The first-year quarterback spent his rookie season on the team's practice
squad, and felt it was an important development step as a pro quarterback.
"Last year's process helped me come in here and get more comfortable with the offense and to try to develop my game further," he said.
But while some teams use the practice squad quarterback to help run the scout team each week during the season -- emulating the opponent's quarterback to help get the starting defense ready for what they will be seeing -- Betts didn't even get an opportunity to do much of that. Franchise quarterback Peyton Manning and backup Jim Sorgi got the bulk of the live workout opportunities with the team.
"Peyton takes probably 85 percent of the snaps, Sorgi will get in there
and get three or four, then he'll take the majority of the scout team
snaps. So I'll get maybe five or six snaps [with the scout team] a week if Sorgi
lets me get in there," he explained. "So it was tough, because during
the year I didn't even get a lot of snaps. So anything I can get now I'm
enjoying and I'm not taking for granted."
Determined to keep his skills sharp, Betts has aggressively sought out any chance to throw the ball and work on his timing.
"Anyone who came to a game, they would see me warming up guys before the
game," he said. "But after they'd go in, I'd grab one of the equipment
guys or someone and I'd go through a twenty to twenty-five-minute throwing
"At halftime I'm wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt, but anytime I can get some extra throws in with those guys on the sidelines or during practice I try to get some throws in. It's difficult, but you try to squeeze some in there."
It's a tough adjustment for an accomplished collegiate quarterback who is
used to being the starter on his team. Betts' 54 touchdown passes at Miami
University stands as a career second-best in the school's history. And while
he's proud of the accomplishment, he's quick to give credit to others as well.
"I think following [Steelers QB Ben] Roethlisberger, it brought a lot to Miami University. It put the quarterbacks on a different expectation level, which I think is a good thing," he said. "Shane Montgomery up there does a great job with the offense and with developing the quarterbacks."
Scout.com subscribers can listen in to this 6-minute audio clip where Josh talks about his performance against the Cowboys, what he saw during three big plays during that game, his running ability and pocket-awareness as a quarterback and more:
|A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|