Below is a transcript of James Hale's interview with senior QB Paul Thompson following Wednesday's practice.
JH: You've talked about the more snaps you get, you're going to get better. Now that you're a week and a half from being the starting quarterback, how far have you come and how much further do you need to go to be where you need to be in your mind?
Thompson: I feel real comfortable out there right now. The coaches have done a good job preparing me for the packages we have in there, and I definitely feel good.
There's definitely room for improvement for this team, and I think with more practices, and as we get into the first game, we'll continue to improve. But as far as where I'm at right now with the situations that I'm in, I definitely feel real good.
JH: Coach Stoops says you're throwing the ball real crisp and this has been your best week throwing the ball. Do you feel that way?
Thompson: Yeah, definitely. That just comes with more and more reps, knowing the schemes and my arm getting back into shape. I definitely feel like I'm at that point now, and going through my reads and progressions and making good passes.
JH: Do you have a favorite pass or route to throw? Or is that still developing?
Thompson: I don't have any favorites. It doesn't really matter. I have route structures and plays that I like better, but as far as single routes there's not really one route that I prefer over another.
JH: Is that what the coaches are talking about (plays and route structures he likes) when they say we're going to do what Paul wants to do?
Thompson: Not just certain routes, but the plays that I've mentioned before. We talk about plays that I like and plays that I feel comfortable doing. Those are the things they're going to tailor (the offense) around.
JH: Bob mentioned (Brandon) Caleb and Adron (Tennel) — two guys that are really coming on. Those are freshmen so have you had time to get your timing down with them?
Thompson: Just the times I've been out there a little in one-on-one work, but they definitely make some great plays. They seem to catch everything with their hands, which is good to see in a young receiver. They're definitely making plays out there.
JH: How about Reggie (Smith), who's also a new receiver at this point?
Thompson: Yeah, he's doing pretty good out there. I don't think he's dropped a pass yet, and that's on either side of the ball (smiles). He's doing a great job and we know in him we have someone we can depend on on the offensive side.
JH: Is this offense doing well enough at this point that you guys have a lot of confidence going into the year? Or is there still uncertainty within the offensive ranks?
Thompson: We definitely feel good in what we're doing. Like I said, coach has done a good job getting guys in the right situation to make plays and doing things that we're comfortable with. So, we definitely rep those a lot. The guys have got a lot of film work on UAB, so we definitely feel comfortable with the schemes that we have going in and feel that we're definitely going in there ready to make some plays.
JH: Talk about the offensive line. How good do you feel about your unit?
Thompson: I feel real good about them. There's a bunch of big guys in there with our tight ends included. There's some big guys who can make plays as far as catching the ball, and our big guys up front just creating a wall and not letting anybody through. Today, we were out there running in this heat and they're running pretty good too for being in this heat so they're definitely in good shape. I'm looking forward to it.
Two Minute Drill: Paul Thompson
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