Q&A with Former Rutgers QB Mike Teel

UNION, N.J. -- After wrapping up a practice at Kean, new quarterbacks coach and former Rutgers star Mike Teel spoke with ScarletReport.com on many topics, including Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and the Scarlet Knights.

UNION, N.J. — ScarletReport.com attended a Kean practice in the downtime between Rutgers training camp and game-week practices. Here is a Q & A between ScarletReport.com and former Rutgers quarterback turned Kean assistant coach Mike Teel.

ScarletReport.com Mike, how have your players reacted to you coming on board? Most of these kids probably remember watching you on TV while you started at Rutgers.

Mike Teel I think they've reacted pretty well. I need to make sure I separate myself from being the Rutgers quarterback and being a coach. It's tough because I'm only 25. We have a 25-year old on the team. It's my job as a profession to make it clear that I'm a coach. At the same time, they're receptive of me. I think because they got to see me play, they will respect what I have to say. When I'm saying something, I'm saying it for a reason.

SR What do you like best about being a coach?

MT I love being able to teach. I think I've learned a lot of football at quarterback. In the last two-and-a-half years, I've really learned more than ever about how to play the position and how to mentally get better in the position. I'm excited to get some younger guys who want to learn and want to get better and teach them what I know.

SR Is there something special about returning to college football?

MT There definitely is. The NFL is great. It's top-level football with the best athletes in the world at what they do, but there's something different at college. Especially having my first job at Kean where 99 percent of these guys aren't going on to play football after this. They're playing here because they love the game. It's not an easy commitment. If you look at big-time D-1 schools right now, there's four or five draft picks on every team that's a big-time schools. Look at Rutgers where you have multiple draft picks every year and lots of free agents.

These kids are playing because they love the game and want to get better. To see that and be around the kids, it kind of energizes you. They're fun to be around. They're fun to talk with. They're fun to coach.

SR Does it feel weird being at a college and not wearing your usual scarlet and white?

MT Walking around a building in Kean stuff is a little bit of a change. It's not the scarlet I'm so used to wearing, but I'm getting used to it. These are the colors I wore growing up in Oakland (N.J.), so I like to think I'm bringing it back.

SR What are your thoughts on returning to Jersey?

MT It's nice that my parents will come to some games because they don't have any football to watch for the first time in a long time. Really, it doesn't make too much of a difference to me. I was in Seattle and fine by my own, but it's nice to be home so I can shoot down to see Rutgers or go up and see my high school.

SH How much fun have you had seeing three Bosco guys commit to Rutgers?

MT I love it. I love it. I think there are so many similarities between the Bosco program and the Rutgers program. Not just because they both win or they're both in Jersey. The way Coach Toal runs his program is a family atmosphere. Coach Toal and Coach Schiano have different personalities, but at the end of the day, their beliefs are the same. Coach Toal will do anything for one of his players and it's the same for Coach Schiano. Those are two guys that I know I can always count on.

SR How much have you seen this year's Bosco team?

MT I worked Coach Toal's camp back in July. I spent a few weeks up there and the Bosco team was up there practicing and doing some things. I watched and they look like a college football team. It's impressive. I didn't see them in pads, but physically it's impressive.

SR What do you think about SI having them No. 1 in the country?

MT It bothers me. I think my team was better. Our guy was [Brian] Toal. And then we had [Temple commit] Marquise Liverpool, [Florida State commit] Michael Ray Garvin, [Louisville commit] Brian Roche, who was going to Rutgers at one time and a ton of 1-AA guys. I think we could take them.

SR What do you think of Leonte Carroo?

MT I think he's good, really good. I didn't realize how fast he was, but I guess he did well in some relays. I know he went out to Oregon and did well. It's good to have speed like that.

SR How about Gary Nova?

MT I think he's good. I think he's really good, especially with Coach Cignetti down there. He has an opportunity to really get coached up. Running the offense that they're going to run this year, I think it fits perfectly. It will be nice if he can get a red-shirt year and have a year to sit out, but that's not happening from what I've heard. ... I heard he had a pretty good camp. Gary Nova throws a good ball. He's smart, athletic and a really good player.

SR What do you think of what Chas Dodd did last year? Do you talk to him much?

MT I think his film shows what he can do. I heard Coach Schiano say it before, he's a coach's son and real smart. he's a ball-player. I've never sat with him in meets, but from talking football with him, you can tell he just gets it. As a quarterback, if you don't get it, you really don't have a chance and he gets it.

SR What do you think about everything that's going on with Kenny Britt?

MT I think he needs to get away. When given a lot of money and you're an NFL football player and on your own, a lot of responsibility comes with it. If I saw him today, I would say ‘come on Kenny, you're better than that.' I know Kenny. He's a good kid. He just needs to take care of himself and do what's best for him. He's a grown man now. He's not a 19-year old college kid. There comes a point where you need to grow up and make adult decisions. Do I not like him anymore? Of course I like him. He's always going to be a good friend. We'll always talk about the football games we played in, for Pittsburgh my senior year.

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