The Offense has a chip on its shoulder

The Washington Offense has a chip on its shoulder. That's according to sophomore quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels, who says the offense doesn't want to be the defense's little brother. They don't want to play second favorite.

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How have you progressed as a player and grown as a person in the last year? - “A lot of it has to do with comfortability. Just being around the system longer and just really being engrained in the plays longer. I did not come from a spread offense in high school. I came from a bunch system in high school, so the transition was a little tough for me. It was a little different. So definitely having the time and the exposure to this sort of offense has definitely helped my abilities to progress and get better and better myself on the field. It’s been good.”

When the season was over, what was the number-one thing you wanted to work on? - “Tighten my release. And I’m still working on it, it’s a work in progress every day. That’s just a mechanical thing. That’s just something I want to work on to maybe help improve my accuracy a little bit and my timing. But also just personality-wise I just wanted to gain better relationships with the guys. I wanted to create the most friendships that I can on the team and help them as much as I can.”

How different does it feel this year considering you aren’t necessarily in the thick of a starting quarterback battle like it was last year? - “Honestly I have to keep going and keep plugging away as I am the starting and I’m working just like that. I may not get the same amount of reps with the ones compared to Jake but I have to keep my head on strong and really try and get better every day. That’s all it is. You never know what’s going to happen. You never know if he’s going to go down or just anything. There’s so many things that can happen in this sport. You have to keep plugging away and keep going until you never know. You could be that guy - you never know - that gets called on Saturday night. I’m just going to keep working and see what happens.”

How would you characterize the battle between you and Tony right now? - “Me and him are best friends. It’s funny you say that because it doesn’t even feel like there’s a battle, seriously. We pick each other up when we have good throws and we put each other down when we have bad throws. It’s kind of fun between me and him because we’re really good friends. We hang out outside of here and so we’re not really at odds or anything like that. It’s just really fun. It’s competitive, but in a fun way. We like to see who is playing well that day and who isn’t playing well and challenge each other a little bit. But there’s no angst or anger toward each other.”

With less than two weeks to go, how would you characterize the mood of the quarterback room right now? - “I think we’re pretty good. There’s days where it feels anxious, and there’s days where it feels like we’re a little relaxed today. And that’s how it is, it’s a comfortability thing. It goes back and forth. I think we have a good mentality in the QB room. It’s light sometimes and we get to laugh a little bit but then at times it’s serious. That’s how it’s got to be. It can’t just stay one, super strong and super hard, no fun at all - or else no one is going to enjoy the process. I think we have a good room in there and we have a good group of guys with a lot of different personalities. We get to have fun a little bit and work hard.”

With everyone talking about how good the defense is going to be, do you think the offense is taking that to heart? - “There’s definitely a chip on our shoulder. We don’t want to feel like the little brother on the team. We want to prove ourselves every day and every time we step on that field and I think we’re definitely going to do that this year. It just feels better. It just feels better on offense. I feel like we can do a lot more things and I think the guys know that as well. So I think we’re definitely going to accomplish more things and it’s exciting. We’re really happy and excited about the opportunity to show everyone.”

What accounts for that feeling? - “I think experience. We were a very young offensive team last year, so I think the experience by the running backs, by the offensive line, by the receivers - and we’ve accumulated some new guys - has just all added to a better feeling offense. We feel like we know what we’re doing, we’re gelling a lot more. There’s so much to be said about the chemistry and the gel of an offensive unit, and so I think that’s definitely coming together this year.”

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