Thompson anxious to get started

Junior quarterback Paul Thompson talks about earning the starting job and Saturday's matchup against TCU.

Below is a transcript of junior quarterback Paul Thompson's press conference with the media on Tuesday.

On how his gameday preparation has changed now that he's the man<

"Hasn't changed too much. I'm going to continue to watch film and do things. Even if I wasn't named the starter, I came in and watched extra film after practice, as well as before practice. So, those are things that I'm going to do regardless. My method for preparing for a game hasn't changed very much."

On what were the coaches determining factors in him winning the QB job

"I'm not too sure on what their motives were for selecting me, but I have been here — going on my fourth year. I have good leadership qualities, I've been around the guys a while. I think it's just little things like that that kind of gave me the nod."

On if he'll have butterflies in his stomach when he walks down the ramp Saturday

"Definitely. Even last year when I walked down the ramp I got butterflies. When you've got 80 to 85,000 people screaming and it's a nationally televised game, you're going to get nervous regardless. A lot of it will be just being anxious. Sometimes times I can't tell if I'm nervous or if I'm just anxious. I think it will be a little bit of both."

On winning the job, but knowing he has to play well to keep it

"I think that's only going to help me, and it's only going to help this team. Throughout this whole year and probably even on to the next year it's going to be a continuous battle, and that's only going to keep me on top of my game and help this team improve."

On if he's worried that he'll have to be perfect to keep the job

"I can't really focus on that. I've got to just focus on doing what I do best and going out as prepared as I can be. I feel if I'm prepared as I know I can be, then there won't be a problem."

On if the coaches told him they wouldn't take him out if he threw an interception

"They haven't said anything like that. The coaches — I don't think they're going to be too critical. They want me to go out there and relax, play the game that they know I can play and we'll just go on from there."

On how much the playbook has changed from last season

"We do have a couple more plays where the quarterback is allowed to run, but the basic offense is pretty much the same that it's been since I came here Day One. We have put in some plays — quarterback reads, nakeds, boots. Things of that nature."

On what he brings to the table as a quarterback

"Just opening up the offense. That's the main thing. Guys are going to key on Adrian Peterson, and hopefully that will open up some things in the pass game as well as the quarterback run game. They're not going to be able to jump everybody on Adrian because I'll be able to keep it on the end. I'm just trying to help this offense open up and score some points."

On the perception that he's steady and not a playmaker

"I'm not going to go out there and force anything, but when the opportunity presents itself I will be able to make some plays we weren't able to showcase (in scrimmages). I'll definitely be able to make some plays out there."

On what he's learned from watching the previous quarterbacks at Oklahoma

"The main thing would just be their consistency, their leadership. When Jason went down Nate (Hybl) stepped up. He was a great leader for this team and that was one of the main reasons we won the Rose Bowl that year. Then when Jason stepped back in the last two years he was a great leader on and off the field. I've taken a lot of those things from those two guys, and that's only going to help me."

On the new receivers and linemen on the offense

"We do have some young guys, but at the same time teams around the country are getting new faces as well as we are. The freshmen have been here throughout the entire summer and have made some great strides, and if you've seen some of the scrimmages you've seen they big plays. We're definitely not worried about them. We just want them to keep improving day in and day out."

On if he ever wondered if his day would ever come

"I guess you could say that, but I definitely knew my day would come. I always just continued to prepare myself and put myself in the situation that I'm in now."

On what he thought when Rhett Bomar was recruited

"It's the University of Oklahoma...you recruit top-notch athletes. That's what we do at every position. I'm not one to shy away from competition at all, and I think that shows."

On getting strength from his father and not quitting when he was down on the depth chart and more quarterbacks were recruited

"When I got here there were five or six other quarterbacks — going from Nate Hybl to Jason White, Brent Rawls was here, Noah Allen, and I think Hunter Wall. I kinda stuck it out through all of that. It's just my upbringing. I'm not going to give up, I'm not going to quit. I'm not going to back down to competition in anyway. I think that's put me in the position I'm in now."

On if he got tired of hearing people say he should change positions

"I think so. I've mentioned a couple of times sometimes you get punished for being athletic. I can play a lot of other positions and one of them is quarterback. That's the one I'm focusing on right now, and that's the one I'm going to play."

On if there is a part of him that wants to say 'watch me now' to those who said he couldn't play quarterback

"I do want to get out there and prove some things, but at the same time I don't want to do too much, force too much. I want to stick in the rhythm of the offense, the rhythm of the team, and the rhythm of the game and not try to do too much because that's when mistakes happen."

On much having Adrian Peterson in the backfield will help him as a quarterback

"That's definitely going to help because that's the No. 1 goal on everybody's game plan — to try to stop us it's going to be shutting down the run game. Hopefully that will open other things, as I mentioned earlier, as far as passing the ball and hitting receivers while they're open."

On how many schools offered him a scholarship as a quarterback

"I'm not too sure on the number. Maybe eight or nine."

On how many of those offers were from 'big-time' schools

"Probably five."

On who offered him

"I can't really remember all of them. I can't think of them all right now."

On if he's wondered what the feeling will be like when he takes the huddle as 'the man'

"I've definitely wondered about it and I'm going to be willing to take it on. I feel once I get in there it will just come second nature to me and there really won't be much pressure on me. I think I'll feel real comfortable in there."

On TCU's defense

"Good defense. They've got good size, good speed and they rally to the ball real well. We've just got to go out there and try to see if we can beat them."

On if he followed TCU growing up in Texas

"No, I wasn't much of a TCU fan. I never really watched them, unless they were playing a Texas team or a team I grew up watching. I never really watched them too often."


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