquil told you in that regard? Coach Bunting has said he wants to protect the quarterback so you guys aren't having to run around. If moving around is a strength of yours, you might get anxious and move around even though they don't want you to.
"With the package that Coach Tranquil brings, you really don't have to move around, but when it comes time to move around, I think that will be an advantage to me because I'm able to move. My first thought is not to move around, but if it happens I don't mind because that's one of my strengths.
Although you eliminate part of the field as a passing option, will Coach Tranquil try to use some designed roll outs?
"He's going to use our ability to run—mine and Ronald's. That will be part of the offense because we can't just run the ball or just sit back there and throw the ball. We'll put some wrinkles into the offense. He'll open things up for us and let us run a little bit."
Do you think the back-up slot behind Ronald can change on a day-to-day basis?
"Yes, all the time. Nothing's guaranteed so I have to make sure that I go out there and play my best. I have to make sure that I read my keys and all that stuff because there are people after me. I have to maintain a certain level of play."
Is this a case where you have to prove yourself every day?
"Oh, yes! Every day. Every day, I have to go out there and prove myself. Coming into training camp, I wasn't the #2 quarterback. I'm not saying that I am now, but I think that I'm proving myself a lot. In order to keep that spot, I have to prove myself on a daily basis."
Could you have seen things going as they have? Luke Huard stood out in the spring, and now he's not even in practice. Things have opened up for you, Aaron, and Matt Baker.
"I never got down on myself after the spring because I knew what I was capable of doing. I felt like if I came in here this fall and did what I've been doing for years, it wouldn't be a problem getting the #2 position. I've made sure that I'm in my play book and learning the right reads, so sooner or later, I'd stick out and Coach would see something in me."
Half the battle is having the confidence before the ball is ever snapped. Do you have that confidence?
"I think I'll be ready. Coach Tranquil is making sure that the second team is getting plenty of reps, and this hot weather is going to get us prepared for Oklahoma. Coach Tranquil is doing a good job of making sure the second team is not too far behind the first team."