On how much sleep he got Saturday night
"A little bit. A few hours. I got up at 4 and had to get to the airport at 5. We had a little party last night kind of celebrating with my family, friends, coaches and teammates and then it was off to the airport."
On if he watched all of the analysis leading up to the NFL Draft
"It's part of the process. You just have to roll with it. I think the last two or three weeks, I've limited myself watching ESPN and looking at the Web sites and stuff because it changes so periodically that it's just ridiculous. But it's part of it. You just have to do it and keep focused on your goal and keep training hard and getting ready for camp."
On if learned anything from what draft analysts said about his game
"Not really. I think some of the stuff is half made up by people that might not know what they're doing, but there's some good stuff out there from Phil Simms and some of the guys that have played the game before that really dissect each player and can give you some good stuff."
On if he realizes the difficulty of Denver's offense
"They gave me a little bit of a playbook, a little bit of install with no plays. More just formations and their general philosophy on stuff. It's part of it. You're coming in at quarterback. The preparation is going to be a lot more strenuous. I'm going to watch Jake (Plummer) and some of those guys that have been here do it, and hopefully it will get the learning curve a little bit smaller."
On his strengths and weaknesses
"I think my strengths are I can move in the pocket, I've got a strong arm and have played against some very good defenses. I think playing in the SEC for four years is going to help me in the NFL. I've overcome a lot of adversity playing at Vanderbilt. We took some tough losses and had to bounce back week after week. Everyone wants to talk about me throwing off my back and how poor my footwork is. I think that has to be addressed, but I think that getting into this system and this offensive line and having the protection and the pocket there, that stuff is all going to come naturally."
On feedback he received from the NFL regarding his draft status
"I was very close. I had a fairly good season and got some good feedback from the NFL about where I might go. There were some teams that were interested, so I really had to think about it. But with the death of Kwane Doster—one of our running backs died Christmas night—it really made me really reflect on what I was in for and how fortunate I was to play at Vandy with my teammates."
On where he was told he would be drafted after the 2005 season
"They told third, fourth. Some people had me a little high. It worked out pretty well."
On when he started to hear about his improving draft status
"I think around Christmas and New Years, I was thinking probably middle maybe bottom half of the first round. But I knew going in the Senior Bowl and performing at the Combine, I had a chance to elevate my stock if I performed well. I think I had a great turnout at the Senior Bowl. I think I threw the ball and picked up the offense. At the combine, I think I did average. I didn't hurt my stock. I don't think I blew it away. I think just going out there competing really showed what I was all about."
On what schools recruited him out of high school
"Coming from Southern Indiana, I played three sports. I didn't really have a lot of offers for football. Illinois offered early, but then they pulled the scholarship in December. Purdue, Indiana, a lot of those schools, smaller schools in Indiana, wanted me to play safety. Vanderbilt came on in January and just offered me out of the blue. I kind of wanted to play in the SEC, and they were going to give a chance at quarterback, so I took it."
On ending up at Vanderbilt after not being recruited heavily
"I think I was a late bloomer as well. I think it was a combination of both of those things. I wasn't tall enough. I probably weighed 185 or 190 pounds coming out. Playing three sports, I was all over the place. I never really had the time to train or get bigger, so it was a combination of a lot of things."
On competing with the quarterbacks on the Broncos' roster
"I don't know. I think that question is going to answered here in the next couple of months how quickly I pick up the offense. Obviously, Jake Plummer is here and he's the proven starter and has done very well the last two or three years. I'm going to come in here with an open mind. I've competed throughout my life, so I don't see that changing. It's just going to be a matter of how quickly I can process the information and do it on the field."
On if he's prepared for the possibility of the fans wanting to see the backup quarterback play if the Broncos are struggling
"Yes, I guess so. I think that is part of it. I think Jake has been through that, so I don't think it's going to affect him and I know what that's all about. I'm just going to keep going through things like I'm going to be the starter, going through practice working hard, trying to compete and whatever happens is going to happen."
On how it feels to be called ‘the cornerstone' of an NFL franchise
"It's different. I'm going to have to get used to it, but I'm up for the challenge and I'm looking forward to it. I'm happy to be here. This is a great organization. There's great people here, a great football town and wonderful fans, so it's an opportunity for me and I'm going to do my best with it."
On being in the draft class with Matt Leinart and Vince Young
"I think I am in the same category with those guys. I think I can play with them any day of the week. Going to Vanderbilt obviously was a disadvantage as far as the media and the exposure you are going to get. But I think the NFL, coaches and general managers and some of those people knew I could play. It was just a matter of time for everyone else to catch up to speed."
On watching John Elway growing up
"Oh definitely. Watching John and Brett Favre. Those were the two guys I loved to watch just their competitive nature and their will to win and just how much they enjoyed the game. They were fun to watch."
On if he feels a lot of pressure
"Not really. I think anywhere you go as a first-round quarterback, you're going to have pressure to go in and produce and lead a team. I think this is a great situation for me because I'm going to be able to learn from Jake (Plummer) because he's been doing it for a while and get some tips from him. So I had pressure at Vanderbilt to lead that team for the past three or four years. So, it's obviously on a greater scale but I'm ready for it."
On playing at Vanderbilt
"I came from a high school where we were very successful and I think we only lost one or two games in my three-year career there, so it was tough going there we had to change the mental outlook and how people perceived our whole team and gradually we got the right guys in there, got the right personnel and got the right coaches. This year, we came close and had five games and missed a bowl by one. It was tough. I think it's going to help me going through that adversity and being able to bounce back. Working hard and determination are things that are definitely going to help me at this level."
On if he had ever been to Denver before Sunday
"I'd been to the airport once."
On John Elway comparisons
"I think they could have drafted anyone in the first round and you'd get Elway comparisons. It's flattering, but I haven't even taken a snap yet. I don't even know the playbook. It's a long way to go to even be in the same ballpark as him. I figured if they draft a guy in the first round, obviously maybe later on he'd be the franchise guy. The comparisons are probably going to be there for a while until I get on the field and start producing. It's just something that I am going to have to deal with, and I'm looking forward to meeting him. "
On getting drafted by a winning organization
"I think going into a situation like this, they know how to win and you are just going to fit in. I think going to Vanderbilt, where we had to change the mentality, that was a little harder. Going into an organization and a program like this they know how to win and you're just going to catch on…winning is contagious, and I just think coming here is a great situation for me. I was thrilled to death to get picked by the Broncos and I ‘m real excited."
On watching the draft unfold
"Right before Arizona picked, I knew that it would either be me or Matt (Leinart) and the Rams we heard that they were interested. I took a visit there and it went really well. So I thought it would be one of those two, I thought that me and Matt would probably be going 10 and 11 and then I saw the trade happen and I thought they (Denver) were probably going to get me."
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