Spring Football Profile -- Adam Rothenfluh
April 11, 2003
Corvallis, Ore. - You've heard it before, the clichï¿½ - 'I just need to be prepared to play when the time comes.' You've heard it in football, basketball, baseball, almost every sport, but it certainly applies to junior quarterback Adam Rothenfluh.
The Fresno, Cal., native has served as a backup to record setting quarterbacks Jonathan Smith, his coach now, and incumbent starter Derek Anderson. He's out to prove himself again this spring, which is nothing new to him, as the program continues its transition from the Dennis Erickson era to the Mike Riley era.
The 6-foot-3 signal-caller played in seven games last season, completing 10 of 18 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. He's battling for the top backup position again this season, as likely challengers Anton Clarkson and Danny Southwick make strides as well.
The following is a brief question and answer session with Rothenfluh after a recent spring practice:
Q. What are your initial thoughts of Coach Riley and his offense?
A. 'Well, at first I was a little apprehensive because I just started feeling comfortable with Coach Erickson's offense. Now, I just have to suck it up and learn this offense. The good aspect is that there are a lot of similarities, the one back set, the pass routes, and a lot of the concepts are the same. The terminology is different, but once I learn that, I should be okay. The terminology is really the biggest obstacle all the offensive players are dealing with right now.'
Q. What types of instructions has Coach Riley and/or Coach Chryst given you this spring?
A. 'Not much at this point. Their current focus is having the team come together and become accustomed to the new system. They are throwing a lot at us, but when fall practice begins we should have a pretty good handle on the offensive schemes.'
Q. Is there anything that really encourages you about the new offensive system?
A. 'Frankly, my head is spinning right now. I really haven't had a chance to digest everything and thoroughly analyze the offense.'
Q. Did you do anything special in the offseason with regards to football?
A. 'I concentrated on jumping rope to improve my quickness in my feet. Quickness is something I want to improve, so that was my major emphasis during the winter and will continue to be as we approach fall.'
Q. Do you feel this is an opportunity to prove yourself all over again?
A. 'I think everybody has to prove themselves to the new coaching staff. I just want to play the role this team needs me to play, whatever that is. I'll do whatever the coaching staff asks me to do. If I need to be the guy coming off the bench if Derek goes down, than I want to be there and do everything I can to win games.'
Q. Are you comfortable being the second guy at quarterback?
A. 'I go into every week of practice during the season with the mindset that I need to be ready to play, because you never know what is going to happen. Fortunately, Derek has been durable and he hasn't been injured, except for the end of last year's game at Washington. I came off the bench in that game and I felt prepared and comfortable with my role.'
Q. Will fans notice anything different about you when they watch spring drills?
A. 'I think they are going to say `he's a pretty good looking guy - I never noticed that before.' I haven't changed a lot, I think my mechanics are about the same. My footwork is what I hope has improved, but other than that everything is pretty much the same.'
Q. You spend a lot of time tossing balls to the receivers and tight ends during the offseason as well as in practice. What are their strengths?
A. 'I'm very impressed with their abilities. We are practicing at a slower speed right now and learning as we go. Once we learn the system, I think you will see the receivers make some big plays. We are going to have some guys step up and play very well for us.'
Q. You haven't had a lot of practice time against the defense to this point, but can this unit be as strong as it has been given the losses in personnel?
A. 'I think that remains to be seen. Richard Seigler is the guy who gets everybody fired up, and as long as he is there helping the younger guys, we should be in good shape. Dwan Edwards is also a very good leader. Of course, it is tough to lose two cornerbacks and two linebackers, those gaps will be hard to fill, but there are some talented young players who look like they can really play.'
Q. You seem very encouraged about this year.
A. 'I think the whole team is; it's a breath of fresh air with the new coaching staff. Everybody is excited to get going and see what happens.'
From Adam - 'Oh, you are not going to ask me about my hobbies?' What are they? 'Well, I love to bass fish, but there is nowhere to bass fish around here, so now I play golf. There is great bass fishing around Fresno.'
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