Q&A - Steve Calhoun

SEATTLE - It doesn't happen often, but when Washington quarterback Keith Price gets a chance to visit friends and family in southern California, he always puts a call in to Steve Calhoun. Calhoun, who runs a series of football camps called Armed and Dangerous, has been coaching Price up and mentoring him for a number of years now, and Dawgman.com talked with Calhoun during a visit up north.

How long have you known Keith Price? - "It's been six years now, since his freshman year in high school. Every opportunity when he's home in southern California - whether it's spring break or Christmas or a little bit during the summer we'll get a chance to get together."

Do you remember the first time seeing Keith throw? - "Absolutely! I was doing a big camp - an underclassman camp - and I was the quarterbacks coach. I got a chance to meet him and he wanted to get some work in. I told him I had my own company coaching quarterbacks, and we hooked up from there."

What is the process you go through when it comes to having the kind of relationship that you've developed with Keith? - "It's a little bit of mentor, a little bit father, a little bit of a sounding board. Me, playing the position, I've gone through everything that he's about to go through. So that's the relationship I'm able to build with some of the young quarterbacks."

What is your background as a quarterback? - "I played at New Mexico State from '91 to '93 and then I played professionally overseas in Germany for nine years."

Was there anything you learned abroad that applies to your coaching now? - "You've got to really grow up fast. When you start to play for money, there's not a whole lot of coaching - so you've really got to be disciplined with yourself and as far as taking everything that you were taught in high school and college and really put it to use and keep it going."

What was your first impression of Keith? - "Just how affectionate he was…he was always smiling, like everyone is talking about now…everyone is drawn to him. Even in a camp setting where there are 40 other quarterbacks you see how the kids rally around to him. He's always been a leader, always been the first on in line. He's just a natural leader."

What were the first things you taught Keith as a quarterback? - "You really just start with the feet up, with any quarterback. He's already a natural athlete, so the movements that I'm teaching him as far as drops and just rolling out of the pocket - if you're a good athlete you learn them a lot faster. The learning curve is a lot shorter. So everything from the feet up, to balance and transfer of weight from his back foot to his front foot…and always having a nice, clean throwing motion. Because that's always important."

Who else have you worked with? - "Other quarterbacks I'm working with right now are E.J. Manuel, who is at Florida State, Taylor Martinez from Nebraska, and Cody Fajardo from Nevada-Reno - those are just a few guys who, when we're down in southern California, all of them are working together. It's Keith and Taylor and…in fact I've got all of them invited out to the Manning Passing Academy - so we're all going to be out there from July 12th to the 15th."

Is Keith a gym rat when it comes to working on his game? - "Absolutely. The story I share with all my young quarterbacks…the day after Washington beat Nebraska in the bowl game, Keith called me up. That was Jake's last game. Keith called me up at 7 o'clock in the morning and said, 'I'm going to be the starting quarterback at the University of Washington - let's get a workout in. I'm here, I'm in San Diego, I'm going to drive up to Orange County and let's get some work in. Are you ready?' And I was like, 'Yeah, let's go!' And that just speaks to his character. He's just a tireless worker."

What have Steve Sarkisian, Doug Nussmeier and Eric Kiesau done with Keith since he got to Washington? - "Just fine tuning. Always fine tuning. It's almost like…being a quarterback and throwing the ball I compare it a lot to golf; if you're not coached up for a month things can really start to fall apart. So they've done a great job of fine tuning what we've been working on. It's always about the details - that's what I talk to Keith about. He's able to remember a lot of the stuff that we work on and can work on it here and share things with Coach Sark. They are always staying on top of the fundamentals, because that's what I've always believed in at Armed and Dangerous."

How often do you get a chance to work with Keith? - "It's getting shorter and shorter. He loves to stay up here and work with his teammates and stay with his receivers, so just every opportunity - from spring break to Christmas to…we can even talk over the phone and talk about how the ball is coming out and we can make adjustments. Any time he's able to get some film of some of his work up here, he sends it to me and we can talk about it on the phone and through Skype and all the technologies like that. So wherever he is, we can get stuff done."

On Keith's next evolution as a QB - "He's on the right path. Consistency. It's always about being consistent and staying healthy. For him, if he stays healthy - he'll have a phenomenal year. He's really going to improve on what he did last year. I'm really looking forward to that."
For more information on Calhoun's Armed and Dangerous Camps, click on the link below to view their home page.

Armed and Dangerous Football Camps

Dawgman.com Top Stories