Syvelle Newton Getting More Comfortable at QB

Syvelle Newton has been used as a jack of all trades type player throughout his career, but when asked to help the team, he has always put his personal feelings aside. Newton now finds himself as the Gamecocks starting quarterback, and though he admits the move to quarterback was not by choice, he realizes that he gives the offense the best chance to succeed when he's behind center. caught up with Newton on Tuesday afternoon, and he talked about his transition to the quarterback position and much more.

Question: How has the team rebounded after the difficult loss to Auburn last Thursday?

Answer: Well, it was a great game on Thursday night. We got the weekend off to try and just get prepared to go for Kentucky.

Question: Kentucky's defense is giving up a lot of yards and a lot of points. Could this weekend be an opportunity for this offense to really explode?

Answer: We're pretty sure they're going to make a lot of adjustments. They're going to be prepared for us, and they're going to have a couple defenses in to try and stop what we do.

Question: Do you ever wonder what things might have been like if you had been at quarterback since day one of Spurrier's arrival?

Answer: If I would have stayed at quarterback last year, I probably could have been way further along than where I am at quarterback right now. I didn't want to play quarterback last year, and I didn't really want to play quarterback this year, but I made the move because the coaches felt like I might be able to help the team, and I'm always willing to help the team.

Question: You look like you're having fun playing quarterback though. Are you having fun?

Answer: I'm having fun. I'm going to have fun just playing the game of football, regardless of which position I play. It's a fun game. Football's a fun game, whether I'm playing quarterback or anything else.

Question: Do you gain more confidence with each passing game?

Answer: Yeah, after the Wofford game it was kind of shaky, but then the Florida Atlantic game everything cleared up a little bit. I believe there's a point where the offense just had (to learn) another voice. They had to get adjusted to me, and I had to get adjusted to them, so now I feel we might be a little bit more comfortable.

Question: Can you talk about the progress of your offensive line over the past three weeks?

Answer: They've made a lot of improvement. I feel that the guys were already good enough to play, I just feel that they were young, and that was their first time starting. We had like two freshmen and a walk on starting, and they had to get used to just competing against college teams.

Question: Do you see the match up with Kentucky as a make or break game for both teams?

Answer: Every game we play is make or break, because we're trying to get eligible for a bowl game and just complete our goals that we set before the season. We're pretty sure they're trying to get to a bowl game, so every game we go out and play is going to be the same way.

Question: Can you talk about taking this young team out on the road and what you do as a leader of this team?

Answer: Well, all the guys could tell you that I'm not one that talks a whole lot about, ‘you do this, you do that.' I just play. I just play the game of football. That's all I do is ask them to play with me, so I don't do too much talking. That's not me. I feel I lead by example, but I'm not a big talker.

Question: What is the road mentality of this team like?

Answer: The last time I went to Kentucky, I believe I got hurt in like the first or second quarter. When you're going out on the road and you being the quarterback, you've just got to try to keep everybody focused on what you've got to do and let them know that there's not the home crowd. We've been home for four games straight, and now we're going on the road. It's going to be a little different with the crowd against us now.

Question: How much of your decision to not play quarterback last year was based on what you heard Coach Spurrier looked for in a quarterback, and has your perception changed now that you are working under him?

Answer: I feel I could have adjusted to what he did last year. I'm very flexible, so I could have played quarterback last year if I wanted to, but I felt Blake (Mitchell) was a good quarterback and would probably be a better quarterback for the system that we were running. We were kind of lacking receivers, so I felt I could help the team there. That's why I moved, and I felt that might have been a great move for me career-wise in football.

Question: How much better do you feel about yourself as a passer after working with Coach Spurrier over the past several weeks?

Answer: Taking the snap under center is still kind of hard for me, because I'm used to the shotgun. That's what I always ran, so I'm more comfortable in the shotgun, but I'm still working on getting more comfortable under center. I'm improving. Coach (Spurrier) is still working with me, and I'm still taking notes from Blake (Mitchell) and all the other backup quarterbacks just to take what they do and try to add it to my game.

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