1-on-1 with Coach Dan Morrison

Assistant head coach Dan Morrison talks about the state of SMU's quarterback situation.

Pony Stampede: Where is Kyle Padron's mind right now?

Dan Morrison: Obviously it's difficult when you've been the quarterback for awhile, but Kyle is a very strong individual. He's doing really well with this and he's supporting J.J. [McDermott] and getting better himself everyday.

PS: What about J.J.'s mindset? He's about to start in his first SMU game.

DM: He's been good about coming in and looking at film and preparing. They're both preparing to play, and that's the way it should be. They're both really good quarterbacks and really good guys.

PS: Is having a quarterback competition healthy?

DM: Every situation is different. Sometimes it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to do that, but sometimes it does.

These two have been competing against each other all spring and all summer and all fall practice. I think any time you are in a situation like this, which we are, where everybody is competing, whether it's receivers, offensive lineman…it's always helpful that they're competing against each other and supporting each other.

Ideally what you want in those situations is for the kids to compete with each other as much as they can, but at the same time, you want them to support each other.

PS: What are J.J. and Kyle's attitudes toward each other?

DM: They know what kind of shoes they stand in and no one else knows what it's like to stand in those shoes until they stand in those shoes.

They support each other because they understand what the other is going through and facing on and off the field. They have a keen awareness that ‘We are our only best friends so we better stick together.'

But it's always been that way with these quarterbacks. They compete like crazy, but always support each other. No one else out there understands.

PS: Is it bad not to have that go-to quarterback that everyone knows will start every game?

DM: I don't know if it will be like that all season. I think that this team is pretty mature and they both feel for Kyle right now and support J.J. There's been a lot of support and understanding quietly within and that's really important to everybody.

PS: Kyle has now thrown seven interceptions in his last three games. How has he expressed his frustrations to you?

DM: What he and I talk about will never be said to anybody else. But he's been working on that (the interceptions). We try to keep turnovers to a minimum.

If you look at the long haul and see all the other quarterbacks around the country, he's not any significantly worse than anybody. Lots of players have thrown more interceptions than he's thrown. But he unfortunately threw two early [against A&M].

He knows better than anybody how frustrating that was for him and that he's not supposed to do that. People sometimes respond to things like the kid is completely unaware. [The players] know more than anybody that they can't be throwing interceptions. It's probably very hurtful to him and he's working on it every day.

I think this is a good opportunity for him to grow and get stronger and better and he will because he's that kind of young man.

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